Factors To Consider Before Feeding Your Beardie Spinach
As we all know, spinach is a superfood for humans. It is rich in fiber, antioxidants, and lots of minerals and vitamins to boost our health. But, can bearded dragons eat spinach?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat spinach occasionally, on very rare occasions, and in tiny amounts.
This article will share some of the benefits and risks of feeding spinach to your bearded dragon.
Nutritional Information About Spinach
Let’s look at the nutrient value of 100 grams of spinach in a Bearded dragon’s diet.
|Total lipid (fat)||0.39 g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||3.63 g|
|Vitamin C||28.1 mg|
If you want to find out more about the nutritional perks of feeding your bearded dragon spinach every once in a while; read on.
Benefits Of Bearded Dragon Eat Spinach
Low sugar content
Bearded dragons don’t flourish on a high-sugar diet.
When you often feed your bearded dragon sugary foods, your beardie can develop tooth decay, fatty liver disease, diabetes, obesity, and even life-threatening heart failure.
Spinach contains almost no sugar, making it a heart-healthy option for the occasional salad.
Vitamin A, Beta Carotene, and Vitamin C
These key nutrients are essential to a healthy immune system, vision, reproduction, and growth.
This Vitamin regulates blood clotting and supports bone health.
Promotes regular digestion
Assists in tissue growth and cell maintenance.
Baby bearded dragons mostly need iron to aid oxygen flow to the body’s organs.
Healthy Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
Bearded dragons should rarely eat phosphorus-rich foods, especially foods with more phosphorus than calcium. It’s safer for bearded dragons to regularly consume foods with a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1.1 or 2.1 in favor of calcium.
Phosphorus binds with calcium and prevents it from absorbing into your dragon’s bloodstream. Since calcium is such a vital mineral for bearded dragon survival, long-term consumption of phosphorus-rich foods can be extremely harmful, resulting in metabolic bone disease (MBD) and even death.
Spinach is one of those foods containing calcium and phosphorus, but more calcium than phosphorus. So it’s safe for beardies—beneficial, even—as far as that ratio is concerned.
If that was the only factor we had to consider, bearded dragons could eat spinach every day without any issues.
Risks Of Feeding A Bearded Dragon Spinach
Despite all the incredible benefits, spinach has one fatal flaw: it’s packed with oxalates.
Too many oxalates can be extremely harmful and even fatal to bearded dragons. The oxalates bind with the calcium and prevent calcium absorption into the bloodstream. It can lead to metabolic bone disease.
Metabolic Bone Disease
Unfortunately, MBD is one of the most common diseases among domestic bearded dragons. It can easily be preventable with proper diet and care.
Metabolic bone disease (also known as nutritional secondary hyperparathyroidism or fibrous osteodystrophy) refers to several 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.
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
- 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
You can prevent this with the necessary diet and care. We recommend adding calcium supplements and vitamin supplements to your beardies food to keep it healthy and happy.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach?
You should not feed spinach to baby beardies or juvenile dragons. Spinach contains a high amount of oxalates which will bind with calcium and cause calcium deficiency which is very important towards the development of baby bearded dragons.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach?
Although some bearded dragon owners don’t want to risk the health of their adult bearded dragons by feeding them spinach, It should be perfectly fine on rare occasions (a few leaves every couple of months).
How To Prepare Spinach For Your Bearded Dragon?
When buying any kind of greens for your bearded dragon, it’s always best to source organic if possible.
You should always give the spinach a thorough wash under clean running water to ensure it’s dirt free.
Spinach is soft, so it doesn’t need cooking as this will only decrease its nutritional value.
Unless you prefer to chop the spinach into bite-sized pieces, there’s no need to chop the spinach up as beardies can easily eat the leaves as they are.
Place the spinach with other leafy greens and fruit and sweet potato as part of a healthy salad in a bowl and serve to your beardie.
At first glance, it looks like spinach has all the nutrients for a very healthy snack, and yes, bearded dragons can eat spinach occasionally, in very small amounts.
However, after looking at the oxalates in spinach, it became clear that spinach can have severe or even fatal consequences when given too much.
After reading this article, we hope that you have a clearer understanding of the benefits and risks involved in feeding spinach to your bearded dragon.
Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:
- Can Bearded Dragons eat tomatoes?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat oranges?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat parsley?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat blackberries?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat pumpkin?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat pineapple?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat cantaloupe?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat green beans?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat cherries?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat asparagus?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat mango?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat cauliflower?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat avocado?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat brussel-sprouts?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat collard-greens?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat wax-worms?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat dandelions?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat nightcrawlers?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat earthworms?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat eggs?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat basil?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat peaches?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat grasshoppers?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat sweet potato?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat hornworms?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Mice?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Cucumbers?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Cabbage?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Kale?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Bell Peppers?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Broccoli?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Meat?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Aloe?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Radishes?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat Bananas?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat plums?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat chicken?
- Can Bearded Dragons eat strawberries?