Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning they love bugs and a nice side of greens. This can lead you to wonder what types of greens are acceptable. For instance, can they eat wheatgrass, AKA the fresh green sprouts of the wheat plant? The answer, in short, is yes, but it is best served as an occasional source of enrichment or a tasty treat.
All About Wheatgrass
Wheatgrass is the immature shoot of the wheat plant, but it is not easily digested by a bearded dragon, and in large amounts can cause a dragon to become impacted. Therefore, it is important to only feed this to your pet beardie occasionally.
According to the USDA, wheatgrass has a lot of beneficial stuff in it. Read on for the exact nutritional facts.
Wheatgrass is a good source of dietary fiber, calcium, protein, and other valuable nutrients, but it ultimately doesn’t have a lot of nutrition that a bearded dragon can access. Therefore it should not make up a regular part of a bearded dragon’s diet.
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? A Brief Dietary Guide
Bearded dragons are omnivores meaning they eat both live invertebrates and leafy greens, herbs, and other veggies. A juvenile bearded dragon’s diet should be more proteinaceous than an adult’s and should consist of as much as 50-80% insects with just 20-50% plant matter. An adult beardie needs less protein in their diet, so they’ll eat a mix closer to 40% live food and 60% greens and plant matter.
It is critical that your bearded dragon gets enough sunlight and UVB supplementary lighting. Sunlight contains visible light and UV light (includes UVA and UVB). UVA is needed for bearded dragons to see in color and UVB is needed to synthesize vitamin D in the skin which they need for calcium storage and uptake. Calcium is key for your bearded dragon’s bone development, growth, and overall bone health. Without it, your beardie can suffer bone deformation, stunted growth, and reduced activity. Importantly, UVB is filtered out through glass so bearded dragons need a reptile UVB lamp within their vivarium.
Calcium and Phosphorous; the importance of the correct ratio
It is vitally important that bearded dragon’s get the correct ratio of calcium to phosphorus in their diets. This diet should be high in calcium and low in phosphorus. A poor diet will have a low phosphorus:calcium ratio and can lead to one of the most common diseases of pet reptiles; metabolic bone disease. Metabolic bone disease causes Bearded Dragons to become lethargic, often with swollen joints and in the worst cases, soft, bent or broken bones.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Grass?
The blunt answer to this question is that a few bites of grass here and there is not going to cause significant harm to your bearded dragon. However, you should avoid feeding it to your beardie because they cannot digest it and because it gives no nutritional value. So, in the end, it’s not a big deal if your beardie eats grass, but you shouldn’t go out of your way to feed it to them either.
You might point out that bearded dragons must eat some grass out in the wild, and that’s true! The catch is that bearded dragons are generally native to drier climates where the grass is dry and unappealing compared to the lush, green grass in our gardens, so if they do occasionally eat it, they will only do so in small amounts.
What Plants Should Bearded Dragons Eat?
Grass and wheatgrass don’t do a lot for bearded dragons, so it’s only natural you’d wonder what sort of green stuff they are supposed to eat. Let’s break down some of the best green stuff to feed your beardie and some of the nutrients they have to offer.
You can feed these staples to your bearded dragon daily, and we recommend rotating them to maintain variety in their diet—bearded dragons enjoy variety too! But don’t forget a nice portion of calcium dusted crickets or Dubia roaches to balance out the meal.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Herbs?
Yes, and bearded dragons love herbs. They offer unique flavors, scents, and even some trace nutrients too. While herbs shouldn’t be a large part of your beardie’s Diet, it’s safe to offer them a small amount once in a while as a treat. Another option is to plant herbs in your bearded dragon’s habitat where they can graze at will. Either way, let’s check out some of the best herbs you can choose as a nice little snack for your beardie buddy.
Bearded dragons are omnivores that eat lots of bugs and plants. Wheatgrass is a perfectly acceptable treat to nibble on once in a while but doesn’t offer a lot of nutrition. Therefore it shouldn’t be a substitute for a good variety of healthy greens like dandelion greens or turnip greens.