Bearded dragons are one of the fastest growing pets in recent years when it comes to their popularity in North America and Europe and the number of people adding a pet bearded dragon to their family continues to increase with each year that passes.
We often see a wide range of different questions about keeping a pet bearded dragon from the reptile keeping community as well as people who are thinking of getting a bearded dragon and for today’s article, we are going to be taking a look at if bearded dragons can eat bean sprouts or not.
Bearded dragons can eat bean sprouts and the majority of bearded dragons actually enjoy eating bean sprouts as a treat food from time to time.
Due to the lack of nutrition in bean sprouts, they should never be used as primary food source or a commonly used treat food as they are nutritionally deficient and there are much better foods you can use in place of bean sprouts.
The vast majority of people should be using a variety treat food for the bulk of their bearded dragons treat calories due to the higher nutritional profile of those foods.
More and more people are starting to feed their bearded dragons their kitchen scraps as a treat food though and this can also work well.
If you are taking the kitchen scrap approach then you should try to avoid using the same food as a treat for your bearded dragon more than once per week and they should only make up around one fifth of your bearded dragons total daily calories at an absolute maximum.
Are Bean Sprouts Nutritious For Bearded Dragons?
Bean sprouts have an extremely low nutritional profile relative to the size of the food while also offering minimal calories too.
They are not particularly nutritious for the needs of the average bearded dragon but some bearded dragons do really enjoy eating bean sprouts due to their taste so many bearded dragon keepers use them as a treat food on occasion.
If you do use bean sprouts as a primary food source for your pet bearded dragon then you drastically increase the chances of your bearded dragon becoming emaciated.
Provided you make sure that your bearded dragon is eating a balanced and varied diet then you shouldn’t have problems with this though but always try to make sure that the primary food source that makes up the bulk of your bearded dragons diet is some sort of medley food option that has plenty of variety in it.
With one cup of bean sprouts usually only containing around thirty calories, the argument can definitely be made that bean sprouts are also a calorie deficient food as well as nutritionally deficient.
With bearded dragons having such small stomachs, feeding your pet beardie bean sprouts too often can cause excessive weight loss due to the animal eating such a low calorie food so much.
Are Bean Sprouts Safe For Bearded Dragons To Eat?
Bean sprouts are generally considered to be safe for bearded dragons to eat provided they make up a very small part of their overall diet.
Due to the taste buds of a bearded dragon being more sensitive than those of a human, a beardie may choose not to eat bean sprouts due to the alkaline taste of the food but most bearded dragons will eat bean sprouts with most seeming to enjoy the taste.
We have pointed out the potential dangers above with the low calorie content and low nutritional value of bean sprouts so portion control is important when using them as a treat food.
We know that many people like to feed their pet bearded dragon kitchen scraps these days as they think that they are healthier than the commercial food options but it is actually surprisingly difficult to create a nutritionally complete bearded dragon diet with just kitchen scraps.
Thankfully though, the low nutritional content in bean sprouts also means that there is an extremely low toxin content in the food too.
This means that the vast majority of healthy bearded dragons should have no real problems with having bean sprouts in their diet and that there should be no side effects due to eating the food.
How Often Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Bean Sprouts?
The frequency that bean sprouts should be fed to a bearded dragon is actually up for debate with some people saying once per month is the best option while others suggest that once per week is fine.
Both options are actually correct as it will depend on how varied the rest of your pet bearded dragon’s diet is and if it is getting plenty of vitamins, minerals, and calories from other food sources.
As a general rule of thumb, the more variety of high quality foods you have in your bearded dragon’s diet, the more frequently you are able to use them as a food source for your pet.
The less variety available in the diet of your bearded dragon, the less frequently you should feed your bearded dragon foods like bean sprouts as they just aren’t worth it in most cases from a nutritional point of view.
Many of the people who do feed their bearded dragon bean sprouts only do it as their pet bearded dragon tends to really enjoy the taste of the food.
Overfeeding your bean sprouts can also cause your bearded dragon to throw up due to the amount of space that even a small portion of bean sprouts can take up compared to the size of your pet bearded dragon’s stomach.
Do Bearded Dragons Like To Eat Bean Sprouts?
There is very little solid data available on what kind of percentage of bearded dragons actually enjoy eating bean sprouts.
From the various reports that we have seen on social media, we would guess that around two thirds of bearded dragons do enjoy eating bean sprouts while one third tend not to like the taste of them.
If you are lucky enough to have a pet bearded dragon that does like the taste of bean sprouts then you are able to use them as a treat food to help you bond with your bearded dragon.
Just don’t let yourself get carried away with how many bean sprouts you let your bearded dragon eat as they really should be making up a small amount of the overall calorie intake that your bearded dragon takes in.
If your bearded dragon does like the taste of bean sprouts then one thing that we have seen some people say that they use is that they will dice up a couple of bean sprouts and use them as a topper for a more suitable primary food option.
This can be a win win situation for your bearded dragon as it gets the nutritional values that it requires from its food while also getting the taste of the bean sprouts too.
Are There Better Food Options Than Bean Sprouts For Bearded Dragons?
There are far better food options out there that you are able to feed your pet bearded dragon than bean sprouts.
Almost all bearded dragon safe foods will have a considerably better nutritional profile and calorie count than bean sprouts firmly putting bean sprouts towards the bottom of the alternative food options for your beardie.
There really are a ton of insects, fruits, and vegetables out there that are much better food options than bean sprouts.
They are not as expensive as many people initially think either while offering a far better nutritional profile for your bearded dragon than bean sprouts.
Even if you are taking the kitchen scraps approach to feeding your pet bearded dragon, bean sprouts should definitely be towards the lower end of the priority.
The vast majority of fruit and vegetables that you will have available will be better for your pet bearded dragon and if your bearded dragon does like the taste of the bean sprouts, consider the topping method that we touched on earlier.
Basically, chop up two or three bean sprouts to add on top of other food types that you want your bearded dragon to eat, it is surprising how often this will work.
Do You Have To Cook Bean Sprouts Before You Feed Them To Your Bearded Dragon?
If you purchase “ready to eat” bean sprouts then there is no need to cook them prior to feeding them to your pet bearded dragon.
If you buy regular bean sprouts then you should cook them prior to feeding them to your beardie as there is a moderate chance of bean sprouts having potentially harmful bacteria on them due to the conditions they are grown in being optimal for bacteria to grow.
To be safe, we would also recommend that you still cook “ready to eat” bean sprouts prior to feeding them to your pet bearded dragon if possible though.
Once the bag of bean sprouts has been opened, they quickly lose their ready to eat status even if you return them to the refrigerator quickly.
Our regular readers will probably know that we always say that its better to be safe than sorry when it comes to your pets food and it really doesn’t take long to cook your bean sprouts anyway.
That brings our article going over if bearded dragons can eat bean sprouts or not to an end. We hope that we have been able to help our readers better understand that your pet beardie can eat bean sprouts but there are often downsides to using the food while the advantages of bean sprouts for bearded dragons really are limited.