Bearded Dragons are small, omnivorous lizards native to the arid, rocky, semi-desert regions of Australia. Their extremely cute appearance, manageable size, and easy husbandry requirements make them a VERY popular pet among reptile lovers.
Unlike other popular lizard pets such as geckos – which mainly need live insects and vitamins – bearded dragons need a more varied diet from different food groups.
From feeders and greens to fruits and supplements…a nutritious, healthy, balanced bearded dragon diet is not exactly the easiest thing for beginner owners to figure out. This article will provide you with 5 bearded dragon salad recipes you can use to get a feel for your dragon’s dietary needs.
Additionally, I will also bring to your attention some necessary steps you need to take in order to provide your dragon with a healthy, nice-looking, full-of-nutrients salad.
5 BEST Bearded Dragon Salad Recipes
Before jumping on to the list, I would suggest that you take the time to read through the considerations I listed next. These are going to help you ensure you don’t mess things up.
Preparing The Salad
This first part of today’s article is meant to make you aware of what are the necessary steps you need to take to ensure you prepare a salad-based meal for your bearded dragon the right way.
Consideration #1: Warm Sink Bath
You’d want to start by cleaning the vegetables properly. The best possible way to do that is by giving them a nice, warm bath in the sink. Any food item has to be properly washed to ensure all chemicals are removed prior to feeding them to your bearded dragon.
Some vegetables will also have traces of dirt, which should be removed as well. The best possible way to go about that is to throw the vegetables into a sink full of water and just leave them in there for a good 3 to 5 minutes before washing them.
Most vegetables from stores will have traces of dirt, chemicals that have to be removed prior to serving. Regardless where you have your vegetables from, just wash them properly using warm water.
Consideration #2: The Chopping Phase
Now you’re going to want to chop the vegetables, leafy greens into small, easy to chew pieces. As a general rule, nothing bigger than the distance between a dragon’s eyes should be served. Use common sense and you will be just fine.
It’s important to make a note here and say that bearded dragons are prone to chocking hazards, which is why is so important that you chop the food items into small pieces for your bearded dragon to be able to safely munch on them.
Consideration #3: Last Minute Advice
The rough, stingy parts should be completely removed prior to feeding your bearded dragon. Additionally, if you’re giving your bearded dragon a treat such as watermelon, tomatoes or cherries, you’d want to ensure the rind, seeds, and pits are also remove prior to serving.
These are too rough in texture for bearded dragons to chew on and may as well pose a chocking hazard in dragon. In some extreme situations, they can even pose life-threatening conditions in bearded dragons.
Let’s assume you fed your bearded dragon a small cherry and he was in fact able to swallow the pit of the cherry. This is extremely dangerous as he will not be able to digest the pit, which can lead to constipation of other digestive related diseases.
BEST Bearded Dragon Salad Recipes
When making a bearded dragon salad there’s basically two things you want to keep in mind: Vitamin D3 and Calcium. Vitamin D3 is important because it allows him to use calcium.
Additionally, you will also want to ensure that the food items you’re using for your salad aren’t too high in phosphorus. Phosphorus can mess up with a dragon’s calcium absorption and if done too often can lead to one of the most common and dangerous diseases in captive reptiles, and that is Metabolic Bone Disease [MBD].
Other nutrients bearded dragons need in their diet is Vitamin A and Iron. However, you’d also want to keep an eye on the levels of Vitamin A in the food items you’re using as Vitamin A toxicity is another bad thing that often times affect captive reptiles, including bearded dragons.
Salad Recipe #1
When preparing a green-based meal for your bearded dragon is good practice to just stay away from spinach, lettuce, romaine lettuce, etc., as these greens are not very healthy for bearded dragons.
Baby spinach, or spinach in general, is especially bad for bearded dragons due to their high content of phosphorus, while lettuce is mostly water so will not make a great addition to your dragon’s diet from a nutritious perspective. With that being said, let’s see the ingredients for the first salad.
