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In most homes, it’s common to see a family sitting down to share a meal. Many of us view our pets as a part of our family, so is it safe to share everything we eat with them? Sharing your food may seem harmless, but not everything we eat is safe for our animal friends to consume.
Deciding to share food with your pet can seem pretty harmless aside from encouraging negative begging behaviors and leading to possible weight gain. However, you could potentially be putting your pet’s life at risk. In this article, we will answer the question: Can bearded dragons eat brussel sprouts?
Bearded dragons are not all that picky about what they eat. True omnivores, bearded dragons eat a diet of plant-based foods, animals, and insects. That being said, if you find some brussel sprouts left on your dinner plate, feel free to share them- in moderation. As with most things in life, too much of anything is a bad thing, even for your pets.
Pro: Brussel Sprouts are Nutritious
Veggies are healthy foods. Many vital nutrients can be found in brussel sprouts, such as:
Con: Brussel Sprouts Strip Away Iodine
One of the issues with pets eating human food is the food we eat often contains ingredients that can quickly lead to unhealthy weight gain in our pets.
Brussel sprouts and other cruciferous veggies like broccoli, cauliflower, and kale, can interfere with how the body absorbs iodine.
Iodine is essential for hormone production in the thyroid gland. The thyroid plays a significant part in the regulation of metabolism and maintains weight.
Significant levels of goitrogens are contained in cruciferous vegetables. Studies have shown that there is evidence these goitrogens may block iodine absorption by the thyroid gland, leading to hypothyroidism.
Hypothyroidism is a severe condition that may lead to severe complications. Weight gain is an early indicator of hypothyroidism; however, more severe conditions such as heart problems, nerve damage, infertility can also occur. If not quickly treated, death may even occur.
How Often Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Brussel Sprouts?
Due to the issues that may be caused by eating brussel sprouts too frequently, animal experts recommend that you only offer this food to your pet around once a month. A serving of about half a sprout should be adequate for their consumption. Their primary diet should consist of other nutritious greens and fruits.
Are all Veggies Bad for My Bearded Dragon?
It is unfair to say all veggies are bad for bearded dragons. Yes, brussel sprouts should be eaten in moderation to protect against adverse health implications, but vegetables overall still remain a stable of your bearded dragon’s diet.
Your garden may be home to many of your bearded dragon’s favorite foods. Your pet will love snacking on green leafy vegetables like collard greens. They also love the taste of mustard greens and squash which is a plus as it is an excellent source of vitamin C!
Unfortunately for those of us with flower gardens, they are drawn to eating those too. Other foods you may want to try with your bearded dragon are:
Healthy vegetables that are high in nutrient content are essential to help maintain your bearded dragon’s health. Just remember that moderation is key!
Moderation is Key
Spinach Can Be Great in a Pinch, but Watch Out for Kidney Stones
Spinach is another yummy veggie that may be best kept for special occasions, although your pet may love to eat. Spinach is full of oxalate that has a harmful calcium binding effect. When the body has too much oxalate in the body, this can cause kidney stones to form. Kidney stones are excruciating.
Kidney stones can lead to urinary tract inflammation and infection, tissue damage, and even obstruction. At best, your pet will need medication, but they will need surgery to repair damage in worst-case scenarios.
Beet greens and swiss chards are other foods that increase oxalates in the body, so they should also be consumed in moderation. When feed to your bearded dragon, be sure to feed them only small bite-sized serving infrequently.
Iceberg Lettuce May Lead to Nasty Digestive Issues
Iceberg lettuce is another food that can lead to nasty digestive issues for your bearded dragon. Iceberg lettuce has very high water content. The high water content can lead to too much softening of the stool. When the stool is exposed to too much water, this can lead to diarrhea.
This diarrhea can cause extreme discomfort for your pet. Bearded dragons that have bouts of diarrhea can lose weight, vomit, and feel severe pain. Diarrhea that occurs for an extended period of time can lead to dehydration. Severe and prolonged dehydration can be life threatening.
So, what other types of food can you feed your bearded dragon?
Bearded Dragons Also Love Fruit
Fruits can be a sweet treat for your pet. Bearded dragons enjoy eating apples, bananas, and citrus fruits. Just remember to make sure that fruit is only 10-20 percent of your pet’s diet.
Bearded Dragons get Mealy with Mealworms
Your bearded dragon will be overjoyed to find a heaping pile of mealworms on their plate. However, try to keep it a small pile.
Mealworms have a high fat content. Too much fat can lead to your dragon packing on pounds, so to avoid obesity, don’t allow your pet to overindulge. Especially keep in mind to keep the mealworms away from baby bearded dragons.
What Foods Should Your Bearded Dragon Avoid?
So far, we have talked about foods that are okay for your bearded dragon to eat in moderation. What are the foods your pet should avoid at all costs?
Some foods you want to keep far away from your bearded dragon are:
How to Prepare Food for Your Bearded Dragon?
Even though you may have brussel sprouts, apple slices, or other foods left on your plate, animals cannot always eat food prepped the same way we eat it. Proper preparation is essential for the safety of your pet.
Final Thoughts: Brussel Sprouts are Fine to Eat
Bearded Dragons do not have human stomachs, so our food, although tasty, is not necessarily the best option for them to eat.
Brussel sprouts are full of nutrients that are good for your bearded dragon, but they also contain things that may be dangerous to their overall health. It is crucial as a pet parent to offer food high in nutritional value, so when you sit your pet down for dinner, offer them appropriately sized varieties of foods. Save the brussel sprouts for special occasions.