Bearded dragons are comfortable in the wild and at home. They eat fruits, insects, flowers, worms, and many other things available in the outside world. But when you have a bearded dragon as a pet, you want to take good care of its diet and health. It’s essential to know what your little pet can and cannot eat. So, can bearded dragons eat mint?
Yes, but only once in a while. Mint is a popular herb that can be easily grown at home. Once you plant a small mint stalk, it’ll take roots and spread all over the place. Mint leaves are versatile, nutritious, and easy to use. Bearded dragons like mint and can be seen munching on the fresh green leaves. But can breaded dragons eat mint?
It’s better to feed mints occasionally to bearded dragons instead of adding the leaves to their staple food. So moderation is the key here. As long as bearded dragons eat mint in smaller quantities once in a while, it is absolutely safe and healthy for your reptile pet.
Let’s read about why, how, and when to feed mint leaves to bearded dragons.
Can Bearded Dragon Eat Mints?
Yes, bearded dragons eat mints. Many of them enjoy eating mint leaves. But bearded dragons become picky salad eaters when domesticated. Your pet may or may not enjoy mints.
What if it does like to eat mints? In that case, you can feed mints to bearded dragons on rare occasions. Mint leaves contain 80% water and have nutrients like phosphorous, calcium, water, protein, fiber, acid, fat, and sugar. The minerals in the mints harm bearded dragon’s health when consumed in large quantities.
A crucial factor to remember is the calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1. When you feed greens to your bearded dragon, make sure to pick only those that adhere to this ratio.
Even though beardies eat mint leaves, some may suffer from stomach aches, diarrhea, and vomiting after munching on too many mints. The same rule applies to baby bearded dragons as well. You can feed them a few mints but not regularly. Carefully choose the right greens for your bearded dragons by maintaining the calcium ratio.
Managing your bearded dragon’s diet shouldn’t worry you much as they eat fruits, turnip greens, petunia flowers, hibiscus flowers, and many other greens like iceberg lettuce, basil, sage, rosemary, etc. Just moderate their greens intake.
Why Should You Feed Mints to Your Pet Dragon?
Mint is actually a hybrid of spearmint and water mint. Fresh mint leaves have about 85% water content and some protein. Moreover, mints are further classified into different types like lemon mints, peppermints, sweet mint, spearmint, and chocolate mint (not the candy but the plant).
Peppermints are stronger in flavor and might affect some bearded dragons. Don’t worry if your pet doesn’t eat lemon mints. Beardies don’t like the lemony mint flavor much and may refuse some mints. Don’t force-feed mint leaves if this happens. It’s absolutely okay for your bearded dragon to not eat mints if it doesn’t want to.
The mint plant grows up to two-feet high and has heart-shaped leaves with serrated edges. The leaves emit a strong minty scent when crushed. Luckily, it is easy to grow mint plants at home. You can grow them in a pot directly or on the ground. Mints are good for kids, adults, and bearded dragons.
Let’s look at the nutritional value of mints to see which minerals can affect the breaded dragon’s health if fed in excess.
Nutritional Facts of Mints + Table
You can see that mints have some nutritional benefits. Adding small quantities of mint leaves occasionally to your pet’s diet will have a positive effect on their health. The answer to can bearded dragons eat mint is yes.
The high water content is another reason to feed mint leaves to bearded dragons. It will quench the thirst of your pets. But you cannot substitute real water with mint leaves as excess water consumption leads to diarrhea.
Health Benefits of Feeding Mint To Bearded Dragons
Is mint good for bearded dragons? Can bearded dragons eat mint? Yes, and yes.
Helps with Digestion
Mints have fiber, which aids with digestion. Bearded dragons can suffer stomach aches and indigestion when they eat too many insects or other foods. This negatively affects their digestive system. Giving them a couple of fresh mint leaves or even dried mint powder (or mint tea) will improve digestion and ease their tummy ache.
Encourages Healthy Growth & Development
Calcium is another mineral found in mints. It helps with bone development and reduces the risk of bone softening (osteoporosis). Older reptiles (and humans) suffer from this issue. Greens like mint and kale are good to promote healthy growth and development in breaded dragons.
The water in mint leaves keeps your bearded dragons hydrated during hot days. Feeding mints occasionally will ensure that your little pet doesn’t get dehydrated.
Mints have antioxidants and anti-inflammatory benefits because of rosmarinic acid. This makes mints a soothing herb for humans and bearded dragons alike. People from many cultures consume mint in different ways (peppermint tea, drink, ice cream, herb added to food, etc.) to enjoy the soothing effect it provides.
Traces of Vitamin C
Well, mint leaves have a teeny trace of vitamin C. While mint alone cannot fulfill the necessary requirement of Vitamin C, it can do its bit to add a small portion to the bearded dragon’s diet. Lack of vitamin C can lead to deficiencies, so even this minor trace helps to an extent. Mint has various nutritional benefits.
How to Prepare the Mint Leaves for Your Dragon?
Now that you know the health benefits and importance of mint for your bearded dragon, it’s time to find out the ways to prepare mint leaves for the beardie. There are different ways to add mints to your pet’s diet. Try them all or pick whatever is convenient.
Technically speaking, mint leaves alone don’t make a complete meal for a bearded dragon. Mint is used for garnishing regular foods or salads. Do the same to your beardie’s meal. Mix mint leaves with other vegetables, fruits, etc., that you feed the bearded dragon.
