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Bearded need to eat their greens. This is something your local bearded dragon keeper probably insists on. But, which greens? Of course, you already know that bearded dragons need some veggies in their diets, but which ones can they eat? Can bearded dragons eat romaine lettuce?
Romaine lettuce is also known as Cos lettuce that grows tall and sturdy. Their leaves are a welcome crunch for our meals and are very healthy for humans. But does this also apply to your bearded dragon?
In this article, you will learn about the benefits of feeding this to your bearded dragon. You will also learn about the other information that will help you decide if you want to add this lettuce to their diet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Romaine Lettuce?
Romaine lettuce is a water-rich and low-calorie green that offers much-needed vitamins and minerals. This green may be a popular option for humans, but romaine lettuce is not a great meal for your bearded dragon.
Regardless, they can still eat romaine lettuce. This type of lettuce is the most nutrient-packed version of this green. So, if you are looking to add lettuce to your dragon’s meals, romaine lettuce is the best choice. But, it is best if you limit this to an emergency meal at best.
Pro-Tip: If you can’t avoid feeding them romaine lettuces, you can add nutrients to their meals using a calcium supplement like the ones you can get here.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Romaine Lettuce?
These greens are not packed in nutrients. Especially compared to other options, romaine lettuce is not the best choice for your growing dragons. If you need to give romaine lettuce to your beardie, only feed it to them once a week.
If you are looking for other vegetables they can eat, here is a handy article to get you started.
What Are in Romaine Lettuces That Your Bearded Dragon Needs?
Like other lettuces, romaine lettuce has different nutrients that your beardie needs. Some of these are:
- Fiber. This is necessary for their digestion and makes their meals pass better through their bodies.
- Vitamin C. This vitamin is necessary for a bearded dragon’s immune system, growth, and reproductive system.
- Vitamin A. This is for their eyesight. It improves their vision and aids in their growth.
- Calcium. This helps build stronger bones for your dragon and is necessary for their growth.
There are still a few issues with giving romaine lettuce to your bearded dragon despite all these nutrients. The biggest one is that this green will fill up your dragon without providing it with enough nutrition.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Romaine Lettuce Often?
Just like other lettuces, these are not packed in nutrients, and they also have certain issues. These stop them from being a staple part of a bearded dragon’s diet. These issues are:
- High Water Content. Romaine lettuce is 95% water. It may be a great way to hydrate your dragon, but eating too much can cause diarrhea. And, ironically, this can lead to dehydration if left untreated.
- High Vitamin A Content. Too much of this green can lead to vitamin A toxicity. If your bearded dragon is already taking Vitamin A supplements, eating vitamin A-rich food be a problem.
How Soon Can Bearded Dragons Eat Romaine Lettuce?
A Bearded Dragon’s diet changes as they grow older. As babies, they need their meals to be 80% bugs and insects and 20% plants. Once they reach their juvenile stage, an even split of insects and plants is best. While for adult dragons, a diet of 80% plants and 20% insects is closer to their diets in the wild.
This means that you can give romaine lettuce to your bearded friends early in their lives. But, it is best to limit these greens as an occasional treat. This is truer for younger beardies who have sensitive and still developing digestive systems and bodies.
Since romaine lettuce is packed with water, diarrhea is a major issue if fed to young dragons. If you need to know how much water your beardie needs, you can read this article.
Regardless, the point still stands. Romaine lettuce is not a part of a balanced diet for bearded dragons. Limit this to an emergency meal instead.
How Should You Prepare Romaine Lettuce For Your Bearded Dragon?
There will be times when you won’t be able to avoid giving this to your beardie. When that happens, you need to know a few things to ensure that they eat it safely.
- Choose organic. Organic vegetables are best for your bearded dragons. If you bought them from grocery stores, there is a big chance that these were sprayed with pesticides. These may help romaine lettuce grow, but they are harmful to your pet beardie. That’s why buying organic romaine lettuces is best.
- Wash them thoroughly. Regardless of where you got it, it would be best if you washed each leaf thoroughly. Doing this will ensure that you do not feed any foreign materials stuck on the leaves to your bearded dragon. This is truer if you bought the romaine lettuce from grocery stores, as this can help remove some of the pesticides in the leaves.
- Cut them into bite-sized pieces. Romaine lettuce is crunchy and may be too difficult for your bearded dragon to bite through. Cutting them up will help your dragon ingest it and avoid the risk of choking.
- Put them in a bowl and serve. You have two options when giving romaine lettuce to your beardie. You can either give it to them as such or mix them with other vegetables with different colors to excite your bearded dragon.
Pro-Tip: Another great way to entice your dragon to eat is by having a great bowl. Check out this feeder add character to their meals and enclosures.
Not all bearded dragons like romaine lettuce. This reason adds to them not being a great staple veggie. However, in times of emergencies, they will fill your beardies up. Remember to feed them a more nutritious meal for the next time they eat, though.
After reading this article, you should have a better understanding of what romaine lettuce offers your beardies. There shouldn’t be any problems as long as you remember to limit their romaine lettuce intake to a minimum.