Green beans, also widely known as string beans, are a commonly found, affordable and versatile vegetable that are great in variety of dishes and that can be served in a number of different ways. But what about for bearded dragons? Are they are suitable food and is there anything in which an owner should be aware of prior to serving? I spent some time researching exactly whether or not we should be including these in our beardies diet.
So, can bearded dragons eat green beans? Bearded dragons can eat green beans, as long as they are fresh, free from any pesticides or fertilizer residue and are chopped into manageable pieces. Canned green beans, that are kept in preservatives, salt and other additives on the other hand are not suitable and should not be offered. The same goes for frozen green beans; where they should be sufficiently thawed ahead of serving.
Green beans are delicious and easy-to-eat veggie. You can cook them, eat them raw, put them in a salad, and the nutritional benefits are undeniable – green beans are abundant in vitamins A, B, C, and K, fiber, beta carotene, and folic acid.
Better yet, your bearded dragon may love the taste and texture, making them a great potential addition to the diet. That being said, you must be sure to introduce and offer a variety of veggies, fruits, and greens. There can be a thing as too much of any one food!
When it comes to sourcing; you can feed vegetables that you buy in a store, or you can even decide to grow your own. The main thing however, is that they are only offered fresh and are free from chemicals, such as herbicides and pesticides.
You can offer green beans in various ways to your bearded dragon, they can be chopped up and provided on their own, or they can be part of a mixture of other vegetables and fruits as part of a salad. They are very flexible which makes them a good option.
Let us now take a closer look at the nutritional content of this veggie, along with other important questions such as how many can you look to offer and how to feed them to your beardie.
So, be sure to keep reading to the end to ensure you get all the information about feeding this food, if you do decide and intend to do so.
Are Green Beans Healthy For Bearded Dragons?
Green beans are healthy for bearded dragons and many beardies love eating this vegetable.
As previously mentioned, green beans are abundant in vitamins A, B, C, and K, fiber, beta carotene, and folic acid. Green beans are also low in total energy, both carbohydrates (specifically sugars) and fat which is a huge plus.
Let us now take a closer look at the specific vitamins and minerals that they offer:
Nutritional Content of Green Beans
|of which sugars||0.2 g|
|Vitamin A||19.2 µg|
|Vitamin K||23.6 µg|
|Vitamin C||6.71 mg|
While there are many useful nutrients that are on offer, green beans should only comprise a small amount of the diet and should never be fed exclusively.
Bearded dragons should consume a mix of high-calcium, low-oxalate greens like dandelion greens, mustard greens, chicory, watercress, turnip tops, carrot tops, and the like.
You can chop up the green beans and offer them along with other veg and leafy greens as part of a salad; that way, you know they are getting the variety they need in their diet.
You should offer your beardie at least three varieties of greens in a meal and rotate them for other greens weekly.
These reptiles require more of these leafy greens than veggies like green beans, but greens beans are an excellent treat, and most bearded dragons love the taste and texture.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Green Beans?
Bearded dragons can eat frozen green beans; however they must be completely thawed before they are served.
Frozen green beans, and other frozen vegetables for that matter, are dangerous to offer in their frozen state. They are not only a choking hazard, but are very difficult for these reptiles to digest and break down. It can result in impaction which can be life-threatening.
One other thing to consider is that frozen green beans can actually provide more nutrition for your beardie. This is because vegetables that are sold as in this way are usually frozen close to source and soon after being picked.
This means that a lot of the nutrients are retained, which do naturally degrade in time and even in those fresh, store-ready options.
Plus, it can be hard to get the variety of vegetables your pet reptile needs during the winter, so frozen vegetables like this do come in handy. Its better for storage too!
You can certainly cook the green beans if you wish, although thawed and raw is best.
Make sure that they’re not hot when you feed them to your beardie. If you do like to grow yourself, it might be nice to grow your own green beans and offer those to your beardie.
Green beans can be grown indoors, although you may need to use grow lights if you do not have a sunny window in your home.
Never the less it’s a nice activity, and you can let your bearded dragon out to enjoy pottering around the plant.
Otherwise, you can even look to freeze your own produce!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Canned Green Beans?
While some owners feed canned green beans and other vegetables to their bearded dragons, it isn’t recommended to do so.
While canned foods are cheap, convenient, and can be stored anywhere for up to several years, it is a poor substitute for fresh vegetables. Canning involves high heat in their process, removing water-soluble vitamins like vitamin C and B.
Canned foods also often contain trace amounts of BPA (bis phenol-A).
Research has discovered that the BPA in canned goods can migrate from the lining into the food it consists of. It’s best to reduce your bearded dragon’s exposure to BPA.
