Bearded Dragons are a wonderful and interesting reptile that many people will keep as pets.
They live up to their name having an armor of spiny reptilian scales- like a dragon- which includes a so-called beard under its chin which may puff up depending on its mood.
They are gentle and inquisitive, active pets with loving personalities. Like every reptile, they have quirks, including dietary specifications and requirements that may seem ultra-quirky.
Keeping and feeding any reptile is not quite as easy as having a cat or dog, where you can just get some simple food and stuff in it a bowl. Reptiles need more variety and have a lot of very specific needs that need to be met.
Bearded dragons have a lot of greenery and invertebrates in their diet and so choosing what they have and how much of certain things they can have is vital to their health.
One of these foods under questioning is Parsley. Can Bearded Dragons have Parsley? And how much can they have? Let’s take a look!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Parsley?
Bearded Dragons can indeed have Parsley. Alongside many other food types for these reptiles, they enjoy many vitamins and minerals such as Vitamins A, C, and K, which they require.
These vitamins make for a viable food source, it also has a high water content and a low sugar content, which is very good as Dragons don’t require sugar-rich foods.
It also has high levels of calcium, which is very vital and is especially so to females, who need it to help the proper formation of eggs.
- Nutrients Per 100g
- Water 87.71g
- Protein 2.97g
- Carbohydrates 6.33g
- Fiber 3.3g
- Sugar 0.85g
- Calcium 138mg
- Iron 6.2mg
How Often Can They Eat Parsley?
It is not recommended that Bearded Dragons have Parsley as a major part of their diet, it should be seen as more of a treat, with consumption varying from, a little bit once a week to a small bit once a month.
Although Parsley has many very useful and helpful properties in its vitamin count and calcium strength, it also contains Oxalates, which is the enemy of calcium.
When compared to other greeneries such as Kale or Spinach, Parsley has an outrageously high amount of Oxalates, around 1700mg per 100g.
So despite the high calcium content of this tasty dragon snack, it is too high in Oxalates for Dragons to eat much of.
Oxalates are a natural occurrence in many greeneries, they help to protect the plant while it grows, but they also stop the calcium from being properly absorbed.
Another caution with Parsley is in its high Vitamin content, it is very high in Vitamin A, which although healthy and good for Dragons, should also be given in small amounts.
It is both good and bad. The Vitamin A content is, in fact so high in Parsley that it can be dangerous and can lead to hypervitaminosis A in Dragons, so you should be cautious and careful about overfeeding this to your Beardie.
How Should They Eat Parsley?
If you pick your Parsley from a fresh plant on your windowsill, then you should wash it thoroughly.
It is good to get into the habit of doing this for all greens, especially when feeding them to your Dragon as you want to ensure they are clean and germ-free.
Finely chop the Parsley into appropriately small pieces, Dragons are not the best chewers.
You can cut the leaves up with scissors and mix them in with a tasty salad, your Beardie won’t even know they’re there.
It is best to add them to a salad or perhaps add some fruits for some variation from time to time.
What about Parsley Root?
Unlike mythical Dragons, Beardies aren’t the best chewers, especially with something with a rough texture such as Parsley root.
It is best to keep things such as Parsley root away from your Beardie, not being very good at chewing means that they are susceptible to choking hazards.
Parsley root is also a no-go for Beardies because it is very difficult to remove bacteria and dirt from them as they are constantly in contact with soil.
Even after a good wash, you cannot guarantee that all the bacteria are gone, and if these should enter your beardies body it could make them unwell. So it is best to be wary of Parsley Root. Stick to leafy greenery.
Parsley flakes are another part of this plant that is up for debate, although with Parsley flakes it’s not the chewiness or the bacteria that make them a no-go for Bearded Dragons.
Parsley flakes are a bad idea for Beardies as they contain preservatives and other ingredients that can cause harmful effects to your Beardie.
Anything that can be potentially harmful through preservatives should be avoided, it is best to stick to fresh and non-preservative tainted foods.
However the leaves and stem of Parsley are okay for your Beardie to eat in moderation, yous should blend these with other vegetable, making them a tasty salad. Never feed these to your Beardie alone.
Swiss Chard- much like Parsley, you should feed this sparingly due to the Oxalates in it, it should be given in moderation or perhaps replaced with something else.
Dandelion Greens- Dandelion greens are a bit less problematic for Beardies than greens such as Parsley or Swiss Chard.
They do not present the issue of Oxalates, but should still be fed sparingly due to their high Vitamin A count, you may want to avoid giving Dandelion Greens to a Beardie who is taking vitamin A supplements.
Mustard Greens- These are a fantastic food for Beardies with high Calcium and many nutrients.
However, be aware of the Vitamin A count and the Oxalic Acid in them. They are much like Parsley in their cautionary areas.
Bok Choy- Bok Choy is a very good snack for your Beardie. But much like the rest of these, there are cautionary measures.
It is high in goitrogens which can cause Thyroid issues if overconsumed, so be wary with how much Bok Choy you feed your Beardie as well.