Bearded dragons are a popular pet reptile that requires a balanced diet to thrive. While they are known to enjoy a variety of vegetables, it’s important to know which ones are safe for them to eat.
One vegetable that often comes up in discussions about bearded dragon diets is kale. Many people wonder if it’s safe for their bearded dragons to eat, and if so, how much they should be feeding them.
In this article, we’ll explore the question “Can bearded dragons eat kale?” and provide you with all the information you need to make an informed decision about your pet’s diet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kale
Yes, bearded dragons can eat kale! Kale is a good source of calcium for both adult and baby bearded dragons and can be a good weekly staple food. It has low oxalic acid and despite having goitrogens, kale has high iodine levels that compensate for iodine loss due to goitrogens affecting the thyroid glands of bearded dragons.
Baby bearded dragons will benefit from kale due to its high calcium for bone development. For adult dragons, kales do not have lots of protein which can prevent your dragon from becoming obese.
Is Kale Good For Bearded Dragons
Kale is a great addition to a bearded dragon’s diet because it’s packed with nutrients like vitamins A, C, E, and K, and is a good source of calcium. However, it’s important to not overdo it with supplements, especially vitamin A.
Kale also has a good calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, which can help prevent bone-related issues in the future. Additionally, it’s low in calories and high in moisture, making it a great snack to prevent dehydration and weight gain.
Nutritional Value of Kale
Kale is a nutritious vegetable that can be fed to bearded dragons. According to data from the USDA, kale is high in vitamins A, C, and K, as well as calcium and potassium. It also contains smaller amounts of iron and vitamin B6.
It’s important to feed kale in moderation and balanced it with other foods to avoid overloading your bearded dragon with too much calcium.
Nutritional Information Of Kale Per 100g
Note: We Have Included The Most Relevant Nutritional Information Only
|Total lipid (fat)||1.49||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||4.41||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
Types of Kale
There are several types of kale, each with its own unique appearance and flavor profile.
Curly kale is the most common type of kale, with leaves that are ruffled and curly. It has a peppery and pungent flavor that makes it a popular choice for salads and smoothies.
Dinosaur kale, also known as Lacinato kale or Tuscan kale, has narrow, wrinkled leaves that resemble a dinosaur’s skin. It is attached to a strong stem and has a slightly sweeter flavor than other types of kale. It is often used in soups and stews.
Redbor kale has ruffled leaves that range in color from purple to deep red. It has a slightly bitter taste and is often used in salads or sautéed as a side dish.
Russian kale is less common than other types of kale and has flat, fringed leaves that come in shades of red, green, and purple. It has a sweeter, more peppery flavor than other types of kale and works well in salads or cooked dishes.
What Types of Kale Are Safest for Bearded Dragons
When it comes to feeding your bearded dragon kale, it’s important to consider the type of kale you are offering. Different types of kale have varying levels of nutrients and oxalates, which can affect your beardie’s health.
Curly kale is high in vitamin A and oxalates, making it potentially dangerous for bearded dragons. It should be fed in moderation and less often to avoid vitamin A toxicity.
Lacinato kale, also known as black kale or Tuscan kale, has lower levels of oxalates and can be fed more frequently than curly kale.
Red Russian Kale and Other Types of Kale
Red Russian kale and other types of kale, such as Siberian and purple kale, have lower levels of oxalates and can be beneficial for your bearded dragon’s health. It’s important to limit the intake of certain varieties of Russian kale due to their goitrogenic effects.
Overall, it’s important to offer a balanced and varied diet to your bearded dragon, including a mix of vegetables, fruits, and insects. Consult with a veterinarian or reptile nutritionist to ensure you are providing the best diet for your beardie’s specific needs.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Kale
Baby bearded dragons can have kale as part of their diet, but it should not be their main food source. It’s best to offer a variety of insects and fresh leafy greens for them to snack on throughout the day.
