Quick Answer – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach?
Yes – but we highly recommend you do NOT feed your bearded dragon spinach!
Spinach contains a chemical called oxalate which binds to calcium. If your bearded dragon has too much spinach there will be an issue with calcium absorption which can lead to MBD or metabolic bone disease.
You’ll find across the internet that spinach is “okay to give but in small doses.” We want you to just completely avoid giving your beardie spinach in general. It’s best not to even run the risk of a negative consequence.
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, and the foods to avoid like spinach!
Long Answer – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach?
Across the web you’ll find conflicting information about whether or not you can feed your bearded dragon spinach.
It’s important to know that yes – technically you can feed your bearded dragon spinach – but I highly encourage you avoid feeding your friend this leafy green.
There are a couple reasons you should avoid feeding your beardie spinach, 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 spinach)
- Fruits (like grapes and beyond)
- 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 spinach, kale, and mustard greens have a larger quantity compared to others.
By feeding your beardie large amounts of spinach you can run the risk of suppressing the thyroid function and possibly causing hypothyroidism.
Hopefully this gives you a full picture of why we believe it’s best to keep your bearded dragon away from spinach!
Let us know if you have any questions in the comments below!