Carrots are so cheap and readily available in most countries and this can make them an attractive option to feed to your bearded dragon.
The question is…can bearded dragons actually eat carrots? Or should you be leaving them in the grocery store at all costs?
In this post, we will look at research provided by the United States leading food department as well as the opinions of vets and nutritionists to give you all the answers you need before feeding your bearded dragons carrots.
So can bearded dragons eat carrots? Bearded dragons can eat carrots and they do provide a good level of nutrition including high amounts of vitamin-A as well as beta-carotene. Carrots shouldn’t be offered as a staple of your bearded dragon’s diet as compounding too many foods that are rich in vitamin-A can cause a level of toxicity.
Now that we’ve established that bearded dragons can eat carrots, let’s take a look at the other important things you need to know before you feed them to your bearded dragon.
Read on to learn…
- The Nutritional Information For Carrots
- If your Bearded Dragon Can Eat Baby Carrots?
- The Benefits Of Feeding your Bearded Dragon Carrots
- The risks & Concerns Of Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Carrots too Often
- How Often to Feed Your Bearded Dragon Carrots
- How to Prepare Carrots For Your Bearded Dragon
- 5 Other Best Foods to Feed your Bearded Dragon Instead Of Carrots
Nutritional Information For Carrots
It’s always important to understand the nutritional information of the foods you offer to your bearded dragon.
This way you can understand the levels of protein, sugar, fat, calcium, phosphorus and other minerals that you are offering to your beardie in their diet.
Take a look at the table below, we have gathered the nutritional information from the USDA (United Department Of Agriculture)
Nutritional Information Of Carrots Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.24||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||9.58||g|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots? (A Closer Look)
Humans and bearded dragons are so different in their nutritional needs and this often means that foods that are considered healthy and a good option for us and often be the total opposite for bearded dragons.
The good news about carrots is that the experts at Vet-Med say they are safe to feed to your bearded dragon.
Vet-Med recommends feeding your beardie a diet primarily consisting of dark leafy greens and then offering other greens such as carrots, bell peppers and green beans among others to make up the rest of their plant-based diet.
In the following sections, we will look at both the benefits and risks/concerns of feeding carrots to your bearded dragon.
The Benefits Of Feeding Carrots to Your Bearded Dragon
There are many benefits of feeding carrots to your bearded dragon. It really is no surprise that Vet-Med has put carrots on their secondary list of foods to feed your beardie in a recent article they did.
Beta-Carotene & Vitamin-A
One of the more noticeable benefits is that carrots are high in beta-carotene which is considered to have plus points.
The popular medical website MedicalNewsToday states that beta-carotene is a pre-cursor for vitamin-A.
Carrots are also high in vitamin-A itself along with the beta-carotene provides many benefits such as healthy skin, immune system, good eye health and vision.
Low In Sugar
Like most vegetables, carrots are low in sugar. This is extremely important as too much sugar in your bearded dragon diet has the ability to make them obese.
Sugar can also cause many problems for beardies teeth. This can lead to tooth decay, rotting teeth and even actual loss of teeth.
If you want to learn more about your beardies teeth then check out this post right here that shares all you need to know as an owner!
Calcium & Phosphorus
Something important to consider when feeding your bearded dragon any food is the calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Ideally, the foods you feed to your beardie should have more calcium in them than phosphorus.
If the foods you feed are consistently higher in phosphorus then your bearded dragon will have a high chance of suffering from severe health problems such as metabolic bone disease or MBD for short.
This is backed up by Met-MD who state that poor nutrition is a key factor when bearded dragons are diagnosed with metabolic bone disease.
Even though carrots aren’t high in calcium, the calcium the phosphorus ratio is considered to be in a safe range so you can feed them to your beardie with confidence.
To ensure that your bearded dragon is getting enough calcium the veterinary experts at VCA-Hospitals recommend that you dust your beardies food 2-3 times per week with a high-quality calcium supplement.
We have researched the best calcium and multi-vitamin supplements and you can now take a look at the full list here.
The Risks/Concerns Of Feeding Carrots to Your Bearded Dragon
After reading the above section you will probably already be running to your nearest grocery store to fill your shopping cart with carrots, however, we highly recommend you read this section first.
In the last section, we talked about how carrots are high in vitamin-A and the benefits of this, however, vitamin-A can also be harmful if consumed in extremely high quantities.
Vitamin-A can cause toxicity to bearded dragons and even us humans when over-consumed.
You should always be aware of other foods you feed to your beardie that contain high amounts of vitamin-A so you don’t allow them to consume too much and cause them health problems.
You should also obviously be wary of feeding carrots daily as this can cause a vitamin-A overdose.
Something else that is often overlooked is the fact that multi-vitamin supplements are high in vitamin-A and adding vegetables that are also high in vitamin-A can cause toxicity even if fed in small portions if fed too often.
The bottom line is, don’t be afraid of feeding your bearded dragon carrots but just understand that feeding them too often with other high vitamin-A foods and multi-vitamin supplements can cause health problems.
How Often Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Carrots?
