Due to their omnivorous nature, bearded dragons eat vegetables, fruits, and insects for their daily nutrition. Can bearded dragons eat alfalfa sprouts? Get to know what works best for your pet dragon to ensure its health.
Alfalfa sprouts are a perfect veggie to consume for fitness, and even when you want to add some crunch to your meal. You can try these sprouts in various ways and they all can be pleasant and refreshing. However, bearded dragons are reptilians that are designed and adapted to live in dry weather conditions. Moreover, these reptilians have various restrictions when it comes to certain nutrients. Let’s see if alfalfa sprouts fit their requirements or not.
Alfalfa Sprouts For Bearded Dragons
Alfalfa sprouts can be an occasional treat for your pet dragon. They are nutritious but there are various reasons why they are not suited for these cold-blooded creatures. Alfalfa sprouts are abundant in protein and water content. Additionally, these greens have a good amount of calcium, vitamins, and potassium. If all these elements are suitable for bearded dragons then what can be the problem? The real troublemaker here is phosphorus.
Phosphorus does not allow full absorption of calcium, which is crucial for bearded dragons. The only way that the calcium and phosphorus equation works for bearded dragons is if the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in any food for bearded dragons is 2:1. This ratio ensures that the amount of phosphorus is half or less than half the amount of calcium and therefore your pet dragon will benefit from that food. Since the phosphorus content of alfalfa sprouts is much more than calcium, it becomes an unfavorable food for them.
Alfalfa Plant Is A Better Option
When planning to add new and interesting foods for bearded dragons’ daily consumption, pet owners often want to include different vegetables every day. In the case of alfalfa sprouts, they cannot be an everyday food so using the alfalfa plant is better. This plant has the same goodness that sprouts have except that it has higher protein and fiber, which are good for dragons. Moreover, the amount of phosphorus is much lesser than in sprouts. This plant is a good source of protein, fiber, vitamins, and calcium and on top of that, it tastes good too. The leave and stems of this plant do not have a bitter taste due to the high water content.
Water content can be an issue for bearded dragons but if you serve the plant with vegetables that have low water, then it can be a balanced and healthy palate. Additionally, bearded dragons like crunchy and leafy vegetables that will give them a refreshing feeling. The alfalfa plant is a great tasting addition and you will see your dragon pet devour it in no time!
What Will Happen If Your Pet Dragon Eats Alfalfa Sprout Every Day?
Due to the high phosphorus content, alfalfa sprouts can be dangerous on a daily basis. If you feed this vegetable daily, your pet can become seriously ill. The calcium in the vegetable does not get absorbed, and the calcium in the body begins to dissolve. Gradually, the calcium depletion makes the bones weak. As this condition worsens, the bones of dragons become soft. This stage is called Metabolic Bone Disease.
In this disease, the bones soften and eventually, the dragon becomes immobile. They cannot move from their place and apart from the anxiety and panic that it creates for them, this state can make them become overweight and they eventually die.
How Often To Feed Alfalfa Plant?
You can serve alfalfa plants regularly to bearded dragons and they will enjoy it too. However, pet owners can ensure a few things. First of all, the number of alfalfa sprouts should not exceed one-fourth of the daily vegetable consumption. Secondly, the size of each piece of the plant must be chopped into small bits that are smaller than the eye size of the bearded dragon. If you do not chop up the alfalfa plant well, the bearded dragon will swallow it whole and this can lead to the clogging of the large intestine.
Impaction is the state in which the large intestine gets blocked by semi-solid foods and if impaction occurs it messes up the whole body system! If the bearded dragon cannot defecate properly, bearded dragons become lazy, irritable, and also lose appetite. Their lower body begins to hurt and gradually become paralyzed. This state is quite critical and that is why we always recommend pet owners keep a check on the bowel movements of bearded dragons.
Some Related Questions
Will my bearded dragon die if I give it alfalfa sprouts to eat once?
A single-day dose of alfalfa sprouts is not dangerous for bearded dragons. However, if you feed them this vegetable daily, it can spoil their body functions significantly, and may cause serious MBD, which is a disease of the bones and causes the limbs to become soft and incapable of enduring the weight of the dragon. You should feed these creatures only the vegetables that are allowed for them. These vegetables have calcium, protein, vitamins, and fiber but a very low amount of phosphorus.
What can I do to subdue the effects of alfalfa sprouts that my bearded dragon has consumed for three days?
If your bearded dragon has eaten alfalfa sprouts for a few days, you can immediately discontinue them and replace them with a vegetable that is rich in calcium and does not have any phosphorus. You can even feed them various supplements and laxatives to flush out the phosphorus from their bodies. Usually, a few feeds do not bring high risk, but it is better to be careful with their diet.
Bearded dragons can eat alfalfa sprouts occasionally, and there are several reasons for this. You can feed them alfalfa plants but make sure that the size of the plant is small and chewable. When you feed your bearded dragon any vegetable, ensure that it has all the right nutrients according to the daily needs of your pets.
My name is Ashley, and I am an ardent bearded dragon owner. I have been writing about bearded dragons for the website for many months now, and each topic is close to my heart because it genuinely teaches me more as well. The enthusiasm of this team and the brilliance of the project make me write with more zeal.