Can Bearded Dragons Eat Arugula? (Benefits & Side Effects)

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Sure, you’ve probably heard that you can feed a bearded dragon some greens like kale or romaine lettuce, but what about Arugula?

Can bearded dragons eat Arugula?

And if they can, is it a good idea to do so? In this post, we’ll explore the answer to these questions and more.

So keep reading to learn everything you need to know about feeding your bearded dragon arugula!

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READ MORE: What to Feed Bearded Dragons for a Healthy Diet

What Are The Benefits of Feeding Arugula To Bearded Dragons? 

arugula leaves

Are you wondering whether Arugula is of any benefit to your beardie friend? Well, Arugula oozes loads of benefits for your pet, as shown below.

Like many other green vegetables, Arugula is very good for your pet’s health. It shields off diseases such as cancer.  

One study found that this leafy green is loaded with antioxidants [1]. Antioxidants are compounds that offer protection and reverse the damage of body cells, therefore keeping cancer away.

Also, glucosinolates’ bitter taste and intense scent have enormous cancer-fighting abilities. [2]

#1 Arugula is also rich in calcium and potassium.

Calcium is a crucial mineral to the development and growth of bearded dragons, especially the young lizards needing plenty of calcium for bone strength. [3]

Calcium deficiency exposes young lizards to metabolic bone disease, and a good calcium level is a primary cure. 

#2 Potassium builds the functioning of the heart and nerves.

Therefore, your beardie pet is less likely to develop high blood pressure with a potassium-loaded diet. [4]

#3 Is your beardie pet struggling to drink water from the bowl?

Feed them Arugula. Arugula contains high water content, which keeps the beardie hydrated.

An adult beardie weighing around 300g will need about 10ml of water daily from drinking or food. If your beardie doesn’t get enough water, they’re likely to experience digestive issues.

#4 Arugula is also rich in fiber and proteins.

Fiber makes it easier for your beardie pet to process the chitinous exoskeleton of insects. It also improves the gut flora of your beardie pet.

Although there aren’t many proteins in Arugula, the few traces enhance the growth process of your reptile pet. Protein is a primary element for growth and muscle development.

#5 Arugula is rich in essential vitamins such as Vitamins A, C, and K.

Vitamin A helps maintain good eye health, better growth of body cells, and boosts your beardie’s immunity. [5]

Vitamin C also boosts immunity by acting as an anti-oxidant. Vitamin K is excellent for blood coagulation, meaning if your pet is wounded, the blood will clot faster, so it won’t lose so much blood. [6]

Side Effects Of Arugula

bunch of arugula leaves

Everything has a good side and a bad side, right? Here are a few side effects of Arugula.

#1 Arugula leaves have some trivial traces of sugar, and if not fed with care, this could affect beardie’s teeth.

It is advisable to cut on sugary foods when Arugula is occasionally fed. You can alternate with other foods such as squash and other less sugary foods.

#2 Just like many other leafy veggies, Arugula contains goitrogens.

Moderate levels of goitrogen are fine, but higher levels pose a health risk to your pet’s thyroids, kidney, and liver function.

This is why it’s not advisable to feed bearded dragon arugula every day, despite its benefits. Check out this article on whether can bearded dragons eat green bell peppers.

#3 Arugula also contains some levels of Sulforaphane, which can pose a threat to your pet.

This element reacts with calcium causing abdominal cramps and flatulence in the short term. [7]

Check this beardie eating insects and arugula.

Feeding Arugula To your Beardie: Things To consider

Well, as you feed your beardie pet those delicious Arugula strips, you need to consider a few issues.

  • Arugula should not be fed to bearded dragons alongside other sugary foods. Though Arugula does not contain much sugar, serving it with other sugary foods will damage your pet’s teeth.
  • Arugula is not a good source of protein and minerals and hence should not serve as a staple food for your omnivorous beardie. Both proteins and minerals are crucial diets for the reptile’s health.
  • Mature Arugula has an intense flavor taste similar to peppery and is not suitable for your bearded dragon.
  • Remember the sulforaphane element present in Arugula? This element can cause abdominal cramps and flatulence and may react with blood-thinning medications.
  • Sulforaphane is dangerous for pets with blood disorders, especially pets on blood-thinning medications. As a pet parent, you need to consider this7.

How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Arugula?

As mentioned earlier, you should not feed your pet arugula leaves daily. The leafy greens should be served as a part of a healthy diet.

Ideally, arugula leaves should be included only once weekly in the lizard’s diet. This is because of the oxalate compounds contained in the Arugula.

