Yes, of course, bearded dragons love watercress. Bearded dragons are omnivorous reptiles with small amounts of protein and large amounts of leafy greens in their diet. Leaves such as kale, spinach and similar plants are their primary food source. They can also eat fruit and insects. Watercress is a nutritious plant that provides vitamins, minerals, amino acids and antioxidants to bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons love watercress and will happily spend many hours eating it. However, you should not overfeed your dragon on this food. Remember that they need high levels of hydration, so make sure you serve them with some water too.
Thus, you can use watercress as a special treat for your bearded dragon. As long as you do not overfeed it, he should be fine with it. Check out the vegetable list.
What Is Watercress?
Watercress is a green leafy plant with small flowers. It grows in the wild and can be found near rivers, marshes and ponds. Watercress has large amounts of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, potassium, calcium and iron. It also contains some omega 3 fatty acids and antioxidants that help your body fight against diseases and free radicals. This food source provides several key nutrients for bearded dragons; thus it’s recommended that you try it on them.
Watercress looks like a weed to humans but it actually belongs to the mustard family (Brassicaceae). It tastes rather peppery with an identified characteristic flavor due to its chemical components such as glucosinolates (mustard oils) and pungent oils, which are found abundantly in this plant.
What Are The Valuable Nutrients in Watercress?
Bearded dragons need a high amount of calcium and water in their diets. Thus, both nutrients can be found to some extent in watercress.
Vitamin A, mostly as beta-carotene and small amounts as Vitamin A itself, is another major nutrient found in this plant. Vitamin C is also present at a level that bearded dragons can absorb well.
Finally, the overall nutritional profile of watercress is good for beardies. It has large amounts of dietary fiber that help digestion and regulate bowel movements. This is especially important for insect-eating bearded dragons because they consume whole prey items such as insects and rodents which contain hair, bones and other indigestible parts. Dietary fiber allows reptiles to keep their digestive system in shape.
Vegetables Bearded Dragons Can Eat
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Red Peppers
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rose Petals
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rosemary
What Are The Benefits of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Watercress?
Watercress provides several key nutrients to bearded dragons. However, these benefits are slightly different depending on the age of your dragon.
For baby and juvenile beardies, watercress is a good source of calcium that will help them grow strong bones. It also contains beta-carotene that can be converted into Vitamin A for healthy eyesight and skin health. Finally, it has potassium which helps move muscles and nerves in your pet’s body.
For adult bearded dragons (over 12 months), watercress still offers some calcium to build their bones, but the essential nutrient is protein. Adult beardies don’t require much Vitamin A anymore; however, they need more protein than juvenile beardies do to support cell growth. Thus, watercress is a good source of protein and amino acids for these pets.
What Are The Other Advantages of Watercress?
Watercress does not contain many nutrients for humans but it has several benefits that are good for bearded dragons.
For example, watercress contains large amounts of indigestible fiber which is very helpful for digestion and bowel movements. It also contains antioxidants such as quercetin and kaempferol. These will help your pet fight against free radicals and prevent cellular damage.
Adding watercress to your bearded dragon’s diet will help him digest his food better, fight diseases and live longer. You can feed it as a treat or offer it as an ingredient for homemade bearded dragon food.
Watercress is not toxic especially if you limit its serving size.
What Are The Risks of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Watercress?
Although the risks of feeding watercress to bearded dragons are low, there are a few things you should be aware of.
First, large amounts of watercress may cause intestinal bloating in your pet which can lead to a decrease in appetite and other digestive problems. So, feed small servings at a time. You can also combine it with other foods that have high fiber such as collard greens to help digestion.
Second, humans often add salt ingredients while cooking watercress so keep this in mind when you offer it to your beardie. Adding too much extra salt will upset your pet’s electrolyte balance and affect his mineral storage capabilities.
Finally, wild-harvested watercress may contain pollutants from the soil or water it grew in. So, only feed your dragon organic, clean and pesticide-free watercress to avoid contamination.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watercress? – The Conclusion
Can bearded dragons eat watercress? The answer is yes. Watercress is safe to feed as a treat and provides several key nutrients such as calcium, Vitamin A, potassium and protein. However, make sure you only offer small servings of it because too much may cause bloating or digestive problems. Also, limit serving sizes if you are adding salt-based ingredients when cooking watercress.
Additionally, consider the risks of wild-harvested watercress before deciding whether your pet can have this plant or not.
Watercress offers many benefits to bearded dragons but also has some drawbacks that should be considered before feeding it.