Can Bearded Dragons Eat Celery?

Celery: delicious, crunchy and perfect in a salad. At the same time, we know that bearded dragons appreciate a wide variety of different types of foods, so an obvious question is if they can have celery?

Bearded dragons can eat celery. 

Indeed, many bearded dragons seem to enjoy eating celery as much as we do (minus the salad dressing obviously!). 

There are of course a few downsides to feeding celery to your bearded dragon. 

Firstly, celery can be quite “stringy” at some times of the year. 

Secondly, celery has such a high moisture content that it’s not the most nutritional food to give your beardie.

Thirdly, celery is relatively high in sodium (salt) which can affect hydration levels and, in extreme cases, blood pressure. 

Lastly it’s reasonably high in sugar – though of course nowhere near as high as fruit.

However don’t go thinking that celery is necessarily a “bad” food for bearded dragons. It’s actually packed with vitamins and minerals, so can form a useful occasional part of your beardie’s diet.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Celery Leaves?

The leaves of celery are safe to feed to your bearded dragon.

In fact, they’re a great source of fiber and can help to keep your beardie’s digestive system healthy.

However, you should be aware that the leaves are much more “stringy” than the stalks. So if you do decide to feed celery leaves, you may want to chop them up into smaller pieces first.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Celery?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked or Raw Celery?

Bearded dragons can eat both raw and cooked celery.

While it is most common to feed bearded dragons raw celery, most will certainly eat celery that has been cooked. Cooking celery can be quite a good idea at some times of the year, because the cooking process gently softens the food, and helps to remove the stringiness found in some stems. 

Cooking celery doesn’t have to be difficult. The quickest solution is to finely chop it, then either boil it or quickly stir-fry it for a few minutes. The smaller the pieces, the more quickly they’ll cook.

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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Celery Everyday?

If you’re wondering if it’s safe to feed celery to your bearded dragon everyday, the answer is no.

Celery is high in moisture and low in nutritional value. So while your beardie will enjoy eating it, there are much better foods out there that will provide them with more of the nutrients they need.

That said, you can safely feed celery to your bearded dragon a few times a week as part of a varied diet. Or if you want to give it as a treat every now and then, that’s fine too. Just make sure they don’t have too much of it at any one time!

Nutrients Found in Celery

While celery is very high in water content, the dry matter does contain a surprising number of nutrients that are beneficial for bearded dragons. 

Vitamins: A bearded dragon that is fed celery will benefit from a wide range of vitamins. According to nutritionists, celery is rich in vitamin A, riboflavin, vitamin B6, pantothenic acid, folate, vitamin C and vitamin K.

Minerals: Celery contains beneficial amounts of magnesium, phosphorus, potassium and manganese.

Fiber: Celery is considered a high fiber food. It can therefore be useful for feeding alongside more sugary foods like fruit, as it slows down the absorption of these sugars to a more manageable rate. 

Oxalate Levels in Celery

Oxalic acid can bind calcium in the digestive system, meaning that your bearded dragon is unable to absorb sufficient calcium from their diet. Clearly this is a bad thing. 

It appears there is some disagreement within the reptile-keeping community about oxalate levels in celery. On closer inspection, however, it seems this uncertainty comes down to the preparation method. 

One of the best-known studies of oxalic acid classed raw celery stems as “low” in oxalates, while the same study placed cooked celery in the “high” category.

If you’re concerned about oxalic acid levels in your bearded dragon’s diet (and you should be) then it’s worth feeding primarily raw celery. Only feed cooked celery very occasionally, likely to remedy some particularly stringy stems you’ve bought.

Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio of Celery

Calcium and phosphorus are two of the most important nutrients for skeletal health. It’s crucial that your bearded dragon is getting enough of both, and in the right ratio. 

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The optimal calcium:phosphorus ratio for lizards like bearded dragons is believed to be 2:1 – that means twice as much calcium and phosphorus.

Sadly celery has a calcium to phosphorus ratio of around 1.4:1. While that’s far from the ideal, it is nowhere near the worst offenders one can find.

So while this shouldn’t dissuade you from feeding celery to your bearded dragon, it does mean it should be fed in moderation. 

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How to Feed Celery To Your Bearded Dragon

There are a few handy tips that will make feeding celery to your bearded dragon more successful.

Wash the Celery – Celery is well-known for causing digestive upsets if not washed thoroughly. So tear off a stalk and carefully wash both sides under a running tap before giving it to your beardie.

Finely Chop the Stalks (and Stems) – Celery can be prone to being “stringy”. If you want to reduce the chances of your bearded dragon choking on a stringy bit of celery then finely chopping it is a good solution.

Offer Only as a Treat – While celery does have lots of vitamins and minerals in, the downsides to celery that have been laid out mean it should only be fed occasionally. Try to combine it with other vegetables or salad items when feeding to counteract the low calcium to phosphorus ratio.

Richard Adams
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