Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cilantro? (All the Info)

Can bearded dragons eat cilantro?

Our veterinarians research and recommend the best products. Learn more about our process. We may receive a commission on purchases made from our links.

You might get tempted to give your bearded dragon this herb’s cooling flavour if you’ve ever enjoyed its distinctive taste in your favourite Mexican or Indian meal. Although adding some freshly chopped cilantro to your bearded dragon’s food may seem like an excellent idea, do you know if doing so will benefit their health? Can bearded dragons safely consume cilantro?

This article examines cilantro in detail to help you understand whether it’s genuinely okay to give it to your bearded dragon or whether you shouldn’t even consider including it in the salad as a treat. Tag along.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cilantro?

Yes, cilantro is an excellent herb for bearded dragons. In a balanced diet, bearded dragons can safely eat cilantro. However, because cilantro only contains moderate amounts of calcium, essential to a bearded dragon’s health and well-being, it should be ingested in moderation and should not be a staple food item in a bearded dragon’s diet.

Let’s first define the type of food we are referring to. Since the herb and spice are from the same plant, cilantro and coriander are frequently used interchangeably by the majority of people. In North America, “coriander” typically refers to the plant’s dried seeds, commonly crushed into a spice.

The Spanish word “cilantro” translates to “coriander leaves,” describing the plant’s leaves and stalk. Contrary to popular belief, cilantro and coriander have different nutritional profiles and flavours. Cilantro, in this article, refers to the plant’s young leaves.

So, do bearded dragons eat cilantro?

Let’s learn in detail about cilantro and bearded dragons, including feeding mechanisms, benefits, alternative feeds and more.

Can Baby Dragons Eat Cilantros?

Foods suitable for adult bearded dragons may only be the best option for a young and newborn dragon, because young bearded dragons develop quickly and have different nutritional requirements from adults.

Bearded dragons who are young and in infancy can still consume cilantro. However, you only need to be aware that young bearded dragons and babies require an even more optimal diet to promote their growth. Therefore, it’s crucial to focus on providing calcium-rich greens first, indicating that occasionally, you should add moderate amounts of cilantro to a diet rich in calcium.

Instructions for Feeding a Baby Bearded Dragon

Although cilantro provides many health advantages for your bearded dragon, as we have repeatedly stated in this article, it should be something other than a primary food.

We advise that providing cilantro to your bearded companion once a week is fine if you wish to introduce it to their diet. However, in the end, this will rely on how frequently you feed your bearded dragon items with a similar nutritional profile to cilantro.

The primary line is to give your beardie calcium-rich greens as the majority of their plant-based diet and secondary greens and herbs to add some diversity. If the bearded dragon routinely eats the same few vegetables, it may miss out on nutrients and flavour.

Although cilantro is a very straightforward herb to prepare and serve to your adult or baby bearded dragon, there are still a few procedures to ensure you give cilantro to your beardie in the best way possible.

The following is a simple guide showing how to prepare and serve cilantro to a bearded dragon:

How to Serve Cilantro to Your Beardie

You only need to prepare and then give your dragon the cilantro. Since beardies typically enjoy cilantro and frequently tempt them to consume other greens in the bowl, we advise combining the cilantro to a dish with some other high-quality greens full of calcium.

  • Organic: While it may be more expensive to buy your bearded dragon organic greens and herbs, it’s vital to provide it with food free of pesticides and herbicides. Providing an organic option whenever possible is what we recommend.
  • Wash: You should wash the cilantro appropriately before chopping. You must clean all the greens and herbs you give your bearded dragon, even if you go with the organic option.

Raw vs Cooked

Giving your bearded dragon natural or fresh cilantro is usually preferable instead of preparing it first. You will save a step by doing this, and your beardie will receive more nutrients, since heat kills some nutrients in plants.

Possible Issues of Feeding Baby-Bearded Dragon Cilantros

As we said earlier in the article, there is no real danger in feeding a baby bearded dragon cilantro. All the pet requires is supplementary food or accompanying meals. Cilantros should only be complementary to a highly nutritious salad meal.

The Nutritional Benefits of Cilantros to Bearded Dragons

There are several benefits to giving your beardie cilantro in moderation, even though it should not be a staple food for bearded dragons. They include:

Low Sugar Content

Like most herbs, cilantro has low sugar content, with only 0.87g per 100g.

Providing your bearded dragon with a low-sugar diet is crucial since too much sugar can lead to many immediate and long-term issues.

The possible issues arising from a high sugar diet include:

  • Tooth decay
  • Obesity
  • Diarrhoea
  • Stomach upsets

Balanced Ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus

The balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of cilantro is another benefit of giving it to your bearded dragon. It is generally agreed upon that food must have at least an equal quantity of calcium and phosphorus, and ideally, a 2:1 ratio favouring calcium, to be healthy for a bearded dragon.

This balance is crucial since your bearded dragon’s body cannot absorb calcium; phosphorous sticks to the calcium to enable the bearded dragon to utilise it. It is important to note that your beardie’s health will be fine if you occasionally treat them with an uneven calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.

In truth, most fruits have an uneven ratio; nevertheless, if you consistently give your bearded dragon foods with an unbalanced ratio as the main component of their diet, this could lead to serious health issues. As mentioned earlier, cilantro provides a healthy and balanced calcium-to-phosphorus ratio for bearded dragons.

