Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots?
In this post we learn that bearded dragons can eat carrot, but that they shouldn’t have it too often and why
Posted: February 22nd, 2022
Table of Contents
Yes, bearded dragons can eat carrots on a semi-regular basis. Indeed, some carrots, ideally grated, are good for bearded dragons in moderation as they provide fibre, vitamin A and some moisture for hydration. But they should only be given as part of a balanced diet, as they don’t really contain enough calcium to be given as a staple item. The ratio of calcium to phosphorous is also almost 1:1 and phosphorous inhibits the absorption of calcium in the gut, meaning your bearded dragon gets less than it needs and potentially ending up with Metabolic Bone Disease.
Although we’ve said that carrots are good for bearded dragons because of their Vitamin A content – they actually have a LOT of Vitamin A, too much of which can lead to Hypervitaminosis A which is painful and dangerous. This is unlikely from just feeding carrots to your bearded dragon, but if you’re giving your bearded dragon regular supplements that include multi-vitamins then it becomes more likely.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrot Tops?
Carrot tops are the green leafy part of the carrot that is usually cut away when humans prepare a dish for themselves, but bearded dragons can eat carrot tops as part of their vegetable diet. The Vitamin A content of the carrot tops is likely to be significantly less than that of the carrot itself, since it’s the Beta-Carotene which is converted into Vitamin A, and it’s Beta-Carotene which gives the carrots their orange colour.
Having said that, we can’t find any nutritional data for just the carrot tops, so it’s difficult to ascertain whether there’s any benefit to giving bearded dragons carrot tops to eat. Some sites do claim that carrot tops are high in oxalates – which seems a reasonable assumption, but is only that from the data we can (or indeed, can’t) find.
For that reason we’d suggest only giving carrot tops occasionally, such as once a month or so.
Advantages Of Carrot For Bearded Dragons
Disadvantages Of Carrots For Bearded Dragons
How To Feed Carrots To A Bearded Dragon
Carrots can be fed raw to bearded dragons, or they can be cooked. Carrots should be properly washed – just as you would if you were going to eat them yourself.
Raw carrots should be grated using a cheese grater rather than chopped or sliced, as they are quite hard and bearded dragons aren’t known for their ability to chew food properly before swallowing it. Hard vegetables can present more of a choking hazard. Grated carrot reduces this risk significantly.
Then the carrots can be added to your bearded dragons salad dish to add some extra colour and flavour.
How Much Carrot To Feed A Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons can have carrots as part of their salad diet once or twice a week. As we’ve mentioned above, the calcium levels for carrots aren’t that great, the risk of accidental Vitamin A overdose is not zero and the phosphorous to calcium ratio is such that there’s almost no benefit to the calcium they do contain.
They do contain plenty of fibre which helps your bearded dragon digest insect shells better, and they have a decent amount of water for hydration in them, so carrots are definitely a good semi-regular vegetable for bearded dragons.
Nutritional Data For Carrots For Bearded Dragons
|Water Content (%)||88.3|
|Dietary Fibre (%)||2.8|
|Calcium (mg/100g)||33 (0.033%)|
|Potassium (mg/100g)||320 (0.320%)|
|Phosphorous (mg/100g)||35 (0.035%)|
|Vitamin A (ug/100g)||835|
|Vitamin C (ug/100g)||5.9|
Can I Grow My Own Carrots?
Carrot seeds are readily available from Amazon in the US, UK and Canada. Do bear in mind when ordering that you should only order from your own country as some countries have very strict rules about seeds being sent from overseas.
The Royal Horticultural Society has expert advice in an easy to read format about how to grow your own carrots from seed. They state that carrots are straight forward to grow and indeed, schoolkids often grow carrots as little science projects so it’s fair to assume they probably are relatively easy to look after.
So, can bearded dragons eat carrots and are carrots for bearded dragons OK? The answer is yes, carrot is OK for bearded dragons but they shouldn’t have too much. They can be fed semi-regularly, although should form part of a balanced diet so mixed with other vegetables too.
Carrots can also make an excellent gutloading vegetable for the insects you might feed your bearded dragon. This helps keep your feeder insects hydrated and juicy for when they’re fed to your bearded dragon and can help keep them alive for a lot longer than just using the cereal based substrate the insects usually come with.
Carrots provide a good variation of colour and texture when combined with leafy greens – but on its own doesn’t provide a huge amount of calcium – which coupled with the phosphate content reducing calcium uptake meaning carrots for bearded dragons should be dusted with calcium supplement regularly. But do beware of using multi-vitamin dusting powders with carrots – you may inadvertently overload them on Vitamin A.
For more information on other vegetables that Bearded Dragons can eat, please see our larger overview post at ‘What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?’