Quick Answer – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kale?
Yes – bearded dragons can eat kale, but only in moderation!
Kale is good occasionally because it’s high in calcium which your beardie needs, but you should only offer kale sparingly.
Leafy greens like kale, spinach, and collard greens should generally be avoided as full time meals because these veggies contain relatively high amounts of oxalate which prevents calcium from binding.
Without calcium you run the risk of MBD or metabolic bone disease which can put your favorite lizard friend in critical condition.
Kale is okay for your bearded dragon but only in small doses. Only feeding kale will result in serious negative consequences.
Pro Tip – make sure you wash your kale thoroughly before feeding it to your bearded dragon. Most leafy veggies contain pesticides and herbicides which can cause digestion issues!
If you’re curious – we’ve developed a complete food list for your bearded dragon. It’s got all the good stuff your little lizard will like!
Long Answer – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kale?
Here’s the good news: of all the leafy greens a bearded dragon can eat – think spinach, kale, collard greens and beyond – kale is the most safe for consumption.
In terms of oxalate levels, kale only contains 20mg of oxalate for every 100 grams.
Basically it means the oxalate levels are not enough to warrant not feeding kale to your beardie.
Kale provides some key nutrients your beardie will need including vitamin C, calcium, and iron. This will help with keeping your bearded dragon happy and healthy.
Here’s the bad news: you should only feed your bearded dragon kale 3-4 times a month.
There are a variety of reasons to exercise caution which include:
Oxalate is considered an antinutrient because it binds to good nutrients, like calcium, and will prevent those nutrients from being absorbed in the body.
For humans there’s some evidence that oxalate might contribute to kidney stones, but for the most part there isn’t a concern with eating foods high in oxalate.
Here are some foods which contain high amounts of oxalate:
- Leafy greens (which includes kale)
- Fruits (like grapes)
- Nuts & Seeds
The story is VERY different for bearded dragons though…
Their system is more sensitive to this compound. This is especially true if you combine the oxalate and fiber together which will cause a total lack of nutrition absorption for your bearded dragon.
It’s best to stay away and not deal with the consequences!
If you have thyroid issues you may have heard of this compound. Basically goitrogens are compounds which interfere with normal thyroid production.
They make it difficult for hormones to be properly produced, and bearded dragons can be more prone to issues from excessive goitrogens.
Goitrogen is primarily an issue because it blocks much needed iodine uptake. Without iodine, hormone production can become erratic.
Most vegetables contain goitrogens, but greens like kale, spinach, and mustard greens have a larger quantity compared to others.
By feeding your beardie large amounts of kale you can run the risk of suppressing the thyroid function and possibly causing hypothyroidism.
All in all, kale can provide some key nutrients for your bearded dragon but it’s best to be cautious of overfeeding kale to your beardie!