Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach? Unmasking the Truth

Hey there, fellow bearded dragon enthusiasts! It’s Mike here. Today, we will delve into an exciting topic: Can bearded dragons eat spinach

Now, if you’ve owned a beardie for a while, you know their dietary needs are pretty specific. That’s why it’s crucial to get this right.

Bearded dragons, native to Australia’s arid regions, are omnivores. Their diet is a mix of plant and animal matter in the wild. In captivity, we strive to mimic this as closely as possible.

Bearded dragon food diet generally includes a good mix of insects, like crickets, mealworms, or roaches, and a variety of fruits and vegetables

Regarding vegetables, options can range from leafy greens like collard greens and kale to vegetables such as bell peppers, squash, and peas. 

For more info about veggies, check what vegetables can bearded dragons eat.

Each food item offers a different nutritional profile, and it’s essential to maintain a balance to keep your bearded dragon healthy.

Now, a common question is about spinach – a nutrient-rich leafy green. So, where does spinach fit into the diet of a bearded dragon? Let’s delve into that next.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach? The Basic Truth

Alright, let’s tackle the question: can bearded dragons eat spinach? The simple answer is yes. Spinach isn’t toxic to bearded dragons. However, whether it should be a regular part of their diet is a different story.

Like any other food, spinach has its benefits and drawbacks for our beardie buddies. Let’s lay them out in a clear, concise pros and cons for easier understanding:

Pros and Cons of Feeding Spinach to Bearded Dragons

  • Rich in Vitamin A, which supports healthy growth and development
  • Provides dietary fibre, aiding digestion
  • Adds variety to the diet, which is beneficial for their overall health and wellbeing
  • Readily available and easy to prepare
  • High in oxalates, which can bind to calcium and inhibit its absorption
  • Not as calcium-rich as other greens, which are important for bone health
  • Could potentially lead to health issues such as Metabolic Bone Disease if fed in excess due to the high oxalate content
  • It may not be as beneficial as other greens when compared nutritionally

As you can see, spinach isn’t a clear-cut choice. Given the high oxalate content, it can be part of their diet, but it shouldn’t make up a large part of it. As with most aspects of bearded dragon care, the key lies in balance and variety.

If you’re interested in learning more about the nutritional needs of bearded dragons, including the impact of oxalates on their health, I recommend checking out the comprehensive guide published by Reptifiles.

This resource provides valuable insights into a balanced and healthy diet for bearded dragons and the pros and cons of various food items, including spinach.

Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach?

You might be wondering: if bearded dragons can technically eat spinach, why do we advise against it? Well, it all comes down to how nutrients are absorbed in their bodies, particularly one crucial mineral – calcium.

Calcium is a crucial nutrient for bearded dragons. It’s needed for proper bone growth, muscle function, and overall health. Without enough calcium, bearded dragons risk developing a severe Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD) condition.

Bearded dragon displaying symptoms of Metabolic Bone Disease
A bearded dragon with Metabolic Bone Disease, a condition that can be caused by poor calcium absorption.
MBD weakens the bones, causing them to be brittle and prone to fractures. In severe cases, it can cause deformities and can even be life-threatening. It’s not a condition to take lightly, so ensuring our bearded dragons get enough calcium is vital.

Here’s where spinach enters the picture. Spinach is high in oxalates, a compound that binds with calcium. When a bearded dragon eats spinach, the oxalates latch onto the calcium, creating a complex that the body can’t break down easily. This prevents the bearded dragon from absorbing and utilizing the calcium effectively.

So, despite having eaten a calcium-rich food, our beardie can end up with a calcium deficiency if that food is spinach. 

Given these considerations, it’s crucial to regulate the spinach intake in their diet. But does that mean bearded dragons should completely avoid spinach? Let’s discuss that further.

For a deeper understanding of Metabolic Bone Disease and the role of calcium in a bearded dragon's diet, you can refer to this article from Veterinary Manual. Remember, knowledge is key in taking the best care of our bearded buddies.

Are Bearded Dragons Supposed to Have Spinach?

Spinach isn’t the devil, though. Used sparingly, it can add variety to your bearded dragon’s diet.

Remember, achieving a dietary balance is key – this principle applies to all bearded dragons, young and old. Speaking of young ones, let’s look at some special considerations when feeding baby bearded dragons.

Experts, like those at Reptiles Magazine, advocate a diverse diet for bearded dragons.

Special Considerations for Baby Bearded Dragons

Now, when it comes to baby bearded dragons, their nutritional needs differ slightly from adults.

The little ones need more protein to support their rapid growth. They should get most of their nutrition from insects, with vegetables making up a smaller part of their diet. So, where does spinach fit in this scenario?

Well, let me share a bit of my own experience. As a long-time bearded dragon owner, I’ve raised a few babies. They’re bundles of joy, but they sure do have their quirks, especially when it comes to feeding!

While baby bearded dragons can technically eat spinach, I generally recommend prioritizing other leafy greens. Babies are growing at a rapid pace, and their need for calcium is higher than adults. Given that spinach is high in oxalates, which can interfere with calcium absorption, it’s not the ideal choice.

I’ve always preferred to offer my baby beardies a mix of calcium-rich greens such as collard greens, dandelion leaves, and kale. I might occasionally add a bit of finely chopped spinach into the mix for variety, but it’s certainly not a mainstay.

