Yes, bearded dragons can eat kelp but only in moderation. Kelp cannot be a staple food for your bearded dragon. Kelp is one of the types of brown seaweed which grows in underwater forests mainly. It is a leafy vegetable that is highly rich in nutrients and provides lots of befits to your pet. There are around 30 different varieties of kelp. Therefore you should be very careful while adding a new thing to your bearded dragon’s diet.
Anything new in their diet can upset their stomach as their digestive system is very complicated and sensitive. While feeding kelp, you should chop them into small pieces so that bearded dragons can easily eat them without any trouble and choking themselves. You should also add some other green finely chopped veggies with kelp so that they can enjoy their meal having variation in it.
Nutritional value of Kelp
- Calories – 67
- Fat – 1g
- Protein – 4g
- Fiber – 0g
- Carbohydrates – 11g
- Folate – 45%
- Vitamin A – 13%
- Vitamin K1 – 55%
- Iron – 16%
- Magnesium – 29%
- Calcium – 13%
Kelp is rich in many vitamins and minerals as they absorb nutrients from their marine environmental surrounding. It is naturally rich in iodine also an essential component in the production of thyroid hormone. Low-level iodine in the bearded dragon’s body can lead to many health issues like enlargement in the thyroid gland, metabolic disorder, and various other complications. It also helps to boost the brain function and energy level in the bearded dragon’s body.
How to feed kelp to bearded dragons?
Kelp comes in different forms and can be used as a supplement in the bearded dragon’s diet as a treat occasionally. It is one of the best sources of nutrients for bearded dragons. It is a fresh leafy vegetable that can be served in different ways. You can serve kelp in the following ways to bearded dragons.
- The first method is you can feed kelp as a salad to bearded dragons. For this, you can also add some other fresh vegetables finely chopped and mixed with kelp cut into small pieces. Mix them well and serve highly nutrient-rich salad to your pet.
- Another way is you can also add some amount of dried kelp with the soups that you offer to your pet and also do the seasoning with kelp in their meal. Also, you can blend the kelp leaves and prepare juice for the pet which is also very healthy.
How much kelp bearded dragons should eat?
Too much of anything is not good so be careful while you are feeding new things to your bearded dragons. Kelp provides iodine to bearded dragons and if you feed kelp in excesses to your pet then the level of iodine increases in the dragon’s body which is not safe at all and causes several dangerous health issues. Excessive iodine in the body can lead to thyroid so keep kelp in moderation for bearded dragons. Always feed organic kelp to your pet and in a limited quantity with a proper interval of time.
Health benefits of Kelp
Kelp is a highly nutritious element in the diet of bearded dragons. Following are some of the health benefits of adding kelp to the bearded dragon’s diet:
1. Powerhouse of vitamins and minerals:
Kelp is a good source of vitamins A and K and provides around 82% on one serving. Vitamin K helps in blood clotting and also boosts the metabolism in pets. Folate present in it is good for pregnant bearded dragons. Kelp is also rich in minerals as they absorb minerals from their surrounding which helps them to make them rich in minerals like sodium which is essential for maintaining body fluids.
2. Helps to maintain iodine level:
Kelp also provides iodine which is essential for the production of thyroid hormones. Excessive intake of iodine could be dangerous so feed kelp only in moderation. Lack of iodine is also not safe so feed kelp from time to time in order to maintain the level of iodine in the bearded dragons.
3. Rich in antioxidants:
Kelp is rich in antioxidants and helps to reduce the production of free radicals and is also helpful in lowering the risk of cancer and heart-related problems.
4. Helps with obesity:
Consumption of kelp also helps to reduce the problem of obesity and has anti-obesity benefits for bearded dragons. The fiber known as alginate present in it helps to reduce fat absorption in the intestines by 75% in bearded dragons.
Kelp is one of the highly nutritious vegetables and safe for bearded dragons. Bearded dragons can eat kelp but only in moderation as a treat. It provides many health benefits but apart from health benefits it could also be dangerous if excessive consumption. It is rich in iodine and excessive consumption of iodine could be dangerous for dragon’s health. Therefore you should be very careful while feeding kelp to your bearded dragons.
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