The goitrogens could harm their thyroids, liver, and kidneys.

Oxalate reacts with calcium forming a compound that causes digestion issues. This compound is also responsible for abdominal pains in the lizard’s body.

Can Bearded Dragon Eat Baby Arugula?

baby arugula

Yes, Bearded dragons can eat baby Arugula.

But what is baby arugula? Baby arugula is the small arugula leaves that are harvested prematurely. The leaves are flavory and very nutritious for bearded dragons.

How to Feed Arugula to Bearded Dragon?

The first step you should take is to find out if your beardie friend likes Arugula or not. They might not like it because of the pepperish taste.

Make sure to mix Arugula with other fresh vegetables, so do not make Arugula a staple diet for your reptile.

Though it is okay to mix Arugula with other leafy vegetables, please don’t mix it with iceberg lettuce – the meal will be of no health benefit due to lack of nutritional value.

Remember that your beardie needs protein for nutritional benefits, so consider mixing the arugula greens with some super worms and create a delicious salad.

Prep Method

Want some good news? Well, preparation of Arugula is easy and doesn’t require much time.

Below are a few steps to help you prepare safe Arugula for your bearded dragon.

  • Collect young Arugula with tender leaves.
  • Clean the leaves thoroughly to avoid runny stools due to stomach upsets.
  • Slice them into the small sizes for easy swallowing
  • Make sure the largest piece doesn’t exceed the width of the beardie’s eyes.
  • Mix arugula with various veggies with different nutrients not available in Arugula.
  • Serve a balanced diet to the bearded dragon.
  • Serve the meal and enjoy watching your beardie pet eat.


Can bearded dragons eat Arugula and spinach?

a bowl of spinach

Yes. Your beardie pet can eat spinach and Arugula. Check out “Is spinach bad for bearded dragons” to read more about feeding spinach to your bearded dragons.

Is Rocket fine for bearded dragons?

Yes, rockets are okay for bearded dragons. They carry loads of calcium. However, rockets are acidic and should be fed occasionally.

Should I cook squash for my bearded dragon?

Yes, the bearded dragon can eat squash cooked or raw, whichever they prefer.

What leafy greens are suitable for the bearded dragon?

romaine lettuce in a wooden bowl. can guinea pigs eat romaine lettuce?

A bearded dragon can eat various healthy vegetables such as broccoli, alfalfa plant, Bok choy, kales, romaine lettuce, green cabbage, savory, cilantro, kohlrabi, green beans, and escarole.

What insects do beardies eat?

A bearded dragon can eat a wide variety of insects such as super worms, turnip greens, mustard green, crickets, grasshoppers (do not feed wild insects), collard green, and hornworms.

Can Bearded Dragons Have Arugula? (Conclusion)

Yes, Bearded Dragons can have Arugula. They aren’t picky eaters at all. Arugula is one of bearded dragons favorite vegetables!

However, it would be best to feed your beardie pet arugula in moderation. Also, avoid the full-grown Arugula because of its strong and intense flavor, which is not suitable for your pet.

Arugula contains the desired calcium level for baby bearded and juvenile bearded dragons.

The ratio of calcium to phosphorous is excellent, and therefore no need to supplement when serving Arugula to the beardie. 

bearded dragon looking at the camera

Does your bearded dragon like arugula? Please let us know below!


  •  1. Blair, W. (2020) Arugula. WebMD. [Internet] Available from:
  • 2. Ladak, Z., Khairy, M., Armstrong, E. A., & Yager, J. Y. (2021). Glucosinolates: paradoxically beneficial in fighting both brain cell death and cancer. In Nutraceuticals in Brain Health and Beyond (pp. 155-167). Academic Press.
  • 3. Zhu, K., & Prince, R. L. (2012). Calcium and bone. Clinical biochemistry, 45(12), 936-942.
  • 4. Raman, R. (2017). What does Potassium Do For Your Body? A Detailed Review. [Internet] Available from:
  • 5. West, H. (2018) 6 Health Benefits of Vitamin A, Backed by Science. Healthline. [Internet] Available from:
  • 6. The Nutrition Source. (2022) Vitamin K. [Internet] Available from:
  • 7. Firdous, D. (2020) Health Benefits of Arugula and its Side Effects. Available from:
Ben Roberts
Ben Roberts

My name is Ben Roberts, and I absolutely love animals. So, naturally, I love writing about them too! As far as my animals, I have a Pit-bull, a Beagle-lab mix, a Chihuahua, and one old cat. Each one of them provides me with a new adventure every day. And the best part is they’re all best friends. Well, except the cat when he gets a little annoyed.
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