Bearded dragons are native to Australia and spend most of their time hiding in bushes or trees, which means they’re commonly found as pets. Keeping a bearded dragon as a pet takes time, money, and dedication, but it is well worth the effort. If you have a bearded dragon, then you need to learn everything there is to know about caring for it properly. One of the most common questions that comes up when keeping a pet bearded dragon is “can bearded dragons eat parsley?”
While many people would not think of feeding this common kitchen herb to an exotic pet like a bearded dragon, it actually can be healthy for them if given in small amounts. Bearded dragons are omnivores and will consume any type of food available to them. Keep reading to learn more about what foods your pet should eat and avoid.
What is Parsley?
Parsley is a member of the Carrot family known as “Apium fragrans”. It has been used for culinary purposes for thousands of years, dating back to the Ancient Greeks and Romans. It was once considered an herb, but is now considered a vegetable.
Parsley is native to Europe, Asia, the Mediterranean, and northern Africa, but is now grown in almost every country around the world due to its versatility and ease of cultivation. It is grown for its leaves and stems and can be used fresh or dried.
Parsley is a popular choice for cooking due to its strong, aromatic flavor. It is rich in vitamins and minerals and often eaten to promote good health. You can eat it raw, use it as an ingredient in soups and stews, bake it, or boil it.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Parsley?
Parsley is a good source of water, vitamin A, minerals, and fiber. In fact, It is also low in fat and cholesterol. Like most leafy green vegetables, parsley is rich in iron and has many health benefits for both humans and bearded dragons. In addition, parsley can help bearded dragons stay hydrated and provides them with important nutrients.
This herb is also free of any major allergens, so even those with a sensitivity can enjoy it. The only problem with parsley is that bearded dragons can’t eat the stems. Parsley stems are very thick and fibrous, and bearded dragons lack the teeth to grind them up and digest them properly.
This can cause health issues and rob the dragons of valuable nutrients. Bearded dragons should only be fed the leaves of the parsley plant. A few leaves every couple of days is fine and should not cause any health issues.
Benefits of Parsley for Bearded Dragons
As stated above, parsley is high in vitamin A. This is important because it is important to maintain a healthy immune system and vision in reptiles. A lack of vitamin A can lead to higher instances of illness and blindness.
Vitamin A is also important for the growth and development of bones and teeth. A diet high in vitamin A will help prevent diseases like rickets and osteomalacia. Vitamin A is also important for the regulation of the hormone that controls sexual development in reptiles.
One cup of chopped parsley contains the following nutrients:
- Vitamin A – 80%,
- Vitamin C – 10%,
- Calcium – 10%,
- Iron – 10%,
- Folate – 10%,
- Potassium – 10%,
- Magnesium – 10%,
- Manganese – 10%,
- Selenium – 10%,
- Thiamin – 10%,
- Vitamin B6 – 10%,
- Zinc – 10%.
This is a very healthy way to supplement your bearded dragon’s diet.
Drawbacks of Feeding Parsley to Bearded Dragons
The only drawback to feeding parsley to bearded dragons is that it can cause loose stool. This is a common problem with all types of leafy greens. If your dragon’s stool becomes loose, you can avoid this problem by offering smaller portions and cutting back.
As stated above, bearded dragons can’t eat the stems of the parsley. Feeding the entire plant can cause a stomach blockage if you give too many leaves at once. Caterpillars, crickets, and pinkie mice are the staple diet of a bearded dragon. These should make up the bulk of the dragon’s diet.
Feeding too many vegetables and greens can cause nutritional deficiencies that may lead to severe health problems and even death. A healthy diet will consist of 70% insects and 30% greens and vegetables. Excessive feeding of greens and vegetables can lead to a host of health issues.
Check also whether or not bearded dragons can eat: asparagus, cheese, green onions, mango, peaches and grasshoppers.
The Bottom Line
Bearded dragons are omnivores and will consume any type of food available to them. Parsley is rich in vitamins and minerals, and is a good source of fiber.
It is low in fat and cholesterol. Parsley can be fed to bearded dragons, although they should only eat the leaves and not the thick stems.
The only drawback to feeding parsley to bearded dragons is that it can cause loose stool. Excessive feeding of greens and vegetables can lead to a host of health issues.