Bearded dragons can eat a variety of greens. But if you are a new bearded dragon owner, you should be careful. This is because not all greens are safe for beardies.
So, can bearded dragons eat broccoli at all?
Bearded dragons can eat broccoli on an occasional basis. This is because broccoli has high water and oxalate content. Greens with these constituents should not be part of beardies’ staple food because they could harm the reptiles.
However, broccoli also contains essential vitamins and minerals for bearded dragons. Some of these constituents are vitamins A, B1, C, and K.
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The main reason why I don’t recommend broccoli for beardies’ staple food is because of its oxalate content. This substance may bind with calcium which will in turn prevent calcium absorption.
When this happens, bearded dragons will most likely suffer from calcium deficiency or worse, metabolic bone disease. Believe me, you don’t want your reptile to have this health condition.
To better understand why broccoli should only be an occasional food for bearded dragons, I have constructed a table that contains the essential nutrients that beardies can get from eating this veggie.
Table of Contents
Nutritional Facts of Broccoli
As mentioned, the table below contains the vitamins and minerals that will further show whether or not broccoli can be fed to bearded dragons on a regular basis.
Per 100g serving
Source: US Department of Agriculture
As you can see in the table, broccoli has higher water content. As you might already know, watery greens or foods should NOT be given to bearded dragons on a regular basis.
Watery foods could potentially cause diarrhea and other digestive issues in bearded dragons. As a beardy owner, you need to make sure that the food is healthy and safe.
Another thing to consider when choosing the right food for bearded dragons is the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. It should have an ideal ratio of 2:1.
As you can see in the table above, the ratio for calcium to phosphorus is disproportionate. Although it is not totally toxic to bearded dragons, broccoli is not good for bearded dragons on a regular basis.
However, it is a great addition to a bearded dragon’s salad. In moderation, beardies can get essential vitamins and minerals from consuming broccoli.
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Another question that my readers used to ask me was whether or not bearded dragons can eat broccoli stem. Well, broccoli stem is fine for bearded dragons.
However, it is very important to remember that a broccoli stem is high in fiber. It is a lot tougher than its florets. So when feeding broccoli stem for bearded dragons, make sure that you chop it finely.
Remember that bearded dragons are prone to choking and digestive issues when they ingest hard food. Although they are native to desert areas, their digestive system did not evolve to eat hard food. So be careful.
Chopping hard foods into small bite-size pieces is very important. This will not only help your beardies eat their salad easily but also keep them safe from impaction and other digestive issues.
Should You Totally Avoid Feeding Your Bearded Dragon with Broccoli?
Well, it is up to you. As an owner, you are the only one who knows what is best for your reptile. Avoiding watery and hard foods will make them healthy. But keep in mind that broccoli is not toxic to bearded dragons and it can be a great addition to their salad.
In my case, I occasionally offer broccoli to my bearded dragons. It is a good source of vitamin A and other essential vitamins. The key here is moderation.
It is also important to remember that broccoli is not the only source of vitamins and minerals. There are other alternative greens out there that are healthier than broccoli.
Aside from greens, there are fruits and live animals they can eat that could also provide them with the essential vitamins and minerals.
Remember that bearded dragons are omnivores. This means that they can eat a variety of veggies, greens, fruits, and live animals.
But you need to be very careful when choosing fruits. This is because most fruits have high water content. And if not offered in moderation, beardies can suffer from diarrhea and other digestive issues.
Live animals may involve insects and worms. Unfortunately, not all insects and worms are safe for bearded dragons. In fact, some of them can be fatal for beardies.
As an owner, it is your task to explore what is good for your beardies. The general rule of thumb is that choose the foods that are not watery, no oxalic content, and have an ideal ratio for calcium to phosphorus.
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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked Broccoli?
Bearded dragons can eat broccoli on an occasional basis. But they should NOT be given cooked broccoli or any processed foods. Bearded dragons’ digestive system is accustomed to raw and natural foods in the wild.
If you feed them cooked or processed foods, they can get sick. Stay with raw fruits and greens. As long as watery fruits and greens are offered in moderation, your beardies will be just fine.
I also like to add here that when feeding beardies with greens, make sure that the greens are safe and clean. Do not feed them with those you pick in the wild. Greens in the wild may have chemicals in them that could potentially harm your reptile.
Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli
Broccoli is one of the most nutritious greens for bearded dragons. However, it should only be offered on an occasional basis.
This is because broccoli contains a high amount of water, oxalic acid, and disproportionate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
Foods like this are not a good part of staple food for bearded dragons. If consumed in large amounts, your reptile can get sick.
As a beardy owner, it is your job to make sure that you offer the perfect and safe food for your pet. If you can, avoid greens like broccoli if you are not sure. It is the best way to keep your beardy safe from health problems.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.
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