As they get older, the amount of leafy greens can increase. It’s not recommended to regularly feed baby bearded dragons kale due to potential harm to their thyroid gland.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked Kale
Bearded dragons can eat cooked kale without any negative effects, but it won’t provide them with many nutrients. Cooking kale depletes its nutritional content. It’s better to stick to raw, fresh kale for your bearded dragon’s health.
How Much Kale Should A Bearded Dragon Eat
Bearded dragons can eat kale, but it should only be given in moderation, about two or three times a week. Too much kale can lead to vitamin toxicity, which can cause swelling, lethargy, dehydration, and unexpected weight loss.
Kale also contains oxalates, which prevent proper calcium absorption and can lead to calcium issues if eaten every day. Additionally, kale is about 90% water, so diets consisting only of kale can cause diarrhea in bearded dragons. It’s important to use kale strategically in your pet’s diet and to include other beneficial foods to balance out their meals.
How to Feed Kale To Bearded Dragon
Feeding your bearded dragon a healthy diet is essential for their overall health and well-being. Below are guidelines for feeding kale to your bearded dragon in the correct manner.
1. Buy Fresh Healthy Kales
When selecting kales for your bearded dragon, ensure that they are fresh and healthy. Avoid kales that have wilted or yellow leaves as they may not provide the necessary nutrients for your dragon.
2. Thoroughly Clean Them
Before feeding your bearded dragon, it’s important to clean the kale thoroughly. Rinse them in water to remove any dirt or debris that may be present.
3. Cut Them Into Small Pieces
To make it easier for your bearded dragon to eat, cut the kale into small, bite-sized pieces. This will also help prevent choking or digestive problems.
4. Dust Them with Calcium or Multivitamins
To provide your bearded dragon with the necessary nutrients, dust the kale with calcium or multivitamins before feeding them. This will help ensure that your dragon is getting all the necessary vitamins and minerals they need.
5. Feed Your Dragon
Once you have prepared the kales, it’s time to feed your bearded dragon. Offer the kales to your dragon and monitor their eating habits to ensure that they are consuming enough food.
Alternatively, you can offer kales to your feeder insects that consume kales and later feed your dragon. This is a good way to ensure that your dragon is getting a varied diet and all the necessary nutrients.
Health Benefits of Eating Kale for Bearded Dragons
Kale is a safe and healthy food option for your bearded dragon. It contains several important nutrients that your pet needs in its diet.
Kale is high in calcium, which is essential for building strong bones and overall health. This nutrient is often difficult for bearded dragons to get enough of in their diet, so kale can be a great supplement.
Vitamin A and Vitamin C
While too much Vitamin A can be toxic, as long as it’s given in safe amounts, it’s responsible for good vision and a strong immune system. Vitamin C is a powerful antioxidant that helps with regeneration. The calcium to phosphorus ratio in kale is 2.4:1, which allows for easy absorption of calcium.
Kale contains Vitamin K, which is important for blood health and helps prevent blood clots.
This nutrient helps your bearded dragon retain water and prevents kidney problems. It also aids in muscle function.
Kale is a source of manganese, which is important for metabolism and managing inflammation. This nutrient is crucial for overall health and well-being in bearded dragons.
Another important nutrient found in kale is magnesium. This nutrient is necessary for brain and muscle development, making it an important addition to a bearded dragon’s diet.
One of the best things about feeding your bearded dragon kale is that it is low in sugar. Many other foods can be high in sugar, leading to obesity and other health problems. By avoiding these foods and opting for kale, you can ensure your pet stays healthy and happy.
Risks of Eating Kale for Bearded Dragons
There are some concerns about feeding kale to bearded dragons, but the reality is that it is safe as part of a varied diet. Here are some things to keep in mind:
Bearded dragons have very few oxalates, and kale only contains 2 mg per cup. While oxalates can bind with calcium and make it harder for your pet to absorb, you should already be supplementing their diet with calcium, so this should not be a concern.
