Bearded dragons make for great reptile pets—especially for newbie owners. And they’re super easy to care for with regards to their diets. They can eat a plethora of foods within their respective food groups.
But can bearded dragons eat broccoli? Broccoli is often dramatized as the bane of picky eaters everywhere. Does that same principle apply to bearded dragons?
Technically, broccoli is safe for bearded dragons to eat. However, it must be eaten only in the smallest portions. And that’s because broccoli contains compounds that can be harmful to your beardie if consumed in large doses.
Let’s weigh the pros and cons of feeding your bearded dragon broccoli, determine how much is safe for them to eat, and how to safely prepare it.
Pros of Bearded Dragons Eating Broccoli
There are a few pros to feeding your bearded dragon broccoli, despite the risks. The vegetable contains a ton of lizard-healthy vitamins and minerals they need to thrive such as:
So, broccoli as a very rare treat can definitely reap some rewards. However, you still have to consider the downsides.
Cons of Bearded Dragons Eating Broccoli
Even with all those nutrients, broccoli can be harmful to your bearded dragon.
Broccoli has not enough calcium and way too much phosphorus. This calcium to phosphorus ratio is not within the healthy range for a bearded dragon’s diet. Too much consumption of this ratio can actually cause a lack of calcium absorption in the bloodstream.
In the long run, this will deplete a bearded dragon’s calcium intake as its body will start taking calcium from the reptile’s bones instead of the food it eats.
When this happens, your bearded dragon can develop metabolic bone disease. It’s a condition wherein the bones get twisted and distorted while paralyzing the limbs. If left untreated, it can eventually lead to death.
Oxalic acid is another dangerous compound found in broccoli. It also reacts with calcium and prevents it from being absorbed by the body. Too much oxalic acid can lead to your beardie developing kidney stones.
How Much Broccoli Can a Bearded Dragon Eat?
While you should avoid giving your bearded dragon broccoli regularly, it’s not going to hurt them if they have a small floret every now and then. However, you should keep their broccoli eating to a minimum.
One small floret once a month is a good rule of thumb when it comes to determining how much broccoli your lizard can have. It will provide them with a quick nutrient boost without overloading them with too much phosphorus.
How to Prepare Broccoli for Your Bearded Dragon
If you do decide that you’d like for your bearded dragon to try a small piece of broccoli, you need to ensure that you’re preparing it properly. Here are some key tips to keep in mind:
Other Vegetables Your Bearded Dragon Can Eat
Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Broccoli?
Just because they can eat broccoli doesn’t necessarily mean that your bearded dragon should.
Sure, there are a ton of different vitamins and minerals that will help your bearded dragon thrive. But the risk of overfeeding is too high. Instead of feeding them broccoli, choose another vegetable—one with fewer health risks.
- Related Read: 10 Best Greens for Bearded Dragons
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay