You may wonder if bearded dragons can have peas, as well as if they enjoy them. Bearded dragons are known for having a varied diet, but you want to be sure that you are not harming them with what you are giving them to munch on.
Bearded dragons enjoy and can eat peas. They should be given in moderation, however, as peas are not inherently healthy for them. You can look at peas as a treat for them to enjoy from time to time.
In this article, we will cover why you should feed peas in moderation and what types of peas bearded dragons can eat.
We will also delve into what foods your beardie can and cannot have. Finally, we will follow up with two important tips to keeping a happy and healthy bearded dragon.
Nutritional Value Of Peas
Many different varieties of peas can make great treats for your bearded dragons. You should look at the genetic make up of peas to understand why peas are a treat for your bearded dragon instead of a staple.
Here are the key points for a 100 g serving of peas that you should be aware of, in regards to your beardie:
|Vitamin A||38 mg|
|Vitamin K||24.8 mg|
As you can see, peas are a good source of the top three listed nutrients, but the ratio between calcium and phosphorus is less than ideal for bearded dragons.
The ratio between should be 1.5 (or 2) calcium to 1 part phosphorus. Too much phosphorus can prevent calcium being absorbed into your beardie’s blood, which can result in metabolic bone disease.
With this important ratio in mind, it is important for you to weigh what and how often you feed your bearded dragon.
Peas should be an occasional treat due to its proportion of calcium to phosphorus. Instead focus on their staple foods, such as crickets, mealworms, and kingworms.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Sweet Peas?
Sweet peas are the most readily accessible, so you may look to them for your pea-feeding dragon needs. Sweet peas are unique in that their pods are rounded and firm.
You must shell them before eating them. This is the type most commonly found in the grocery store and the kind you are likely most familiar with.
Sweet peas are easily available fresh, canned, and frozen. Obviously frozen and canned can be nice additions as they have a longer shelf life.
As mentioned above, fresh peas may not be the choice you want as they don’t last as long; however, they do hold the most nutrients.
If you choose to feed peas fresh, you should rinse them thoroughly to remove any dirt that may be present. These may be fed whole to your bearded dragon.
Drain the water from the can before giving your beardie canned peas. Canned peas are convenient, but you need to read the labels carefully.
You want canned peas that contain no salt or added preservatives. It is often easier to find no additives to frozen peas.
Allow frozen peas to thaw before giving them to your bearded dragon. It is recommended that you thaw them instead of cooking of them, where you don’t accidentally burn them.
Further, cooking the frozen peas will remove some of the nutrients from them.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Snow Peas?
We have covered sweet peas, which are sometimes called garden peas, but what about snow peas? They are thought to have originated form southwest Asia.
They have flat pods with very small peas inside because they are typically harvested before being fully developed.
To feed your bearded dragon snow peas, you should remove the tough string that is along the edge of the pod.
Alternatively, you could feed them simply the peas themselves. Try out both ways to see what your beardie likes best.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Sugar Snap Peas?
Sugar snap peas are a cross between snow peas and sweet peas. As with other varieties of peas, raw sugar snap peas are most nutritious and ideal to feed to your bearded dragon. You can feed canned snap peas, as long as there are no preservatives, flavors, or sugars added to them.
Beardies are individuals, so you may have to try different presentations of sugar snap peas to see what your particular beardie likes.
Some beardies like crunching on the entire sugar snap pea pod, while others prefer only munching on the peas inside the pod.
Can Bearded Dragon Eat Peas and Sweet Corn?
Similar in much the way as peas, corn has a dipropionate calcium to phosphorus ratio in regards to your beardies’ health, with 13 times more phosphorus than calcium.
Sweet corn is best left as an occasional treat, much in the same way that peas should be. Fresh corn is best to feed them, as many canned varieties have added salt or preservatives.
In order to feed your beardie sweet corn, you should thoroughly rinse the corn to remove any dirt.
If giving them kernels, you should cut off the harder tip where your bearded dragon doesn’t choke on them. If you want to feed frozen corn, you should thaw it first.
Can Beardies Eat Mushy Peas?
Its better to avoid mushy peas as its a processed peas. Stick to organic peas.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen or Canned Peas?
Bearded dragons can eat both frozen peas and canned, but make sure it doesn’t contain any harmful artificial ingredients that can harm your bearded dragon.
What Should my Bearded Dragon NOT Eat?
Unlike peas and corn, there are some foods that you should not feed your beardie, even as treats. These range from vegetables, insects, and dairy products.
Some of the foods mentioned in this subsection may cause irritation, while others are toxic or can cause death. If you insist on one of them from this list, please research it properly.
Citrus fruits can upset your beardies tummies. This includes many different fruits, such as lemons, grapefruits, mandarin oranges, clementines, and several others.
