The diet of the bearded dragon should contain both veggies and insects. Some veggies can be harmful to beardies, I did some reading to find out where spinach stands. Here are my findings.
Can bearded dragons eat spinach? Bearded dragons can eat spinach but only as an occasional treat. Spinach is a great source of calcium, fiber, vitamins, water, and minerals. However, spinach has high oxalates levels. Oxalates bind with calcium causing calcium deficiency and affect the bone development of bearded dragons.
You can offer spinach to your bearded dragon but it should only be offered as a treat together with other veggies and plants and not as a staple food.
Feeding Spinach to Bearded Dragon
Spinach is a leafy vegetable whose origin is Persia. Spinach is closely relate to quinoa and beets. They are loaded with several nutrients.
Some of these nutrients are beneficial to your bearded dragon while others can be fatal to a point of even causing death.
Nutritional content of Spinach
The table below shows the nutritional content of a 100g of spinach.
|Total lipid (fat)||0.39||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||3.63||g|
There are benefits and risks of feeding spinach to bearded dragons
Benefits of feeding spinach to bearded dragons
As already established bearded dragons can eat spinach. Below are some of the benefits of feeding spinach to dragons.
Source of protein
Though not much spinach can offer about 2.86g of protein per 100g. While this is good for Adult bearded dragons which do not need much protein to avoid obesity.
Baby and juvenile bearded dragon need more protein content compared to adult bearded dragons.
Therefore, it is not a good idea to feed spinach to your baby bearded dragon given it will cause calcium deficiency in the long run.
Spinach has a very high water content of about 91.4g per 100g. Given that it is very important to ensure that your bearded dragon is well hydrated giving them feeds high in water content can help keep them hydrated.
Especially for bearded dragons that are not comfortable drinking from the bowl. Secondly, having a bowl of water in bearded dragon cage can raise humidity which may affect your pet negatively.
Therefore, feeding foods high in water content can help you avoid a water bowl and keep humidity levels within the 30-40% levels.
As a rule of thumb a bearded dragon weighing about 300 grams should drink about 10ml of water a day including water contained in food it eats.
Vitamins and Minerals
According to Healthline spinach is loaded with several vitamins such as Vitamin A, C, K1, folic acid and iron.
Bearded dragons need vitamins in their diet for proper development. However, overfeeding these vitamins or minerals can lead to toxicity.
Overfeeding vitamin A can lead to osteoporosis, a condition whereby the bones or bearded dragons are weakenend.
Minerals such as iron are also very helpful in the development of baby bearded dragons.
Part of the bearded dragon diet contains insects, and more so a high percentage of young bearded dragon contains insects.
Insects are made of a chitinous exoskeleton, feeding your bearded dragon enough fiber will aid in digestion and help the bearded dragon to avoid constipation and impaction.
Risks of feeding spinach to bearded dragons
The risks of feeding bearded dragons spinach daily or frequently may outweigh the benefits. The following are the risks that you put your bearded dragon through if you feed spinach to your pet on a daily basis.
While spinach is loaded with calcium, and given that calcium is very important towards a bearded dragon development especially baby and juvenile bearded dragon.
Spinach also contains high amounts of oxalates and phosphorus. Oxalates easily binds with calcium to form calcium oxalates and phosphorus forms calcium phosphate. Consequently, oxalates removes the amount of calcium available in the body of bearded dragons.
Removing the amount of calcium in the body of bearded dragon can lead to poor or stunted growth.
As a result, it is not advisable to feed spinach to a baby bearded dragon and a juvenile bearded dragon on a daily basis. And it should only be offered as a treat to the adult bearded dragon.
Spinach is loaded with a lot of water. Given that spinach are not the only veggies that you are feeding your bearded dragon when you add the fact that you give water to your bearded dragon this can lead to diarrhea.
Like most veggies and fruits such as grape seeds, tea, coffee, chocolate, bananas, grapes, raisins, lettuce, carrots, rhubarb and onions. Spinach contains some levels of tannin.
Tannin binds with proteins and reduces their absorption in the bearded dragons body.
Additionally, tannin inhibits the functoin of enzymes found in bearded dragon gut that helps with absorption of iron and vitamin B12.
How to Prepare Spinach For Bearded Dragons
If you still want to feed spinach to your bearded dragon. Follow the following step.
- Ensure the spinach is fresh or frozen
- Wash it under running water
- Either chop it especially when offering it with other veggies
- Offer the spinach to your bearded dragon
Safest way to offer spinach to your bearded dragon
The best way to offer spinach to your bearded dragon is through gut loading your feeder insects such as hornworms. Hornworms are an excellent source of calcium, feeding them spinach will just improve their calcium content which will later benefit your bearded dragon.
Alternatives to spinach include
- Dandelion greens
- Turnip greens
- Mustard greens
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Bearded dragons eat spinach and kale? Bearded dragons can eat spinach and kale. However, Kale is more safer compared to spinach which have high levels of axalates which binds with calcium and causes calcium deficiency in bearded dragons.
Can Bearded dragons eat spinach every day? You should not feed spinach to the bearded dragon on a daily basis. In fact, you should only feed spinach to adult bearded dragons once a month and never to a baby or juvenile bearded dragons.
Is spinach good for baby bearded dragons? You should not feed spinach to baby or juvenile bearded dragon. Spinach contains high amount of oxalates which will bind with calcium and cause calcium deficiency which is very important towards the development of baby bearded dragons.
Despite the fact that you can feed spinach to bearded dragons. I would recommend you avoid feeding spinach to your dragons whether mature or babies entirely. Feeding spinach might end up causing more harm than good to your pet.
If you have to feed spinach to your pet, I would recommend feeding it to hornworms then offering the hornworms to your bearded dragon.