- Mustard Greens [No Stems]
- Carrots [Peeled]
- Sweet Potatoes [Peeled]
- Apples [Peeled, No Seeds]
I chose mustard greens for this first salad recipe because they’re really easy to find and prepare. Carrots are great for bearded dragons as well if fed from time to time and in limited portion.
Carrots will also provide your lizard with beta carotene, which is a supplement to Vitamin A. It pretty much has the same effect as Vitamin A, but is way hard for them to overdose on beta carotene than it is on Vitamin A.
Sweet potatoes is a great source of Vitamin C and Potassium, while apples are a great source of antioxidants and will help your dragon poop regularly. Now it’s time for you to follow the steps mentioned above and start preparing this salad for your bearded dragon.
Salad Recipe #2
The Bearded Dragon Salad Recipe #2 is stolen from Elle, from Elle’s Reptiles. This is what her picky bearded dragon Zsazs eats and she seems to enjoy it every time.
- Mustard Greens
- Collard Greens
- Turnip Greens
- Butternut Squash [Peeled, On Top Only]
- Strawberries or Grapes [On Top Only]
In some areas, you can actually find all the greens needed for this salad in one single bag, which can save you some time if you don’t feel like shopping.
Optionally, you can add some strawberries or grapes on top just to add a little bit of color. Remember that while strawberry seeds pose no treat in bearded dragons if eaten, grape seeds are a bit too big for bearded dragons and should be removed.
Salad Recipe #3
The source of inspiration for this third bearded dragon salad recipe is the lovely lady from LizardGuru, who seems to be a lifetime reptile lover and caretaker. Let’s see the recipe.
- Collard Greens
- Radicchio [On The Top]
- Sprouted Lentils [2 to 3 Times a Week]
- Edible, Colorful Flowers [Mainly As a Treat]
- Blueberries, Strawberries [On Top, As a Treat Limited Portion]
Remember that sprouted lentils shouldn’t be fed every day because it has protein, but you can safely feed it every other day.
The radicchio will provide your salad with a little bit of color, which in most cases will seem exciting and promising in the eyes of a bearded dragon. Same can be told about edible flowers.
Salad Recipe #4
It’s time to add some live food to a nice-looking, full of nutrients bearded dragon salad. Remember that you can play around with greens to come up with salads your dragon love, so don’t be afraid to do so. Just make sure to do your research and ensure you’re only feeding foods that are safe for bearded dragons.
- Mustard Greens
- Acorn Squash
- Phoenix Worms [On Top]
- Blueberries, Mango [On Top, Mainly As a Treat]
Adding bugs over the top of your dragon’s salad is a great tip to entice picky dragons to eat their greens. Generally, bugs will move around, which is something that entices bearded dragons to eat.
Salad Recipe #5
This is a more complex recipe, but it is definitely healthy and very beneficial to bearded dragons. Here we go.
- Turnip Greens
- Collard Greens
- Butternut Squash [Peeled]
- Yellow Squash [Peeled]
- Mixable Noodles
- Red Bell Pepper [Very Little]
This is a highly nutritious salad but since there are more than enough ingredients you should keep an eye on the size of the salad itself and make sure you don’t overfeed your dragon.
4 Reasons Bearded Dragons Won’t Eat Their Salad
Boring Salad: It may just be that they’re not interested in the salad you’re offering to them. If that’s the case, you may wanna add some small pieces of fruit such as strawberries to entice them to eat their salad.
They’re Not Familiar With It: In some situations, a dragon may just say no to a highly nutritious salad just because it wasn’t introduced to them back when they were babies.
Not Offering Salad First: If you’ve already feed them on a bunch on bugs or other insects, your dragon may just be full and therefore, show no interest in the salad.
Illness: If none of the above applies to your dragon, consider that he may be sick, in which case you’d want to closely observe its behavior and take him to a vet if he continues to find no interest whatsoever in eating.
I really hope you found today’s post helpful or at least gave you some ideas on how to use different ingredients to come up with the best recipes for your bearded dragon.