Yes, bearded dragons eat arugula. Bearded dragons are omnivorous animals, so they eat both insects and greens. Bearded dragons, in fact, love veggies and fruits, so they won’t be fussy about eating arugula.
One of the common questions bearded dragon owners ask is whether feeding arugula is safe for them or not. Well, arugula is a nutritious vegetable high in vitamins and minerals but low in carbs and fat. But arugula also contains other components which may not be healthy for bearded dragons.
Let’s dive deep and see whether bearded dragons should eat arugula or not.
Can Bearded Dragon Eat Arugula?
Bearded dragons can eat arugula occasionally. The high water content in arugula can cause diarrhea if fed regularly; hence it’s best as an occasional snack. But, arugula is rich in other essential minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium.
Arugula is also filled with vitamins like- vitamin C, A, and K. Moreover, the low sugar and fat content make it a good source of nutrients for bearded dragons.
However, you should note that arugula contains goitrogens, which are toxic for beardies and may cause liver, thyroid glands, and kidney problems. Therefore, it’s best if bearded dragons eat arugula sparingly.
Why Should You Feed Arugula To Your Pet Dragon?
A well-balanced diet for your pet dragon should include leafy vegetables, weeds, fruits, other veggies, and worms and insects to fulfill their protein need. Adult bearded dragons should eat more plant-based food, while juvenile bearded dragons should consume more protein-rich food.
Arugula is a nutrient-rich snack that your pet lizard would love munching on. Here is a detailed look at the nutritional information of arugula (per 100g)
Health Benefits of Feeding Arugula To Bearded Dragons
As mentioned already, if fed sparingly, arugula is healthy for bearded dragons. You can see in the above table that arugula is high in vitamin C and vitamin A, which are essential for their overall growth. Here is a more detailed look at all the essential health benefits–
Calcium is one of the crucial components of the bearded dragon’s diet, along with phosphorus. A bearded dragon’s diet should have a 2:1 calcium-phosphorus ratio. A high level of phosphorus intake blocks calcium absorption in the bloodstream.
The CP ratio of arugula is 3:1. Although the calcium ratio is higher than the recommended level, phosphorus levels fall in the healthy range. Arugula is a good source of calcium for the bearded dragons, but again you should avoid feeding it too much.
To ensure your lizard pet absorbs the calcium from the arugula without interruption, you should avoid combining it with food that is high in oxalates like avocado and spinach.
Good Source of Vitamins & Minerals
Arugula is loaded with minerals and vitamins. It’s a good source of vitamin C, A, and K and minerals like phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. These vitamins and minerals help in the overall growth of the bearded dragon.
For instance, vitamin C boosts the immune system, and vitamin A helps maintain good eye health. Potassium prevents kidney issues, regulates blood pressure, and supports the healthy functioning of the muscles.
The high fiber content of arugula helps with food digestion. Since an adult bearded dragon mostly eats a plant-based diet, fiber is crucial for the digestion of nutrients. The fibers in the arugula help with the breakage of particles into simpler forms.
It also helps with the digestion of the exoskeleton of insects and prevents chances of constipation. Besides, fiber aids in improving the gut flora of bearded dragons.
Your bearded dragon also gets some protein from arugula. The protein content in arugula is low compared to vitamins, minerals, and other nutrients. Protein is again necessary for the overall growth of the baby bearded dragons.
High Water Content
Bearded dragons have a low drinking ability; therefore, they don’t drink much water themselves. So it’s important to feed them food with high water content to avoid dehydration. Since arugula is very high in water, it can be an excellent food to keep your reptile hydrated.
How to prepare the arugula for your dragon?
Feeding whole arugula leaves may choke your bearded dragons; hence, a little preparation is needed. Thankfully, arugula preparation does not take much time, and here are a few simple steps you should follow-
- Pick baby arugula leaves since they are tender and easy to chew.
- Wash the fresh leaves thoroughly. Washing them is vital to get rid of all the pesticides and other chemicals.
- Now cut the arugula into bite-size pieces. If you are preparing arugula for young bearded dragons, cut it into even smaller pieces.
- You can mix arugula with other fresh vegetables or fruits to make it a wholesome meal.
