August 31, 2020

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots?

Risks & Benefits

Veterinarian Dr. Edele Grey, DVM
Published by Daniel Ramirez

Vet Approved

It's the age-old issue. Can we feed human food to our pets? In many cases, the answer is yes. Some of the foods we eat are packed with nutrients that are great for your pets.

While the answer may often be yes, it can be hard to really know what is and isn't great to feed our pets. In looking for a natural food option, you may wonder if carrots are a good food to give to your bearded dragon.

Let's look at the potential health benefits of feeding carrots to your bearded dragon.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat carrots. When fed in moderation, the vegetable itself and the carrot tops are healthy treats containing vitamins A, B₆, C, and K, as well as potassium and calcium. Still, follow our feeding guidelines to avoid hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity), which may cause bearded dragons problems with their liver function.

It's important to be careful when feeding carrots to your lizard friend. This is because the main body of carrots is high in Vitamin A.  "Carrots are high in vitamin A which is toxic to bearded dragons in high doses, so these treats should only be given occasionally.", says veterinarian surgeon Dr. Edele Grey.

Even with that being said, carrots are packed with great nutrients for your bearded dragon. That includes the green tops of the carrots. In fact, the green tops of carrots are especially good for your bearded dragon to eat.

So yes, bearded dragons can have carrots - but how much and how often, that is another thing. We'll get to that in a minute.

Health Benefits: Are Carrots Good for Bearded Dragons?

When feeding carrots to your bearded dragon, you will want to give them the green tops. These are the best parts of the carrot that you can feed them.

Although, what exactly makes them so healthy?

This is because they are rich in a variety of nutrients like vitamins A, B6, C, K, potassium, and calcium. Let's break each of these down to see how they can help your pet.

Vitamin A

Vitamin A is an excellent nutrient for your bearded dragon. However, you should be careful if you are feeding Vitamin A supplements to your pet – we will go over more about this later.

Vitamin A is essential for skin health, vision, and immune system support.
- Dr. Edele Grey, DVM

Vitamin A can provide a variety of health benefits. For starters, it can help with kidney, lung, heart, and immune system health. It can also help support your beardie's vision.

Vitamin B6

This nutrient is another great addition to your bearded dragon's diet. It will help improve the quality of your pet's skin and overall health. You may even notice a shinier color in their skin as well.

carrots

Vitamin C

It will help your lizard friend's body to heal. It will even help them to grow bigger and stronger.

Vitamin C will also help to boost your bearded dragon's immune system. It will help keep them from getting sick and keep them safe from illness. It's another way you can ensure the health of your bearded dragon.

Vitamin K

Vitamin K is a very important nutrient that your bearded dragon should be getting. It helps the body to absorb calcium. That is one of the most important nutrients for your lizard friend.

Potassium

Potassium helps your bearded dragon's muscles to grow strong. This is important because you want them to have an easy time climbing wherever they feel the need to climb.

Calcium

You may be wondering why calcium is the most important nutrient for your beardie. This is because it helps to aid in bone growth. Bearded dragons are prone to developing Metabolic Bone Disease that can come about from low calcium.

This makes it all the more important to put Vitamin K in their diet. You want your bearded dragon to be able to get the calcium they need to stay healthy. Keeping their bones healthy and keeping them happy.

Beta - Carotene

This nutrient is found in the carrot body itself. It is an antioxidant found in carrots that ends up turning into Vitamin A. It will help support the overall growth of your bearded dragon.

Fiber

It is another key nutrient found in the body of the carrots. It will help keep your pet's digestive tract in tip-top shape and help it better absorb the nutrients from the food you give your pet.

You may also like: Do Bearded Dragons Drink Water?

Health Risks: Are Carrots Bad for Bearded Dragons?

We have established that carrots are a great source of nutrients for your bearded dragon. However, you want to be careful of a few things before you decide to add this to their diet.

Be Careful with Vitamin A

While Vitamin A is a great nutrient to help keep your bearded dragon healthy, it can be pretty toxic to your lizard in large amounts. It's a good idea to take some precautions.

One of those is to avoid feeding carrots to your bearded dragon if you are already giving them Vitamin A supplements. It could cause Vitamin A to be toxic, and instead of helping your pet, it will harm it.

Hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity) in bearded dragons is usually caused by over-supplementation with synthetic products. This occurs because hypovitaminosis A (too little vitamin A) is also a relatively common disorder in reptiles.
- Dr. Edele Grey, DVM

Not Enough Calcium

While carrots do contain some calcium, there isn't a lot of it contained within the carrot. Since calcium is an important nutrient for your bearded dragon to take in, it's best to find other sources of calcium.

As mentioned before, Metabolic Bone Disease is a serious danger for your bearded dragon. Calcium is a nutrient that you should be putting in your pet's diet, so be sure to find ways outside of carrots to supply that calcium they need.

When looking to give your bearded dragon carrots, it's important to remember serving size and how easy it will be for them to eat. Next, let's take a look at the best way to feed carrots to your bearded dragon.

Feeding Guidelines - Carrots for Bearded Dragons

A bearded dragon would have a hard time trying to eat a carrot whole or in large chunks. It's best to know the serving size so that you can make sure your pet is getting all he needs in his diet.

Grate It with A Cheese Grater

It is the best way to feed a carrot to your bearded dragon. It makes the carrot easier and safer for them to eat. Large chunks may pose choking hazards since beardies swallow their food whole, without chewing.

Remember, that beardies don't chew their food but swallow it whole, so never offer chunks which could pose a choking hazard.
- Dr. Edele Grey, DVM

It will also help you be able to portion out the carrot well enough. You want to make sure you are giving them just the right amount, and this is a good way to control it. You should just give a few strands/strips at a time and save these for an extra special treat.

Cut into Thin Strips

This goes along the same lines as the grater method. It helps gives you better control over how much you feed your bearded dragon, and it also makes it easier for them to eat and digest.

It's important to remember that too much of a good thing is not a good thing. Giving your bearded dragon carrots in moderation is a good idea. This is because the nutrients in the carrots in large amounts could cause problems for your pet.

Also Read: How Long Can Bearded Dragons Go Without Eating? A Vet Explains

Nutrition Facts

It's important to remember that while carrots provide a lot of nutrients for your bearded dragon, it should only make up a small fraction of their diet. This is because you don't want to overload their system with nutrients.

Along with the vitamins and nutrients listed above, carrots can help keep your bearded dragon happy and healthy. Yet, you want to make sure that they aren't getting too much of some nutrients.

Carrots can help your bearded dragon maintain a healthy body and skin. It can help keep their muscles and bones healthy as well.

Bottom line: Can Bearded Dragons Have Carrots?

To sum it all up, carrots are a great way to provide vitamins and nutrients to your bearded dragon. You can help to ensure a healthful and balanced diet to keep them happy and healthy.

It's important to remember to feed them carrots in moderation. You don't want to overload their system with vitamin A. Because carrots are high in vitamin A, don't feed them too much. It's also a good idea to only feed them the green tops.

As the proud owner of a bearded dragon, you want to make sure they are getting the best that you can give.

FAQ

Can bearded dragons eat carrot tops?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat carrot tops. Actually, the tops are healthier for your beardie because the vegetable itself contains more Vitamin A, which is toxic to your beardie in large doses. Carrots and their tops both contain a significant amount of Vitamin A and should only be fed in moderation and as a part of a variety of leafy greens to keep your pet healthy.

Vet's Comment

Hypervitaminosis A (vitamin A toxicity) in bearded dragons is usually caused by over-supplementation with synthetic products. This occurs because hypovitaminosis A (too little vitamin A) is also a relatively common disorder in reptiles.

Vitamin A is essential for skin health, vision, and immune system support. It's no surprise then that too much vitamin A tends to present as skin problems such as dry and flaky skin, open sores, poor wound healing, or difficulty with shedding.

Vitamin A is also stored in the liver, so too much can cause problems with your beardie's liver function too. As vitamin A toxicity has no specific treatment (your vet can only provide supportive therapy), you should aim to prevent the problem by feeding a well-balanced diet.

- Dr. Edele Grey, DVM

Dr. Edele Grey Veterinary Surgeon

Vet-Approved by
Dr. Edele Grey
DVM

Edele Grey, BSc, MVB, PGCertESM, MRCVS was born and raised in Ireland on a farm, so she was destined for veterinary-related work from a young age. Dr. Grey attended the only veterinary university in Ireland, the University College Dublin, and graduated in 2013. Since graduation, Dr. Grey has worked with a range of exotic, companion, and production animal species.

NOTE: Advice provided within this article by FeedingMyPet.com is not a substitute for veterinary advice. Please discuss your bearded dragon's specific dietary needs (based on his weight, age, and health status) with a veterinarian.

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