Before feeding your bearded dragon watercress, wash it to remove pesticides and herbicides.
Keep watercress fresh to avoid it becoming mushy. Dust watercress with calcium supplement to ensure your bearded dragon gets enough calcium throughout the week.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watercress?
Yes, in moderation and when prepared properly, watercress can be part of a balanced diet for bearded dragons. Here’s what you need to know:
Nutrition – Watercress provides:
- Vitamin K: High levels that support blood clotting and bone health. Bearded dragons need vitamin K.
- Vitamin C: Watercress is a good source of vitamin C for bearded dragons.
- Fiber and minerals: Some fiber and trace amounts of minerals like calcium, magnesium and potassium.
- Thoroughly wash watercress to remove any pesticides, dirt or bacteria.
- Remove tough stems – Feed only the leaves and tender stems.
- Offer sparingly – Watercress is lower in calories and protein, so only 1-2 times per week as a supplement.
- Monitor weight – Limit amounts to avoid overweight issues.
- Pair with protein – Serve with insects or high protein greens to make a balanced meal.
- Introduce slowly – Watch beardie’s digestion after initial feedings for any issues.
- Goitrogenic concerns – Some experts advise avoiding watercress due to potentially harmful goitrogens, though limited research in beardies.
- Low calcium – Watercress is low in calcium so should be paired with leafy greens higher in this mineral.
In summary, small amounts of properly prepared watercress leaves can offer some vitamins, fiber and variety as an occasional snack for bearded dragons. But offer limited amounts, monitor weight gain closely and avoid if your beardie shows any issues digesting it. And pair with protein-rich insects and greens to make up for its lack of key nutrients.
Omnivorous bearded dragons eat both plants and animals. Leaves, fruits, insects, and small amounts of protein make up their diets.
They can eat spinach, kale, and other greens, but oxalates should be limited.
Oxalates can inhibit calcium absorption in bearded dragons, causing calcium deficiency and metabolic bone disease.
Watercress is safe for bearded dragons if you limit their intake and rotate with other greens. It contains vitamins A and C, calcium, and iron, and it is low in calories, making it ideal for weight loss or maintenance.
Nutritional Content of Watercress
Watercress is a cabbage family member like collard greens and spring greens. However, its leaves taste tangy and almost peppery.
Mustard, radish, and garden cress taste alike.
Due to its high oxalate content, bearded dragons should only occasionally eat watercress. Calcium absorption is hindered by oxalates.
To give beardies enough variety, their diets should be rotated. They can stick to a healthy diet by making a list and scheduling their meals.
Health Benefits and Risks of Watercress
Watercress provides fiber, vitamins, minerals, and calcium to bearded dragons. Oxalates may interfere with calcium absorption.
Because of this, it should only be given occasionally with other vegetables and fruits. So your bearded dragon gets the right nutrition every day, keep a detailed list of what you feed it.
Hardy and easy to grow, this weed-like vegetable. It thrives best in slightly alkaline water with full submersion. Before feeding it to your bearded dragon, wash it to remove any pesticide or herbicide residue.
Other Alternatives to Watercress
Watercress is not the only food bearded dragons like. Vegetables, fruits, and other items are included.
Your pet’s health and behavior depend on the food you feed them. Take their age and diet into account when choosing.
Watercress provides calcium for strong bones, Vitamin A and potassium for muscle movement, and nerve impulses for baby and juvenile beardies.
However, adult bearded dragons need more protein than calcium, so only feed them small amounts of watercress.
Conclusion about Eating Watercress
Watercress is a great green vegetable for your bearded dragon. It contains many vitamins and minerals and is low in calories.
Calcium, iron, vitamin A, C, and K are abundant in it. Due to oxalates that bind with calcium and prevent absorption, it should only be fed occasionally.
Your bearded dragon can eat watercress, but only a small amount. To meet their nutritional needs, give them lots of vegetables.