How to feed arugula to your dragon?
You should try mixing arugula with other greens and healthy vegetables. Doing so will ensure your bearded dragon gets all the necessary nutrients. Always pick the young arugula leaves to avoid choking. You can also lightly steam the leaves before feeding them to the reptile.
Make sure to clean any arugula leaves that are lying on the floor. Uneaten leaves rot quickly; if your dragon eats the rotten leaves, it may get ill.
How often can you feed arugula to your pet dragon?
Arugula is healthy and provides essential nutritional value. However, it is best as an occasional treat and should not become a staple food. Feeding leafy green vegetables like too much spinach or arugula is not good for their health.
Therefore, you should only feed arugula only once or twice a month. If the young dragons eat more than the recommended amount of arugula, it can lead to adverse health effects like vomiting, diarrhea, constipation, or metabolic bone disease.
Now that you know how often bearded dragons can eat arugula, you might be wondering about the quantity. Approximately five grams of arugula is enough for a single feeding session. But the quantity may vary depending on how often you are feeding arugula to your dragons.
Here is the ideal feeding ratio for the bearded dragons-
- Adult bearded dragons: 75% vegetables and 25% insects
- Juvenile dragons: 50% vegetables and 50% insects
- Baby bearded dragons: 20% vegetables and 80% insects
What are the possible issues with feeding arugula to your dragon?
While arugula has plenty of health benefits, it has some negatives as well. From the very beginning, we have mentioned that arugulas are best as treats; giving bearded dragon arugula too often can lead to these issues-
Teeth Issues Due To Sugar
Arugula contains high amounts of sugar; hence excessive feeding is not healthy. Feeding bearded dragons arugula with other sugary treats may lead to teeth problems. Therefore, mix arugula with other greens or fruits that have low sugar levels.
Arugula contains goitrogens like most other leafy greens. Goitrogens are toxic for all reptiles, including bearded dragons, and if fed in high quantities, they may lead to serious health issues. For instance, a high level of goitrogens may lead to kidney, thyroid gland, and liver malfunction.
Hence, it’s essential to be mindful of the quantity if you don’t want your pet lizard to suffer.
What Other Things Bearded Dragons Can Eat?
Bearded dragons can eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, and insects. In fact, adding all types of green and leafy vegetables is necessary to help with their overall growth. Here is a list of all things bearded dragons can eat-
- Beet greens
- Collard greens
- Turnip greens
- Mustard greens
- Green beans
- Bell peppers
- Swiss chard
- Green / red cabbage
- Cooked sweet potatoes
- Star fruits
Q1. Can Bearded Dragons Eat Arugula Every Day?
No, bearded dragons cannot eat arugula every day. Regular feeding of arugula can lead to diarrhea and other health issues.
Q2. Can Bearded Dragons Have Spinach & Arugula?
Yes, bearded dragons eat arugula and spinach. Both these leafy vegetables are healthy sources of minerals and vitamins.
Q3. How Often Can Bearded Dragons Have Arugula?
Bearded dragons can eat arugula once or twice a month. It’s essential to feed arugula in moderation and give them other greens, insects, and fruits for a staple diet.
Q4. Is Arugula Good For A Bearded Dragon?
Yes, arugula is good for bearded dragons. It’s a dense source of vitamins, minerals, and other essential nutrients, making it a great snack for your dragon pet.
Q5. What Leafy Greens Are Good For Bearded Dragons?
Other leafy greens you can add to the bearded dragon’s diet are- spinach, bok choy, green cabbage, turnip greens, dandelion leaves, mustard greens, celery leaves, kale, etc.
Q6. Can Bearded Dragons Eat Iceberg lettuce And Romaine Lettuce?
Bearded dragons can eat iceberg lettuce and romaine lettuce but only occasionally. Both these leafy greens lack essential nutritional value, so they won’t provide any important nutrition to your reptile.
Hopefully, you found the information about feeding bearded dragons arugula helpful. Arugula is a healthy snack as long as you feed it in moderation. To let your baby bearded dragons grow healthy and happy, incorporate a nutrient-rich diet and provide everything in moderation.