Parsley is a common herb that often grows in the garden or on the window. But, can bearded dragons eat Italian parsley? Well, your bearded dragon can eat these nutritious herbs, but not too much.
This is because they have an unusually high oxalate content that can affect their calcium intake. In this article, we will look at the pros and cons of feeding your bearded dragon Italian parsley.
Pros of Parsley For Bearded Dragons
Parsley is well known for its essential ingredients that can be significantly helpful when fed in small amounts. They include:
Parsley is rich in calcium. For example, a 100g of parsley contains 138mg of calcium. Calcium is exceptionally vital in strengthening the bones and improving other body functions. Therefore, including parsley into your bearded dragon’s diet can help prevent the risk of MBD.
- Vitamin A and C
Vitamin A and C are essential nutrients that play a crucial role in boosting the immune system and help the body eliminate any free radicals. However, Vitamin A should be fed in restricted amounts to avoid intoxicating your pet.
Parsley also contains protein, an essential nutrient for all bearded dragons. Moreover, baby dragons require larger amounts of protein to grow faster, but limited quantities of protein are recommended for adult dragons.
One of the key advantages of parsley is that it is low in sugar and does not influence weight gain. Furthermore, including parsley into your bearded dragon’s diet can help avoid a condition known as Fatty Liver Disease, which prevents its liver from filtering its blood effectively.
Parsley is also naturally rich in fiber. For example, 100 grams of parsley contain 3.3g of fiber. This is certainly enough to stabilize the digestive tract of your bearded dragon. Additionally, fiber helps prevent diarrhea and constipation by regulating the amount of water in the intestines. It also protects your pet from colon cancer by discharging all toxic wastes faster.
Can Bearded Dragons Have Parsley: Cons
- Parsley Contains Oxalates
Oxalates, one of the plant’s defense mechanisms to protect itself as it grows, are mainly found in many foods, especially greens. However, these oxalates can become less effective when they combine with calcium, which prevents a consumer from absorbing all the necessary nutrients.
Parsley contains more oxalates than most of the foods people usually fed to bearded dragons. Nevertheless, you should keep in mind that feeding your pet with excessive amounts of parsley can greatly hinder the amount of calcium they can absorb. This can lead to fragile bones and a condition known as Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
Metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons rids of the calcium in the bones, causing the bones to deteriorate and become weak. However, most experts recommend sprinkling calcium powder over their food to help them absorb this essential nutrient, calcium.
How to Feed Your Bearded Dragon Parsley
According to the experts at VCA-Hospitals, they recommend that parsley should make a large percent of your bearded dragon’s diet. But, this would contradict the findings we mentioned earlier about oxalates. It is advisable to consider the simple staple foods that you are certain your beardies can eat safely on a daily basis and then fed them parsley in small amounts at least once weekly to once monthly.
This way, you are assured of getting the beneficial nutrients of parsley without compromising your pet’s health with excessive amounts of oxalates and overfeeding. The following are some guidelines on the best ways to feed your bearded dragon parsley:
- Remember to use fresh parsley that is either purchased organically or grown in your home garden.
- Wash the parsley thoroughly, even if you grew it in your home garden, to get rid of all contaminants.
- Pet-MD recommends that all green should be finely chopped into manageable sizes.
- Make sure to add your parsley into a salad of other fruits and greens
- Finally, do not feed your pet with parsley more than once every two weeks.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Parsley: Summary
Can bearded dragons eat Italian parsley? It is okay if your bearded dragon got into your home garden of freshly grown parsley and started eating them. But, unless you are deliberate about feeding your pet parsley, you should avoid it or monitor how frequently your dragon consumes it. This is because of parsley’s unusually high oxalate content.
Parsley leaves offer a wide range of nutrients that your pet will love. Still, there are other numerous healthy foods that you could consider feeding your bearded dragons, such as maple leaves, worms, carnation petals, and other vegetables.
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