When owners try to come up with a perfect beardie diet, they may wonder if bearded dragons can eat celery?
After all, bearded dragons are omnivores and need a varied diet of nutritious foods in their food bowl.
This can lead to examining anything from tomatoes to broccoli as potential staple foods to create a balanced diet, and celery is no exception.
Keep reading to learn more.
READ MORE: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Celery?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat celery as it has some health benefits, such as hydration and vitamins, and is relatively safe to consume.
So, raw celery can be fed as an occasional treat, but should not be considered an everyday food.
Celery leaves should be washed, cut up, or shredded, while celery stalks should be diced into small, bite-sized pieces.
Bearded dragon owners need to create a healthy diet of appropriate insects such as dubia roaches and crickets, as well as leafy greens topped up with a bit of fruit such as blueberries.
Juvenile bearded dragons need a diet that is about 80% insects and 20% plant matter. As they age and become adults, this ratio will be inverted until they are eating about 80% vegetables.
When feeding vegetables or fruit to your bearded dragon, you need to take the following into consideration:
- Is the vegetable goitrogenic?
- What is the calcium to phosphorus ratio?
- Is it sourced organically, washed, free of pesticides?
- Is it high in oxalic acid?
- Is it very acidic?
- Is it high in sugar like many fruits?
if the answer to any of these questions is “yes,” then the bearded dragon owner needs to feed it in moderation and with caution, or not at all.
Is Celery Good for Bearded Dragons?
Celery is a healthy vegetable option for bearded dragons for several reasons.
It has been disregarded in the past because of its relatively low nutritional value, but nowadays it is considered beneficial if it is added to a wide variety of other leafy vegetables such as mustard greens, swiss chard, collard greens, and dandelion greens.
Celery given in moderate amounts is good for our lizard pets because:
- Celery has antioxidants and flavonoids that boost the immune system, reduce inflammation, and promote heart health.
- Celery is also low in calories and can help bearded dragons maintain a good weight and also help limit calories if your beardie is on a diet.
- Celery can keep a bearded dragon hydrated for a very long time as it is a 95% water. However, it is important to note that vegetables with a high water content like celery and lettuce, can lead to digestive problems and loose stools.
- Celery also has beta-carotene. vitamin A, and vitamin C which can help the bearded dragon’s eyesight, reproduction, immune system, and their growth and joints. It is also a good source of dietary fiber, pantothenic acid, and vitamin B6. However, like the moisture content, be wary of too much fiber as it can also cause digestive upset.
- Celery is relatively high in calcium and bearded dragons need calcium for their bones to develop properly. If a bearded dragon lacks calcium, it may develop a metabolic bone disease which can affect the development of its bones.
- Just as importantly, celery has a good calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1.6:1, which is in the ideal range for beardies. Phosphorus binds with calcium, interfering with calcium absorption, and too much phosphorus can lead to a calcium deficiency.
- Finally, celery is not a goitrogenic vegetable like kale and broccoli. Nutritious greens that are also high in goitrogens can cause thyroid issues when fed in excess.
Check: Can Bearded Dragons Have Broccoli?
Is Too Much Celery Bad for Bearded Dragons?
Celery definitely is not all good and it should not be a part of your bearded dragon’s diet on a daily basis. Although it has health benefits, it also has risks if it is not fed sparingly.
There are several reasons why too much celery is bad for bearded dragons:
- Celery is relatively high in oxalates or oxalic acid. Like phosphorus, oxalates binds with calcium and other minerals, preventing the bearded dragon from absorbing the necessary calcium to develop their bones. This could lead to metabolic bone disease and even cause kidney stones.
- Celery has 0.19 grams of oxalic acid per 100 grams. This is moderately high, compared to Kale that only has 0.02 grams.
- On the other hand, parsley has 1.70 grams. This means that while celery is far from the worst in terms of oxalates, it does have enough to be wary of.
- Celery has a high fiber and water content which can cause digestive upset and diarrhea if fed in large amounts.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Celery?
Celery should be treated as an occasional treat and should only be fed to bearded dragons once or twice per month.
We recommend sprinkling in a bit of washed, diced, fresh celery along with other leafy greens such as Romaine lettuce, collard greens, beet greens, yellow squash, or other health plant materials.
By feeding fresh, raw celery from time to time, your beardie can enjoy health benefits from nutrients such as vitamin C, beta-carotene, antioxidants, calcium, and low calories.
However, if you are already feeding foods with plant materials that are moderately high in oxalates, it’s better to avoid adding celery to the meal.