Now we’ve expressed the concerns about overfeeding carrots due to their high levels of vitamin-A we need to establish just how often you can safely feed them to your bearded dragon.
VCA-hospitals recommend that the bulk of your bearded dragons plant-based diet comes from dark leafy greens that are high in calcium such as collard greens, beet greens and mustard greens to name but a few.
They recommend that carrots and similar veggies, on the other hand, are fed less often.
While VCA-Hospitals don’t give an exact frequency to how often these secondary greens should be fed, we recommend that feeding your bearded dragon carrots once a month in fine.
Just remember the carrots need to be added as part of a balanced diet of live insects and calcium-rich leafy greens as mentioned before.
Most owners provide their beardies with multi-vitamins to ensure they are getting all vitamins and minerals their beardie needs.
This can be much easier than having to strategically feed several different types of veggies and greens to cover all of the nutrients your bearded dragon needs daily.
If you want to give your bearded dragon a high-quality multi-vitamin then we have researched the best options and shared them in this post here – Check out our recommended multi-vitamin supplement here.
The portion size of the carrots you offer to your bearded dragon should also be moderate and preferably used to finish off the salad.
Again, offering too many carrots with other veggies that are high in vitamin-A isn’t healthy so keeping the portion size average to small is the best option.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Baby Carrots?
Over the past few years, there’s been a lot of confusion about baby carrots and if they are unhealthy you both you and your bearded dragon due to them being washed in chlorine after being picked.
We researched this and found that Dr Andrew Weil has written a great article on the subject. He says that baby carrots are perfectly fine to eat. He goes on to say that nearly all picked veg is washed in chlorine to eliminate E-coli and salmonella.
The veggies and then washed again with potable water to rinse off the chlorine.
Dr.Weil believes that the reason that people think that baby carrots aren’t safe to eat is because of an internet hoax that started a number of years ago.
The bottom line is that baby carrots are treated just the same as any other veg and are safe for both you and your bearded dragon to eat.
How to Prepare Carrots For Your Bearded Dragon
When preparing carrots for your bearded dragon there are some basic rules you need to follow.
The first thing you need to do begins in the grocery store. Always purchase fresh organic carrots if possible as this will provide the biggest health benefit for your beardie.
If there isn’t an organic option available then just pick the best option on offer or even consider purchasing your veg and greens from your local farm shop as they will usually have organic options readily available.
Another vital part of the preparation process of any veggies or greens you offer to your beardie is to make sure that they are thoroughly washed.
When it comes to cooking veg/carrots or offering them to your bearded dragon raw, VCA-hospitals recommend that you can do either.
They also point out that cooking the veggies will cause them to lose some of their nutrients so this is something that you need to be mindful of if you opt to cook them.
The best way to offer the carrots is to grate them as this will make them much easier to consume.
If you don’t have the tools to grate the carrots then simply slicing them thinly and then quartering them will do fine.
You should always feed carrots in a salad bowl that your bearded dragon can easily eat out of.
Many bearded dragons will leave much of the salad they are offered due to the fact that they can’t easily access the food at the bottom of the bowl.
Here’s a post we recently wrote that shares great bowls that allows your bearded dragon to eat their meals with ease including bowls for live feeders.
Remember to always offer the carrots as part of a salad including leafy greens or other staple foods as offering them on their own will likely tempt you to offer an over-sized portion.
5 Other Top Foods to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
Ok, so we’ve learned that carrots have many health benefits for bearded dragons but they also shouldn’t be consumed on a daily basis.
In this section, we thought it would be a good idea to recommend 5 other super healthy foods for you bearded dragon that they can eat on a daily basis.
The list of 5 foods is taken from ‘Vet-Meds list of best 5 foods to feed your bearded dragon’.
The 5 foods on the list are watercress, turnip greens, grape greens, dandelion greens and collards.
All the foods on the list are extremely high in calcium which is hugely important for bearded dragons.
If you want to learn more about bearded dragons and calcium then we recommend that you check out this post where we explain exactly why calcium is so important to bearded dragons.
Below is a table that shows the nutritional information for all 5 foods so you can compare them to carrots and other foods you feed to your bearded dragon.
Nutritional Information Of Healthy Bearded Dragon Foods Per 100g
|Name||Dandelions||Grape Leaves||Turnip Greens||Watercress||Collards|
|Water||85.6 g||72.32g||89.67 g||95.11 g||89.62 g|
|Energy||45 kcal||93 kcal||32 kcal||11 kcal||32 kcal|
|Protein||2.7 g||5.6 g||1.5 g||2.3 g||3.02|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.7 g||2.12 g||0.3 g||0.1 g||0.61 g|
|Carbohydrate||9.2||17.31 g||7.13 g||1.29 g||5.42 g|
|Fiber||3.5 g||11 g||3.2 g||0.5 g||4 g|
|Sugars||0.71 g||6.3 g||0.81 g||0.2g||0.46 g|
|Calcium, Ca||187 mg||363 mg||190 mg||120 mg||232 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||66 mg||58 mg||42 mg||60 mg||25 mg|
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