Carrots are a great immune-boosting vegetable, they can help with your vision, and they taste great raw or cooked! They are also easy to grow and cheap to purchase, making them an ideal addition to most meals. With all these benefits, you may be wondering if your Bearded Dragon can also enjoy carrots.
Can Bearded Dragons eat carrots? Are carrots safe for these reptiles? The answer is a resounding yes! Although carrots should not be a staple part of your Dragon’s regular diet, in moderation, carrots can provide a host of benefits for your bearded friends. In this article, we look at these benefits, as well as potential hazards to be aware of.
Benefits of feeding carrots to your Bearded Dragon
In general, a Dragon’s diet should consist of around 80% plants, and the rest should be insects and worms. It is perfectly safe and even beneficial to include carrots as a part of that 80%. Carrots are a great source of beneficial vitamins and minerals, especially when eaten raw. The green tops are also great for Dragons, and they’ll likely enjoy them.
The main benefits of carrots for your Bearded Dragon are:
Both the carrot and its top have beneficial nutrients for your Bearded Dragon. While you should not feed carrots to your Dragon every day, the carrot tops are a great daily snack and don’t have any health risks.
- Related Read: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cilantro? What You Need To Know!
Potential risks of feeding carrots to Bearded Dragons
While carrots in moderation are perfectly safe and healthy for your Dragon, there are risks too. The biggest risk is the large amount of vitamin A in carrots, which in moderation, is both healthy and a necessity, but too much is potentially toxic. This is especially risky if you are already giving your Dragon vitamin A or beta carotene supplements on their own or in multivitamin form.
Alone, it can take a fairly high amount of carrots to cause a vitamin A overload that leads to toxicity, but when combined with supplements, it can quickly push vitamin A levels over the edge. Vitamin A toxicity can result in decreased energy, weight loss, swelling, and even dehydration, all of which may lead to more serious issues.
Baby carrots or pre-packaged chopped carrots often contain preservatives to make them last longer on the shelf. Be sure to avoid these, and only give your Dragon fresh, washed raw carrots.
The ideal diet for Bearded Dragons
A Bearded Dragon’s ideal diet should consist of mostly leafy greens, vegetables, insects, and occasional fruits. You should aim to avoid fiber-rich, light green vegetables, like iceberg lettuce or celery, as they consist of mainly fiber and water and offer little nutritional value. The same can be said of the inner portions of leafy green vegetables, like kale and spinach; try and stick to the darker, outer portions.
Ideal greens to give your Bearded Dragon include:
Other beneficial vegetables are carrots, cucumber, asparagus, and corn. These can be given cooked or raw, but raw vegetables retain more of their nutrients and are thus more beneficial. Fruit should only be given sparingly, but safe fruits include apples, pears, bananas, mango, and tomato.
Animal-based proteins are also great and should make up around 20% of your Dragon’s diet. These can include gut-loaded grasshoppers, crickets, mealworms, slugs, and earthworms.
Carrots and their green tops are a great addition to your Bearded Dragon’s diet. They offer essential benefits, including vitamin A, potassium, and iron. That said, carrots shouldn’t be fed to your Dragon every day, due to the risk of vitamin A overload. The green tops, however, are a tasty snack that your Dragon will love, and you can safely feed these to them on a daily basis.
In moderation, carrots are a safe and healthy snack to give your Bearded Dragon!
Featured Image: outsideclick, Pixabay