Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots

Posted by Matthew Murphy on Apr 4th 2024

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots

Carrots are renowned for their considerable health benefits in humans, offering a wealth of fiber, antioxidants, vitamin A, and beta-carotene, which contribute to boosting the immune system and improving vision. For pet owners of bearded dragons, this raises an important question: Can these colorful vegetables provide the same health benefits to their reptilian pets? This comprehensive guide delves into the dietary needs of bearded dragon care, the potential benefits, and the proper ways to incorporate carrots into their diet.

Understanding the Dietary Needs of Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons are omnivores, meaning they require a mixed diet of plants and insects to thrive. The dietary requirements of these reptiles vary significantly from their juvenile stage to adulthood. Adult bearded dragons, often referred to simply as "beardies," should ideally consume a diet comprising about 80% plant-based foods and 20% insects. This includes a variety of feeder insects like dubia roaches, crickets, and the occasional hornworm to satisfy their protein needs.

On the other hand, baby bearded dragons, affectionately known as baby beardies, require a higher proportion of insects—around 80%—to support their rapid growth and developmental needs. Despite these differences, carrots can be safely included in the diet of both baby and adult bearded dragons, where they serve as a source of several beneficial nutrients.

Nutritional Benefits of Carrots for Bearded Dragons

Carrots are packed with nutrients that are beneficial not only to humans but also to bearded dragons:

  • Vitamin A and Beta-Carotene: Vital for maintaining healthy skin and vision, these nutrients also support robust immune function in bearded dragons. Carrots, being rich in these compounds, can help supplement the dietary needs of your dragon.
  • Fiber: The fiber in carrots aids in the digestion of the tough exoskeletons of the insects fed to bearded dragons, promoting smoother digestive processes and preventing issues such as impaction—a common health concern in captive dragons.

However, while carrots offer significant health benefits, they come with risks if not fed appropriately:

  • Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio: Carrots have a nearly equal ratio of calcium to phosphorus, which is generally safer than foods with higher phosphorus. Yet, they do not provide sufficient calcium necessary for optimal bone health in bearded dragons. Supplementing their diet with calcium powder is crucial to avoid deficiencies.
  • Vitamin A Toxicity: Although vitamin A is essential, excessive amounts can lead to toxicity. Symptoms include decreased energy, weight loss, swelling, and dehydration. If your dragon receives additional vitamin A supplements, you should carefully monitor their intake of carrots.

Safely Incorporating Carrots into a Bearded Dragon's Diet

When introducing carrots to your beardie's diet, it's important to consider both the form and the amount:

  • Varieties and Preparation: All carrot colors—white, yellow, purple, and orange—are nutritionally similar and safe for bearded dragons when fed in moderation. It’s advisable to serve carrots raw or lightly cooked to preserve their nutritional value. Opt for whole large carrots over baby carrots to avoid preservatives, washing them thoroughly before use.
  • Carrot Tops: While nutrient-rich, carrot tops also contain oxalates that inhibit calcium absorption, potentially leading to health issues such as metabolic bone disease (MBD) and kidney stones. It's recommended to feed carrot tops sparingly, no more than once a month.

Feeding Guidelines

To ensure carrots are a safe and enjoyable part of your beardie’s diet, follow these steps:

  1. Thorough Cleaning: Always wash carrots thoroughly to remove any traces of dirt, pesticides, or harmful chemicals.
  2. Grate for Safety: Grate carrots finely rather than chopping or slicing to minimize the risk of choking and make it easier for your dragon to consume.
  3. Serve with Variety: Enhance the nutritional value by mixing grated carrots with other suitable veggies and leafy greens like collard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, mustard greens, bell peppers, sweet potato, and butternut squash. These not only diversify the diet but also improve overall nutritional intake. Adding fresh herbs like cilantro can also enhance flavor and appeal.
  4. Supplement Appropriately: Always sprinkle a suitable reptile multivitamin and calcium supplement on the vegetable mix to ensure your beardie receives a balanced diet. This is essential to manage the correct intake of nutrients such as potassium and other vital minerals, supporting your bearded dragon’s health comprehensively.


While carrots are indeed nutritious and can be part of a balanced diet for bearded dragon food, they should be introduced carefully and fed in moderation due to their calcium content and potential for vitamin A overload. Consultation with a veterinarian specializing in reptiles is recommended whenever you're considering adjustments to your pet's diet. By understanding the balance of nutrients and being mindful of the risks, you can help ensure your bearded dragon remains healthy and vibrant, enjoying a diet that supports their unique nutritional needs.