Dandelion greens are eaten by many animals and are said to provide many important nutrients but can bearded dragons eat dandelion greens? And if so, are they as healthy as people say?
In this post, we will take a close look at the actual nutritional value of dandelion greens and use the information provided by vets and other experts to give you the answers you need before adding dandelion greens to your bearded dragon’s diet.
So can bearded dragons eat dandelion greens? Bearded dragons can eat dandelion greens. They are high in calcium and low in phosphorus as well as containing reasonable levels of other nutrients such as vitamins A and K. With all things considered, dandelion greens are a great choice to include on a regular basis in your bearded dragon’s diet.
Read on to learn…
- 4 other amazing greens that vets & nutritionists recommend you feed your beardie!
- The benefits of feeding dandelion greens to your bearded dragon!
- The potential downsides of feeding dandelion greens to your beardie!
- How often to feed dandelion greens?
- The best and easiest way to prepare dandelion greens!
- If baby bearded dragons can eat dandelion greens?
Dandelion Greens | Nutritional Data
Before we take a deeper look at dandelion greens and their benefits, let’s take a look at the nutrients they contain and in what amounts.
This will help you to decide if dandelion greens are a good choice to add to your beardies salad bowl.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what nutrients you need to be looking for, throughout the post, we will be pointing out the main benefits of dandelion greens and walk you through what nutrients are considered essential for bearded dragons and in what quantities.
Check out the table below that shares the nutritional value for dandelion greens…
Nutritional Information For Dandelion Greens Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.7||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||9.2||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
|Vitamin A RAE||508||µg|
|vitamin A IU||10161||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelion Greens? (A Closer Look
Bearded dragons can eat dandelion greens as part of their plant-based diet. of their diet.
This is backed up by many of the veterinary sources around the world including UC-Davis veterinary medicine, who include dandelion greens in their list of greens that are safe for bearded dragons.
Dandelion greens are a great choice to add to your beardies salad bowl or a regular if not daily basis.
This is due to the fact they contain high amounts of nutrients that are considered essential for bearded dragons.
Let’s now break down the health benefits of dandelion greens for bearded dragons and see exactly why they are recommended by so many of the top veterinary outlets...
What Are The Benefits Of Bearded Dragons Eating Dandelion Greens?
Dandelion greens have long been considered a go-to food for many bearded dragons owners.
This is due to their high nutritional value in key areas such as…
- Balanced calcium & phosphorus ratio
- Vitamins A & K
Here’s a breakdown of each of those nutrients & benefits…
Dandelion Greens Are a Great Source Of Calcium
Dandelion greens offer high amounts of calcium which is essential for the growth and health of bearded dragons.
Looking at the table we provided above, you can see that dandelion greens offer 187mg of calcium per 100g.
This offering of calcium is considered high and when compared to other foods such as broccoli and spinach it puts in perspective just how much calcium dandelion greens offer.
Here’s the amount of calcium that dandelion greens, spinach and broccoli contain per 100g…
- Dandelion Greens – 187mg
- Spinach – 99mg
- Broccoli – 47mg
You can find out exactly how healthy and nutritious both spinach and broccoli are and how often you should be feeding them to your beardie if at all! in our guides below…(spoiler, the answer just might surprise you)
- All You Need to Know About Spinach For Bearded Dragons…
- All You Need to Know About Broccoli For Bearded Dragons…
If you’re a new beardie owner then you might not fully understand why calcium is so important to bearded dragons.
Here’s a simple explanation to why high amounts of calcium on a daily basis is essential for bearded dragons to be healthy…
Why Calcium Is Important to Bearded Dragons
Alongside vitamin D3, calcium is probably the most vital nutrient for a bearded dragons health.
Calcium is critical for bone growth and maintenance as well as muscle function in bearded dragons and without high levels of this nutrient, they are likely to suffer from illnesses such as metabolic bone disease (MBD).
In fact, a lack of vitamin D3 or dietary calcium are sighted as the main 2 factors around bearded dragons contracting MBD. Source:
MBD can be extremely painful for bearded dragons and symptoms can include…(Source)
- Bowed legs
- Decreased appetite
- Difficulty lifting the body off the ground
As you can see, including lots of high calcium foods such as dandelion greens is essential to keeping your beardie both happy and healthy.
Having said this, it’s also highly important to add a calcium supplement to your bearded dragon’s diet to ensure they are getting all the calcium they need. Source:
Most vets and experts recommend either Repcal, Nekton or Reptocal as a calcium supplement.
We personally recommend RepCal as it’s high quality and the most trusted throughout the industry.
You can see the exact RepCal calcium supplement we recommend and the best place to purchase it from to save you money by checking out our easy to follow supplement guide here…
To find out all you need to know about calcium as a bearded dragons owner we recommend you head over to our free calcium guide here that explains all in under 3 minutes!
Balanced Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
While we are still on the topic of calcium, it’s important to mention that dandelion greens have an extremely well-balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio.
As we mentioned earlier in this post, dandelion greens contain 187mg of calcium per 100g. What’s equally important are the levels of phosphorus and by taking a look at the table above, you can see that dandelion greens contain 66mg of phosphorus per 100g.
So why is this important? Well, phosphorus can bind to calcium and stop it from being absorbed in the body.
This means that if a food contains high levels of phosphorus then some or maybe even all the calcium will go unused and because of how important calcium is to bearded dragons, it’s vital to choose foods that offer a good calcium to phosphorus balance.