High in Minerals and Vitamins

Cilantro has additional vitamins and nutrients that can be good for your bearded dragon. Vitamins A & K are two of the vitamins found in cilantro in the highest concentration.

Vitamin A benefits the body in several ways, including building a robust immune system, maintaining bone health, and fostering average growth. Although vitamin A helps the body in all areas, it’s important to remember that more isn’t always better. Therefore, you should permanently restrict the amount of high-vitamin A foods you give your bearded dragons, especially if you provide them with a multivitamin supplement.

If you routinely provide these high quantities of vitamin A, they can result in vitamin A toxicity, which can lead to various health issues. In addition to liver damage and bone discomfort, vitamin A poisoning can cause other health problems.

Additionally, cilantro has a high vitamin K content of 310 g per 100 g. In addition to promoting wound healing, vitamin K is crucial for the health and well-being of bones.

Potassium is yet another mineral that cilantro has in abundance. This mineral, which you probably ignored, supports several intricate bodily processes, including the neurological system.

What are Some of the Health Risks of Cilantro?

Even though cilantro has a variety of vitamins and minerals, it also includes a few low or unbalanced nutrients, which sadly make it a poor choice for regular food to give your bearded dragon.

Below are some of the negatives of cilantro that make it not ideal as a staple food:

Cilantro Contains Low Calcium Content

Because calcium is vital for your bearded dragon’s health, including bone formation and maintenance, metabolism, and muscular function, you must give them calcium-rich meals. 67 mg of calcium is present in 100g of cilantro, a moderate amount. While this is not a drawback, more is needed to make it a regular part of your beardie’s diet.

Cilantro has High Water Content

Although this might seem beneficial, a diet with cilantro as the staple food poses a significant risk of diarrhoea to the bearded dragon due to the high water content of cilantro.

Alternatives of Cilantros for Bearded Dragons?

Thyme, sage, and mint are some substitutes for cilantro that work well with bearded dragons. Below is a list of herbs you can use in place of cilantro when feeding your bearded dragon:

  • Lavender
  • Parsley
  • Chicory
  • Rosemary
  • Fennel
  • Radicchio

You should do research to ensure you’re feeding your beardie the appropriate way because each of these herbs has unique advantages.

Sage is a well-liked alternative to cilantro because it tastes like cilantro but doesn’t cause throat irritation.

Mint is another option that tastes incredibly different from cilantro and can be more palatable to your pet. Thyme is another choice with potent aromas, but it will not irritate your dragon’s sensitive nostrils as much as cilantro or mint does.

The Recommended Foods and Treats for Bearded Dragons?

The healthiest food for your bearded pet dragon will be varied. As omnivores, they may consume various foods, including live mealworms, king worms, crickets, greens like parsley and kale, and vegetables like pepper and sweet potato. Even giving them a small amount of fruit is acceptable.

Foods to Avoid Giving a Bearded Dragon?

Bearded Dragons are natural omnivores, meaning they can comfortably survive on a diet of vegetables and animal proteins. However, some food in the category above is not necessarily beneficial to the beardies and is sometimes toxic.

The following are some of the foods to avoid giving your bearded dragon;

  • Acidic foods
  • Food containing too much water
  • Wild insects
  • Venomous insects
  • Dairy products
  • High phosphorous foods
  • Foods with high Oxalate content.

Frequently Asked Questions

Can bearded dragons eat basil and cilantro?

Bearded dragons can eat basil and cilantro, but again, these herbs should only be offered in moderation as part of a balanced diet. It’s important to not rely on herbs as a primary source of nutrition for bearded dragons, as they have specific dietary requirements that should be met in order for them to stay healthy.

Additional Sources & Resources

We also have a series of resources about bearded dragons, including:

Or check out these academic resources on bearded dragon nutrition and cilantro specifically:

  • The Bearded Dragon: An Owner’s Guide to a Happy Healthy Pet by Steve Grenard. This book is a comprehensive guide to caring for bearded dragons. It includes information about bearded dragon nutrition and feeding, including the role of herbs like cilantro in their diet.
  • The Bearded Dragon: Biology, Husbandry, and Natural History by U. Fritz and T. Wiewandt. This book is a detailed guide to the biology, husbandry, and natural history of bearded dragons. It includes a chapter on bearded dragon nutrition, which covers the basic principles of feeding bearded dragons and the role of herbs like cilantro in their diet.
  • Feeding and Nutrition of Reptiles by Z. L. Bartlett and G. Grüneberg. This book is a comprehensive guide to the feeding and nutrition of reptiles. It includes a chapter on bearded dragon nutrition, which covers the basic principles of feeding bearded dragons and the role of herbs like cilantro in their diet.
  • Nutrition and Feeding of Reptiles by F. W. Martin and M. R. Rose. This book is a detailed guide to the nutrition and feeding of reptiles. It includes a chapter on bearded dragon nutrition, which covers the basic principles of feeding bearded dragons and the role of herbs like cilantro in their diet.
  • The Bearded Dragon Manual by Philippe de Vosjoli. This book is a practical guide to caring for bearded dragons. It includes information about bearded dragon nutrition and feeding, including the role of herbs like cilantro in their diet.

Pet News Daily Staff
Pet News Daily writers are experts in pet care, health and behavior. We are members of Society for Professional Journalists and practice ethical journalism.