Parsley is a herb that people often have growing in their home on window sills etc.
This has prompted questions from many pet owners such as bearded dragons, asking if their beloved bearded dragons can safely eat parsley?
As bearded dragons enthusiasts, we decided to find out the true answer to this question.
Instead of simply giving our opinion, we decided to do some research and bring you the findings of vets and nutritional professionals so you can be confident in your decision before you offer parsley to your bearded dragon.
So can bearded dragons eat parsley? Bearded dragons can eat parsley as part of their diet. Parsley, however, should be offered in moderation due to the high amount of oxalates it contains. Oxalates bind calcium and stop it from being absorbed.
Read on to find out…
- Nutritional info for parsley
- Benefits & concerns of feeding parsley to your bearded dragon
- If baby bearded dragon can eat parsley
- Why oxalates are unhealthy
- If you can feed parsley daily?
- How to offer up parsley to your bearded dragon
- 5 greens and veggies to offer instead of parsley
Parsley | Nutritional Information
Parsley has actually got some really good vitamins and minerals to offer bearded dragons as you will see from the table below.
We have taken the information from the USDA who are the leaders in nutritional food research in the US.
Nutritional Information Of Parsley Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.79||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||6.33||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Parsley (More Info)
As we were conducting our research for this post we found that there were many authority websites that confidently said that parsley is safe to feed to your bearded dragon.
We even found that VCA-Hospitals listed parsley in a group of plant-based foods that they say should make up a large percentage of your beardies diet.
Even though we trust this site and often use them for our research, we did find a major factor that you would want to consider before feeding parsley to your bearded dragon on a regular basis.
Let’s take a look at both the benefits and concerns we found so you can make a balanced judgement about parsley.
Parsley Is High In Calcium
For the most part, parsley ticks all the boxes when it comes to nutrients and especially calcium.
Calcium is hugely important to bearded dragons and a low calcium diet can cause your beardie to suffer from major illnesses like metabolic bone disease and more.
Again when we were conducting our research for this post we found that Pet-MD wrote in an article that metabolic bone disease usually occurs when reptiles have a low amount of dietary calcium or vitamin D3 among other requirements.
If you’re unsure about how your beardie is affected by calcium then we recommend you head over to this post that explains all you need to know in a simple to follow guide.
What’s also important is the calcium to phosphorus ratio in any given food. even if a food is high in calcium but it has a higher phosphorus level then the calcium isn’t going to get absorbed and is rendered useless.
If you look at the table above you can see that there is far more calcium than phosphorus so all is good.
Parsley Is Very High In Oxalates
After reading the previous paragraph, you are probably thinking that parsley sounds great and you can’t wait to add it to your beardies next salad, right?
Well, you actually need to slow down a little and read this section on oxalates first.
Parsley is actually very high in something called ‘oxalates’ which occur in some greens and veggies.
Oxalates are actually produced by greens and veggies to protect themselves whilst growing.
Oxalates bind to minerals such as calcium and stop them from being absorbed and can even create kidney stones.
VCA-hospitals echo this exact point in the feeding article they wrote for bearded dragons.
We checked with oxalates.org to see the exact number of oxalates parsley contains compared to other greens.
We compared parsley with kale and spinach which is also considered high in oxalates.
Parsley Oxalates Per 100g
|Name||Oxalates Per 100g|
As you can see parsley is very high in oxalates, which ultimately means that even though it’s high in calcium, the oxalates are likely to bind to it and stop its absorption.
The bottom line is, you need to be conscious before offering parsley to your beardie on a regular basis even though experts say it’s fine.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Parsley?
Baby bearded dragons are fine to eat parsley just like adults are, however, you still need to be cautious for the reason we mentioned above.
Parsley is high in calcium but as you know that isn’t telling the whole story because of the high amount of oxalates it contains.
Baby bearded dragons are in need of a high protein and high calcium diet due to the fact they are growing so fast in the first few months of their life.
This post here explains just how fast baby bearded dragons grow and uses handy charts to show their growth progress.
It’s important to fill your baby beardies stomach with as many high-quality nutrients as possible and anything that is just making up the number should really be left out.
If you want to feed your baby dragon parsley then only do it on occasion and in combination with other staple greens.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Parsley?
This is a very hard question to answer as experts such as VCA-Hospitals recommend parsley as a plant-based food that makes up a large percentage of your beardies diet.
With this being said, the data we uncovered earlier from oxalates.org that shows the high amount of oxalates it contains would probably contradict that.
With all things considered we would just recommend that you are sensible and mainly stick to the staple foods that you are sure your bearded dragon can 100% safely eat daily and then offer parsley in small portions once a week to once a month.
This way you can get the benefits of the nutrients of parsley without overfeeding it and compromising your beardies health with too many oxalates.
How Should Bearded Dragons Eat Parsley?
Assuming that you are picking parsley from a plant you have growing on your window cill, you should first wash it thoroughly.
It’s good practice to do this with all greens and veggies to add to the salad bowl so you can be sure they are clean and germ-free.
Pet-MD also recommends that all greens should be finely chopped into appropriately sized pieces.
This is something we also recommend and with parsley, this is extremely easy.
You can simply take a pair of scissors and finely chop the leaves up so your dragon won’t even know they are eating them.
You can then add the leaves to a healthy salad or with occasional fruit to add some variety once in a while.
5 Greens Bearded Dragons Can Eat Instead Of Parsley
Ok, so many of you reading this may be on the fence about whether parsley is actually worth adding to your bearded dragon’s diet.
For this reason, we have decided to give you 5 top greens and veggies that your beardie can eat instead of parsley.
This isn’t a list of 5 random foods that we have put together. We have actually used VCA-Hospitals again to cherry-pick their list of top food for bearded dragons.
We have picked 5 of their top foods and listed them below in a table with their nutritional information.
Hopefully, this will help you to add more nutritious and healthy foods to your bearded dragon’s diet.
Check out the table 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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