Can bearded dragons eat spinach
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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Spinach

Spinach is often considered a health super-food as it's full of nutrients and is easy to mix into salads and other meals. But how healthy is spinach for beardies and how often can you feed bearded dragons spinach?

Unfortunately there is no easy answer. Spinach contains a very high amount of oxalates which can cause calcium issues and lead to kidney stones if consumed too regularly. On the other hand, spinach does contain a lot of vitamins and nutrients which are beneficial to you bearded dragon's health. Review our nutrition overview below and determine if you feel spinach is safe for your beardie.

Spinach Nutrition Overview

Below is the reptile nutrition label for spinach. We created this label with nutrition information from the USDA and other reputable sources.

Reptile Nutrition

Spinach (raw)Per 100g Serving
Core
Calories23Cal
Water Content91.4g
Carbohydrates3.63g
Total Carbohydrate3.63g
Fiber, total dietary2.2g
Sugars0.42g
Fructose0.15g
Galactose0.1g
Glucose0.11g
Sucrose0.07g
Fat0.39g
Total Fat0.39g
Total saturated0.063g
14:00.01g
16:00.049g
18:00.004g
Total monounsaturated0.01g
16:10.005g
18:10.005g
Total polyunsaturated0.165g
18:20.026g
18:30.138g
Proteins2.86g
Protein2.86g
Alanine0.142g
Arginine0.162g
Aspartic acid0.24g
Betaine102.6mg
Cystine0.035g
Glutamic acid0.343g
Glycine0.134g
Histidine0.064g
Isoleucine0.147g
Leucine0.223g
Lysine0.174g
Methionine0.053g
Phenylalanine0.129g
Proline0.112g
Serine0.104g
Threonine0.122g
Tryptophan0.039g
Tyrosine0.108g
Valine0.161g
Minerals
Calcium, Ca99mg
Copper0.13mg
Iron2.71mg
Magnesium79mg
Manganese0.897mg
Phosphorus, P49mg
Potassium, K558mg
Selenium1μg
Sodium79mg
Zinc0.53mg
Vitamins
Vitamin A, IU9377IU
Vitamin A, RAE469μg
Beta-carotene5626μg
Lutein + Zeaxanthin12198μg
Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)0.078mg
Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)0.189mg
Vitamin B3 (Niacin)0.724mg
Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)0.065mg
Vitamin B60.195mg
Vitamin B9 (Folate)194μg
Folate (from food)194μg
Folate (dietary equivalent)194μg
Vitamin C28.1mg
Vitamin E (alpha-tocopherol)2.03mg
Gamma Tocopherol0.18mg
Vitamin K1 (phylloquinone)482.9μg
Choline19.3mg
Sterols
Phytosterols9mg
Other
Oxalates658mg
pH5.4
Nutrition Scores
Ca:P Ratio2:1
Ca:P RatingExceptional
Safe to FeedOnce per month
HealthinessVery healthy

Notes/Instructions: Feed rarely. Wash and cut into small pieces.
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Spinach Health Concerns

Spinach does have a lot of vitamins and minerals, so it be a surprise to learn spinach has one major health concern.

Very High Oxalates

Spinach contains a very high level of oxalates, which is a concern. Plants produce oxalates to help regulate calcium, so consuming foods high in oxalates will reduce the amount of calcium that can be absorbed. This means spinach will block calcium in your bearded dragons meal from being absorbed. While the reduced calcium intake is a big concern another concern is kidney stones. When oxalates bind to calcium they are processed by the kidneys before being passed in urine. Overtime the oxalates can increase the risk of kidney stones.

How to Feed Spinach to Bearded Dragons

Spinach contains incredibly high levels of oxalates, but it is not considered toxic and contains high amounts of vitamins and minerals. Whether you choose to feed spinach to your beardie is up to you, however we suggest avoiding spinach as the health risks are simply too high considering arugula and kale can provide similar nutritional benefits without the oxalate risks. If you decide to feed spinach to your bearded dragon, be sure to follow the below guidelines.

Significantly Reduce Spinach Serving Sizes

Ideally we suggest keeping the amount oxalates in each meal to 10mg or less. This is difficult to do with spinach since one leaf contains 65mg of oxalates. So you're left with a few options:

  • Feed your bearded dragon small pieces of a spinach leaf once per week
  • Give your bearded dragon one leaf once per month
  • Consult your vet and determine the ideal serving size and frequency

Preparing and Serving Spinach

Before serving spinach you should wash it to remove any loose debris or anything it may have come in contact with. Cut the spinach into small pieces (no larger than the distance between your beardies eyes) and serve mixed with other fruits, greens, or insects.

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About this Article

Authored by:The Bearded Dragon
Updated:January 9, 2023
This article has been edited 5 times since first published. Please let us know of any suggestions or improvements.
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