It’s vital to know what kind of foods to feed your pet so it stays its healthiest. If you have a bearded dragon as a pet, you already know they are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animal-based foods. So, you’ve probably tried out a number of veggies for them to eat. But have you tried green beans yet?
Green beans are a popular diet staple for humans (and for good reason, as they are tasty and can be prepared in various ways). But can bearded dragons eat green beans? Yes! Bearded dragons can eat this bean—and will likely be a big fan of them. However, although green beans offer your pet some nutritional benefits, this food shouldn’t be an everyday part of your bearded dragon’s diet. And you’ll need to know how to properly prepare green beans for your little friend.
Here’s what you should know when it comes to feeding green beans to your bearded dragon.
Are Green Beans Nutritious for Bearded Dragons?
Green beans provide your bearded dragon with a host of vitamins and nutrients they need to stay healthy. These include:
All of that sounds pretty great, right? So why is it not a good idea to give your bearded dragon green beans daily? It’s because of the number of oxalates found in green beans. Oxalates interfere with the absorption of calcium, so if your bearded dragon is eating too many foods containing oxalates and not receiving enough calcium, it runs the risk of getting metabolic bone disease (MBD).
MBD is a disease that can cause your pet’s bones to become very fragile, resulting in them breaking more easily. It can also cause muscle issues; over time, your bearded dragon could become paralyzed and very weak. In some cases, the condition is fatal.
How Should Green Beans Be Prepared for My Bearded Dragon?
So, now you know that green beans can provide some nutrients and vitamins your pet needs (with the caveat that you shouldn’t feed them to your bearded dragon each day). But how should you prepare green beans for your pet? Should you feed them to your bearded dragon raw or cooked? Should you use fresh green beans, frozen, or canned ones?
Though bearded dragons can eat raw or cooked green beans, it’s advisable to only feed them raw as cooking can cause the nutrients and vitamins to be lost. But if you want to cook the green beans before feeding them to your bearded dragon, it’s important not to use any kind of spice or cooking oil. You want green beans and only green beans. Why is that? Because spices and other ingredients can run the risk of making your pet ill, as certain ingredients can cause stomach upset in bearded dragons. (Although there are some that aren’t harmful that you could add to make things interesting if you’re so inclined!)
So, raw green beans are better than cooked, but do they need to be fresh? Are canned or frozen green beans acceptable? Fresh is always best, but frozen green beans can do in a pinch, provided they have no added ingredients or spices and haven’t had pesticides used on them (aim for organic if you’re able). But canned green beans are a no-no when it comes to bearded dragons, as canned veggies contain preservatives that could cause your pet to become ill.
Green beans—in raw, fresh, or frozen form—can be an occasional excellent addition to your bearded dragon’s diet as they provide several key nutrients and vitamins your pet requires. However, you don’t want to feed them to your bearded dragon too often, as green beans are high in oxalates, which mess with the body’s ability to absorb calcium. This disruption to calcium absorption could lead to metabolic bone disease (something you definitely want to avoid!). You will also want to avoid canned green beans as their preservatives could cause your pet to become ill. But, as a nice treat every once in a while, you’ll likely find your bearded dragon will enjoy green beans immensely!
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