Yes, bearded dragons can eat spinach. They will benefit from the vitamins and minerals loaded in this vegetable. However, unlike human beings, your bearded dragon might fall ill if you overfeed it with spinach. Thus, it would help to feed it with rationed amounts and at acceptable frequencies.
Giving your bearded dragon a few leaves every few months is fine. Some pet owners avoid including it completely in the lizard’s diet, which is also okay. The baseline is that a bearded dragon will benefit from eating spinach, but only if you give it in minimal quantities and not more than once a month.
Spinach has oxalates that bind with calcium, therefore, hindering its absorption by the lizard. Calcium is vital for the formation, growth, development, and strengthening of a bearded dragon’s bones.
Low calcium can ultimately result in metabolic bone disease, making the bones weak and might cause paralysis. As such, oxalates are harmful to bearded dragons.
The oxalates or oxalic acid can also cause kidney stones if consumed in large amounts. Less liquid in the urine combined with high amounts of oxalates leads to the formation of these kidney stones.
They are not only uncomfortable for your pet but might also lead to renal tissue damage and kidney failure if not detected early.
If your bearded dragon’s diet does not have other vegetables or herbs that are high in oxalates, such as parsley, and you are giving it calcium supplements, then you can give it spinach.
Look out for signs such as swollen rear legs, shaking or tremor in limbs, softening face and jawbones, stunted growth, and paralysis. Call a vet immediately and take your bearded dragon for examination in case of any of these.
Health Benefits of Spinach to Your Bearded Dragon
Having seen that spinach has some benefits and had an in-depth look at the potential harm of overfeeding your bearded dragon with spinach, let us now look at the nutritional value of spinach to your lizard.
|Content||Amount per 100 grams of raw spinach|
|Vitamin C||28 mg|
1. Ideal Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio
Calcium is vital in the diet of these simple and cute lizards. A deficit can cause severe health challenges, especially for babies. It is such an essential mineral that you are advised to add supplements to the bearded dragon’s diet to ensure that it gets appropriate amounts.
On the other hand, phosphorus binds calcium making the body have lesser amounts to absorb into the bloodstream and eventually use for bone development.
Due to this, experts recommend calcium to phosphorus ratio of not less than 2:1. Spinach match this ratio, meaning that it is a safe green leafy vegetable for your bearded dragon as far as this ratio is concerned.
2. Low In Fats and Sugar
A high fat and sugar diet puts your bearded dragon at risk of obesity. Obesity is a significant challenge in these pets, and you need to watch what you feed it with.
Since spinach is low in fats and sugar, they make an excellent choice for the animal. In addition, they are also low in calories.
A large part of spinach in water means that they aid in keeping the pet hydrated which is a plus. However, you should still provide the bearded dragon with clean, fresh drinking water to ensure the dragon is adequately hydrated.
3. Rich In Vitamins
Besides the Vitamin C listed above, spinach is also loaded with other essential vitamins such as Vitamin A and Vitamin B-6.
Vitamin C helps the body repair tissues and aids in the growth and development of these body tissues. In addition, it also aids the immune system, helps in maintaining proper bone health, and helps with iron absorption.
On the other hand, Vitamin A promotes a healthy immune system, supports the bearded dragon’s growth and development needs, and aids with proper vision.
Lastly, Vitamin B-6 is vital for the pet’s brain, immune and nervous system growth, development, and maintenance.
4. High In Potassium
The vital mineral helps regulate muscle activity and promotes healthy kidney function. Impressively, spinach has higher potassium content than bananas which are known to have high levels of minerals.
It is evident that spinach has several benefits for your bearded dragon. However, the harm of oxalates might undo these benefits if you do not watch the amounts and frequency with which you feed your bearded dragon with spinach.
How Much Spinach Can A Bearded Dragon Eat?
One or two spinach leaves every 3 to 4 weeks or once every month are safe for your bearded dragon. In terms of weight, about 28 grams is sufficient.
There are other safer alternatives to spinach that you can add to your pet’s diet. It is best to combine it with these other safer alternatives instead of giving it to the pet alone.
If your pet has an underlying condition, first consult your vet before feeding it with spinach. You will get advice on whether spinach will deteriorate or improve the reptile’s condition.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach And Romaine Lettuce?
Romaine lettuce is not ideal for bearded dragons. It lacks the vital minerals and vitamins the reptile needs to thrive. It comprises 94% water content making it well hydrating but leaving minimal room for nutrients. In addition, it is low in calcium and Vitamin D3.
