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Leaves and Greens for Beardies: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basil?

Bearded dragons need and love herbs. But, can bearded dragons eat basils? Read this article to get a definitive answer to this question.

Introduction

Basil is a staple in most dishes, thanks largely to the flavor it brings to the table. You probably always have a few leaves lying around your house. And, you probably thought about giving some to your beardies. So, can bearded dragons eat basil? Let’s find out.

In this article, you will learn about the benefits that basils offer. As well as the possible side-effects that may happen if eaten too often. Let’s get started. 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basil?

Short answer, yes. Bearded dragons can eat basils in small amounts. Bearded dragons get a lot of benefits from basils. The amount of calcium in this green is very desirable for your dragon. However, this shouldn’t be a staple part of their meals. Basils should only be offered once a week to keep their diets balanced. 

Here is an article on another herb bearded dragons can eat to help you choose alternatives.

What Benefits Can Bearded Dragons Get from Eating Basil?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basil

Basil has several nutrients that are necessary for your bearded dragon’s overall health and welfare. These nutrients together are what make your bearded dragon grow to its full potential. Luckily, basil has a significant amount of these nutrients. Some of these are: 

  • Fiber
  • Protein
  • Calcium
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin B6
  • Iron
  • Sodium
  • Phosphorus

These together combine to boost your bearded dragon’s immunity, improve their kidney function, and strengthen digestion. These a great anti-inflammatory and has antioxidants necessary to combat common sickness and cancer. 

Other than these, there are three more benefits that you need to know about. These three are necessary for your beardie, and they need some of these every day. 

  • Calories. Basil has 30 calories per 100 grams. This is astonishing compared to most other greens. This means that you don’t need to worry too much about their daily calorie intake. Low-calorie food is essential to keeping your beardie healthy, and this green is perfect for that. 
  • Vitamin C. This vitamin is great for your bearded dragon’s immune system, growth, and reproduction. Overall, basils will help your bearded dragon live a longer life. 
  • Water. Like almost everything else, bearded dragons need water. Since beardies get their water needs from greens, water-rich basil is great for them.

Pro-Tip: You can hook your beardie up with multivitamin supplements to complete to meet their required daily intake. 

How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basil? 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basil

Basil has several benefits, yes. But, there are a few issues with feeding your bearded dragons too often. It is recommended to give this green once a week. There are also a few other reasons you need to know:

Too Much Calcium. This may not look like a bad thing, but too much of something is a problem. Bearded dragons need food with a 1:1 or 1:2 calcium to phosphorus ratio. Otherwise, their bones will have to develop problems because of eating too much calcium. Basil has a 1:3 calcium to phosphorus ratio, making it unsafe for bearded dragons when eaten in large quantities. 

Too Acidic.  Basils are too acidic. As the leaves are digested in their stomachs, they release chicoric, rosmarinic, and caftaric acid. Too much basil is harmful to your pets. 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fresh Basils? 

When choosing what to feed to your dragon, choosing the freshest plants is best. Aside from being overall better for your dragon, these are also safer for them to eat. Giving these leaves fresh ensures that your beardie gets the most nutrients out of the greens. 

According to experienced owners, bearded dragons also like fresh leaves better. This makes fresh basils the obvious choice for your scaly pal. 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dried Basils?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basil

Fresh basil is one thing, but dried basil is a different matter. The nutrients in this basil are too concentrated and more difficult to regulate for owners. The calcium in this is much higher and can lead to problems in the long run. Dried basil also has more fat, sugar, carbohydrates, and phosphorus.

Other than these, dried basil can also potentially contain unwanted nutrients and materials that bearded dragons do not need. Overall, it is best to stick with fresh basils for the best results.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basils Seeds?

This is another question that is often asked about basils. But, the answer to this is similar to the previous one. Like with dried basils, you shouldn’t feed your bearded dragon basil seeds. Other than not offering too enough nutrition, they are also very rich in fat. 

If you have basil seeds lying around, it is better to plant them instead. This effectively reduces the risks for your beardies and eliminates the risk of choking. Plus, you get a great source of fresh basil for your pets, too. 

There are other greens beardies can eat, read this article on spinach to learn more.

What Other Herbs Can Your Bearded Dragon Eat? 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Basil

There are several options you can choose from if you are looking for a substitute for basil. Not only are these nutritious, but they are also delicious, and your beardie will love them. Some of these are: 

  • Cilantro
  • Parsley
  • Safe
  • Rosemary
  • Thyme
  • Lavender
  • Dill

Like basils, these have several nutrients that your bearded dragon needs. But these are acidic as well. It is best to serve this to them sparingly to avoid issues in the future. You can also plant some of these in your dragon’s terrarium, but take note of how much they eat to avoid complications. 

How to Prepare Basil for Your Bearded Dragon? 

Giving this herb to your dragon is straightforward. Like with any vegetable, washing the leaves is the most important part of preparing greens. Do this first, then cut the basil leaves into bite-sized pieces to help your pet pass it faster. 

You can serve these on their own or add them to a salad to introduce a little variety to your dragon’s meal. Make sure to change up the other vegetables you serve it with to keep your dragon excited and interested in their meals. 

Pro-Tip: Put this in one of these feeders to entice your dragon to eat the basil! 

Conclusion

There are several things about basil that may be too tempting for you not to consider adding them to your beardies regular diet. But, there are also several things that you need to look out for when feeding it to your dragon. As long as you remember the positives and the negatives of eating basil for your dragon, there shouldn’t be any problems.