Insects for your bearded dragon should be purchased from a store. Never feed them wild insects that you catch outside. Wild insects could have parasites that may harm your beardie.
Also, never feed them fireflies or other insects, including worms, that glow. The chemical that maxes the insects glow is highly toxic to bearded dragons.
Box elder bugs and ladybugs are poisonous to bearded dragons and can cause their death. Similarly, caterpillars and butterflies eat and transverse many different plants, which can be toxic to bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons do not have the enzymes required for them to break down and digest milk. Because of this, you should not give your beardie milk, cheese, or yogurt.
What are Treats For my Bearded Dragon?
We have already established that peas, regardless of variety, and corn should be considered treats for your beardie. What other foods are treats, when you think of common foods for?
Waxworms and morioworms are both fatty and should be fed in moderation.
Your bearded dragons should be at least 6 months old and 10 inches or more in length before you attempt to feed him pinky mice.
Pinky mice are newborn mice before they grow hair. Once they grow hair, their fat content is too high for your beardie and your beardie may also have difficulty digesting the fur.
As your beardie is not a wild animal, you should only feed dead, frozen pinky mice to them. Live rodents can be aggressive and could harm your bearded dragon.
You should thaw out the frozen pinky in a Ziploc bag before setting it in a bucket of warm water. It is ready for your beardie when it is not cold to the touch and it feels squishy.
You don’t need to cut the pinky mouse into smaller pieces as the beardie can eat it whole.
Fruits should be fed in moderation. They are sugary and can put your beardie at risk for obesity. They also can cause teeth problems due to the sugar content.
Due to their sweetness, bearded dragons will adore fruits, but you should keep their consumption to between 5 to 10 percent of their total diet.
Fruits your beardie may enjoy as an occasional treat include apples, apricots, blueberries, dates, figs, grapes, guava, kiwi, mango, papaya, peaches, pears, plums, raisins, raspberries, strawberries, and watermelon.
What Are Staples For my Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons should have a diet that is 75% animals or insects, with the other 25% coming from vegetables and a limited amount of fruit.
You may be wondering what you can feed your bearded dragon regularly. Read the list below for quick ideas.
These should be limited to 25% of your beardies diet. These options include acorn squash, asparagus, bell peppers, butternut squash, cabbage, courgette, green beans, kohlrabi, okra, pak choi, parsnip, sweet potato, and yellow squash.
Interestingly enough, you can feed weeds to your beardie as well. Dandelions are the most readily available and everyone should be familiar with it. You can also opt for catsear, dead nettle, and plantain.
Staples with special considerations
Mealworms have a hard outer skin, which can make it difficult for babies or juvenile beardies to pass them, leading to impaction. Therefore, mealworms should only be fed to adult beardies.
Superworms are the largest size of mealworms. Due to their size, they should only be fed to adult bearded dragons.
Two Tips For Healthy Bearded Dragons
There are two tips you should follow to keep your bearded dragon in optimal health. Gut loading insects and adding calcium.
Throughout the article we have established that insects make up a healthy percentage of their diet.
We have also talked about how the calcium to phosphorous ratio is important to keep in check.
Gut Loading Your Insects
Insects are a large percentage of your beardie’s food intake, but they don’t contain all the ingredients needed. This is where gut loading comes into play. Essentially, you will provide the insect with valuable nutrients to ingest before feeding them to your bearded dragon.
To do this, you will insert raw vegetables to boost certain vitamins into a container. Or you could provide vitamin and mineral supplements, specifically for lizards, for the insects to eat. Feed for 48 hours before releasing them in your beardie’s habitat to become lunch.
To ensure your beardie gets enough calcium, you can buy calcium powder. As discussed above, the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus is important for bearded dragons. To ensure a better balance, calcium powder is an easy additive.
Much in the same way you check the labels for frozen or canned veggies, you should check the label when purchasing calcium powder.
Do not purchase calcium powder that contains sugar or artificial ingredients. You can look for ones that contain antioxidants, collard greens, and calcium carbonate.
The easiest way to get your bearded dragon to eat the calcium powder is by sprinkling it on fruits or veggies. You will want a very light dusting, to ensure you are not wasting powder and in order to entice your beardie to eat.
Another option is essentially the “shake and bake” option. Place the powder in an airtight container or Ziploc bag. Add the insects to the bag. Seal and shake.
This will have less of a mess than trying to sprinkle it on a moving target. Instead of crickets, roaches and worms are generally easier to coat with calcium powder.
Having read this article, you now understand that bearded dragons can eat all three types of peas, but you should give them sparingly.
You also know what they can regularly eat, what they shouldn’t eat at all, and what should be given sparingly as treats.
Finally, you understand how to gut load insects and how to give them calcium powder, in order to have happy and healthy bearded dragon.