Yes, bearded dragons can eat bok choy. It is a Chinese vegetable commonly known as Chinese cabbage. It is highly nutritious for bearded dragons and contains a wide range of vitamins and minerals and a lower water content level which keeps a bearded dragon healthy and strong. Bok choy is a member of the lettuce family and is rich in calcium. But bok choy contains goitrogens which could be harmful to a bearded dragon but it could not affect the health if you feed in moderation.
- 1 Is Bok Choy Safe for Bearded Dragon?
- 2 Nutritional value of Bok Choy
- 3 Health Benefits of Bok Choy
- 4 Health Risks of Bok Choy
- 5 How to prepare Bok Choy for Bearded Dragons?
- 6 Is Bok Choy Good for Baby Bearded Dragons?
- 7 How Often is Bok Choy to be served for a Bearded Dragon?
Is Bok Choy Safe for Bearded Dragon?
If you feed bok choy occasionally or in moderation, it is perfectly safe for bearded dragons. It is highly nutritious but also high in goitrogens. Bok choy should be served in small quantities and occasionally to your pet and it will not cause any issue.
But if your bearded dragon eats bok choy in a high amount then it can cause a problem in its thyroid gland. If you are willing to serve bok choy to your pet and want it can not cause any harm then feed them only in moderation. Also water level is not high so the consumption of bok choy will not cause diseases like diarrhea.
Nutritional value of Bok Choy
Bok choy contains lots of nutrients and is rich in various minerals. Here is a look at various nutrients present in bok choy.
- Fiber – 1g
- Sugar – 1.2g
- Water – 95g
- Protein – 1.5g
- Fat – 0.2-0.3g
- Energy – 13Kcal
- Calcium – 105mg
- Phosphorous – 37mg
- Potassium – 251mg
- Iron – 0.8g
- Vitamin C – 44mg
- Vitamin A – 4468mg
- Vitamin K – 45µg
Health Benefits of Bok Choy
Bok choy is a very nutritional vegetable and fulfills most of the requirements of a bearded dragon which are considered important for good health. The various health benefits of bok choy are:
1. Low Fat and Sugar:
Bok coy is low in fats and sugar which is a good thing. Consumption of a high amount of fats and sugar makes bearded dragon overweight which leads to problems like plethora.
2. Rich in Vitamin A and C:
Bok choy is a highly nutritious vegetable and apart from this, it is very rich in vitamins A and C which builds a stronger immune system in bearded dragons. Bok choy offers a level of vitamin C of around 45mg per 100mg.
Vitamin C provides various health benefits like healing wounds easily and at a faster rate, repairing body tissues, maintenance of bones and teeth, and ensuring the healthy function of the immune system. But vitamin A should not feed many dragons therefore feed the vegetable in lower quantities.
3. High amount of Phosphorous:
Phosphorous is a very essential part of the good immune system in bearded dragons and the best thing is that bok choy contains the exact amount of bok choy that a bearded dragon requires which is two times less than the amount of calcium present in it. If the amount of phosphorous is high than calcium then it could bind the calcium and inhibit its absorption. It fulfills all the requirements for both the minerals in bearded dragons.
4. High in Calcium:
For the long-term health of a bearded dragon, calcium is very important. Lack of calcium in bearded dragons can cause metabolic bone disease commonly known as MBD which is a serious health issue. Due to this several problems arises like:
- Pain while walking
- Difficult to lift the body off the ground
- Decreases in the appetite
- Bowed legs
Bok choy provides 105mg of calcium per 100mg which is very good in quantity but should be provided sparingly.
5. Balanced Calcium to Phosphorous Ratio:
For a bearded dragon, a portion of healthy food has a balanced calcium to phosphorous ratio. Bok choy has a balanced calcium to phosphorous ratio and is considered a perfect diet for a bearded dragon. For healthy diet calcium to phosphorous ratio is considered 1:1 or ideally 2:1.
This means bearded dragons require more calcium than phosphorous in their diet. In bok choy, the amount is 105mg of calcium per100mg and 37mg of phosphorous 100mg which is a perfect ratio according to experts.
Also See: Best Antifungal cream for bearded dragon
Health Risks of Bok Choy
It is not harmful to a bearded dragon but when feeding continuously it can be harmful in some aspects. This is because bok coy contains goitrogens which can be harmful when feeding continuously. If the level of restricted nutrients becomes high then it may be risky and cause problems like:
This is caused when the level of vitamin A and its toxicity increases which is a common problem in reptiles. This bearded dragon suffers from laziness, pain in the eyes, and lack of energy.
Also, bok choy contains goitrogens which can affect the thyroid gland of a bearded dragon due to this their skin turns orange. So it is recommended that bok choy should be provided as a staple food in their diet.
How to prepare Bok Choy for Bearded Dragons?
It is very easy to prepare bok choy for a bearded dragon and does not require a lot of preparation. There are a few things which you need to know and do the things. Following are some steps on how to serve it.
- Wash the green leaves properly because it is ridden with pesticides and may contain toxins. Do not boil the leaves as it will kill most of the nutrients.
- Cut the bok choy leaves into small slices because big leaves can be troublesome.
- Add some other leaves of mixed veggies with bok choy slices.
- Chop the white part of bok choy into small pieces and add them with these veggies.
If the bearded dragon does not like this white part you can just ignore it to add to the diet. It does not affect the nutritional value at all.
Is Bok Choy Good for Baby Bearded Dragons?
Bok choy is even more helpful for baby bearded dragons than an adult dragon. It helps them in their growth as bearded dragons grow faster in the first year of their life. It requires lots of nutrients and fuel in its growth which bok choy provides. It should be included in their diet but as a staple green because it can create health issues too if serve in a large amount.
How Often is Bok Choy to be served for a Bearded Dragon?
Bok choy should be served once a week and twice a month. It provides essential nutrients just by serving once or twice. Overconsumption can lead to problems because it also contains goitrogens which are not good for bearded dragons. You should provide two or three leaves and also add a hard white part of the bok choy.
Other Alternatives To Bok Choy
Bok choy is a highly nutritious vegetable but it cannot be served daily. So there must have some other alternatives to green veggies that can be served as they require a variety of food in their diet.
Following are some alternatives to bok choy that can be served to a bearded dragon.
- Mustard greens leave
- Turnip greens leave
- Dandelion leaves
- Collard green leaves
Yes, bok choy is very nutritious and safe for bearded dragons. Bok choy is a healthy food offered to the bearded dragon if given to them in moderation like once a week. It should be served raw rather than to be cooked or boiled because due to this many nutrients washed out and will not provide as many nutrients as they can in raw form also it losses taste while boiling.
The calcium to phosphorous ratio is balanced and exact in this green vegetable and has a proper level of vitamins and minerals and is lower in fat and sugar. You can mix it with other veggies in small pieces and can serve them occasionally.
If served in a high amount it can cause problems in the thyroid gland and Hypervitaminosis. So the conclusion is bok choy should be served only as a staple food occasionally to bearded dragons.