Dandelions are a common weed that pop up in lawns and gardens every spring. Their bright yellow flowers and puffball seed heads are iconic sights. But if you have a bearded dragon, you may wonder if these weeds can serve a purpose for your scaly friend.

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, bearded dragons can eat dandelions in moderation as part of a varied diet.

Nutritional Value of Dandelions for Bearded Dragons

High in Vitamin A

Dandelions are an excellent source of vitamin A for bearded dragons. One cup of raw dandelion greens contains over 100% of the recommended daily intake of vitamin A for beardies. Vitamin A is crucial for maintaining healthy eyesight, bone growth, and immune function in reptiles.

The high levels mean adding some dandelion greens to your dragon’s diet a few times a week can easily meet their vitamin A needs.

Decent Source of Calcium

Dandelions also provide a decent amount of calcium for bearded dragons. Calcium is essential for proper bone development and preventing metabolic bone disease. One cup of raw dandelion greens has about 115 mg of calcium.

While not exceptionally high, it can contribute to your dragon’s daily calcium requirements when fed in moderation. For best results, use dandelions as part of a varied diet with other calcium-rich staples like collard greens, turnip greens, and calcium supplements.

Low in Fat and Calories

One of the benefits of dandelion greens for bearded dragons is they are low in fat and calories. One cup contains just 25 calories and 0.5 grams of fat. This makes them a great low-calorie nutritional addition to your dragon’s salad bowl.

It allows them to fill up on nutrients without overloading on fat and calories which can lead to obesity. The low-calorie nutritional profile also means dandelions can be fed more frequently than high-fat feeders like worms and roaches.

Potential Benefits of Feeding Dandelions

Supports Healthy Eyes and Skin

Dandelions contain beta carotene, a precursor to vitamin A, which promotes good vision and healthy skin in reptiles like bearded dragons. Vitamin A helps maintain the mucous membranes in a dragon’s eyes, nose, and mouth. It also enables proper bone growth and development.

Feeding dandelion greens provides up to 14,718 IU of vitamin A per 100 grams, helping a dragon’s eyes and skin stay in top condition.

Aids Digestion

The high fiber content of dandelion greens helps stimulate healthy digestion and nutrient absorption in bearded dragons. The fiber adds bulk to the stool, while the bitter compounds promote bile production, fat breakdown, and laxation. This helps food and waste efficiently move through the gut.

Dandelions also contain prebiotics that feed good gut bacteria. With over 3 grams of fiber per 100 grams, dandelions support good digestion and regular bowel movements.

Boosts Appetite

Interestingly, adding dandelion greens into a bearded dragon’s salad helps stimulate their appetite. Dandelions have a slightly bitter taste from compounds like taraxacin and other phytochemicals. In small amounts, these compounds trigger taste receptors that make a dragon more inclined to eat.

The vitamins and fiber also provide a nutritious boost to make them energetic and eager for more food. So sprinkling a few dandelion leaves into the salad bowl can rouse up even the pickiest dragon’s appetite.

Risks and Precautions

When incorporating dandelions into a bearded dragon’s diet, there are some risks and precautions that need to be considered first. While dandelions can offer healthy nutritional benefits, there are potential concerns regarding pesticides, oxalates, and maintaining a balanced diet.


One of the biggest risks with dandelions is the potential exposure to pesticides. Since dandelions often grow in areas that are treated with chemicals for weed control, trace amounts may end up on the plant.

According to the ASPCA, dandelions collected from a garden, lawn, or roadside could expose a bearded dragon to these toxins.

To reduce this risk, never collect dandelions from potentially treated areas. Instead, buy certified organic dandelions from the grocery store, grow your own pesticide-free dandelions, or pick them from an untreated nature preserve. Proper sourcing is crucial for safety.


While the oxalate content in dandelions is not extremely high, it is still present and can pose potential problems if overfed. Oxalates bind to calcium in the body, interfering with proper absorption over time.

Moderating dandelion intake and rotating them into a varied diet can help prevent excessive oxalates. According to veterinarian Dr. Adam, dandelions should not make up more than 10% of total food volume for dragons under 18 months old. Following portion guidelines based on age is important.

Imbalanced Diet

While incorporating some dandelion greens can add beneficial nutrition, relying solely on them could lead to an imbalanced diet. Dandelions lack adequate protein, vitamin D3, and calcium to fully meet nutritional requirements.

To prevent deficiencies, dandelions should always be fed as part of a varied diet including properly supplemented insects, leafy greens, vegetables, and calcium powder. According to reptile care site The Bearded Dragon, diet diversity is crucial for health.

By sourcing dandelions safely, following age-appropriate portion sizes, and maintaining diet balances, the risks can be effectively reduced. Paying attention to these key precautions allows dragon owners to tap into the nutritional benefits of dandelions safely.

How to Prepare and Feed Dandelions


When picking dandelions to feed your bearded dragon, it’s important to source them from an area that is chemical and pesticide free. The best places are your own backyard, local parks, or fields where chemicals haven’t been used.

Pick the younger, more tender dandelion leaves as they will be easier for your dragon to eat and digest. The younger leaves will be lighter green in color and more oval or spoon shaped, while older leaves will be darker green and more jagged or pointy.

Stems are fine for your bearded dragon to consume too.


Once you’ve picked some fresh dandelion leaves and stems, the next step is washing them thoroughly to remove any dirt, debris, or bugs. Give them a good rinse under cool running water and gently rub the leaves between your fingers to dislodge anything stuck on.

It’s important to wash each leaf individually rather than just running water over a bunch of them, to really make sure they are clean for your bearded dragon to eat. You could also soak the leaves in a bowl of cool water for 5-10 minutes before rinsing if they are really dirty.

Pat dry with some paper towels or let air dry.


After washing, chop the dandelion leaves and stems into bite sized pieces for your bearded dragon. They have small mouths so can’t manage large leaves. Use a sharp pair of kitchen scissors or a knife on a chopping board to cut them up. Aim for 0.5 inch squared pieces.

Your dragon may be able to manage slightly larger pieces if they are older with a bigger mouth. Make sure any thick stems are finely chopped. You can collect all the chopped dandelion pieces in a bowl ready to serve up.

Frequency and Quantity

Dandelion leaves and stems can make up about 20% of an adult bearded dragon’s diet. They should be fed 2-3 times per week as part of a varied diet. Baby dragons can also eat chopped dandelions in smaller quantities.

A good serving size of chopped dandelions for an adult dragon is around 1-2 cups twice a week. Always monitor your dragon’s appetite and health and adjust quantities accordingly. Remove any uneaten dandelions within 24 hours.


Dandelions can be a nutritious part of a balanced diet for bearded dragons when given in moderation. Their vitamin A content benefits eyesight and skin, while their fiber aids digestion. However, dandelions should be washed thoroughly and mixed with other greens and vegetables.

As with any new food, monitor your bearded dragon closely when first offering dandelions to watch for signs of an allergic reaction or upset stomach. With a few precautions, these sunny weeds can brighten up your dragon’s dinner plate.

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