Can Bearded Dragons Eat Zucchini? Find Out If It Is Safe For Them | Kidadl


Can Bearded Dragons Eat Zucchini? Find Out If It Is Safe For Them

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A pet bearded dragon's diet should consist of a large percentage of vegetables and some protein in the form of insects.

Though zucchini may prove to be very healthy for humans and is a versatile vegetable, it does lack a few necessary nutrients which keep bearded dragons healthy and happy. One of the most important nutrients for beardies which is largely missing in zucchinis is calcium.

Calcium greatly contributes to keeping the bone strength of bearded dragons intact, as well as affects their overall health. Low calcium levels can cause metabolic bone disease, which can lead to conditions like osteoporosis, rickets, and fluorosis. Apart from this, they are also very low in calories and contain a lot of water which does not make them the best food to feed your beardie in bulk. Bearded dragons require a lot of greens in their diet, with a large portion being dedicated to various fruits and vegetables. Bearded dragons love crickets and other insects like roaches and mealworms as well, which can help add a good dose of protein to their diet. Though zucchinis are healthy, there are much better green vegetables and fruits which will fulfill their nutritional needs. That being said, you can indeed include zucchini in their diets as part of a fresh salad bowl or just as a treat. To read more about how you can feed your bearded dragon zucchini, read on!

If you enjoy this article, you may enjoy our other pages on if bearded dragons can eat kale and if bearded dragons can eat mango.

What is the nutritional value of zucchini?

Though zucchinis are very healthy in general and make a great addition to anyone's diet, they are not really recommended for bearded dragons.

Zucchinis are very low in calories and are chock full of vitamins and minerals like vitamins A and C, vitamin B6, vitamin K, phosphorus, potassium, manganese, zinc, and magnesium, they are still very low in calcium, which is considered quite low for beardies. It also doesn't contain much vitamin D, which helps them to absorb calcium from their digestive system and into their bodies. Though the nutritional value of zucchini is quite good, the actual nutrients it contains are just not the best fit for your beardie. Though, as it is a fresh, summery courgette, your pet reptile would appreciate being fed a few pieces of zucchini every now and then.

How do you prepare zucchini for bearded dragons?

If zucchini is what you are planning to feed your bearded dragon, then it is important to prepare it correctly so that your pet can consume it with ease. These courgettes are completely non-toxic, and beardies can eat zucchini as part of a balanced diet.

As bearded dragons eat raw vegetation out in the wild, it is completely fine to feed them chunks of raw zucchini. Though you can boil or steam it as well, cooking it can lower the number of nutrients present in this vegetable! Your bearded dragon can also eat the flowers and leaves of the zucchini plant, which are completely edible. However, as with zucchini, they should be eaten in moderation.

It is critical to remove the hard, outer peel of the zucchini before preparing it for your beardie. The thick, waxy skin may not agree with your bearded dragon, who may end up choking on it. Peel the entire skin off with a peeler, and then chop the vegetable into tiny pieces or shred it with a cheese grater so that they can eat it easily. If in any case, a small piece of the peel makes its way down your bearded dragon's throat, you should remove it before things become serious! Either try to get it to drink water through a syringe, or prop its mouth open with a spatula and spoon and attempt to remove the stuck piece with a pair of tweezers. Do this very carefully, in order to not accidentally poke your beardie in the throat and cause distress.

Though your beardie can eat zucchini by itself, it is recommended to add it to a salad of mixed greens and nutrient-rich vegetables like turnip greens, yellow squash, alfalfa, green beans, mustard greens, dandelions, kale, cilantro, and bell peppers. These vegetables offer a great percentage of calcium, which bearded dragons take in more from vegetables than insects, as well as providing other essential nutrients like vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin K, natural sugar, and iron in good amounts. Some great calcium-rich vegetables are bok choy, collard greens, and okra.

Ripe zucchini

How much zucchini can bearded dragons eat?

Zucchini is quite healthy, however, offering it up alone to your bearded dragon is not such a wise choice. Zucchini is a very calorie-low vegetable with virtually no sugar and has a water content of around 94%. In order to fill up your bearded dragon, you would have to feed it a huge amount of zucchini, which is not a great idea considering how low in nutrients it is. Though it does contain some key nutrients that are essential for them, there are still a lot of important minerals and vitamins lacking from it, which could stunt the growth of your pet.