Canned green beans may contain salt, sugar, or other preservatives. Salt and sugar can have very harmful effects on your beardie’s health, mostly if consumed frequently and in generous amounts.
While it’s rare, some canned goods might also contain deadly bacteria, Clostridium botulinum, if notadequately processed.
If your bearded dragon is exposed to this bacteria, they will likely develop a severe illness leading to paralysis and likely death.
Most cases of botulism have come from foods that have not been properly canned at home. Be sure not to personally eat or offer green beans or any food from dented, cracked, or leaking cans.
So ultimately, canned green beans are best avoided. But, if you did want to offer them – be sure they are from a reputable brand that does not include preservatives and additives in the solution the beans are stored in.
How Many Green Beans Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
To better understand how many greens beans to offer your bearded dragon, you must consider their full dietary requirements.
Adult beardies need their balanced pelleted blend once daily – this should be their main feed and should be measured out according to their age.
Beardies also need a variety of leafy greens and veggies as adults, with around 70% of their diet being plant-based. Although, you must consider that they do require more leafy greens than veggies like carrots and green beans.
In regards to green beans, a small serving every couple of days should be sufficient.
Otherwise, you can feed a green bean to your bearded dragon every day, but you want to encourage their interest in other veggies especially leafy greens.
In order to do so, it works well to cut them and offer them with a mix of other vegetables. This helps to ensure variety and prevent preferences from arising in your beardie’s diet.
One other things to consider are the unique nutritional requirements of these reptiles during the different stages of life.
For example, young beardies need more iron in their diet than adults.
As adults, the two most essential vitamins and minerals are vitamin D3 and calcium; which are essential in the development of their bones. So you must be sure that they are getting these through diet and careful supplementation.
Equally, you must ensure that your beardie gets calcium and vitamin D3 simultaneously, as beardies cannot absorb calcium if they lack vitamin D3.
In the wild, beardies get much of the vitamin D3 they require from the sun; however, a pet bearded dragon may need supplements.
How To Feed Green Beans To Your Bearded Dragon
It’s best to feed raw green beans to your bearded dragon and to make sure that they are chopped into bite-sized pieces to make them easier for your beardie’s consumption.
Otherwise if you are looking to offer frozen, be sure to thaw them out in advance. Always check that they have thawed through before serving, and they are not too cold.
If you have had your bearded dragon for a while, you will better understand how they like to eat their vegetables and how often.
You don’t want to overfeed them vegetables, as it will simply be left and rot in their cage, resulting in waste and the need to clean more often.
Make sure that you prepare the green beans out of your beardie’s view, as they may become hyperactive upon seeing the food. They may even try to reach the food and attempt to escape the enclosure!
If your beardie is young, you should consider putting their green beans and any other vegetables into a shallow dish and placing that inside the cage.
Juveniles are messy eaters and often eat too quickly. Occasionally they can eat substrate food from their cage along with their fresh food if you just put food inside their enclosure. This can make them sick over time.
Make sure you monitor your bearded dragon while they eat, especially in the first few weeks that you have them.
You want to ensure that he can digest all the green beans that you give them.
If your beardie doesn’t consume all of the green beans within the first five to ten minutes, be sure to offer them less in the next feeding to prevent waste and less mess in the enclosure.
Additionally, you must sure that your beardie has enough water to drink. You can offer their water in a shallow dish which tends to work well.
However, if yours enjoys playing in the water, you might want to consider putting his water in a large shallow dish so that he can enjoy a good soak.
Green beans are one of the safest and healthiest vegetables to offer your bearded dragon.
While they are an excellent food to offer, they should not be a staple or displace other leafy green vegetables in the diet.
While bearded dragons are ideal pets being good fun to have around, they do have unique nutritional and environmental needs. It takes time and some special equipment to care for one of these reptiles, but they are truly worth it once you know how.
Irregardless of the vegetables you want to feed and how often, it is essential to offer your beardie a diet that is rich in calcium, vitamin D3, and phosphorus.
Getting the balance correct is essential to their health and needs careful consideration as your beardie grows. They need a 2:1 calcium to phosphorous ratio to be at their best.
For example, green beans have a ratio of around 1:1. While this is okay when your beardie is consuming a supplement, over time you could see how this could become an issue.
At the end of the day, once your bearded dragon is fed and housed correctly, they will provide great companionship and humor to you.
Practicing excellent husbandry will make such an enormous difference in your bearded dragon’s life, and the evidence of that will be clear – as you will have a happy, healthy, and engaged pet reptile for many years to come.