Bearded dragons seem to consume almost any vegetables they see.
However, this doesn’t necessarily mean that it’s okay for them to eat.
Brussels sprouts are safe for a bearded dragon to eat as an occasional snack. Only give 1/4 of a finely chopped brussels sprout once per week with your bearded dragon’s food, however, as they are acidic and can strip iodine from their diet.
Here are some of the essential details you’ll learn throughout this article:
- How to prepare Brussels sprouts for your bearded dragon
- How often a bearded dragon can eat Brussels sprouts
- Some better choices to feed instead
Is It Okay to Feed Brussels Sprouts to My Bearded Dragon?
It’s completely fine to feed Brussels sprouts to your bearded dragon, but you should do so in moderation. (i.e. It shouldn’t make up a significant portion of a bearded dragon’s diet.)
Feeding them too often will do far more harm than good. However, there are still a few reasons you should consider offering them as an occasional treat.
Brussels Sprouts Are Nutritious
Brussels sprouts have plenty of nutrients that make them a top choice for many beardie owners.
For example, they’re loaded with Vitamin K, Vitamin C, and Vitamin A, all of which help to support your bearded dragon’s health. Brussels sprouts are also a good source of antioxidants as well as fiber.
Brussels Sprouts Are Anti-Inflammatory
Brussels sprouts also have anti-inflammatory properties. If your bearded dragon has swelling internally or externally, you should consider incorporating them into their diet.
It’s important to note that your pet should never eat Brussels sprouts whole. For more instructions on how often and how much of a Brussels sprout they can eat, refer to the next section.
All in all, they’re great for your dragon when it comes to nutritional value. However, there are a couple of negatives you need to know about.
Brussels Sprouts Strip Away Iodine
The main issue with feeding Brussels sprouts to your bearded dragon is that it can eventually start to strip away the iodine from their diet.
An iodine decrease can result in thyroid problems that can lead to obesity and all sorts of other health issues. Thyroid malfunctioning requires medical attention, and it can even be fatal.
Brussels Sprouts Are Acidic
Brussels sprouts are far too acidic for your bearded dragon to eat tons at one time. Too much acidity can lead to internal health problems that you and your bearded dragon both don’t want to deal with.
You shouldn’t be afraid of feeding Brussels sprouts to your beardie, though. You’re not going to cause a thyroid problem with a single veggie!
It’s all about moderation. Most bearded dragons love the taste of Brussels sprouts, and they make for a tasty and healthy treat.
How to Prepare and Feed Brussels Sprouts to Your Bearded Dragon
Start by washing off a single Brussels sprout. Under no circumstances should you ever feed multiple of these veggies to your bearded dragon.
You should then chop it up into small pieces that they can chew on. While some pet owners are okay with feeding an entire Brussels sprout to their bearded dragon, you should try to chop it apart a bit.
After you’ve washed and chopped the Brussels sprouts, it’s a good idea to feed a small portion of it to see if your bearded dragon even likes it in the first place.
Rather than a steady source of food or a meal, think of Brussels sprouts as a special treat for your bearded dragon. They have more than enough nutrients, but overfeeding them can cause the health issues mentioned above, as well as some other less common problems. Some beardie owners even suggest that it might be worth skipping Brussels sprouts altogether.
Most bearded dragons seem to love Brussels sprouts. However, every pet has its own taste preferences. If you realize that your beardie loves it, you can add about ¼ of a Brussels sprout to their food once a week. You can either feed them raw or cooked; it’s up to you.
Try not to exceed these recommendations, but you shouldn’t worry if they accidentally overeat at one time. It’s not a single occurrence that’s going to cause issues, but rather prolonged overeating.
What Should You Feed Instead of Brussels Sprouts?
Bearded dragons need to consume veggies that aren’t too acidic.
They also shouldn’t have anything like iceberg lettuce, which doesn’t have enough nutrients to make it worth eating for them.
Instead, opt for choices such as turnip greens, mustard greens, clover, or kale. Eat of these should be washed, chopped to bite-sized pieces, and fed in moderation.
Leafy greens and other vegetables are a huge part of a bearded dragon’s diet. Without them, your pet could face serious health issues. If you want to expand their food choices a bit broader, you could try giving them some of the following foods:
- Bell peppers (none that are too acidic, and make sure they’re thoroughly washed and chopped)
- Cilantro (some love it, some don’t)
- Red or green cabbage
- Green beans.
Although you might want to add spices or make a meal out of it, bearded dragons need to eat their greens raw. If you cook them, don’t add anything to the pan, including salt, pepper, and so on. They need nothing other than the actual vegetable.
A Bearded Dragon’s Diet
Bearded dragons have a simple diet that calls for vegetables and bugs for the most part.
Many of the vegetables were already mentioned. However, they can also eat certain fruits as well as carrots and celery. As far as bugs are concerned, crickets seem to be the primary source for most bearded dragons. (Dubia roaches are also good choices.) Do your best to ensure that they are alive when they’re purchased.
Don’t ever find your own bugs to feed to your pets. They might have parasites!
Instead, stick with store-bought food as much as possible. Adult bearded dragons should eat a diet mostly consisting of vegetables with a few bugs, and babies should eat the opposite formula. Brussels sprouts can be an occasional addition to such a diet, but don’t overdo it!
In this article, you’ve learned all about the importance of moderation and a few diet tips. You’ve also learned:
- Brussels sprouts should be chopped into ¼ pieces and fed sparingly. Make sure you wash the sprout pieces beforehand and check to see if your beardie likes them before feeding them regularly.
- In moderation, Brussels sprouts can be a great source of vitamins. Brussels sprouts are rich in Vitamin C, Vitamin K, and Vitamin A – all of which are essential nutrients for bearded dragons.
- Too many Brussels sprouts can cause thyroid issues and other health problems. A single overfeeding shouldn’t cause any issues, but sprouts with every meal are bound to cause issues.
- There are all sorts of leafy greens, including kale and spinach, that are better choices. Avoid vegetables that are acidic or lacking in nutrients. Iceberg lettuce is an excellent example of a non-nutritious vegetable.
- Older bearded dragons need more veggies and fewer bugs than baby bearded dragons. Construct your beardie’s diet based on their age to ensure they remain as healthy and happy as possible.