Kale contains Vitamin A in the form of Beta Carotene, which is safe for bearded dragons as part of a varied diet. However, you should never add supplements to their diet, as too much Vitamin A can lead to health problems.
While kale does contain goitrogens, there is not enough in kale to cause a problem, even if your bearded dragon eats it regularly. As long as you are feeding a varied diet and not relying on kale as the sole source of nutrition, it is safe to include it in their diet.
Alternatives to Kale
If you’re looking for alternatives to kale, here are five other great greens and veggies to offer your bearded dragon:
1. Collard Greens – High in calcium and low in phosphorus, collard greens are a great source of vitamins A and C as well as fiber.
2. Mustard Greens – Another calcium-rich option, mustard greens also provide vitamins A and K, as well as folate and iron.
3. Dandelion Greens – Dandelion greens are low in oxalates and high in calcium, making them a great choice for bearded dragons. They also provide vitamins A and C, potassium, and iron.
4. Endive – Endive has good calcium to phosphorus ratio and is low in oxalates. It’s also high in vitamins A and K, as well as folate.
5. Butternut Squash – While not green, butternut squash is a great source of vitamin A and potassium. It’s also low in oxalates and has a good calcium to phosphorus ratio.
By offering a variety of these greens and veggies, you can ensure your bearded dragon is getting a well-rounded diet that meets all of their nutritional needs.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kale Everyday?
It’s not recommended to feed your bearded dragon kale every day, as it’s best to vary their diet. However, kale is safe to feed a few times a week, with about 0.7 ounces or 20 grams being a safe amount. Make sure to also offer other safe leafy greens in their diet. It’s important to know about the different types of kale before feeding it to your bearded dragon.
Is Kale Toxic To Bearded Dragons?
Kale is not toxic to bearded dragons, but it should only be given to them in moderation. It’s best to only give them kale two or three times a week and never serve it to them on its own.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kale Seeds?
No, bearded dragons should not eat kale seeds as they do not have the digestive system to break down the seed hulls, which can cause impaction. It is best to avoid giving any kind of seeds to bearded dragons as they can be harmful and even fatal.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kale Stems?
Kale stems and stalks are good for bearded dragons to eat. They provide protein, fiber, calcium, and iron. Although not as rich in nutrients as leafy greens, they can still be a suitable dietary option for bearded dragons.
How Do I Prepare Kale For My Bearded Dragons?
To properly feed a bearded dragon kale, it should be given in its raw form. Don’t heat or boil it, as it destroys the nutrients. Wash it well to remove any pesticides or contaminants. Remove the leaves from the stalk and chop them into small pieces to avoid choking. Mix with other veggies for a balanced meal.
Which Kale is Better Fresh or Frozen?
Fresh kale is the better choice, as it is more nutritious and hasn’t been treated with any processes that could impact its nutritional density. However, frozen kale is a convenient option to have on hand.
Is Kale Bad for Bearded Dragons?
Kale is a safe and healthy food for both adult and young bearded dragons when fed in moderation, typically twice a week.
How Much Kale Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
To maintain a healthy diet for bearded dragons, it’s advised to control the amount of kale they consume as it should only be a part of their vegetable intake. Providing around 20 grams of kale is adequate.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Black Kale?
Bearded Dragons can eat various types of kale for all their nutrient needs, but ensure black kale is fresh.
Should Kale Be Raw or Cooked for Bearded Dragons?
Both raw and cooked kale is good for bearded dragons. Raw kale is easy to prepare, while cooked kale is softer and more tender. However, cooking can result in some nutrient loss. You can feed both versions to your bearded dragon, and it’s up to you which one you prefer.
In conclusion, while kale can be a healthy addition to your bearded dragon’s diet, it should not be the only thing they eat. Make sure to provide a balanced diet that includes a variety of vegetables, fruits, and insects.
And always monitor your dragon’s health and behavior to ensure they are thriving. With proper care and nutrition, your bearded dragon will be a happy and healthy companion for years to come!