Bearded dragons and all other crawlers are fond of vegetables and all kinds of greens. However, there can be a few of these healthy-looking options that might not be the best for these reptilians. Can bearded dragons eat basil? Since a lot of people ask this question, there are two ways to answer it. Firstly, you will have to know what is suitable for the bearded dragon, and then, you must know what is in basil.
The more you learn about bearded dragons, you will realize that they are not just subtle, but they also conceal their feelings, so you cannot know if they dislike or love any vegetable. However, these reptilians can eat basil as it is suitable for them.
BEARDED DRAGONS AND HERBS
Bearded dragons have to consume 50% vegetables, fruits, and 50% insects as a healthy balance for their omnivorous diet. Basil is an herb that can be accepted by these reptilians because it has the following nutrients:
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
These nutrients are all needed for bearded dragons and your pet will thrive if they have a good balance of each of these nutrients. Moreover, this herb has a lot of benefits for bearded dragons. These advantages include anti-inflammatory effects, common sickness alleviation, and even the prevention of cancer. Furthermore, kidney function and good digestion are also integral advantages of this herb.
HOW TO FEED BASIL TO THE BEARDED DRAGONS
Feeding basil is simple and doesn’t require much preparation time. Many pet owners believe that they might have to boil or cook this herb, but that is not so! This herb can be eaten raw, and that is another advantage for pet owners as they will not have to make special preparations. All you need to do is pluck the leaves and wash them properly. The only step is to cut the leaves into small bits that can be easily chewed and will not choke your pet.
The ideal size of basil leaves should be as small as the bearded dragon’s eyes so that they can chew it and swallow them without difficulty. You can mix these tiny bits with other vegetables to pump up the nutritional level of their meal. The frequency of feeding basil can be around once a week or once in two weeks. The reason for that is offering too much nutrition which may be an overwhelming situation for your dragon. Moreover, you can also find out Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watercress.
NUTRITIONAL BALANCE OF BASIL
Basil is nutritious for all of us, and bearded dragons can benefit from it too. However, too much of this herb is not suitable for bearded dragons, and here is why:
1. High Calcium
The amount of calcium in basil may be harmful to the bearded dragon if consumed daily. While calcium is an essential part of the dragon’s routine, too much of it is not advisable. The calcium to phosphorus ratio for bearded dragons is 2:1 or 1: 1, as that enables them to fulfill their daily calcium requirement. However, basil has a 3: 1 ratio of calcium to phosphorus, which means it can absorb higher amounts, and that may cause a lot of other health issues.
2. Highly Acidic
The high acidic content of basil can be a problem for bearded dragons. These reptilians have a slow metabolism, which means that their diet cannot have a lot of acidic foods that may cause their stomachs to get upset. The high acid content can be harmful to the stomach lining as the digestive system does not secrete enzymes and juices that can balance out acidic foods.
When you feed basil only once or twice a month, the bearded dragon can sustain the high calcium and acid, but if you provide them every day, it will spoil their system and they will get upset. Furthermore, also check out Can Bearded Dragons Have Bell Peppers.
IN THE CASE OF BASIL’S OVERDOSE
Bearded dragons cannot bark or purr to show that they are in distress. However, they can develop stress marks or become lethargic as a sign of bad nutrition. Moreover, they may get constipated due to high calcium intake or nauseous and lazy due to the high acid in basil.
If you accidentally feed your pet dragon too much basil, it will become stressed and might become lazy. In such a condition, the first thing to do is consult a vet. You can increase their water intake but that also has to remain within a limit. When the bearded dragon feeds on foods with a higher pH and more water, the effects of basil will diminish.
Try to always understand the nutrition in every food item that you think of feeding the dragon. If any particular food does not have the right kind of nutrition, you must hold it off from the bearded dragon’s feeding plate!
Bearded dragons can eat basil, but it should not be an everyday item in their diet. If you want to feed this herb, make sure that it is as occasional as once a week or once in two weeks. You can provide it even once a month, however, do not keep it as a frequent food for your pet dragon. The high calcium and acid content of basil can make the dragon feel uncomfortable, while an occasional dose will be a good boost for calcium and vitamins. Moreover, you may also want to find out Can Bearded Dragons Eat Alfalfa Sprouts.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Which other herbs can I give my bearded dragon?
You can feed your bearded dragon many herbs such as cilantro, sage, dill, lavender, rosemary, and thyme. All these herbs have a good balance of nutrients and can be consumed regularly. However, before adding any of these herbs to the diet, get to know the components in detail.
Is dried basil a good option?
No, dried basil has more concentrated amounts of calcium, fiber, and sugar that can be harmful to bearded dragons. It may sound convenient as dried basil is available all around the year, but the concentration is more, and it is hard to chew and swallow.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!