Yes, your bearded dragon can eat chard. We recommend that you do it sparingly as a diet full of chard would be lacking certain nutritional benefits for your bearded dragon. Additionally, chard contains goitrogens which can lead to health issues in too high of doses. Hyperthyroidism to be exact.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous so they need different food groups in their diet. Bearded dragons need vegetables, but not just any vegetable will do. It’s best that your bearded dragon eat vegetables high in fiber because these can contribute to a healthy digestive tract for your pet lizard. Check out the list of vegetables for bearded dragons.
What Is Chard?
Chard is a leafy vegetable that’s rich in Vitamins A, C, and K. It also has fiber, protein, iron, magnesium, potassium, thiamine (B1), riboflavin (B2), calcium, phosphorus and manganese.
How Do I Prepare Chard for My Bearded Dragon?
You can serve chard to your bearded dragon raw or cooked. If you decide to cook the chard make sure you remove the stems because these are too tough for bearded dragons to eat. You may also want to cut up the chard into small pieces as this will make it easier on your pet lizard’s stomach. Also, make sure not to overcook the chard as doing so can destroy important nutrients your bearded dragon needs.
How much Chard can my Bearded Dragon eat?
It’s okay to feed your bearded dragon chard once a week as long as you follow the guidelines. You can feed them no more than 1 cup of chard per 25 lbs. of your bearded dragon’s weight.
Valuable Nutrients in Chard
There are several valuable nutrients in chard that are perfect for your bearded dragon’s diet. Many of these nutrients are ones that aren’t normally found in other foods. Some of these include:
- Copper: To help with the immune system, blood production and bone growth
- Iron: Needed for healthy red blood cell production as well as brain function
- Potassium: serves important functions within the body by controlling heart rate, nerve signals, and hydration levels throughout the body
Bearded dragons can eat chard if given sparingly or occasionally to provide their diet with an added boost of nutrition. It’s best to feed them cooked chard so they don’t accidentally eat the stems which don’t provide any nutritional value at all.
Vegetable List for Bearded Dragons
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Zucchini
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mushrooms
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Alfalfa Sprouts
Benefits of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Chard
There are many reasons to feed your bearded dragon chard. Chard is an excellent source of nutrition, especially if you’re breeding your pet lizard. Breeding beardies require lots of vitamins and nutrients in order to give birth to healthy baby lizards.
Here’s a list of some other benefits associated with feeding chard to your bearded dragon:
- It’s a very rich source of fiber that can contribute to a healthy digestive tract.
- Can help regulate blood sugar and cholesterol levels, assisting beardies with having normal glucose and lipid metabolism.
- Provides vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin A, C, K, B1 (thiamine), B2 (riboflavin), and iron.
- Contains magnesium which is important for maintaining the strength of bones and teeth
- Adds variety to your bearded dragon’s diet by giving them something new to eat each week.
Chard doesn’t have many negative side effects unless too much is eaten in one sitting or if it’s fed on a daily basis over an extended period of time. could lead to potential issues such
Risks of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Chard
There don’t appear to be many risks associated with feeding chard to your bearded dragon as long as it is fed in moderation.
One risk is that if you feed your pet lizard too much, they may suffer from loose stool as a result of the high fiber content.
You should also avoid giving your bearded dragon chard if they have any sort of thyroid issues such as hyperthyroidism. Chard contains goitrogens which can affect the production and release of thyroid hormones if fed on a daily basis over an extended period of time (more than 1 week). This can lead to potential health issues for your bearded dragon such as:
- Muscle tremors
- Enlarged heart
- Increased breathing rate and irregular heartbeat
Chard also contains oxalates which may cause health issues for bearded dragons if eaten in high amounts. If you feed your pet lizard chard on a daily basis over an extended period of time it may lead to:
- Kidney stones and crystals
- Liver damage
- Calcium deficiencies which can impact the strength of bones and teeth as well as the overall skeletal system
Oxalates also inhibit calcium absorption, adding more pressure on the kidneys to process all of this calcium. This could potentially lead to kidney failure. Therefore, make sure not to feed chard too often or in large quantities – doing so is very dangerous for your bearded dragon’s health.
Alternative Foods for Bearded Dragons
Instead of feeding chard to your bearded dragon, consider these alternative foods that are just as nutritious. Just like with chard, you should avoid feeding these foods on a daily basis or in large quantities because it could lead to potential health issues for your pet lizard:
- Cucumbers: Low-calorie food rich in vitamins and minerals such as vitamin K, vitamin A, potassium, magnesium, manganese and phosphorus
- Sweet potatoes: Healthy root vegetable containing lots of Vitamin A which is needed for good vision. Contains antioxidants known as carotenoids that promote healthy skin
- Yams: Good source of fiber that helps regulate blood sugar levels
- Peas: Rich source of protein that’s low-calorie. Also contains Vitamin K, A and B-complex vitamins
- Squash: Rich source of Vitamin C and fiber
- Cauliflower: Low-calorie food that’s high in fiber and contains antioxidants called carotenoids which promote healthy skin. Good choice to substitute chard as long as it is fed in moderation.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chard? – The Conclusion
Bearded dragons can eat chard but you should avoid feeding them chard on a daily basis or over an extended period of time. Not only could this lead to dangerous health issues for your pet lizard but there are also other alternatives out there that are just as nutritious. Be sure to limit the amount of chard you feed your bearded dragon if any at all.