Can (And Should) Bearded Dragons Eat Kale?

  • By: Reptilia Planet
  • Time to read: 8 min.

Can bearded dragons eat kale? Kale has become more and more popular lately with so many people trying it in recipes like smoothies, pasta, and soups. Kale makes excellent healthy food, and it is a fact that as people turn to healthier diets we usually want to do the same for our pets.

However, one question that’s always being asked is can bearded dragons eat kale?

Yes! Bearded dragons can eat kale, which is an excellent source of Vitamin A, K for your reptile, and can provide many other nutrients such as calcium, Fiber beta-carotene, and phosphorous that can have a hugely positive effect on their diet.

Now, if you own a bearded dragon then you should know that they are omnivores which means they can eat a wide range of plants, fruit, and insects.

Kale is a very popular vegetable and is packed with all kinds of Nutrients. And the fact that kale has minimum amounts of protein means this will prevent your reptile from becoming obese.

How Often Should Bearded Dragons Eat Kale?

So knowing that your reptile can eat kale and that it can actually be a benefit to your dragon’s diet, is there a limit to how much you should feed them kale?

The short answer is Yes! Although kale can be a good source of vitamins A and K for the bearded dragon they should never eat it in large quantities for the sake of their health and digestion.

You should mix up their diet by feeding them insects with kale which is a good combination and will be packed with a wide range of nutrients.

In the wild a bearded dragon diet is a mixture of planet fruit and insects giving them all the nutrients they need.

Now, if their diet is mainly kale it wouldn’t provide all those essential nutrients they need to survive especially if you have a young reptile that’s still growing.

Young bearded dragons that are still growing have a high metabolism and require a lot more protein than adults, which they get from eating insects.

A baby bearded dragon diet in the wild consists of about 40 to 60 percent proteins (from insects) and about 20 to 40 percent vegetation, this helps the young dragon gain mass and some fat reserves as they grow.

Adult bearded dragons on the other hand only require 20 to 25 percent insects and 75 to 80 percent vegetables, so if you have a full-grown dragon then you can feed them kale on a daily basis with some insects of course.

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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Old kale?

We’ve all been there when cleaning out the refrigerator and finding old vegetables in the bottom draw. “But” what if you find some old kale? is it still safe to feed it to your pet bearded dragon?

Feeding your reptile fresh kale is completely fine. However, if the kale is several days old or has expired then this is not safe for the bearded dragon’s digestive system.

Not only will old or expired kale have less flavorful “but” it will longer have any of the nutrients like that kale has at its peak.

“Fresh kale is packed with Vitamin A that is a key nutrient required in a healthy reptile diet”

If you feed them kale or any other veg for that matter that’s old they are no longer getting the correct vitamins and it can actually be toxic to your reptile.

  • Has an unpleasant smell
  • Black specks on the foliage
  • Leaves have started to change color
  • Black, white, or rust-colored spots
  • Leaves have wilted soggy or has slimy texture

Kale Nutrients

As you know now kale has plenty of nutrients for your reptile that are great for a healthy immune system, eyes, and skin. Kale is also very low in sugar so you won’t have to worry about the bearded dragon putting on weight.

So let’s take a closer look at the nutrients in kale and see why it can be a benefit to your bearded dragon’s diet.

Nutrients & Benefits

Vitamin AHealthy immune system
Vitamin CVision, Growth
Vitamin KRegulates blood clots
CalciumBone and overall health
ManganeseAids metabolism
MagnesiumBrain and muscle health
PotassiumAids heart, kidney health
Low in sugarAids in obesity

So as you can see kale provides plenty of nutrients for replies, especially Vitamin A, K so you would think feeding them a lot of kale would be fine and healthy right?

Well, unfortunately, that’s not true! what’s good for us humans is not necessarily good for bearded dragons as they have different nutritional needs.

Even with adult bearded dragons, although they can eat more vegetables as they get older feeding them too much kale can still be harmful so it should always be served in small batches.


Like most vegetables including kale, they do have Oxalates which can be harmful to bearded dragons’ health. Oxalates affect calcium, the calcium Oxalic acid binds calcium and forms calcium oxalate which is insoluble indigestible crystals.

“Calcium oxalate can actually affect the absorption and utilization of calcium in the replies body”

Take spinach for example, which contains the highest amount of Oxalates of 970 mg “yet” is still a great source of beta-carotene, a good source of protein and calcium.

The problem is Oxalates can have a negative effect on bearded dragons because of the effects on calcium which is very important for their health especially in younger reptiles.

However, the good news is apart from carrots and sweetcorn, kale contains one of the lowest amounts of Oxalates only 20mg per 100 grams.

