Carrots seem terrible because they’re so high in sugar and have been linked to obesity in some pets. However, carrots also contain beta carotene, an antioxidant that can help boost your pet’s immune system.
Bearded dragons eat carrots since they have nutrients such as beta carotene and vitamin A which are important to the health of the dragon. Carrots also have a good Ca:P ratio. Feed them carrots twice a week in small bits to avoid vitamin A toxicity and metabolic bone disease.
So, while it’s not clear if carrots are bad or good for bearded dragons, there are too many factors to consider one way or another as to whether this common human food should be given to bearded dragons or not.
Can bearded dragons eat carrots?
Bearded dragons can eat carrots about twice each week but not every day. Carrots are typically not on the menu for bearded dragons in their natural habitat, but they provide many nutritional benefits to help your dragon stay healthy and satisfied hence their inclusion when in captivity.
There are many benefits to feeding your bearded dragon carrots, such as improving their vision, helping them grow bigger, and making sure that they’re getting enough Vitamin A from fresh foods.
What are the benefits of carrots to bearded dragons?
The benefits of carrots to bearded dragons include nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin K, vitamin B-complex group of vitamins (thiamin, niacin and riboflavin), potassium, calcium and phosphorus.
Carrots are very high in vitamin A which is important for your bearded dragon’s eye health because it helps to prevent night blindness. They also contain a lot of fiber that can help reduce intestinal blockages as well as regulate bowel movements.
Vitamin K content provides bone support by aiding the absorption of minerals such as calcium and phosphorous into the bones from the bloodstream. They’re therefore great if you find you have an issue with your beardie not eating enough greens or vegetables.
Carrots are also rich in vitamin B complex groups like thiamine (B-I) which helps to convert food into energy, vitamin B-II which helps with metabolism and vitamin B-III (riboflavin).
If you’re not sure of how many carrots your bearded dragon should eat each day then a good rule of thumb is that they need around one medium-sized carrot per every 100 grams in their body weight.
So, if your beardie weighs about half a kilo (500g) then they’ll need around two carrots or so. In general, the best time to feed them this vegetable would be early morning before breakfast or late evening after dinner/night feeding when no other foods are present because it can cause digestive issues like diarrhea if given at the wrong time.
Carrots have a good ratio of calcium to phosphorus (Ca:P) of 1:0.9. This means that the bearded dragon will be safe from metabolic bone disease (MBD) which comes from the consumption of too much phosphorus and little calcium. It’ll also be safe from too much or too little calcium given that the two nutrients are balanced.
Besides that, carrots have just the right amount of vitamin A. The vitamin A content is not too high or low, which helps regulate the absorption of calcium and vitamin K. It also prevents vitamin A toxicity which is quite common in bearded dragons.
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Carrots Nutritional Information
|Phosphorus, P||35 mg|
|Vitamin C||5.9 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||12 mg|
|Vitamin A||835 µg|
|Potassium, K||320 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.3 mg|
|Sodium, Na||69 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||33 mg|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.24 g|
What are the dangers of carrots to bearded dragons?
The reasons why you should regulate how much carrots your beardies eat include vitamin A toxicity and obesity.
Bearded dragons love to eat carrots and vitamin A can be toxic in higher doses. You want a happy middle ground where they get vitamin A without going overboard on it. In addition, bearded dragons who eat too many vegetables may become obese because of the high calorie content that is found within them (sometimes even more than what you would find in fruits). Obesity leads to other health problems for your beardie such as heart disease. For this reason, make sure not to go crazy with the veggies.
Vitamin A toxicity, also called hypervitaminosis A, occurs when your lizard pet gets more vitamin A than it naturally needs. If you’re already feeding the dragon vitamin A supplements, regulate the carrots as much as possible to avoid it.
The symptoms of vitamin A toxicity include the following:
- Lethargy (a lack of energy)
- Swelling around the body
- Loss of weight
If you notice any of these signs, get a vet as soon as possible.
Carrots contain a certain sugar that can lead to hip dysplasia, which is an abnormal growth in the femur bone. This is caused by too much calcium and protein leading to weakened joints. It also contains vitamin A, which if fed at high levels for several days or more may cause adverse health effects.
Carrots may also need to be cooked before feeding them to the bearded dragons because they have large amounts of nitrates that could harm your pet otherwise. Remember not to feed any other vegetables with carrots three hours after eating them either as this will counteract their effects on the body like decreased appetite, diarrhea, dehydration and other effects.
READ ALSO: Bearded Dragon Won’t Eat Greens: How to Get them to Eat Greens
What type of carrots do bearded dragons eat?
Your bearded dragon can eat the following types of carrots:
All carrot colors
Carrots come in different colors from orange to yellow and purple and even white. However, they all have the same nutrients and can thus be safely fed to the bearded dragons twice a week at most.
Large and baby carrots
Bearded dragons can eat both large and baby carrots without issues. However, large carrots are your bearded dragon’s preferred kind of carrot. If you choose to feed baby carrots, it is important that they have been washed and are organic to avoid harmful preservatives that could harm your beardie.
Cooked and raw carrots
Bearded dragons will also eat cooked and raw carrots. They need a variety of vegetables in their diet to get the nutrients they need, so it’s important that they consume other veggies as well.
When compared, raw carrots are better than cooked ones since they’re more nutritious. Cooking removes some nutrients from most foods. However, cooked carrots are easier to chew and digest for the dragons.
Bearded dragons will easily eat raw baby carrots that have been chopped up into little pieces.
A good way to get your bearded dragon used to new vegetables is by mixing them with the old ones so that they don’t notice much of a difference when their next meal arrives. This can help make it easier for you too because if he eats one vegetable from time to time, it’ll be like giving him two servings instead of just one.
It’s important not only to feed these types of veggies but others as well, such as broccoli leaves, cucumbers, cauliflower florets or greens at least every other day or once daily depending on what kind the owner feeds their pet.
Do bearded dragons eat carrot tops?
Carrot tops are a great treat for bearded dragons, as they offer vitamin A, C and B6. Besides that, they can be given at any time to your pet dragon. However, carrot tops have high amounts of oxalates, making them dangerous to your pet lizard.
Oxalates reduce the absorption rate of calcium in the body. This may lead to calcium deficiency and diseases such as metabolic bone disease (MBD) in bearded dragons. For this reason, give the dragons carrot tops in moderation.
How to give carrots to bearded dragons
Give the bearded dragons carrots as follows:
Choose healthy carrots
First, choose the healthiest carrots you have. Carrots with soft spots or cracks in them should never be used, as there is a high chance they are infested and will make your bearded dragon sick.
Clean the carrots
After that, rinse your carrots off and remove the green tops. Use clean water and a soft brush to clean the carrots. Keep in mind that the carrots are often cleaned with chlorine and other chemicals before storage. IF not cleaned properly, you’ll make the lizard sick.
Grate the carrots
You then grate the carrots into small pieces. Add to a shallow dish and sprinkle with salt, garlic powder or finely chopped chives. Toss them well so that all of the veggies are covered in seasoning. You can also grate other vegetables such as squash if you don’t have any carrots available. This will make them tastier for your bearded dragon to eat.
Feed the carrots to the bearded dragon
Finally, feed the carrots to your bearded dragon. Make sure they’re comfortable while eating and don’t choke on it.
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