Usually, vets recommend a ratio or 1:1 or 2:1, which means that your beardie should consume and equal or double the amount of calcium to phosphorus.
The good news about dandelion greens is that the ratio is nearly 3:1 which means that your beardie will be able to absorb much of the calcium it consumes from them.
Dandelion Greens Offer Vitamin A & K
As well as being high in calcium, dandelion greens are also daily high in a range of other nutrients such as vitamin A & K. Source:
Vitamin A offers many health benefits but the ones that are of most use to bearded dragons are…(Source)
- Supports Bone Health
- Helps With Growth & Reproduction
Vitamin K also helps support lots of function in the body, namely the ones below Source:
- Bone Health
- Wound Healing
These two vitamins are great for bearded dragons, having said this, you do need to monitor the amounts of vitamin A in your birdies diet.
If you are offering your beardie a multivitamin then it’s likely to contain high levels of vitamin A and adding foods that also offer high amounts of vitamin A can cause vitamin A toxicity.
This isn’t something to worry about but it is something that you should be aware of.
Vitamin A toxicity symptoms are usually things like nausea and lick of appetite and as soon as the amount of vitamin A in the diet is reduced then so are the symptoms and the toxicity.
Are There Any Downsides to Bearded Dragons Eating Dandelion Greens?
Apart from the small potential of vitamin A toxicity if you feed lots of foods that are high in vitamin A as well as adding multivitamins into your beardies diet, then there aren’t any real downsides to feeding your beardie dandelion greens.
This is a food that offers lots of goodness and should be added to the salad bowl on a regular basis.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelion Greens?
Dandelion greens are great for baby bearded dragons to eat as part of their plant-based diet.
In the first 12 months of a baby beardies life, they will usually grow up to 90% of their full size.
To support this growth they will need lots of high-quality protein and of course calcium.
Dandelion greens are an excellent source of the calcium baby bearded dragons need and as an owner, you should be looking to provide these kinds of food in their diet on a regular basis.
Another good quality food that supports the growth of baby beardies is kale.
You can see why we recommend kale, how often you should feed it to your beardie and exactly how to prepare it in our post below…
Do Bearded Dragons Like Dandelion Greens?
Both baby and adult bearded dragons generally love dandelion greens and will happily consume them without any fuss.
Every beardie is different and they all have their own likes, dislikes and personalities as I’m sure you are aware but on the whole, your bearded dragon will welcome dandelion greens in their diet.
If for some reason they won’t eat dandelion greens then try the 5 foods we recommend at the bottom of this post as they are highly nutritious and recommended by experts.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelion Greens?
When it comes to calcium-rich foods such as dandelion greens it’s important to add them to your beardies diet on a regular basis.
This means that you can make dandelion greens a staple part of your bearded dragon’s diet and offer them daily if you want.
It’s also a good idea to keep the salad bowl interesting. The best way to do this is to add other foods such as mustard greens, collards and arugula and others into the bowl for a little variety.
What’s The Best Way to Prepare & Serve Dandelion Greens?
Sometimes known how to serve different foods to your beardie can get a little confusing.
Knowing the easiest and fastest way to prepare your bearded dragons food can save you time, money and make eating it much more enjoyable for your beardie at the same time.
Below is a simple guide to the preparation and serving of dandelion greens for your beardie…
Purchasing The Dandelion Greens – It’s highly recommended that you purchase dandelion greens from a store. You can also grow your own in a controlled environment to ensure they don’t contain pesticides or herbicides.
Give Them a Wash – Always give dandelion greens or any other plant-based food you offer to your beardie a thorough wah before adding it to the salad bowl.
Cooked or Raw? – Dandelion greens are already soft and chewy so there’s no need to cook these. Providing them raw will also preserve the nutrients.
No Need to Chop – There’s no need to chop of cut dandelion greens but it often makes more sense to chop them up with other greens to make a salad mix.
Time to Serve – That’s all there is to it, all you need to do now is add some other high-quality greens to the salad bowl and your bearded dragons will their daily serving of calcium-rich nutritious greens and veggies.
4 Top Greens Experts Recommend For Your Bearded Dragon
We have put together a list of 4 more amazing greens and veggies that your beardie can enjoy as a large part of their plant-based diet.
These greens are handpicked from a list that Text Vet Pets consider being top greens for bearded dragons.
This will give you some more choices and variety when adding high-quality foods to the salad bowl.
The foods we have chosen to include are…
- Mustard Greens
- Swiss Chard
- Bok Choy
We have also included the nutritional data for each of these foods and put them alongside dandelion greens so you can compare them and see which ones you would like to add to your beardies diet.
Check out the nutritional information below…
Nutritional Information Per 100g (Top Greens)
|Name||Dandelion Greens||Mustard Greens||Swiss Chard||Bok Choy||Kale|
|Water||85.6 g||90.7 g||92.66 g||95.32 g||89.63 g|
|Energy||45 Kcal||27 kcal||19 kcal||13 kcal||35 kcal|
|Protein||2.7 g||2.86 g||1.8 g||1.5 g||2.92 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.7 g||0.42 g||0.2 g||0.2 g||1.49 g|
|Carbohydrate||9.2 g||4.67 g||3.74 g||2.18 g||4.42 g|
|Fiber||3.5 g||3.2 g||1.6 g||1 g||4.1 g|
|Sugars||0.71 g||1.32 g||1.1 g||1.18 g||0.99 g|
|Calcium, Ca||187 mg||115 mg||51 mg||105 mg||254 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||66 mg||58 mg||46 mg||37 mg||55 mg|
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