Serve It Raw
There’s no need to cook the mint leaves for your beardie to eat. Breaded dragons like wild plants, green food, green salad, rose petals, flowers, insects, etc. Simply add a couple of mint leaves to their food, and they won’t complain.
Chop Them Up
Tear the mint leaves or chop them into small bits. This prevents choking and makes it easy for bearded dragons to eat their food. It’s good to serve food in small sizes, preferably in a size that matches the distance between their eyes.
How to Feed Mints to Your Dragon?
You can feed mints to your little dragon in many ways. Fresh leaves are as good as dried leaves or peppermint tea. However, you need to reduce the number of fresh leaves as they contain more water content. About three fresh mint leaves at a time should be good for the bearded dragon. However, if your pet feels uncomfortable, reduce the quantity to one or two.
You can switch over to dried mint instead. Crush a couple of dried mint leaves and use them as garnishing. Consult a vet for a customized diet plan for your bearded dragon. Each beardie is different and has a different reaction to mint.
How Often Can You Feed Mint to Your Pet Dragon?
Since moderation is important to maintain a healthy and balanced diet for your bearded dragon, bearded dragons can eat mint leaves once a week or two. Ensure that bearded dragons don’t eat mint more than once a week. If bearded dragons eat fresh mint leaves every few weeks, it should be perfectly fine. Add dried leaves once a week to their diet.
What are the Possible Issues of Feeding Mint to Your Dragon?
When we said yes to can bearded dragons eat mint leaves, we also stressed the importance of feeding mint to bearded dragons in limited quantities. But why is it so vital that your beardies should not consume more mint leaves? How does mint affect them adversely? Let’s find out.
High Water Content
High water content in mint is an advantage and a disadvantage. Excess water can lead to diarrhea in bearded dragons and mess up their digestive system.
Low in Calcium
Though mint leaves have calcium, the quantity is not enough to meet the necessary calcium requirements in bearded dragons. This can result in a metabolic bone disease if you rely only on mint leaves for calcium supplements. Moreover, you have to consider the calcium to phosphorus ratio, which affects how well the beardie can absorb the calcium in mint leaves.
It can Trigger GERD
GERD is gastroesophageal reflux disease or simply acid reflux. It is common in humans when we consume certain foods. Mint is among the food items responsible for GERD, be it in humans or bearded dragons.
Excessive use of Peppermint Oil
Too much of anything is bad. Peppermint oil is extracted from mint leaves and is one of the essential oils. However, it can easily become toxic when used in more than the required quantity. It can lead to acute renal failure and trigger seizures.
Pure menthol is extracted from mints like peppermint, corn mint, etc. It is strong and can be poisonous when consumed in excess. Furthermore, menthol can be synthesized in labs and may contain additional components that are not good for your beardie.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat These Mints?
Mints come in different variants, and each has a different flavor. Can bearded dragons eat mints of all flavors, or should you avoid certain types of mints?
Bearded dragons can eat sweet mint as long it is only an occasional indulgence.
Basil and Mint
Bearded dragons eat basil happily. It is good for them, but only when consumed in moderation, just like mint.
Peppermint is stronger and may bother some bearded dragons. Feed one or two peppermint leaves to your beardie and check for a reaction. It should be served as a occasional treat.
Spearmint is good for bearded dragons due to its water content and protein. However, excess consumption will affect their health.
Feeding chocolate mint bearded dragon is safe as long as you don’t overdo it. The mint leaves do the job best when eaten occasionally.
Lemon mints have a lot of nutrients but much more than what a bearded dragon requires from its diet. The taste of lemon mint leaves may not be your pet’s liking. This flavor is safe to feed in very rare instances, but only if your beardie likes to eat the leaves.
So, can bearded dragons eat mint? Yes, we now know bearded dragons can eat mint if you ensure to not overfeed them (fresh, dried, herbal tea, oil, etc.). Start with the smallest quantity if your bearded dragon hasn’t consumed mint before. However, give no more than four to five leaves in one serving and monitor for allergic/ adverse reactions. Mint should not be fed daily to bearded dragons.
Q1. Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Mint?
Yes, baby bearded dragons can eat mint leaves occasionally. Add no more than one (or two) fresh mint leaves to its food once every few weeks. Also, remember to feed baby bearded dragons only organic mint leaves. Anything with chemicals or pesticides is a big no.
Q2. Is It Safe For Bearded Dragons To Eat Mint?
Yes, it is safe for bearded dragons to eat mint but only in very limited quantities. Excess mint consumption leads to health problems and negatively affects the bearded dragon.
Q3. Will Bearded Dragons get stressed if you feed them incorrectly?
Definitely, yes. Bearded dragons get stressed if you feed them foods they don’t like. If you continue to do so, you will notice stress marks on their skin. This is a clear sign that bearded dragons are not happy with their food. You must pay close attention to their eating habits and ensure a healthy diet.
Q4. What Other Leaves And Plants Can You Feed a Bearded Dragon?
Chicory, radish greens, sage, rosemary, leek, broccoli, tomato, Brussels sprouts, dill, celery, oregano, thyme, chives, hibiscus flowers, marigold, chamomile, dandelion, mallow, evening primrose, chickweed, daisy, rosehip flowers, violet, apple, mango, bindweed maple, etc.
Q5. Which Live Foods are Good for a Bearded Dragon?
Cockroach, locusts, cricket, mealworms, zophobas, etc., are some live foods and safe insects your bearded dragon can eat.