Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli? Facts and FAQs

Bearded dragons are omnivorous and vegetables make a major portion of their diet. They play an important role in providing all the essential nutrients for a pet dragon’s well-being, but the wrong vegetable can also harm your dragon. Some vegetables are safe as staples while others are only safe as an occasional treat. Broccoli is a super vegetable that is full of nutrients. But can bearded dragons eat broccoli? Are broccoli safe for bearded dragons?

In this article, the following questions will be answered:

Broccoli And Bearded Dragons – FAQs

A 100 grams or 3.5 oz. of raw broccoli offers the following to a bearded dragon:

  • Water: 90 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 6.27 grams
  • Sugar: 1.4 grams
  • Fat: 0.34 grams
  • Protein: 2.57 grams
  • Fiber: 2.4 grams
  • Vitamin B6: 0.191 milligrams
  • Vitamin A: 8 micrograms
  • Vitamin C: 91.3 milligrams
  • Calcium: 36 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 64 milligrams
  • Potassium: 303 milligrams
  • Magnesium: 21 milligrams

The above data shows that broccoli contains low sugar and many minerals and vitamins, beneficial for bearded dragons. However, their calcium-to-phosphorous ratio is 2:1 (2 being phosphorous and 1 being calcium), which can harm bearded dragons and cause calcium deficiency.

The short answer is:

  • Yes, Bearded dragons can eat broccoli.
  • No, bearded dragons can’t eat broccoli all the time as a staple diet.

Broccoli is full of nutrients that are essential for the bearded dragon’s well-being. But it also contains deadly acid and minerals which can harm your dragon in large doses. That is the reason, bearded dragons can eat broccoli but in moderation.

Broccoli can be an excellent food for your bearded dragon in moderation. It contains many minerals that are beneficial for beardies. But broccoli also contains oxalic acid and has a poor calcium-to-phosphorous ratio, making it harmful for pet dragons.

A bearded dragon can eat one small broccoli floret once a month.

So, bearded dragons can eat broccoli but in very small quantities and only once a month. Frequently feeding broccoli or feeding large quantities of it can cause many health problems for bearded dragons.

Technically, bearded dragons can eat broccoli safely in moderation. Broccoli offers many health benefits to bearded dragons. The pros of broccoli for bearded dragons are as under:

These Vitamins strengthen the immune system, reproduction, vision, and overall growth of bearded dragons.

It supports bone health and regulates blood clotting in bearded dragons.

Broccoli contains beta-carotene which is an essential part of a bearded dragon’s diet as it helps him to absorb calcium in the bloodstream. It also brightens the lizard’s color over time.

It controls blood pressure, prevents kidney problems, supports muscle function, and lowers water retention in bearded dragons.

It is an essential part of the lizard’s diet, and ensures a smooth digestive system.

It strengthens the tissues and cells.

It is important for the proper oxygenation of blood. 

It strengthens the metabolism and prevents inflammation in bearded dragons. 

Raw broccoli is 90% water, making it a good source of hydration for bearded dragons.

Broccoli has 2.5% protein which is necessary for bearded dragons, especially in their growing age. A dose of broccoli can go a long way to fulfill per lizard’s protein requirements.

Bearded dragons need a low amount of sugar to thrive. High sugar can be dangerous for them. Broccoli is 1% sugar which is quite low and can save your bearded dragon from several diseases such as diabetes, tooth decay, obesity, etc.

Although broccoli has many benefits for bearded dragons, it also has some dangerous side effects which can cause dangerous health conditions. That’s why bearded dragons can’t have broccoli all the time.

The health concerns of broccoli for bearded dragons are as under:

Calcium is very important for a bearded dragon’s overall well-being. The deficiency of calcium can cause many health problems such as weaker bones, broken tissues, or even metabolic bone disease (MBD).

On the other hand, phosphorous is dangerous for bearded dragons. If a bearded dragon consumes excessive phosphorous for longer periods, he’ll suffer from calcium deficiency, which can be fatal. The reason is, that phosphorous tends to bind calcium and stop its absorption in bearded dragon’s bloodstreams.

