Since bearded dragons are omnivores, they can eat insects and vegetables. In fact, it is recommended that vegetables should constitute 70% of an adult bearded dragon diet.   However, it does not mean that all vegetables are good for bearded dragons.

So what do you think about lettuce? “Can bearded dragon eat Lettuce” or “should bearded dragons eat Lettuce?” Let’s have a look………

Can bearded dragons eat lettuce?

Yes, by nature, bearded dragons like variations in the diet and quickly get bored of the diet if you feed them the same diet daily. So they can definitely eat lettuce like many other vegetables. However, it has certain limitations that must be considered while feeding lettuce to your bearded dragon.

Due to certain reasons, lettuce is not considered a preferred choice when considering feeding vegetables to beardies. Therefore experts advise that lettuce should not be part of a regular beardie’s diet and should not be fed often. Feeding Lettuce occasionally and in small amounts is safe for bearded dragons.

Nutritional Aspects/Benefits  Of Lettuce

Before discussing how good or bad lettuce is for bearded dragons, let’s have a quick look at its nutritional profile.

NutrientsAmountUnit
Water95.64g
Fiber1.2g
Protein0.9g
Calcium18mg
Phosphorus18mg
Vitamin K24.1µg
Vitamin C2.8µg
Vitamin A25µg
Sugar1.97g
Ca:P1:1
Energy14kcal

It’s evident from the above table that lettuce has large water contents, low calories, and a sufficient amount of other nutrients (e.g., calcium and phosphorus) and vitamins (like vitamins A, K, and C.). Although, at first glance, it looks good, when we compare the concentration of nutrients in relation to water contents, it’s negligible. The first plus point of lettuce is its high water contents that provide necessary hydration (because naturally, bearded dragons don’t like to drink from stagnant water and fulfill their body’s requirements from the water present in the feed). And the Second plus point is the 1:1 calcium-phosphorus ratio that works best for bearded dragons.

Why Bearded Dragons Should Not Eat Lettuce Often?

While looking at the nutritional profile of lettuce given above, you may wonder if it has many essential nutrients and vitamins; why is it advised not to feed it to bearded dragons often? This is so because, although lettuce has some useful nutrients, their quantity is very low, and a large amount of water further dilutes the nutrients. While bearded dragons have small stomachs and can’t eat in large quantities, so they need a nutrient dense diet that can fulfill their body requirements.

In addition, since bearded dragons come from dry deserts (where water is rare), so they have evolved to extract the maximum amount of water from their feed to get sufficient hydration. So if you feed them a vegetable rich in water, high water intake can lead to digestive disturbances like flatulence, abdominal pain, diarrhea, etc. Although these symptoms may disappear on their own after a while, however, feeding them lettuce too often or in large quantities will adversely affect the health of your bearded friend.

Alternative To Lettuce

As mentioned above, although lettuce contains essential nutrients, it is not a recommended vegetable to feed bearded dragons in routine due to its high water content. So we have many better alternatives of lettuce that you can feed to your bearded friend without hesitation. However, never forget to alternate between the vegetables to avoid the boredom of eating same diet.

  • Kale
  • Bok Choy
  • Yellow Squash
  • Bell Peppers
  • Carrots
  • Acorn Squash
  • Peeled Cucumbers
  • Spinach
  • Spaghetti Squash
  • Collard Greens
  • Pumpkin
  • Okra
  • Mustard Greens
  • Butternut Squash
  • Zucchini

Conclusion

Bearded dragons are omnivores by nature and equally like to eat insects and vegetables. The recommended insects to vegetable ratio for adult beardies are 30:70. Lettuce is usually not considered a good vegetable to feed to bearded dragons due to its low nutritional contents and higher water contents. Many better alternatives to lettuce are available that you can feed your bearded dragon as a plant source diet. However, it’s perfectly safe to feed lettuce to your bearded friend occasionally and in small quantities.