Green beans are a pretty affordable yet versatile vegetable. They are also commonly known as string beans, and they suit many dishes, often giving a tasty, crunchy, yet juicy feel that is pretty satisfying. In addition, it is pretty nutritious, which, if you are a bearded dragon owner, might make you wonder;
Can bearded dragons eat green beans?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat green beans. You only need to ensure that they are fresh and free from fertilizers and pesticides. It would be best if you chopped them into bite-sized pieces that your pet can easily chew and swallow. Avoid any that contain preservatives or additives as they might not be safe for consumption by a bearded dragon.
These beans are a less mature version of either of the four types of common beans. Besides being called string beans, they are also known as French beans, even snaps, or snap beans.
Your bearded dragon will enjoy the vegetables just like you do. However, they should not be a daily part of the reptile’s diet, and you should give them less often and in small amounts.
Choose the fresh ones and cut them into tiny sizes. Bearded dragons have tiny mouths, especially babies, and chopping the vegetables makes it easy to bite and chew. In addition, since these vegetables are also soft, chopping them allows your beardie to swallow them without chewing.
Rotten, wilting, or those with pesticides or fertilizers residues do not make a good choice. They can make your pet sick, and you should therefore avoid them.
If you do not know how to properly wash and clean the vegetables to eliminate the residues, choose organic green beans; they have no pesticide contamination.
Green Beans Nutritional Value
Green beans deliver a ton of benefits which is why they are a healthy vegetable for your bearded dragon. Here is a look at the nutritional content of these beans.
|Name||Amount per 55 g of Green Beans|
|Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio||1: 1|
|Vitamin C||6.71 mg|
|Vitamin A||19.2 ug|
|Vitamin K||23.6 ug|
Benefits of Green Beans To Bearded Dragons
As earlier mentioned, it is okay to give the lizard green beans because of the nutritional benefits. These advantages include that the bearded dragon will benefit from Vitamins A, C, and K in these vegetables.
They help boost the reptile’s vision and immunity. Another benefit of green beans is that they are fiber-rich, making digestion easier for the pet.
Magnesium aids in the beardie’s brain growth and development, while potassium helps the reptile maintain ideal body pressure and nervous system and retain water. They are also low in fats which helps prevent obesity in your bearded dragon.
Read More: Are Green Beans Good For Bearded Dragons?
Disadvantages of Green Beans To Bearded Dragons
Green beans have low calcium to phosphorus ratio. Because phosphorus binds to calcium, it reduces the amounts the reptile absorbs. A 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio is recommended as the bare minimum for bearded dragons.
Sadly, green beans do not meet this threshold and instead have a 1:1 ratio, making them not an ideal staple food for bearded dragons.
In addition, these vegetables have low protein levels. Proteins are vital for supporting various organ systems in these reptiles.
For baby bearded dragons, they help with the growth and development of tissues, organs, and organ systems, enabling them to mature.
The lizard might suffer malnourishment in the absence of calcium, and the body might not develop properly.
Due to these disadvantages, you should limit the green beans you give to the reptile.
Do You Cook Green Beans For Bearded Dragons?
Human beings can eat raw green beans or cook them. But what about bearded dragons? Do you need to cook the green beans from these cold-blooded semi-desert reptiles?
Mature and baby bearded dragons can eat cooked green beans. However, you should ensure to cook them the right way to preserve as much nutritional value as possible. It is worth noting that cooked green beans have lower nutritional content than raw ones.
Since you will not be giving these reptiles high amounts of green beans, ensure that you provide them in a form that provides them with the highest nutritional value. It means that you should give your bearded dragon raw green beans more often than you do cooked ones.
You might now be wondering; what about other forms of green beans such as frozen or canned? Can a bearded dragon eat canned green beans? No, it would be best to avoid giving your bearded dragon canned green beans.
They have preservatives to help keep them edible for a long time. However, these preservatives can be toxic to your beardie, making the canned green beans a health hazard.
In addition, you should also avoid frozen green beans. They too have preservatives, and the nitrogen gas in the foods has salts that are detrimental to your pet’s health.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Green Beans With Seeds?
Green beans are less mature versions of several types of common beans. As such, their seeds are soft; therefore, they are neither too hard nor too big for a bearded dragon to chew or swallow.
When preparing green beans for your bearded dragon, you can give them whole without removing these seeds.
What Vegetables Are Bad For Bearded Dragons?
These reptiles are omnivorous, and their diet includes a range of leaves, flowers, fruits, vegetables, and some animal protein. They fancy eating different items, and the variety provides them with vital growth and development nutrients.
In captivity, you should imitate the wild environment and give them foods beneficial to their health.
Doing so aids in giving them a long, healthy life. In your attempt to do so, you might mistakenly end up giving your pet food that is not ideal.
To avoid this, we have compiled for you a list of vegetables that are bad for your bearded dragon.
1. Beet Tops
Beet tops are rich in Vitamin A and magnesium, making them pretty nutritious. However, they have chemicals that affect a bearded dragon’s digestive system and calcium absorption into the bloodstream.
