Are you wondering whether celery is safe for the dragons? We had similar concerns, below we share our research concerning the whether the dragons should have ths vegetable.
Can bearded dragons eat celery?
Bearded dragons can eat celery stalk and leaves. However, bearded dragons should have celery once a month since it is nutritionally poor and has high oxalate levels that inhibit the absorption of calcium and can also cause kidney stones. Mix celery with other vegetables to make a balanced diet.
Vegetables that are nutritionally poor should not make a large percentage of the bearded dragon diet, this list of vegetables also includes iceberg or head lettuce.
You can offer celery to insects such as grasshoppers or crickets dusted with calcium before feeding them to bearded dragons.
This is a much safer way to feed bearded dragons rather than feeding celery directly.
Can reptiles eat celery?
All herbivorous reptiles can eat celery sparingly. Celery is a good vegetable to help keep your reptile hydrated. However, celery has high oxalate levels, oxalates inhibit the absorption of calcium by the body of reptiles.
All reptiles need calcium for proper bone development and shells in case of tortoises. Lack of enough calcium will lead to a metabolic bone disease which can be life-threatening if not treated.
Therefore, avoid feeding nutritionally poor, high oxalates or oxalic acid vegetables such as kale, spinach, bok choy, beetroots, chad, and watercress very often to reptiles.
Nutritional value of Celery
The table below shows the nutritional value of 100 g of celery.
|Total lipid (fat)||0.17||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||2.97||g|
|Fiber, total dietary||1.6||g|
|Sugars, total including NLEA||1.34||g|
|Vitamin C, total ascorbic acid||3.1||mg|
|Vitamin A, RAE||22||µg|
|Lutein + zeaxanthin||283||µg|
|Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)||0.27||mg|
|Vitamin K (phylloquinone)||29.3||µg|
Benefits of feeding Celery to bearded dragons
Keeping your bearded dragon hydrated is very important to maintaning a healthy dragon.
It becomes a bit challenging to hydrate bearded dragons when they cannot drink from the bowl.
While some bearded dragons can readily drink water from the bowl there are those that cannot seem to like water from the bowl especially given that bearded dragons cannot see still water.
It is usually advisable to give water to such dragons by misting their food or by giving them food that has a considerable water content.
We have written a detailed article that details how to ensure your bearded dragon is hydrated plus how to tell if your dragon is dehydrated. You can read it here.
However, given the low nutrient nature of celery you should only feed it moderately as a treat.
Given that there are other greens that are far much more nutritious and also have water content such as arugula, collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, broccoli, turnip greens, alfalfa hay or chow, bok choy, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, watercress, clover, red or green cabbage, savory, cilantro, kohlrabi, bell peppers, green beans, escarole, and dandelion.
Vitamins and Minerals
Though in small amounts celery also contains some vitamins, with the largest share taken by Vitamin A and its precursor beta carotene followed by vitamin K other vitamins and minerals are found in traces except calcium which we will cover later.
Like most green leafy vegetabes celery has a high amount of vitamin A and beta carotene. Mostly, excess vitamin A is usually stored in the liver and a diet high in protein can depletes these stores.
Given that baby bearded dragons are more insectivorous than omnivorous, their vitamin A stores can get depleted very first.
Feeding them food high in vitamin A and betacarotene can help keep these reserves serviced.
However, too much vitamin A can cause Vitamin A toxicity, which is why betacarotene is far much better as bearded dragons can convert beta carotene to vitamin A and dispose what they do not need.
Again, there are other veggies as named above that have a better nutritional value as compared to celery and can provide these vitamins in a much better percentage to celery.
One of the benefit of feeding celery to bearded dragons can be given to its healthy calcium-phosphorus ratio.
Calcium is one of the most important mineral needed in the growth and development of bearded dragons, it is normally responsible for strong bones.
Calcium deficiency can easily lead to a deadly disease called metaboli bone disease.
Fortunately, calcium can be sourced from foods that you feed your dragon and via supplementation.
However, it is important to note that too much oxalates and phosphorus content in some veggies can prevent calcium from being absorbed into bearded dragon body.
Calcium reacts with oxalates to form calcium oxalates while it forms calcium phosphates when it reacts with phosphorus.
As a result, vets recommend a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 calcium to phosphorus, you should entirely avoid plant materials that are high in oxalates such as spinach, avocado, peanuts, rhubarb, beets apart from beets greens, chocolate, and sweet potatoes.
The ratio of calcium to phosphorus in celery is
Again this does not qualify celery as an everyday food for bearded dragon.
How to feed or prepare celery to bearded dragons
- Acquired organic fresh celery
- Wash them thoroughly
- Cut both the stalk and leaves into small pieces
- You can dust them with supplements
- Mix celery cuttings with other veggies and offer them in a bowl
- Remove any uneaten veggies within 10-15 minutes
Another way to feed celery to bearded dragons is by offering it to your bugs that eat veggies such as grasshoppers or crickets to gut load them especially when they are dusted with calcium supplements.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Bearded dragons eat carrots and celery? Bearded dragons can eat both carrots and celery just not on a daily basis. However, carrot greens are quite healthy to be fed daily but not the celery leaves or stalk.
How often can bearded dragons eat celery? Bearded dragons should not eat celery very often. You can feed celery once a month, celery is nutritionally poor compared to other veggies safe to feed to bearded dragons such as collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, broccoli, turnip greens, alfalfa hay or chow, bok choy.
While celery is safe for bearded dragons, it does not offer many nutrients to bearded dragons. Reason enough to keep its feeding frequency at a minimal, given that there are other veggies as we have mentioned above that are loaded with far much more nutrients compared to celery. If you have to feed celery to your bearded dragon at least do so once a month. The digestive tract of bearded dragons is small enough not to be loaded with veggies that do not offer much-needed nutrition.