A lot of people in the bearded dragon community especially new owners wonder if bearded dragons can eat carrots. The short answer is yes, but there are a few things you should know.
Yes, bearded dragons can eat carrots. Known for their health benefits for humans, carrots are also nutritious for bearded dragons. However, beardies should not eat them more then once or twice a week.
For a better understanding of how carrots fit into a dragon’s diet, you need to read this post.
Adult bearded dragons typically eat 80% plants and 20% insects. You can definitely add carrots to their diet. It can, however, only be fed once or twice a week. It can also be fed to baby bearded dragons, but not on a regular basis.
How Often can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots?
To be on the safe side, you should not feed your bearded dragon carrots more than once or twice a week.
Although carrots have many health benefits, bearded dragons cannot eat them as a staple food because they do not contain a sufficient amount of calcium.
Although carrots are not part of dragons’ diet in the wild, they do offer some great health benefits:
- Vitamin A and beta-carotene in carrots help to boost the immune system, promote healthy skin, and improve vision.
- Also, it contains fiber, which assists in digesting the exoskeleton of insects like Dubia roaches.
Raw Carrot Nutritional Stats
(% indicates the amount of HUMAN daily intake for reference only)
Carrot Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz.)
|Energy||173 kJ (41 kcal)|
|Dietary fibre||2.8 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||835 μg (104%)|
|beta-carotene||8285 μg (77%)|
|lutein and zeaxanthin||256 μg|
|Thiamine (vit. B1)||0.066 mg (6%)|
|Riboflavin (vit. B2)||0.058 mg (5%)|
|Niacin (vit. B3)||0.983 mg (7%)|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.273 mg (5%)|
|Vitamin B6||0.138 mg (11%)|
|Folate (vit. B9)||19 μg (5%)|
|Vitamin C||5.9 mg (7%)|
|Vitamin E||0.66 mg (4%)|
|Calcium||33 mg (3%)|
|Iron||0.3 mg (2%)|
|Magnesium||12 mg (3%)|
|Manganese||0.143 mg (7%)|
|Phosphorus||35 mg (5%)|
|Potassium||320 mg (7%)|
|Sodium||69 mg (5%)|
|Zinc||0.24 mg (3%)|
Carrots have a balanced ratio of phosphorus and calcium, making them safer for beardies than most plants.
Calcium plays an important role in the development of bearded dragons’ bones and their overall health.
Phosphorus is a mineral that binds to calcium, so it doesn’t enter a bearded dragon’s bloodstream.
A high phosphorus intake can lead to metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons.
Just like we mentioned above, although carrots have many benefits, they cannot be used as a staple food for beardies. This is due to its low calcium, and high vitamin A content, which may lead to health problems since bearded dragons are known to be highly susceptible to vitamin A toxicity.
Do Carrots Cause Vitamin A Toxicity in Bearded Dragons?
If your bearded dragon is already receiving Vitamin A or beta carotene supplements, or multivitamins that may contain Vitamin A or beta carotene, you should consult your veterinarian before feeding it carrots. When these supplements are combined with a diet high in Vitamin A, your dragon can become toxic.
By themselves, carrots are unlikely to cause Vitamin A toxicity. They may, however, cause uncomfortable symptoms of vitamin A toxicity if taken along with vitamin A supplements.
Beardies with any of the signs below may suffer from Vitamin A toxicity, also known as hypervitaminosis A.
- Decrease in energy
- Weight loss
You should consult a veterinarian immediately if you notice any of these symptoms.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat All Kinds of Carrots?
Possibly you would like to know what type of carrots you can feed your bearded dragon since there are quite a few. Here is the detail explanation.
Color: The nutritional value of white carrots, yellow carrots, purple carrots, and orange carrots is the same regardless of their color. All types of carrots can be fed to your beardie once or twice a week.
Raw vs cooked. Raw or cooked carrots are fine for bearded dragons, but cooking reduces their nutritional value.
Baby vs large carrots. Go for large carrots when you have to choose between baby and large carrots for your beardie. There are some bearded dragon owners who do not recommend baby carrots at all, due to the fact that they contain harmful preservatives. However, they are completely safe if they are washed properly.
Whenever possible, choose a fresh whole carrot to avoid preservatives.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrot Tops?
Carrot tops contain oxalates, which, like phosphorus, prevent bearded dragons from absorbing calcium. Oxalates may result in MBD and kidney stones if they reach the kidneys. To be safe, you shouldn’t feed it more than once a month.
How can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots?
Here is how you can serve raw carrots to your bearded dragon:
- Make sure the carrots are thoroughly washed
- Using a cheese grater, shred the carrot into small, manageable pieces. The best tool for preparing carrots for bearded dragons is a cheese grater with a medium-sized grate. The cheese grater will make the tedious task much easier.
- Cut the carrot into long, stringy pieces that are no longer than 1.5 inches in length. You should avoid cutting them into other shapes as your beardie may have difficulty swallowing them.
- You can serve it alone or with a salad
Bearded dragons can eat carrots on an occasional basis. It should not be used as a staple food. The low calcium content of carrots makes them unsuitable for regular consumption. In order to reap the benefits of carrots and at the same time not harm your bearded dragon, it is recommended that you feed your bearded dragon carrots once or twice per week.
Wash the carrots well and cut them into small pieces. Serve alone or combined with a salad.