Remember, balance and variety are key when it comes to feeding baby bearded dragons. While a small amount of spinach won’t hurt, it’s better to be cautious and stick to safer, more calcium-rich options as the staple greens.

Varieties of Spinach and their Impact on Bearded Dragons

Now, you might be thinking: “Mike, what about different types of spinach? Does it make a difference whether I feed my beardie baby spinach, fresh spinach, or spinach leaves?”

Good question! In terms of nutrition, these spinach varieties are quite similar. Whether it’s baby spinach, fresh mature spinach leaves, or even canned spinach (though I’d always recommend fresh over canned), the main issue remains the same – the high oxalate content.

From my experience, I’ve noticed that my beardies have preferred fresh spinach leaves. But again, due to the oxalate content, I make sure to offer it sparingly and mix it up with other greens for a balanced diet.

Variety of spinach types for bearded dragons: baby spinach, fresh spinach, spinach leaves
A variety of spinach types can be fed in moderation to bearded dragons.

As for mixes with other greens – yes, you got it right. Pairing spinach with arugula, spring mix, kale, rocket, or watercress won’t magically decrease its oxalate content.

However, these mixes do add nutritional diversity to your beardie’s diet, and that’s always a plus!

For instance, while I might give my bearded dragon a mix of kale and spinach, the ratio always leans more heavily towards kale. This way, they get to enjoy a variety of flavors without the risk of overdoing it on the spinach.


Remember, diet balance and variety are key, not just in the types of spinach, but in all their greens. With that in mind, you might be wondering about other leafy vegetables. For instance, is kale a better choice for bearded dragons than spinach?

Is Kale or Spinach Better for Bearded Dragons?

If you’re wondering whether to feed your beardie spinach or kale, consider this: while kale also contains oxalates, it has less than spinach and a better calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. So kale is generally a better choice.

Bearded dragon munching on kale
A bearded dragon enjoying a meal of kale.

How Often To Offer Spinach?

Given all this information, how often can bearded dragons eat spinach? Think of it as an occasional treat, not a staple. Maybe once every two weeks or so, mixed with other veggies.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat spinach. However, due to its high oxalate content, which can inhibit calcium absorption, it’s best to feed spinach to your bearded dragon sparingly.Bearded dragon happily eating spinach

How Often Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Spinach?

Given the high oxalate content in spinach, it should not form a significant part of your bearded dragon’s diet. Instead, consider it an occasional treat. Perhaps once every two weeks or so, and always mixed with other veggies.

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach?

While baby bearded dragons can technically eat spinach, it’s better to prioritize other leafy greens in their diet due to their higher need for calcium and the oxalate content in spinach.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Different Types of Spinach (e.g., Baby Spinach, Fresh Spinach, Spinach Leaves)?

The nutritional content of baby spinach, fresh spinach, and spinach leaves is similar. All types have a high oxalate content, which can hinder calcium absorption. Therefore, no matter what type of spinach you feed your bearded dragon, it should always be in moderation.

Is Kale a Better Choice for Bearded Dragons than Spinach?

While kale also contains oxalates, it has less than spinach and offers a better calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. So, kale is generally a better choice.

What Are Some Other Vegetables That Bearded Dragons Can Eat?

Bearded dragons can eat a variety of vegetables, including but not limited to bell peppers, squash, peas, collard greens, and kale. However, each of these should be introduced in moderation and as part of a varied diet.

Conclusion On Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach

As we wrap up this deep dive into the relationship between bearded dragons and spinach, it becomes clear that while our little friends can technically eat spinach, it might not be the best mainstay in their diet due to its high oxalate content.

Sure, a bit of spinach now and then can add some welcomed variety to their diet, but it’s essential to counterbalance it with other calcium-rich vegetables and greens. 

When it comes to baby bearded dragons, their diet should be focused heavily on protein and calcium-rich greens, and spinach should only play a minimal role.

I find it fascinating to observe the variety in spinach types – baby spinach, fresh spinach, spinach leaves – all with the same considerations for our beardies. 

Through my experience, I’ve learned that balance and variety are the guiding principles when planning my bearded dragon’s meals.

If you ever find yourself in a predicament between spinach and kale, remember from my advice that kale, with its lower oxalate content and a better calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, is often a healthier choice for your bearded dragon.

I hope this exploration has been as insightful for you as it has been for me. I strongly encourage consulting with a vet or a pet nutritionist for personalized advice, as every bearded dragon is unique.

Do you have any personal experiences or tips about feeding your bearded dragon? I’d love to hear your stories – we all learn from sharing our experiences!

Remember, the bond we share with our pets is unique, and investing time to understand and cater to their dietary needs strengthens that bond. So here’s to raising a salad leaf (or cricket) to the health and happiness of our bearded friends! 

Let’s continue to learn and grow together in this beautiful journey of pet ownership.

Remember, always consult a vet or a reptile expert if you have specific questions or concerns about your bearded dragon’s diet.

Mike Thompson

I'm Mike, a passionate bearded dragon owner and knowledgeable enthusiast with over a decade of experience caring for these amazing reptiles. My dedication to providing the best care for my scaly companions has led me to become well-versed in bearded dragon care, including their dietary needs and preferences. Sharing my experiences and knowledge with fellow bearded dragon owners is my way of helping ensure these fascinating creatures thrive in captivity.

My Bearded Dragons - Everything You Need to Know about Bearded Dragon Care
Compare items
  • Total (0)