Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dandelion Leaves? (Stems/Seed?)
If you have a Beardie, no doubt you love him and are thinking of the best foods to feed him (Click here to learn how to avoid making big mistakes with your beardie with this guide). One unexpected food that owners usually get confused about is dandelions…
Can Bearded Dragons eat Dandelion Leaves? Yes, Bearded Dragons can eat Dandelion leaves. In fact, they can eat the flowers and leaves. However, I would suggest that you remove the stem before serving them up.
Now that you know that you can feed him dandelions, let me go on to explain if you can pick up these dandelions from just anywhere if they are deemed as “weeds”, why they go white and much more…
What are the benefits of Dandelions?
Now that you understand that Beardies can eat them, you may be wondering what are the real benefits of them doing this? Well, they actually contain quite a few minerals (more on this later) and vitamins that are beneficial to beardies.
The reality is, these benefits are not just restricted to lizards, they are also good for us humans as well.
Can you collect dandelions from anywhere (Pick them up wild)?
No, it is not a good idea to collect dandelions from any old random place. This is because some dandelions may be laced with pesticides, herbicides or other fertilizers, are you with me?
Therefore, it is a good idea to get them when you know you can trust the source. For example, you can find dandelion greens in superstores or some health stores.
What are dandelions?
Before we go any further, let me clarify exactly what dandelions are, to avoid any confusion or assumptions. According to wikipedia, dandelions are actually a species of the Taraxacum genus. Which is part of the Asteraceae family.
Dandelions are native to North America and Eurasia. However, there are two very common dandelion species that were actually introduced from Europe. These species are Taraxacum Officinale and Taraxacum Erythrospermum. They now grow wildly in Europe and are quite popular.
Are dandelions weeds?
Yes, dandelions are technically weeds. However, they are not just weeds. In the western world they are consumed as food and are quite popular for the health-conscious.
In fact, as discussed earlier, you can pick them up in superstores and health stores. They can be boiled up as a refreshing tea drink or even eaten raw.
Are dandelions regarded as a staple diet?
You may be wondering if you can feed your bearded dragon dandelions as a staple. I would not regard them as a staple for your bearded dragon’s diet. In my opinion, crickets would be more regarded as a staple.
However, I would say that dandelions are an excellent addition to your beardies’ diet and should definitely be included on a regular basis.
What are dandelions good for?
Dandelions are a good source of vitamins such as vitamins A, C, and K. Not many people know this but you can eat them cooked raw or even boil them into tea, as mentioned earlier.
Even if we put the vitamins aside for a second, they also include important minerals such as iron, magnesium, and calcium.
The root of a dandelion is also beneficial because it has good fiber. This is advantageous to the intestinal tract.
What are dandelion seeds called?
These Seeds are commonly known as parachutes. you may be wondering why they are called this. I get it, because on the surface this name doesn’t make any logical sense, right?
The reason for this name is the way that they actually propagate. What I mean by this is the life cycle of dandelions. In particular, the transition from those beautiful yellow petals to the white puffballs yo may be used to seeing.
How & why they merge into white puffballs
With time, as they mature, these yellow petals wither away and become whitish looking puffs. These “parachutes” will then inevitably fly away with the wind. And, the seeds within them will move, take root and the cycle continues.
What leafy greens are good for bearded dragons?
There are many greens that can be considered for your bearded dragon. However, to give you an idea of these it can be simple things such as collard greens or even beet greens, etc.
In this section, I am going to answer some questions related to Bearded dragons and dandelions. If you have more unanswered questions in your mind feel free to drop a comment below.
Q: Why should you wash your hands after handling a bearded dragon?
Bearded dragons may have parasites on their skin which can pass on to you through hand contact. In most cases these parasites offer not much risk to your bearded dragon. But, they can manifest into different issues for us humans.
Therefore, to be safe it is advisable to always wash your hands after coming into contact with them. To be perfectly honest this should be standard for any pet that you handle, right?
Q: How often should a bearded dragon go for a poop?
This can be anything from once a day too to once a week. Unfortunately, bearded dragons have quite a wide range of frequency when it comes to elimination.
Like us humans, their frequency largely depends on their diet. For example, if your bearded dragon has a diet which consists of a lot of silkworms, which are typically high in calcium, then there is a good chance he will eliminate more frequently.
Therefore, it’s important that you consider the general energy levels of your beardie, and not just focus on hi poop frequency when assessing his general wellbeing.
Q: Can bearded dragons eat clementines?
Many people ask if Beardies can eat clementines (Click here for the full article). According to some owners on this forum, you can, but they advise in moderation. However, I wouldn’t advise it. The reason for this is the acidic levels in clementines is not great for them. Therefore, in my opinion, it’s better to avoid them. Because there are so many other things available.
Q: Why do dandelions turn white?
As discussed earlier, this is part of their process to propagate these seeds and to continue the life cycle of the dandelion. The seeds will float into other areas and their seeds form into other dandelions.
Q: Can Bearded dragons eat cheese?
No, bearded dragons should not be fed cheese. I guess you may be wondering why right? Well, it is to do with the nutritional break down of cheese. In particular, its the calcium.
Whilst calcium is an important part of their diet, cheese takes calcium to the next level. Meaning, it is just too calcium-rich for them. There are other safer ways for them to get calcium, so it is a good idea to avoid cheese completely.
Q: How many mealworms should a bearded dragon eat a day?
20 to 50 a day if he is a juvenile. However, this varies with age. Why? This is because when they are older they tend to consume less protein and increase their veg intake. in this guide, it explains the correct food to give to your beardie to keep him happy.
Q: Are crickets dangerous for Bearded dragons?
No. But, on some rare occasions, if the crickets are too big, a Beardie can choke on a cricket. This is not really a cricket specific issue, it could happen with any incorrectly sized food item. Even for us humans.
As a general rule, you should not feed your Beardie any food item that is greater than the distance from each eye, are you with me?
Q: Is it OK to leave crickets in with my bearded dragon?
No. You should not leave crickets in with your Bearded Dragon. But, why? Well, these crickets, as harmless as they may seem, can start to feast on your Beardie by nibbling on him if left in the enclosure.
Therefore, it is critical to clear them out immediately after your Beardie has finished eating.
Q: Should their crickets be dusted?
Yes, calcium supplementation dust will help to keep your Beardie healthy. It is a similar concept to gut loading super worms (Click here for full article), it needs to be done to add more nutritional value.