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can bearded dragons eat arugula

Arugula is a very nutritious and healthy vegetable for people human beings. Is it a good source of food for the bearded dragons? The bearded dragons can actually feed on baby arugula. Then, what actually is baby arugula? It’s the arugula leaves that have been harvested when immature, whose leaves are full of flavors. You can probably tell that arugula has a potent and concentrated flavor. However, baby arugula has a slightly intense flavor with a similar peppery flavor.

Is it then a healthy vegetable that your beardie can eat? Arugula can act as the main food for bearded dragons. When the bearded dragons feed on arugula, they’ll get vitamins, fiber, proteins, minerals, and water. Arugulas have calcium compared to phosphorus, meaning that the bearded dragon will have calcium which is vital to the growth of their bone.

Vegetables and flowers should comprise 80 – 90 % of the plant substance for the bearded dragon, and the other 10 – 20% should comprise fruits.

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What are the Advantages of Feeding Arugula to Bearded Dragons?

Feeding your bearded dragon plenty of fresh vegetables is suitable for their health and stops many diseases. Vegetables consist of a huge portion of the dragon’s diet and provide plenty of minerals and vitamins.

Arugula is a healthy vegetable that you should consider incorporating into your dragon’s diet. It is full of minerals, vitamins, and phytonutrients that deliver huge benefits to bearded dragons.

bearded-dragon-eating-arugula

Nutritional Value of Arugula

Below are the nutritional facts pertaining to arugula:

Nutrient Value
Water
91.7 g
Sugar
2.05 g
Fiber
1.6 g
Protein
258 g
Calcium
160 mg
Phosphorus
52 mg
Iron
1.46 mg
Zinc
0.47 mg
Selenium
0.3 ug
Vitamin C
15 mg
Thiamin
0.044 mg
Vitamin B-6
0.073 mg
Vitamin A
119 ug
Beta Carotene
1420 ug
Vitamin E
0.43 mg
Vitamin K
190 ug

Arugula in the Bearded Dragon Diet

Arugula is among the best vegetables to give your bearded dragon as a primary food. Funny enough, not many people know or feed this great vegetable to their bearded dragon. Regardless of what some people may think, arugula contains all the nutrients of a super veggie for your bearded dragon.

Water

Those bearded dragons that find it challenging to take water from the bowl, giving them food containing high volumes of water will ensure they are dehydrated. It is known that the bearded lizard that weighs about 300 grams should get approximately 10 ml of water each day. This quantity contains water they drink straight from a water source and those they get from the foods they consume.

Calcium

When it is a matter of the bearded dragon’s food, the amount of calcium and phosphorus is fascinating. High amounts of phosphorus function against calcium, preventing its absorption into the bloodstream.

To stop the disruption of calcium consumption into the system, bearded dragons need a Ca:P ratio of 1:1 or 2.1. Arugula has a ratio of 3:1 calcium and phosphorus in that order.

Arugula has a very high Ca:P in relation to the suggested ratio of bearded lizard. Even though calcium is relatively high, phosphorus lies within a healthy level. This indicates that your dragon can still feed on arugula occasionally.

Serving your dragon arugula is a good decision as it provides them with calcium, which is critical for growth and development. Moreover, to ensure that your bearded dragon absorbs calcium from the veggie easily, you should not feed it with foods with high levels of oxalates like spinach and avocados.

The ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus

Mineral Value
Calcium
160 mg
Phosphorus
52 mg
Calculation
160/52
Ratio
3:1

Good Source of Vitamins and Other Minerals

If you feed your bearded lizard with arugula, it will acquire vitamin A, C, and K, including magnesium, potassium, and phosphorus that performs different purposes in the dragon’s body. Basically, vitamin A provides good eye health and maintains vision.

Vitamin C supports the immune system and encourages growth. Arugula also contains beta-carotene, which is found in vitamin A.

Potassium controls blood pressure, prevents kidney diseases, and supports muscle activities. Therefore, arugula provides tons of health benefits to bearded dragons, but only if you feed it with the correct quantity.

Protein

Arugula does not provide too much protein for your bearded lizard. Protein is very crucial to your bearded dragon’s growth and development. Giving your bearded dragon arugula ensures they get protein nutrients and more for your omnivorous reptile.

Fiber

Fiber is very essential in helping with the digestion of your omnivorous friend, more so for the adult lizard dragons that primarily consume herbivorous diets. Fiber assists in the breaking down of the chitinous exoskeleton of the insects. Fiber is also good in refining the gut flora of your omnivorous dragon.

How to Make Arugula for Your Bearded Dragon?

Preparing Arugula is easy and does not consume so much time. Below are some easy steps you should follow;

Is Baby Arugula Healthy for Bearded Dragon?

First, it is crucial to know the nutritional significance of baby arugula. When feeding bearded dragons, it is recommendable to identify the amount of calcium that the vegetable will deliver. Other than that, the calcium to phosphorus ratio is a crucial feature that that needs to be looked at. The correct amount is from 1:1 to 2:1.

Like various greens and vegetables, baby arugula consists of very low-fat content and a good quantity of water. The actual nutritional statistics of half a cup of baby arugula are below:

Mineral Value
Calories
2.5 kcal
Protein
0.25 g
Carbohydrates
0.35 g
Fat
0.06 g
Ash
0.14 g
Fiber
0.16 g
Calcium
16 mg

Feeding Recommendation

First is to identify whether your lizard enjoys arugula or not. Since it tastes bitter, they may not love it. When serving arugula to your bearded dragon, ensure you synthesis it with other vegetables. You can use veggies like mustard greens, curly, kale, or endive.

