As your bearded dragon grows, it is vitally important that its diet adapts too. Parsley is an excellent herb that could bring more health benefits to your bearded dragon.
If you are trying to build a diet plan for your bearded dragon, look no further! I will show you all the advantages and disadvantages of feeding your bearded dragon with parsley. After which, I will show you some key strategies to introduce this vegetable to your bearded dragon.
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The Advantages of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Parsley
So, can bearded dragons eat parsley? The short answer is yes, but in small amounts. Just like all things, feeding parsley in moderation would significantly improve your bearded dragon’s health.
Every 100-gram parsley serving contains 138 mg of Calcium. Calcium makes parsley safe for your bearded dragon to eat. As seen in milk, calcium strengthens your beardie’s bones and other biological functions.
Experts recommend feeding your bearded dragon at least 58 mg of calcium every two weeks.
Parsley provides these nutrients without adding extra sugar, preventing your bearded dragon from gaining too much weight. By keeping your bearded dragon weight in check, you also prevent Fatty Liver Disease in the future.
Vitamin A and C
Vitamin A and C are important nutrients to boost your bearded dragon’s immune system by removing unwanted viruses from entering its bloodstream.
However, be careful of feeding your bearded dragon too much Vitamin A. You might want to lessen your bearded dragon’s Vitamin A intake if it takes too much.
Parsley is an excellent source of protein for your bearded dragon. Protein speeds up the baby dragon’s growth by providing them a healthy supply of nutrients every day.
Parsley is also rich in Vitamin K, making it an excellent tool in preventing blood clotting while enhancing bone growth. Vitamin K also prevents early onset MBD.
Why You Should Not Feed Your Bearded Dragon Too Much Parsley
Although parsley is a good nutrient source for bearded dragons, oxalates can become very dangerous.
What are Oxalates?
Oxalate is a compound found in many vegetables. For these vegetables, oxalates serve as a defense mechanism to protect the plant as it grows. However, this defense mechanism can also bind with calcium to prevent the body from absorbing these nutrients.
In other words, feeding your bearded dragon too much parsley can prevent it from receiving the sufficient nutrients it needs to grow, potentially leading to Metabolic Bone Disease.
Here are other plants rich in oxalates:
- Asparagus (130 mg): too much asparagus can cause stomach cramps and gastric upset for your bearded dragon.
- Rhubarb (400 mg): this vegetable contains a high level of oxalic acid, potentially making them extremely poisonous.
- Spinach (970 mg): too much spinach can form calcium-oxalates, a symptom of kidney stones.
The main similarity with these vegetables is that they are not inherently bad. In fact, these vegetables can bring numerous health advantages for your bearded dragon.
I usually mix parsley with different vegetables to limit the amount my bearded dragon intakes. Here are a few vegetables you can consider when preparing your bearded dragon’s food.
How I Feed My Bearded Dragon Parsley
The key to introducing your bearded dragon to parsley is to mix it with the food it already knows. Here are a few tips for including parsley in your bearded dragon’s next meal.
- Use Fresh Parsley: It would be best for you to pick the parsley you grow in your home. However, you can always buy fresh parsley in the supermarket if you don’t grow any.
- Wash Thoroughly: Wash the parsley very well to prevent unwanted things from entering your bearded dragon’s food.
- Include Other Fruits: Consider mixing parsley with other fruits and vegetables. I usually feed my bearded dragon with different fruits to a salad out of it.
- Serve in Moderation: Serve parsley to your bearded at most every two weeks.
As a bearded dragon owner, it can get very worrying when you start wondering if you are feeding your bearded dragon with the right nutrients.
To put my mind at ease, I include the Rep-Cal Herptivite Multivitamin Supplement. Rep-Cal’s advanced formulation provides the additional nutrients I sometimes forget to include in my dragon’s food.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Stem or Flakes?
A good rule of thumb is to only serve your bearded dragons with parsley leaves and stems rather than parsley flakes.
Parsley flakes possess preservatives that might be toxic for your bearded dragon. On the other hand, you can easily include parsley leaves and their stem with other vegetables to create a perfect meal for your bearded dragon.
Other Vegetables to Mix with Parsley
Parsley works great with a variety of vegetables. By mixing parsley with other vegetables, you also give your bearded dragon nutrients parsley might not provide.
- Swiss Chard: Feed your bearded dragon Swiss chard in moderation to prevent oxalates from forming.
- Kale: Rich in Vitamin A, K, B6, Calcium, Potassium, and others. Kale is a perfect vegetable with a very low carbohydrate composition.
- Mustard Green: Excellent source of calcium to aid in muscle growth and overall health.
- Dandelion Greens: Contains vitamin A and small amounts of Vitamin B and Iron.
- Bok Choy: Contains the right nutrients to lower the risk of heart diseases in the future.
The best part about these vegetables is that they are interchangeable. In other words, you can interchange these vegetables with each other to give your bearded dragon a variety of nutrients.
The keyword here is moderation. By including parsley in your bearded dragon’s diet, you would significantly improve its health and overall growth.