Can Bearded Dragons Eat Arugula – 2022

Are you a pet parent who is amused to have a bearded dragon?

A key component you should know is the food sources you are going to provide it.

Bearded dragons are omnivores who consume both greens and insects. Out of all, beardies love fruits and vegetables, which form the base of their diet. At the same time, insect prey food should be given twice or thrice per week to fulfill their protein need, which is a staple for baby and juvenile beardies.

One common question that all the beardie parents have is what is safe and unsafe for them when it comes to food. The other important fact is whether ARUGULA is safe or unsafe for beardies. To determine whether Arugula is safe or unsafe, let’s dig into this article.

Can bearded dragons eat Arugula?

Yes. Bearded dragons can eat Arugula or rocket salad, but not as a daily source of food. Arugula is a reservoir of calcium for beardies. Still, excess consumption could lead to problems in the thyroid glands, liver, and kidney because Arugula contains goitrogens which are toxic to them. 

can bearded dragons eat arugula?

Is Arugula healthy to bearded dragons?

A bearded dragon’s diet should have vegetables, fruits, leafy greens, weeds, flowers, and worms, and insects, too, as they are omnivores. If we talk about the diet of your juvenile beardie, it should consist of high amounts of insects, whereas the rest should be plant materials. When it comes to the diet of adult bearded dragons, there should be more plant materials with a minor portion of insects. One such plant material is Arugula.

According to USDA recommendations, the below content shows the nutrient composition of 100g of arugula leaves.

  • Water – 91.7g
  • Protein – 2.58g
  • Total Fat – 0.66g
  • Carbohydrate – 3.65g
  • Sugar – 2.05g
  • Fiber – 1.6g
  • Calcium – 160mg
  • Phosphorus – 52mg
  • Iron – 1.46mg
  • Sodium – 27mg
  • Zinc – 0.47mg
  • Vitamin A – 119µg
  • Vitamin B-6 – 0.073mg
  • Vitamin C – 15mg
  • Vitamin E – 0.43mg
  • Vitamin K – 109µg
  • Thiamin – 0.044mg
  • Riboflavin – 0.086mg
  • Beta Carotene – 1420µg

By considering the nutrient composition of Arugula, you can now decide whether it is healthy or unhealthy for your dragon. Think a bit now!!!

I think Arugula is healthy for beardies!!

Can baby bearded dragons eat Arugula?

Yes. Baby bearded dragons can eat Arugula. As mentioned above, Arugula is a nutritious food source for a baby beardie. But, the fact is, the diet of a baby dragon must contain more portions of insects as they provide more proteins which are essential for their growth and less portion of arugula greens. So the primary focus should be on feeding insect prey as they are a staple for the juveniles.

Is baby arugula healthy for beardies?

Of course, baby arugula is more healthy for beardies than mature leaves.

Arugula is a green leaf that has a strong and intense flavor. When it comes to baby arugula, they are harvested before maturity and have respectively small, less intense, but flavorful leaves. These baby arugula leaves have a peppery flavor which the dragons are more attracted to and enjoy when eating.

Let’s dig into the nutrients composition of 1/2 cup of baby arugula leaves;

  • Calories – 2.5kcal
  • Carbohydrates – 0.35g
  • Proteins – 0.25g
  • Fat – 0.06g
  • Fiber – 0.16g
  • Ash – 0.14g
  • Calcium – 16mg

How often bearded dragons eat Arugula?

Bearded dragons should eat Arugula sparingly. It cannot be given to your lizard pet as a staple food even though it is a rich source of calcium. Overconsumption of Arugula will lead your dragon to malfunction of the thyroid gland, the liver, and kidneys.

Therefore, Arugula shouldn’t be included in your lizard’s daily diet as a staple. But, when it comes to baby dragons, Arugula should be a staple. Don’t forget it!!!

How to feed Arugula to bearded dragons?

  • First, make sure whether your dragon likes Arugula. Someone doesn’t enjoy its bitter taste!
  • If it likes, you can either grow Arugula in your home garden or buy fresh Arugula from the market.
  • Always select young Arugulas as they are tender and flavorful.
  • Wash the leaves thoroughly with water
  • Chop them into smaller pieces to prevent the pet from choking
  • You can also mix Carrots, melons, and other greens like mustard greens, collard greens, kale, etc. Also, combining a few super worms will give it more appetite.
  • Serve the mixed salad into a clean bowl and let the beardie enjoy its meal.
  • Take out the uneaten veggies from the bowl within 10-15 minutes.
  • Don’t forget that Arugula is not suitable as a staple unless for infants! Make it sparingly!!

Benefits of feeding Arugula to bearded dragons

  • Calcium and Phosphorous ratio

The calcium and phosphorous ratio plays a significant role in a bearded dragon’s diet. If the phosphorous level gets high, it will interrupt the absorption of calcium into the bloodstream.

The optimum Ca:P ratio should be 1:1 or 2:1 in a beardie. Arugula has a ratio of 3:1, which has a high calcium level and a low level of phosphorous. Even though the Ca:P ratio is relatively higher than the expected range in Arugula, you can feed Arugula sparingly. That is because the phosphorous level is in a healthy range than the calcium level.

Another important fact is, you should strictly avoid food such as spinach, avocado, etc., which hold oxalates. These oxalates in such food can prevent the absorption of calcium into the dragon’s body.

  • High water content

These living creatures are lazy to drink water by themselves as they have a low drinking ability. The water in the food they eat prevents them from dehydration. In this regard, Arugula can be considered as a green containing a high water level.

But, it’s essential to keep a bowl of clean water in its terrarium, so it can drink from it when in need. The best practice is to feed it with food that has more water contents.