The most important thing of nutritional value which zucchini lacks is calcium, having a very low amount per serving. Calcium is one of the most important chemicals which you can give your bearded dragon, as it not only keeps up bone strength but also maintains their overall health. As zucchini has very little calcium, this makes it not a very good choice when it comes to including calcium-rich vegetables in their diet.

The phosphorus content of zucchini is almost much higher than the recommended level, which can be harmful if consumed in large doses. The calcium content in zucchini is already low, but the presence of phosphorus tends to bind whatever calcium is available and prevents its absorption into the bloodstream. If this goes on for longer periods of time, it will also end up taking over the available calcium in your bearded dragon's body, which can lead to metabolic bone disease - a condition that affects bone strength from the lack of calcium. Due to this, many bearded dragons understandably steer clear of feeding their pet this vegetable. Similar calcium-binding greens are Swiss chard, beetroots, and spinach, which should be avoided as well. Even though lettuce may seem like a healthy alternative, it can give your bearded dragon digestive issues, and offers no real nutritional value.

Some great nutritional alternatives you can feed your beardie instead are mustard greens, turnip greens, collard greens, yellow squash, cabbage, and sweet potatoes. They are also fond of eating fruit like apples and berries, of which small pieces can be given to them as a treat.

Though the bulk of your bearded dragon's diet should be made up of vegetables and greens, don't forget to add a few crickets and earthworms per day for protein. Beardies receive a good amount of iron, calcium, and protein from these insects, which makes them an important staple in their diet.

As bearded dragons may prefer eating insects to vegetables, they may ignore any greens offered to them. To avoid this, you must condition your pet bearded dragon to eat all types of vegetables and different types of fruit from infancy.

Can bearded dragons eat zucchini every day?

No, although zucchini is a relatively healthy vegetable, feeding it to bearded dragons every day is not recommended. As zucchinis are low in calcium and high in phosphorus, it is recommended to either feed it to your bearded dragon only a couple of times a month, or steer clear of it completely! The most you can feed your bearded dragon should be a few small pieces a week.

Any nutrients that you can find in zucchini can be found in other sources as well, preferably in vegetables that have a good calcium content and do not contain too much oxalic acid or phosphorous, which can end up binding the calcium. Avoid giving your pet reptile too many vegetables like spinach, lettuce, beets, Swiss chard, and zucchini, either completely avoiding them or only using small portions as part of a salad bowl.

Bearded dragons need to be fed 80% of plant matter like fruits and vegetables and 20% of insects for protein. The ideal diet for beardies includes live insects like crickets, flies, and worms which they can chase around their enclosures, which helps to stimulate their minds as well as their bodies and keeps them in good health.

Whenever you feed your bearded dragon anything, make sure that it is fresh, organic, and has been cleaned properly. In the case of insects, make sure that they are sourced from a reputable pet store, and not collected from the wild. Insects taken from the wild may contain dangerous parasites or bacteria which may affect your bearded dragon's health. With vegetables, always check in advance if they contain the best nutrients for your pet's health. Any deficiency in nutrients can cause health problems later on, which is why formulating a well-balanced diet is very important. You can also dust the insects you are feeding your beardie with supplemental powders like calcium and multivitamins, which increase their nutritional value and give them an edge when it comes to good health. Gut-loading crickets with healthy greens a few hours before feeding them to your pet is also highly recommended to make sure it gets its fill with every vital nutrient.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly facts for everyone to enjoy! If you liked our suggestions for if bearded dragons can eat zucchini then why not take a look at if bearded dragons can eat cabbage or bearded dragon facts.

Written By
Tanya Parkhi

<p>Tanya is a skilled content creator with a passion for writing and a love for exploring new cultures. With a degree in Economics from Fergusson College, Pune, India, Tanya worked on her writing skills by contributing to various editorials and publications. She has experience writing blogs, articles, and essays, covering a range of topics. Tanya's writing reflects her interest in travel and exploring local traditions. Her articles showcase her ability to engage readers and keep them interested.</p>

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