So, while selecting any fruit, vegetable, or food, their calcium-to-phosphorous ratio is very important to consider. A healthy food has more calcium as compared to phosphorous.

Foods have a calcium-to-phosphorous ratio of 1.5:1 or 2:1 (Calcium being 1.5 or 2), which means they have more calcium than phosphorous and are considered safe for bearded dragons.

Unfortunately, broccoli is very low in calcium and very high in phosphorous and doesn’t fall in the healthy range of foods.

Broccoli’s calcium-to-phosphorous ratio is 2:1, it contains double the amount of phosphorous than calcium.

Like many plants, broccoli contains oxalic acid or oxalates which can be dangerous for bearded dragons. Like phosphorous, oxalates or oxalic acid bind with calcium and make calcium oxalates. So, calcium in the bearded dragon’s body will not be absorbed into the bloodstreams of the dragon. This will lead to calcium deficiency and cause metabolic bone disease (MBD).

Oxalic acid can cause calcium deficiency and kidney stones in bearded dragons

In addition to this, oxalic acid also affects kidneys and can cause kidney stones in bearded dragons.

Broccoli is also high in goitrogens which are also harmful for bearded dragons. This compound disrupts the production of thyroid hormones, causing the increased size of the thyroid gland, leading to goiter.

Technically, bearded dragons can eat broccoli safely in moderation. So, how much a bearded dragon can eat broccoli?

A healthy bearded dragon can eat a small floret of broccoli once a month.

Yes, Baby bearded dragons can eat broccoli but it is not recommended as broccoli is one of the vegetables that is not quite beneficial for baby bearded dragons.

Feeding broccoli to baby bearded dragons is not recommended.

A baby bearded dragon needs 80% insects and 20% plants for its growth. So, there is very little room for greens and you need to use it effectively by feeding plants which are more beneficial for baby bearded dragons. Avoid broccoli for to following reasons:

  • Baby bearded dragons don’t need broccoli for their growth.
  • Broccoli has more health risks than benefits for baby beardies.
  • Broccoli poses a choking hazard to baby bearded dragons.

Instead of broccoli, you can feed the following baby-safe veggies to your baby bearded dragons:

Preparing broccoli to feed your bearded dragon is quite easy. You need to make very small pieces of it as broccoli is tough. This will prevent the choking hazard. Follow these steps to prepare broccoli for bearded dragons:

  • Try to get organic, fresh broccoli.
  • Wash it thoroughly to remove any dust or chemicals.
  • In the case of frozen broccoli, thaw it well at room temperature.
  • Cut off the flowery green part of the florets.
  • Chop it into smaller pieces.
  • Avoid feeding stems or stalks, as they pose a choking hazard.
  • Place the prepared broccoli into a food dish as a part of a healthy salad.
  • Serve it to your pet lizard.

So, now you can feed broccoli safely to your bearded dragon. If you have any questions, feel free to contact us.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat raw broccoli. Raw broccoli offers more nutrients to your pet lizard.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat frozen broccoli but frozen broccoli is low in nutrients. You need to thaw it well at room temperature before giving it to the bearded dragon.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat cooked broccoli. But similar to frozen broccoli, cooking broccoli will remove the temperature-sensitive nutrients. The best broccoli is raw broccoli for bearded dragons.

Yes, frequently feeding broccoli can cause digestive issues such as bloating and diarrhea. Broccoli is only healthy in moderation.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat broccoli leaves in moderation. You need to shred leaves so that your dragon can easily digest them.

No, bearded dragons can’t eat broccoli sprouts as they are very high in goitrogenic, and oxalates.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat broccoli stems but they are not recommended as they pose a choking hazard.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat florets of broccoli. This is the recommended part of broccoli for bearded dragons.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat broccoli rabe but in moderation, as they are also high in oxalates.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat Broccolini which is similar to broccoli. Like broccoli, it is also recommended in moderation.

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