image of bearded dragon, rosemary and a text saying: can bearded dragons eat rosemary?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rosemary?

Written by: Annemarie Dutton
Last updated on:
image of 2 bearded dragon

The Herb Called Rosemary And The Bearded Dragon

Herb is a plant used as food, flavoring, and medicine for humans.  Is this common household spice safe for your bearded dragons?

More specifically, can bearded dragons eat rosemary?  The short answer is yes, in small amounts with each meal.

This article will explain how to use rosemary for your bearded dragon.

What Is Rosemary?

Rosemary is a fragrant, healthy, Mediterranean herb with a woody taste and an evergreen-like  fragrance.  Rosemary is used as a base for some perfumes.

Rosemary is a member of the Lamiaceae family which includes oregano, thyme, basil, and lavender.

Plants bloom in spring or summer in temperate climates, but rosemary can bloom continuously in warm climates. The flowers on this herb come in various colors, such as white, purple, pink, and blue.

Nutritional Profile Of Rosemary

The table below shows the nutritional profile of rosemary

Nutrient NameAmount
Total fat6 g
Saturated fat2.8 g
Polyunsaturated fat0.9 g
Monounsaturated fat1.2 g
Sodium26 mg
PotassiumTotal carbohydrate668 mg
Fiber21 g
Vitamin A14 g
Protein58 %
Vitamin C3.3 g
Calcium36 %
Vitamin B-631 %
Iron15 %
Magnesium22 %

Pros And Cons When Bearded Dragons Eat Rosemary

image of rosemary

The main topics when researching food for your bearded dragon are protein, fat, sugar, fiber, calcium acid content, phosphorus, and water levels in the food.

The calcium to phosphorus ratio should be 1 to 2:1.

Calcium

From the above table, we can see that rosemary has high amounts of calcium. Still, unfortunately, there is no data available about rosemary’s acidic content.

Calcium is vital for bearded dragons’ health and wellbeing. Bearded dragons need calcium for:

  • Bone development
  • Muscle contractions
  • Proper egg development & good reproductive health in females

SIGNS OF CALCIUM DEFICIENCY IN BEARDED DRAGONS

Alert your vet immediately if you notice any signs of metabolic bone disease in your bearded dragon. These include:

  • Lack of appetite
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Stress
  • Constipation
  • Receded lower jaw
  • Swollen limbs and jaw
  • Bumps along the spine or bones
  • Soft jaw and facial bones
  • Bowed limbs and arched spine
  • Fractures and broken bones
  • Greenstick fractures (folded or bent bones)
  • Trembling and twitching limbs
  • Tremors and seizures
  • Paralysis or difficulty moving

Dragons’ bodies need calcium because a deficiency pulls calcium from their bones, causing metabolic bone disease (MBD). MBD is one of the most common diseases among domestic bearded dragons but is easily preventable with proper diet and care.

Metabolic bone disease refers to painful skeletal disorders caused by a lack of calcium in the body. The disease causes severe bone, muscle, and tissue damage, resulting in paralysis or death. 

Fiber

Rosemary is rich in fiber, bulking up the stool for optimal digestion and preventing constipation. 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rosemary Leaves?

image of bearded dragon and rosemary

Yes, the bearded dragon can eat some rosemary leaves for each feed, but not as a staple food.

You should provide tiny amounts per serving as larger quantities will cause digestive irritation.

Herbs have many benefits for bearded dragons as they stimulate the immune system and improve digestion.  They also help your pet increase its blood flow to the head which improves concentration.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basil?

Yes. Bearded dragons can eat basil.  Herbs should be a part of your bearded dragon’s diet, as they offer an array of nutrients not available in other foods.  Giving your bearded dragon basil will help balance its diet with healthy ingredients.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dried Basil Leaves

Although bearded dragons can eat fresh basil, dried basil is an entirely different substance.  When basil is dried, the nutrients become concentrated, and you have much higher amounts of vital nutrients such as calcium.

It is not only the healthy nutrients that are concentrated.  Dried basil has high fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and phosphorus levels.  We recommend that you not feed your bearded dragon-dried basil.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fresh Dill Leaves?

Beardies can have fresh dill leaves as a treat in sparingly small amounts. Be careful since dill is high in vitamin A which can lead to toxicity if given in very large quantities. However, avoid dill pickles as they are very salty.

Can Your Bearded Dragon Eat Basil Flowers?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat basil flowers. They are safe and will not harm your pet.  

Other Herbs Safe For Bearded Dragons

If you cannot give rosemary to your bearded dragons, there are alternative herbs that they can eat.

Adult beardies tend to eat more greens than their younger counterparts.

Adult beardies’ diet is composed of about 80% greens. It may include a mix of fruits and green leafy vegetables.

For baby and juvenile bearded dragons, the percentage of green consumption is lower by about 20% because young beardies tend to eat more live insects to satisfy their protein needs.

Some of the safe herbs for bearded dragons to consume occasionally include:

  • Basil
  • Cilantro
  • Fennel
  • Lavender
  • Lemongrass
  • Mints
  • Oregano
  • Thyme

Herbs To Avoid

There are several herbs that you should avoid giving to your bearded dragons. These herbs contain high levels of acid, oxalates, and other harmful substances for bearded dragons.

Herbs to avoid are:

  • Sage
  • Dill
  • Garlic
  • Chives

Final Thought

Bearded dragons can eat a variety of herbs, including rosemary, on an occasional basis.

Although rosemary is safe, we do not recommend it as a staple food for beardies.

Continually research new foods you wish to include in your bearded dragon’s diet.  Sometimes the food that seems the healthiest is dangerous to your bearded dragon.  If you are unsure, please consult your vet for advice.

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