Calcium is vital for these lizards, and its absence puts them at risk of developing metabolic bone disease.
Beet tops are therefore not great for your bearded dragon because they affect its intake of this vital mineral, so you should avoid them.
Bearded dragons love lettuce, especially bibb lettuce. However, it is not suitable to give this vegetable to your pet unless it is the last option you have.
These vegetables do not have the optimal nutritional value for bearded dragons. Instead, lettuce is known to cause digestive problems that might make your pet diarrhea.
Although ironic, lettuce hydrates your pet, but it might lead to dehydration when it causes diarrhea. Your best choice would be to avoid it.
Yet another vegetable to avoid with your bearded dragon we have rhubarb. It is toxic, and should your pet accidentally ingest it, you should immediately contact the vet.
Spinach is rich in oxalates and should not be a staple part of the reptile’s diet. They bind with calcium, thus reducing the absorption of calcium by the pet. If you opt to give the beardie spinach, limit this to one or two leaves a month.
READ MORE: Can Bearded Dragons EAT SPINACH?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Green Chard?
Green chard is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C has a decent calcium ratio, and calcium: phosphorus ratio close to the recommended 2:1. Even so, you should never give your bearded dragon chard.
Green chard is high in water, and it is also acidic, which makes it not suitable for the reptile. Acidic foods can upset the beardie’s stomach leading to ingestion, among other problems.
In addition, the high water content is too much for the beardie. These reptiles’ digestive system is not adapted to high-water foods, and you would be better off with other safer vegetables.
Suitable alternatives to green chard include alfalfa, collard greens, dandelion, mustard greens, squash, turnip greens, and cactus pads or pears.
What Are The Best Greens For Bearded Dragons?
We have seen the vegetables to avoid in your bearded dragon’s food, but what about the best? Which are the best vegetables for your bearded dragon? Here are the best greens for your bearded dragon based on their overall nutritional benefits, calcium content, levels of oxalates, and calcium to phosphorus ratio.
1. Collard Greens
These vegetables have excellent calcium to phosphorus ratio of about 14.5:1. It makes them a suitable source of calcium for your pet. In addition, collard greens are rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin E, Vitamin K, and Vitamin C, which boosts the beardie’s immunity, among other vital functions.
Another advantage of collard greens is that they are rich in folates and fiber.
2. Mustard Greens
A majority of pet dragons fancy the peppery taste of these vegetables. The good thing is that they are a good choice so you can give them to your beardie.
Mustard greens are rich in Calcium and Vitamins A, C, and K. For optimal benefits for your bearded dragon, mix them with collard greens to reduce the effects of oxalates in mustard greens. Their calcium to phosphorus ratio is 2.4:1.
3. Dandelion Leaves
With a 2.8:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio, these vegetables are a suitable source of calcium for the reptile. They are also rich in Vitamin A, but this also means that you should not give the pet supplements with this vitamin because high levels of Vitamin A in bearded dragons are toxic.
However, dandelion leaves have medium levels of oxalates and should therefore be served with other vegetables that are low in oxalates, such as collard greens.
It might be challenging to get fresh greens during summer and winter for your bearded dragons. Squash makes an excellent choice and is equally nutritious. Be it buttercup, yellow squash, and zucchini, all these types of squash are safe enough for your bearded dragon.
Tips To Prepare Greens for Your Bearded Dragon
While it is vital to choose ideal and safe vegetables for your bearded dragon, it is equally important to prepare them in the best way possible. To ensure this, here are effective tips on how to prepare green beans and other vegetables for your bearded dragon.
- Thoroughly wash them. Vegetables sometimes carry pesticides and fertilizer residues. They might also have germs that might harm your pet, which you don’t want. Thoroughly wash them to remove such contaminants and do away with any rotten parts. Alternatively, you might buy organic vegetables that are often grown without using these chemicals.
- Choose a suitable preparation method. Some vegetables are safe for the bearded dragon when cooked and raw. However, you need to verify this for the particular one you are preparing. Avoid additives such as butter, salt, pepper, and oil if cooking the vegetables. A beardie’s digestive system is not adapted to such, and adding them to the food might upset your pet’s stomach. If you cook the veggies, allow them to cool to room temperature before giving them to the pet.
- Chop the veggies. Baby bearded dragons have tiny mouths; they might not be able to bite chunky vegetables. Chopping the vegetables makes both chewing and swallowing easy for the pet.
Bearded dragons are becoming a popular pet lizard choice. Their diet is a mix of vegetables, fruits, and animal proteins such as insects.
Given that green beans are nutritional, most lizard owners wonder if they make an ideal choice for their pets. The good thing is that they do fit well in a bearded dragon’s diet but not as a frequent food.
Green beans are rich in magnesium, vitamins, potassium, and fiber, which are all beneficial to your pet.
However, due to the low calcium amounts and proteins, they do not make the best daily food choice for the lizard. Mix them with other options and make them an occasional food choice.
READ NEXT: What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? Ultimate Guide