Also avoid making celery the biggest portion in the meal, since the high water content and dietary fiber can give them a runny tummy and mess with their ability to digest nutrients.
READ MORE: Can Bearded Dragons Have Cilantro?
Different Types of Celery and Celery Parts
Can bearded dragons eat celery leaves?
Celery leaves contain high levels of calcium, vitamin E, and fiber which are beneficial to the cells, retinal cones, and the digestive system of the pet dragons.
So, bearded dragons can consume some celery leaves in moderation.
Celery leaves can also be fed to baby bearded dragons in moderation and it would still be safe for them.
Can bearded dragons eat celery stalks?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat celery stalks. Stalks can be chopped up into small pieces and fed to the pet beardies.
They can help you reach your beardie’s necessary daily intake of calcium, fiber, nutrients, vitamin C, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
The stalks can also assure a healthy bearded dragon overall when fed in moderation. They can also be good for baby bearded dragons as they need these nutrients for their growth and development.
However, remember that both celery leaves and stalks should only be fed as an occasional treat.
Can bearded dragons eat celery root (celeriac)?
The root of the celery or celeriac has very high levels of phosphorus that are too much for bearded dragons to handle and can cause serious harm to them.
It is best to stay away from this part altogether and as the excess phosphorus can lead to calcium deficiency that can cause metabolic bone disease, and can also lead to kidney stones.
Baby bearded dragons and both adult bearded dragons should stay away from the celeriac.
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How do I prepare celery for my bearded dragon?
Celery should be washed thoroughly before serving to ensure that it is fresh and clean of pesticides before feeding it to your bearded dragons.
Make sure there are no limp, bruised, discolored leaves. The fresher the leaves, the better, as fresh young leaves contain fewer oxalates.
Try to buy your celery is organic, or that you know where it has been sourced, to avoid any unknown poisons.
After washing it, slice the leaves and a bit of the stalk into small, bite-sized pieces. A small handful mixed in with their other vegetables, and about 20% fruit should be more than enough.
Remove any remaining celery before it’s allowed to spoil in the cage, or feed your bearded dragon in ca ceramic bowl outside the cage and get rid of anything they don’t eat.
Always be careful to consult a specialist or a veterinarian before adding anything new to your bearded dragon’s diet.
Can baby or juvenile bearded dragons eat celery?
Yes, baby or juvenile bearded dragons can eat celery leaves and stalks but not celery roots (celeriac).
Celery can benefit the baby dragon’s bone health, development, and growth, digestive system, immune system, eye-sight, reduce inflammation through compounds such as calcium, vitamin C, nutrients, beta-carotene, antioxidants, and flavonoids.
Too much of anything is a bad thing, so do not feed more than a few sprigs of celery to the baby or juvenile bearded dragon as this can be harmful and lead to unhealthy conditions such as metabolic bone disease. The majority of a young bearded dragon’s diet should come from a variety of insects.
FAQs about Bearded Dragons Eating Celery
How often can bearded dragons eat celery?
Short answer: occasionally. As discussed above, celery should be used as an occasional treat or as a salad topper, but never as the main source of nutrition.
How do I prepare celery for my bearded dragon?
As mentioned above, start with fresh and clean RAW celery. There’s no need to cook it. Chop it into bite-sized pieces and serve it along with other fresh fruits and/or vegetables.
It is safe to feed small amounts of celery to both adult and baby bearded dragons as it can benefit their overall health and help with development and growth. Celery is also easy to prepare and add as an occasional topping to the dragon’s staple food.
It is also a good option since bearded dragons are omnivores and need to have a large variety of insect meat and nutritious vegetables.
- “Celery, Raw Nutrition Facts & Calories.” 2018. Self.com. 2018. https://nutritiondata.self.com/facts/vegetables-and-vegetable-products/2396/2.
- “Guinea Lynx :: Ca:P Ratio Chart.” 2021. Guinealynx.info. 2021. https://www.guinealynx.info/diet_ratio.html.
- “Oxalic Acid Content of Selected Foods | LafeberVet.” 2014. LafeberVet. December 11, 2014. https://lafeber.com/vet/oxalic-acid-content-of-selected-foods/.
- Zimmerman, Rachel. 2014. “The Dark Side of Kale (and How to Eat around It) | WBUR News.” Wbur.org. WBUR. January 10, 2014. https://www.wbur.org/news/2014/01/10/the-dark-side-of-kale-and-how-to-eat-around-it.
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