  • Rich source of fiber

Fiber is an essential element as they help in digestion in beardies. As adult organisms fed by a herbivory diet, fiber is a must to have for the digestion of the nutrients to its body.

When it comes to Arugula, it is a rich source of fiber. Also, it helps to digest the exoskeleton of the insects, breakage of particles into their simpler forms, add bulks to stools to decrease the chances of constipation, and improve the gut flora of the beardies. These advantages are given as Arugula is a rich source of fiber.

  • A reservoir of Vitamins and minerals 

Arugula is a reservoir of vitamins like vitamin A, C, K, beta-carotene, and minerals like magnesium, phosphorous, and potassium that play a significant role in the functions of a beardie’s body. The most important fact is you should provide the right amount to get the maximum benefit of the vitamins and minerals arugula has.

Otherwise, too many vitamins and minerals can cause adverse health impacts such as vitamin A toxicity caused by excess vitamin A.


Negative effects of Arugula

With a heap of advantages, there are a few negativities too related to Arugula. Let’s head into them…

  • High goitrogen content 

Overfeeding of Arugula will accumulate goitrogens, which is highly toxic for lizards at high levels. The high levels of goitrogens will lead to the thyroid gland, kidneys, and liver malfunction. It is the reason why it is not recommended to feed Arugula as a staple food to the dragons even though it’s a good source of calcium.

  • Teeth problems due to sugar

Suppose Arugula is fed with food sources that contain high sugar levels. In that case, it will finally cause teeth problems to your pet dragon. So, it’s a must that you avoid mixing Arugula with sugary food.

Related Questions?

What fruits, veggies, and insects do beardies eat?

Bearded dragons eat any vegetable or fruit that you offer to them. It would be best if you were responsible for giving them small bite-sized portions when you feed them. Remember to feed your baby lizard very fine food particles, whereas the adult dragons can be given coarsely chopped particles. Here are some common fruits, veggies, and insect prey that can be given to your pet.

Fruits – Apples, Pears, Grapes, almost every type of berries (blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, etc.)

These fruits should be chopped, and the fruit’s outer skin (apples, grapes, etc.) should be peeled off. Also, make sure that the fruits are free of pesticides, herbicides, or any chemical fertilizer which is deadly to your lizards.

Veggies – Arugula, Red and green cabbage, Alfalfa sprouts, Carrots (with the top), Collard greens, Dandelions (flowers and greens), Endive, Escarole, Kale, Mustard greens, Parsley, Sweet potatoes, Watercress, Frozen mixed vegetables (carrot, beans, peace, etc.), thawed.

It is always recommended to feed them leafy vegetables and feed others as a mixed variety.

Insects – Crickets, Mealworms, Superworms, Waxworms, Dubia Roaches, Hornworms, Fruit flies, Grasshoppers (do not feed wild grasshoppers) 

These feeder insects can be purchased from almost all pet shops or ordered online. You can feed wild insect prey only if they are free of chemical fertilizers, pesticides, insecticides, etc. It’s important to make sure that you buy these feeder insects from a reputable retailer.

Crickets are the most popular insect prey, while Dubia Roaches have twice the proteins of crickets. Also, waxworms should not be fed regularly as they contain high-fat contents. 

Can bearded dragons eat spinach and lettuce?

Spinach and lettuce should be avoided from your beardie’s meal. Spinach can be included in moderate amounts for infant dragons’ meals as it is rich in iron for their growth. It’s important to know that too much spinach can harm the pet.

Lettuce is one of the favorite greens of bearded dragons. Lettuce has no real nutritional value, and it has to be fed only under emergency conditions. Always remember to add a reptile mineral supplement if you are feeding lettuce to your pet. Lettuce can also cause diarrhea to your pet friend.

So be careful with Lettuce and Spinach!!

What leafy greens should be fed to beardies?

There are safe and unsafe leafy greens for bearded dragons. The leafy greens that can be fed are turnip greens, mustard greens, escarole, collard greens, parsley, beet greens, alfalfa hay, bok choy, broccoli, clover, watercress, cilantro, red or green cabbage, green beans, kohlrabi, kale, bell peppers, and dandelion.

What food should be avoided when feeding a beardie?

The below-given food sources can be fed to your beardie but very rarely, only in emergencies. Always try to avoid these food sources.

  • Lettuce – can cause diarrhea.
  • Spinach – can cause metabolic bone disease as it contains calcium-binding chemicals. It can be given in minimal amounts rarely.
  • Fireflies – highly toxic and fatal
  • Avacado – contain high amounts of oxalic acids, which can be fatal if consumed in high amounts.
  • Beet tops – contain a chemical that inhibits the absorption of calcium. It can be given once a month.
  • Rhubarb – highly toxic

Content Brief

Arugula is a reservoir of calcium, but you should be careful not to feed too much to your bearded dragon. This green has a high ratio between calcium and phosphorous, which will obstruct the need for an artificial supplement to your dragon’s meal.

Even if Arugula can be a staple for young dragons, it should never regularly be fed to adults. It’s better to mix the arugula chunks with the other veggies and insect preys to break the homogeneity of the food.

Finally, it can be stated that the question, “Can bearded dragons eat arugula?” has a positive answer. Yes, bearded dragons can eat Arugula!!!

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Kathleen Greene

I am an undergraduate studying about Environmental science who is inquisitive about the world of animals and their behavior. This blog contains a collection of answers to the questions that I come across when I’m observing these natural creatures. My main aim is to make the pet lovers and pet parents aware about the hidden facts about the pets that we love.

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