Making kale one of the best vegetables to feed your bearded dragon “but” as before, you need to feed them kale in small batches and with other veg and insects.

Levels Of Oxalates Per 100g

VegetablesOxalates Per 100g
Spinach970 mg
Watercress310 mg
Sweet Potato240 mg
Broccoli190 mg
Cabbage100 mg
Kale20 mg
Carrots10 mg
Sweet Corn9.9 mg

How To Prepare Kale For Bearded Dragons?

Before feeding your bearded dragon kale or any other vegetables for that matter be sure to wash the veg first to remove any dirt.

It is always recommended to feed your bearded dragon organic veg as this is free from any pesticides and herbicides which could be a risk to your bearded dragon’s health.

Most kale you buy in the shops and supermarkets are already pre-washed, however, it’s still best to give them a quick wash under the tap even if the kale looks clean just to remove any trapped dirt that was missed.

As mentioned, when feeding your reptile kale it’s best served mixed with insects and other greens that will not only give the replies different tastes “but” will also provide all the nutrients they require in their diet.

“There’s also no need to cook the kale as bearded dragons can eat most vegetables raw”

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What Types Of Kale Can Bearded Dragons Eat?

Kale dates all the way back 2000 years ago and is one of the most widely consumed green vegetables today. Known for its high levels of nutrients kale is now used in a wide range of vegan recipes and weight loss diets.

The most common kale that we have all come to love is the classic curly leaf kale, however, did you know there are all different varieties of kale that you can feed to your bearded Dragon?

Let’s take a closer look at these types of kale…

Common Curly kale

The most commonly used kale that’s easily identified by its curly edges on each leaf that can be either served cooked or raw to the reptile.

This type of kale is usually dark green or purple and has a pungent flavor with a peppery-like taste and because of the light ruffled leaves which are easy to tear, makes it easier for the bearded dragon to eat.

Chinese Kale

The Chinese kale (known as Chinese broccoli) is very similar to western broccoli “but” has a much sweeter tasting than broccoli, which is packed with vitamins A and C, and rich in calcium.

Like broccoli, the Chinese kale has very thick stems so you should remove this steam first and feed your reptile only the leaf part of the kale making sure it has been washed thoroughly being served.

Russian kale

The Russian kale is more of a dark green flat kale with fringed like leaves and has a sweet mild flavor with a slight pepper background.

However, because this type of kale has thick stems it is best to remove as many stems as possible before feeding it to your bearded dragon for the sack of their teeth.

Luciano Kale

The Lacinato Kale (also known as Dinosaur kale) this kale features more dark blue-green leaves with a slightly wrinkled like the common curly kale.

This kale has a slightly almost earthy nutty sweet delicate taste than the classic curly kale. Yet with the ruffled leaves again makes it much easier for the bearded dragon to eat.

Redbor kal

The Redbor kale has a vivid burgundy-colored, with deeply-crinkled leaves and an intense deep purple color on the stems.

Redbor grows taller than other types of kale and packed with all the nutrients kale has to offer and is perfectly edible both cooked or raw for your bearded dragon.

Top Tip: When feeding your bearded Dragon kale be sure to wash it thoroughly under the tap to remove any loose dirt and serve it with other vegetables and insects.

Other Vegetables Bearded Dragons Can Eat

So as mentioned, when bearded dragons reach adulthood they start to eat more vegetables. Their diet is a variety of dark, leafy greens on a daily basis that are usually mixed with live food (Insects).

Now, different vegetables will have different vitamins and calcium contents. These vegetables along with some insects will provide all the vitamins and minerals they need to survive.

  • Green Beans
  • Celery
  • Bell Peppers
  • Dandelion

Green beans are very healthy and satisfying to the bearded dragon they can also eat both the beans and the leaves, so make sure you give the beans and the leaves a good wash for serving.

Like green beans, bearded dragons can eat both the celery the leaves, and because they are made with mostly water its very healthy and at the same time soft on their teeth.

Bell peppers are great for a bearded dragon because they have a high water content while at the same time nutritious and soft making it easy for the dragon to chew.

Bearded dragons are known to eat dandelions in the wild and are extremely healthy for them to eat. These can be fed on a daily basis mixed in with other plants and vegetables.

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So can bearded dragons eat kale? Absolutely “but” as mentioned it shouldn’t be severed to the replies as their main diet. Kale should be mixed with other vegetables and insects.

If you have a young bearded dragon that’s still growing then their main diet should be insects that are high in protein to help with the natural growth of the muscles.

If you start to feed your reptile other vegetables as mentioned above remember to use organic fruit and veg and wash them thoroughly as this is very important and will remove any loose dirt that could be a risk to their health.