Asparagus is a popular dinner side dish for us humans but can your bearded dragon enjoy it together with you? We have a vet-approved answer ready for you, so stay tuned and find out if your pet lizard can have some asparagus every once and a while!
On second thought, we will cut right to the chase.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Asparagus?
The answer is yes! Just make sure you do not overdo it! Do not give your beardie asparagus every single day! It would be wise to serve this veggie every week or even every other week.
Of course, a lot depends on your pet’s current diet. If your bearded dragon has a taste for strong-flavored, earthy-tasting vegetables and you already have quite of few of them included in the regular feeding plan, you have to make a place for other types of food too. The diet must be varied and well-balanced.
Chances are, your bearded dragon won’t even like the taste of asparagus. It is quite distinctive, and these lizards, just like humans, will either like it or hate it. Bearded dragons do not always fancy bitter veggies such as broccoli or asparagus, and you should not insist on them eating anything they do not enjoy.
So let’s first learn all about asparagus, its nutritional value, and proper use. Make sure you do not drift away since we have more useful info regarding feeding your bearded dragon asparagus later on too.
Quantity and quality both count – so we’ll teach you how to serve asparagus and make it super tasty for your pet lizard, as well as how often and how much to allow your beardie to eat it.
Asparagus, a.k.a sparrow grass, is known as Asparagus Officinalis in the science world. It is a perennial flowering plant species that belongs to the family of Asparagaceae.
People utilize the young shoots of asparagus as a spring vegetable. It is interesting to know that it takes three years from planting seeds to actually eating this veggie – perhaps that is why it is so nutrient-packed.
The unique blend of nutrients found in this succulent, savory vegetable is known to boost energy levels, reduce inflammation, and cleanse the urinary tract of all those who eat it regularly.
It is high in vitamin K and folate (vitamin B9), as well as a variety of antioxidant nutrients, such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, and vitamin E. As far as the minerals are concerned, asparagus can deliver zinc, manganese, and selenium.
Suppose you want your bearded dragon to be intelligent. In that case, you will be glad to know that asparagus contains the amino acid asparagine that plays an essential role in the brain’s development and function. Besides, thanks to glutathione, asparagus can also help in the prevention of certain types of cancers, including breast, lung, bone, and colon cancers – but this applies only to us humans.
If your bearded dragon is a bit chubby, he can enjoy asparagus guilt-free. Namely, this veggie is extremely low in calories (only about four calories per spear). Moreover, it is also low in sodium and has no fat at all.
What Are The Benefits Of Asparagus For Your Bearded Dragon’s Health And Well-being?
- Vitamin C and antioxidants protect your bearded dragon from inflammation and infections. By boosting the immune system, asparagus prevents all sorts of diseases, too.
- Being rich in fiber, asparagus keeps your dragon’s digestive system running as it is supposed to.
- Thanks to potassium and whooping 92% of water content, asparagus maintains the optimal function of bearded dragon’s kidneys. Potassium strengthens the kidneys by improving muscle function. The water keeps your pet lizard properly hydrated and washes out everything bad from the kidneys.
- Vitamin E in asparagus prevents inflammation too, but it also plays a role in repairing damaged cells.
- Rich in Vitamin K, asparagus helps regulate your dragon’s blood clotting.
- Folate improves tissue growth and facilities optimal cell functions.
- Asparagus helps build strong muscles. Protein content in asparagus helps the bearded dragon grow stronger.
As you can see, asparagus has a plethora of benefits rolled up and ready for your bearded dragon.
Unfortunately, blanched asparagus loses a lot of its valuable nutrients. The longer it is cooked, the more nutrients it will lose. Luckily for lizards, they can eat it raw. The following section will tell you how to serve this veggie, so stay put!
How to Give Your Bearded Dragon Asparagus?
Bearded dragons can eat both raw and cooked asparagus. As we have already mentioned, it is better to feed your bearded dragon the former. In fact, whenever possible, feed your pet raw produce.
There is a catch, though. Cooking asparagus depletes valuable vitamins, but it also reduces the number of oxalates that reduce mineral absorption. So it is kind of a lose-lose situation: cooked asparagus allows for better mineral absorption, while raw secures higher vitamin intake – choosing either of the two serving methods will cost you some valuable nutrients. We will talk more about oxalates later on.
Feeding your dragon some asparagus on a weekly basis secures a proper intake of calcium. It is an integral part of preventing metabolic bone disease while enjoying numerous benefits of this healthy vegetable. So, why the restrictions? You are about to find that out.
Why Shouldn’t The Bearded Dragon Eat Asparagus Every Day?
Unfortunately, asparagus is not the best option for an all-you-can-eat dragon’s buffet. It has a few setbacks.
What Are These Not-so-great Aspects Of Asparagus For Your Bearded Dragon?
Asparagus is not rich in calcium, and your dragon needs quite a lot of it in order to function normally. This is the number one reason why asparagus should not be considered a staple food (nor even the staple veggie) for dragons.
Next, asparagus is high in phosphorus, and that is not good for bearded dragons. The fact that asparagus has more phosphorus than calcium (the ratio is 1:2.7) makes problem number one more complex. Namely, phosphorus prevents calcium from being absorbed into the blood.
Why Do Dragons Need Calcium In The First Place?
Your bearded dragon needs to have enough calcium, or it could develop a terrible metabolic bone disease (MBD). We would rather not go into details, but we will tell you one thing – no bearded dragon should experience this disturbing condition!
Therefore, do your bearded dragon a favor and do not feed asparagus more than once a week, or even less, depending on that week’s menu. For instance, if your dragon has already had a lot of bell pepper this week, skip asparagus altogether. Why? Both these veggies contain more phosphorus than calcium.
Why Not Just Cut Out Asparagus Or Bell Peppers Entirely Out From Your Bearded Dragon’s Diet?
These veggies are relatively healthy for dragons if you eliminate the high phosphorus content thingy. So, it is better to simply use one of them for next week.
There is one more reason why bearded dragons should not eat asparagus too often – moderate oxalates. The content of oxalates in asparagus is more than enough to cause trouble for bearded dragons.
As we have already discussed, oxalates hinder calcium absorption, just like phosphorus. As a result, they too can contribute to the development of MBD.
Better be safe than sorry and limit asparagus, especially if your bearded dragon has already had some food with moderate to high oxalates. It is your task to keep your bearded dragon both healthy and happy!
Now that you know why you should or should not give your dragon asparagus, it is time to round up the story by learning the best serving methods!
Useful Tips For Serving Your Bearded Dragon Asparagus
- Whenever possible, buy organic asparagus.
- Wash the asparagus thoroughly before you serve it.
- If you choose to cook asparagus, do not add any other ingredients such as salt, pepper, or oil. They could make your pet sick.
- Cut the raw or cooked asparagus into small pieces before serving it to your bearded dragon. The smaller, the better. Large chunks of this stringy veggie can cause problems for your dragon, including choking.
- Treat asparagus as a supplement in your bearded dragon’s diet. Feed it once a week!
It is not always easy to find out what can bearded dragons eat. If you have carefully read this text, you have one dilemma less.
You have just learned that bearded dragons can and should eat asparagus – just not too often! When served correctly, it can add valuable nutrients to your dragon’s diet and help maintain its health.
Too much asparagus can have the opposite effect and cause a terrible condition called metabolic bone disease (MBD). Therefore, do not feel tempted to give your pet lizard more asparagus than you should, even if he loves to eat it!