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Savory and bitter, asparagus is a popular side dish for people. Some bearded dragons may like it or hate it. But, despite the strong flavor, your omnivorous bearded dragon will still eat it.
But is asparagus safe for them? Can bearded dragons eat asparagus? These are questions you need answers to. And, knowing them will help you decide whether or not to add this to their diets.
In this article, you will get the answers to these questions and more. Keep reading to learn more about the ups and downs of adding this to their meals. Let’s get started.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Asparagus?
Good news, the answer to this question is yes. Beardies veggies prefer their vegetables to be a little more on the bitter side. Bearded dragons can eat asparagus weekly. This vegetable can be fed to your pet once a week. Or, you can introduce other vegetables with the same nutrients to their diets and give asparagus every other week.
As long as you keep their asparagus intake to this minimum, there shouldn’t be any issues. But, if you observe any discomfort after eating this green, visit the vet immediately.
If you need a few tips to help you take care of your beardies, check out this article here.
What Benefits do Bearded Dragons Get from Asparagus?
Bearded dragons need a healthy amount of greens in their diets. In fact, for bigger dragons, their meals need to consist of 80% plant to stay healthy. And if you feed asparagus to your dragons, here are a few benefits they can get from them:
- Better Immune System. Antioxidants and Vitamin C improve their immune systems. These prevent several diseases and inflammation that can be uncomfortable for your dragon.
- Improves Digestion. Thanks to the fiber in asparagus, eating it can help them pass their food better and faster.
- Healthier Kidney. Asparagus has potassium. This aids in muscle function and strengthens their kidney a lot. It also has a lot of water which keeps your bearded dragon hydrated and improves their kidney’s ability to process nutrients.
- Promotes Healthier Blood and Cells. Vitamin E prevents inflammation. This also rebuilds damaged cells. At the same time, Vitamin K prevents blood clots and facilitates cell growth.
- Strengthens Their Muscles. The protein in asparagus helps bearded dragons maintain their strength longer and helps them grow to their fullest potential.
Another way to help you keep your bearded dragon healthy here is a multivitamin supplement you can give to your bearded dragon.
Why Is Asparagus Not a Staple in a Bearded Dragon’s Diets?
Despite all the benefits your bearded dragon can get from asparagus, there are also a few downsides. Here are the few things that set it back:
- Too little calcium. Calcium is necessary for bearded dragon growth. It keeps their bones stronger and helps them grow larger. However, there is not enough calcium in asparagus for it to matter.
- Too much phosphorus. There is too much phosphorus in this vegetable. This prevents calcium from being absorbed into your dragon’s bloodstream. To be more precise, the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in asparagus is 1:2.7. This can lead to metabolic bone disease (MBD), which is horrible for bearded dragons.
- Oxalates. Like phosphorus, this prevents calcium from being absorbed into the bearded dragon’s bloodstream.
These issues together pose dangers for your dragon’s wellbeing. That’s why it’s important to limit your bearded dragon’s asparagus intake. If eaten with other food consisting of the same things, issues will be unavoidable.
Pro-tip: To add more calcium to their meals, you can add a sprinkle of calcium powder on asparagus. You can get some of the best calcium supplements here.
How Can Bearded Dragons Eat Asparagus Safely?
The good thing about asparagus is that bearded dragons can eat them safely, both cooked and uncooked. Generally, it is better to feed fresh and raw produce to your beardie. There are good sides to cooking these first. It effectively reduces the amounts of oxalates in the vegetable.
Here are a few tips you can follow to make it asparagus safer for your dragons:
- It doesn’t matter how you plan to serve them but always buy organic. Organic vegetables are best because they are pesticide-free and herbicide-free. These chemicals are harmful to bearded dragons when consumed.
- Wash the vegetable thoroughly. Doing this will remove any foreign substances that may be stuck on the outside of the plant. After washing, pad them dry to remove excess water that your bearded dragon doesn’t need. Here is a handy article to know how much water your bearded dragon needs each day.
- If cooking asparagus, do not use oil, salt, pepper, or any other spice. These can make your bearded dragon sick even in little quantities.
- Chop them into bite-sized pieces. Asparagus is stringy. This chewiness can be a problem for bearded dragons if the pieces are too big for them to bite through. Keep the slices small to prevent choking as well.
This vegetable is a great supplement for your bearded dragon’s diet. Giving it to them each week will help your breaded dragon have a more balanced diet. And, mixing several other greens in a salad will make it very enticing for your dragon.
What Are Better Alternatives Vegetables for Your Bearded Dragons?
There are several other options for your bearded dragon instead of asparagus. And most of these are better suited to their diets. These five veggies are:
- Swiss Chard
- Boc Choy
- Mustard Green
If you are looking for more vegetables to add to their diets, you can refer to this article right here.
Overall, like other green vegetables, asparagus offers several health benefits for your dragon. But, there are also a few problems if overfed to your beardie. This is mainly because of the phosphorus and oxalates in asparagus. Remember to limit their asparagus intake to once a week at most, and there shouldn’t be any problems.
Now that you know these, you should be ready to decide whether to add this to your bearded dragon’s diet. With that, your beardie can now safely eat asparagus and lead a healthy and happy life.