You can also mix it with lettuce that has no nutritional value or water. To make a delicious salad, mix in a few super worms with your arugula and feed that salad to your dragon. It is advisable to feed it with arugula leaves only on certain occasions, like once per week. That is why it is not a staple food for bearded dragons.

More Information

Here is what you should know before buying arugula:

Storage

Because arugula goes bad faster, ensure to refrigerate it at all times. If you put it inside a dry plastic container, it can stay for a week without going bad. That’s the reason you should only buy it in small quantities unless you have many bearded dragons.

Best Time to Buy

Arugula is plenty from June to December though you can get in stores all year long. Occasionally, you’ll get freshly washed and packed arugula in small boxes or plastic containers.

Arugula contains a lot of calcium, which is essential for young dragons, which requires this mineral in plenty to aid its growth and development.

Likely Side Effects Of Arugula

Sugar

Everything has its advantages and disadvantages. The same goes for the arugula vegetable for your bearded lizard.

Though arugula doesn’t contain vast amounts of sugar, if it is consumed with other foods with high volumes of sugar level consistently, it might result in tooth ailments to the beardy. Even though arugula can act as a staple for daily feed, you can interchange it with various consumables like squash. When giving arugula food, give it vegetables with fewer quantities of sugar.

Other Types Of Vegetables You Can Give Your Bearded Dragon

About 80 to 90% of the plant substance ought to be vegetables and flowers, whereas fruits should represent 10-20%. The actual fact is that dark green and leafy plants can occupy a considerable portion of the diet. You can also include vegetables with other colors like red, yellow, and orange.

Don’t go for veggies with plenty of fibers, those with inadequate nutrients, and light green vegetables that lack vitamins. They may include head lettuce or iceberg, and celery mainly consists of water and fiber with small amounts of nutrient amount. The light-colored inside of some of these plants contains minimum nutrients compared to the dark green outer leaves.

Recommendable vegetables that high in nutrients include; greens, mustard greens, beet greens, arugula, broccoli, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, savory, green or red cabbage, green beans, bell paper, watercress, clover, escarole, dandelion, chow, and kohlrabi. Food with fewer nutrients includes; brussel sprout, okra, cucumber, mushrooms, carrot, asparagus, carrots, peas, different squash, cactus, corn, parsnips, and cooked sweet potato.

Fruits may include; pears, watermelon, apples, bananas, grapes, mango, star fruit, raisins, peaches, guava, melons, kiwis, tomato, grapes, raisins, and star fruit. Healthy fruits include figs, dates, apricots, raspberries, and strawberries. Most fruits have very few minerals so that you can serve them to your bearded dragons randomly as a top dressing. You can also serve your beardie flowers such as carnations, dandelions, hibiscus, roses, and nasturtiums.

How to Serve Arugula?

You can serve your bearded dragon vegetables either raw or cooked, but raw contains more nutrients and more natural. You should wash these fruits and vegetables thoroughly before feeding them to your bearded dragon. You can either buy flowers from flower shops or use homegrown ones.

Most times, floral shops throw away old and withered flowers. These may not be ideal for public purchase, although bearded dragon owners can have them for free. Before you serve them to your dragon, ensure that they are chemical-free.

Serve your bearded dragon very little spinach, Swiss chard, and beet greens because they contain oxalates that can prevent calcium and other forms of minerals that prevent their absorption. If you serve these kinds of foods as a staple, it can cause nutrient deficiency.

Observe optimum attention when feeding your bearded dragon kale, cabbage, and mustard greens. They are vegetables with goitrogens (elements that prevent the thyroid gland from functioning well as it interferes with iodine absorption) and, if taken in massive amounts, can result in hypothyroidism.

Insects for Your Bearded Dragon

Always remember not to feed your bearded dragon insects that are too big. Serving your dragon insects that are too big to chew and swallow may chock it. Also, don’t put many insects that your bearded dragon will feed on where it lives. Insects running aimlessly can cause stress to your dragon, and it might start nibbling on the lizard. Here are some insects that bearded dragons can feed on; Crickets, mealworms, waxworms, super worms, grasshoppers, dubia roaches, hornworms, and fruit flies.

You can get all these consumable insects in major pet stores or buy online. Crickets are the preferable consumable insects for your dragon. Avoid feeding your dragon wild insects unless they contain zero herbicides, pesticides, and other chemicals.

Serve your bearded dragon wax worms occasionally. They contain huge volumes of fat and maybe unhealthy if your bearded dragon consumes plenty of it. Also, control the amount of mealworms you feed them since the shell of these worms is tough to digest.

Dubia roaches are the best options for either the big or small dragons as they contain two times of proteins found in crickets and contain more meat than shell.

The best food for serving your bearded dragon is giving them huge volumes of green vegetables while mixing other vegetables like arugula and small amounts of insect diet.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is Rocket fine for bearded dragons?

Bearded dragons can feed on arugula or rocket and make it their staple food even when they are young. Rocket has high volumes of calcium that are of great significance for the growth of your bearded dragons.

Can I feed spinach and arugula to my bearded lizard?

Though they can act as a staple food for a bearded dragon, you should not give it spinach every day. Spinach consists of high amounts of oxalate dangerous if excessively fed to the bearded dragon.

Wrapping up

Arugula is a good source of calcium for young and juvenile bearded dragons. The ratio of calcium to phosphorus is excellent, and you don’t need to supplement when serving arugula to your dragon.

It is thus essential to feed arugula regularly to your bearded dragon in small amounts since a lot of it is not healthy. Because of the high amounts of calcium compared to phosphorus that arugula has, you don’t have to give it calcium supplements when giving it arugula.

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