Calcium is a mineral required by a bearded dragon in high amounts, and Vitamin D3 helps them to absorb it.
Further, giving the beardie romaine lettuce every day can lead to excess hydration, which might cause diarrhea.
Diarrhea might result in dehydration which is dangerous in these lizards as it also puts them at the risk of losing important minerals and vitamins they will have gained from their diet.
Another challenge with romaine lettuce is that it is high in phosphorus and oxalates. Both bind with calcium and can potentially result in calcium deficiency in the pet.
When taken in large amounts, it might mean that your pet is not only at the risk of developing a metabolic bone disease, but its body will also start utilizing the calcium stored in the bones. Under extreme cases, your bearded dragon might suffer from paralysis.
Therefore, a bearded dragon can eat spinach and romaine lettuce, but it will not help the animal a lot. The romaine lettuce does not add any nutritional value to the spinach, and thus it’s an unnecessary addition.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Baby Spinach?
Baby spinach tends to be more concentrated than older, more mature spinach. It is richer in carotenoids, vitamin C and flavonoids while having low amounts of oxalic acid.
They also tend to have a sweeter flavor and be more tender than more mature ones.
A bearded dragon can eat baby spinach, but you should still limit the quantities and frequency as you would with mature spinach. Even though it has a different nutritional value, it is given in moderation and less frequently.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach Leaves?
Bearded dragon can eat spinach leaves sparingly. A leaf or two every month or every few months is safe for your pet.
Spinach leaves are the darker part of this green leafy vegetable. The dark green color indicates that the leaf is rich in chlorophyll and carotenoids. It is equally loaded with vitamins and minerals associated with spinach.
As with the full spinach, ensure to thoroughly wash it to eliminate any chemicals or pesticides that might be harmful to your bearded dragon.
Both raw and cooked spinach leaves are safe as long as you give them in recommended quantities and frequency to the pet.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach?
Yes, You can give your baby bearded dragon spinach, but only in minimal amounts, such as one leaf monthly or every few months.
Baby bearded dragons are at a significant life stage in terms of growth and development. Among other parts, their bones are forming and developing, and thus they need vital minerals and vitamins to support this.
Calcium is one of these vital minerals, and baby bearded dragons require it in plenty to ensure that they form healthy bones. A deficit puts them at risk of bone diseases and paralysis.
When given in large amounts, spinach can reduce the amount of calcium being absorbed by the bearded baby dragon. As such, it will be putting your baby pet at a health risk.
In addition, you should dust the baby bearded dragon’s food with calcium to ensure that it gets sufficient amounts.
Is Spinach Good For Bearded Dragons?
Spinach has several health benefits to your bearded dragon. It can help improve its immunity, strengthen bones and support its growth and development while aiding with iron absorption, among other health benefits. This is because it is high in calcium, potassium, and Vitamin K, among other minerals and vitamins.
However, it also has oxalates that can bind with calcium, hindering its absorption. Oxalates can also lead to kidney stones when taken in high amounts.
As such, spinach is suitable for a bearded dragon, but only as a once-in-a-month treat. Else, the potential harm might outweigh the nutritional benefits.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Have Spinach?
Some experts recommend that you totally avoid giving your bearded dragon spinach. It is because spinach is rich in oxalates which are harmful to a bearded dragon.
In addition, your vet might recommend that you avoid giving your bearded dragon spinach due to some underlying conditions, especially if calcium deficit is one of the causes of the disease.
Whichever the case, adhere to your vet’s instructions. You may give it one or two spinach leaves monthly if not under instructions.
Is Spinach Good For Lizards?
There are various types of lizards you can keep as pets. The most common are the Tokay Gecko, Crested Gecko, Veiled chameleon, and the bearded dragon.
All lizards are omnivorous, so as a pet owner, you might wonder whether spinach makes a good fit for the portion of their plant-based diet.
Spinach is good for lizards, but only if it is given in moderation. If you provide them in plenty, the benefits of the high potassium levels, Vitamin K, and other nutrients will be canceled by the harm of oxalates binding calcium.
Spinach is great for humans; however, it is not an ideal leafy green vegetable for bearded dragons. It is loaded with minerals and nutrients but also has potential health risks such as kidney stones and metabolic bone disease if given to a bearded dragon in plenty.
You can avoid giving your pet spinach totally, but you can also give it a leaf or two monthly, which is safe.
It applies to both baby spinach and mature ones as both have oxalic acid, which is the primary source of the potential health hazards that arise from overfeeding your bearded dragon with spinach. If unsure, do not hesitate to consult your vet.