Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cilantro? Benefits and Risks

Today, we’re tackling a quirky question that might tickle your curiosity Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cilantro? Indeed they can eat. Bearded dragons, those adorable desert dwellers, are not just unique in their looks but also in their dietary needs. As they grow from bug-munching juveniles to adults who enjoy leafy salads, their menu gets quite diverse.

Enter cilantro, a common kitchen herb loved for its zesty flavor. It’s packed with vitamins and could add a fresh twist to your dragon’s diet. But is it suitable for these reptilian buddies? Our journey today isn’t just about a yes or no; it’s a dive into understanding what makes a bearded dragon’s meal both safe and exciting. So, buckle up and get ready to discover if cilantro can be a green star in your bearded dragon’s colorful diet!

Read more : Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon?

Nutritional Benefits of Cilantro For Bearded Dragons

Cilantro, often a staple in human kitchens, can also offer several benefits when included in a bearded dragon’s diet. Here’s a look at why this fragrant herb might be a good addition to your scaly friend’s menu:

Rich in Vitamins and Minerals

Cilantro is packed with essential vitamins like A, C, and K, which are vital for maintaining good health in bearded dragons. Vitamin A supports vision and skin health, Vitamin C boosts the immune system, and Vitamin K plays a crucial role in blood clotting and bone health.

Low in Oxalates

Unlike some other greens, cilantro is low in oxalates, compounds that can bind with calcium and make it unavailable to the body. This is particularly beneficial for bearded dragons as they require a diet high in calcium to prevent metabolic bone disease.

Hydration and Fiber

Cilantro contains a good amount of water and fiber. The water content helps in keeping the dragon hydrated, while the fiber aids in digestion and preventing constipation, a common issue in captive bearded dragons.

Variety in Diet

Introducing different types of safe greens like cilantro can prevent dietary boredom and ensure a wider range of nutrients. This variety is crucial for mimicking the diverse diet they would have in the wild.

Potential Appetite Stimulant

For some bearded dragons, the unique taste and smell of cilantro can be appealing, potentially stimulating their appetite, especially for those that might be picky eaters.

Nutritional values of Cilantro For Bearded Dragons

A table according to Healthline, of approximate nutritional values for cilantro (coriander leaves) suitable for bearded dragons:

Nutrient Amount per 100g (raw)
Vitamin A (Beta-Carotene) 3377 IU
Carbohydrates 3.7 g
Phosphorus 48 mg
Dietary Fiber 2.8 g
Vitamin K 310 µg
Vitamin C 27 mg
Calcium 67 mg
Protein 2.1 g

Potential Risks or Side Effects of Feeding Cilantro to Bearded Dragons

While cilantro can be a healthy addition to a bearded dragon’s diet when given in moderation, there are potential risks and side effects to be aware of:

Allergic Reactions

Like any new food, cilantro can potentially cause an allergic reaction in some bearded dragons. Symptoms of an allergic reaction can include swelling, hives, or difficulty breathing. It’s rare, but it’s important to monitor your pet closely when introducing any new food.

Digestive Issues

Overfeeding cilantro or introducing it too quickly into the diet can lead to digestive upset. Symptoms like diarrhea or vomiting can occur if a bearded dragon eats too much cilantro, especially if it’s not used to it.

Nutritional Imbalance

Relying too heavily on cilantro or any single food item can lead to nutritional imbalances. A varied diet is crucial for the health of bearded dragons to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients in the right proportions.

Pesticide Exposure

If not washed properly, cilantro can carry pesticides and other chemicals that are harmful to bearded dragons. Always wash cilantro thoroughly before feeding.

Flavor and Smell Sensitivity

Some bearded dragons may be sensitive to the strong flavor and smell of cilantro, which might lead them to refuse other foods or reduce their overall food intake.

Oxalic Acid Content

Although cilantro is lower in oxalates compared to some other greens, it still contains these compounds which can bind to calcium and other minerals, potentially leading to deficiencies if consumed in large quantities.

Choking Hazard

If not chopped finely, cilantro can pose a choking hazard, especially for smaller or younger bearded dragons.

5 Easy Steps to Prepare Cilantro For Feeding

Preparing cilantro for feeding to bearded dragons is straightforward but important for ensuring that it’s both safe and palatable for your pet. Here’s the best way to do it:

  1. Always choose fresh, pesticide-free cilantro for maximum nutritional benefits.
  2. Rinse the cilantro under running water to remove any dirt, chemicals, or small insects.
  3. Cut the cilantro into small, bite-sized pieces to make it easier for your bearded dragon to eat and digest.
  4. Provide cilantro in its raw form, as cooking can reduce its nutritional content.
  5. Combine chopped cilantro with a variety of other safe vegetables and greens to ensure a balanced and diverse diet.

How to Properly Introduce Cilantro to a Bearded Dragon’s Diet?

Introducing cilantro into a bearded dragon’s diet requires careful consideration to ensure it’s done safely and effectively.

Here’s a step-by-step guide on how to properly introduce cilantro:

  1. Offer a few finely chopped cilantro leaves.
  2. Watch for any signs of digestive upset or allergies.
  3. Slowly increase the amount if no adverse reactions occur.
  4. Combine cilantro with familiar greens and vegetables.
  5. Wash cilantro thoroughly and chop finely.
  6. Ensure cilantro is only a small part of a varied diet.
  7. Introduce cilantro during regular feeding times.
  8. Seek advice from a reptile-savvy veterinarian for any concerns.

How Often and How Much Cilantro to Feed?

Incorporating cilantro into your bearded dragon’s diet requires a thoughtful approach to ensure it’s both safe and beneficial. Ideally, cilantro should be offered as a part of their regular meals, but not on a daily basis. It works best as an occasional treat or supplement, recommended to be included about once or twice a week. When it comes to the amount, moderation is crucial.

Cilantro should constitute no more than 10-15% of the vegetable portion of your bearded dragon’s meal. This ensures that it doesn’t overshadow other vital components of a balanced diet, which for an adult bearded dragon should primarily consist of a variety of leafy greens and vegetables. The exact quantity might vary depending on your pet’s size and age, with juveniles generally consuming less cilantro due to their higher insect intake.

What Other Vegetables Can Bearded Dragon Eat?

Bearded dragons can enjoy a variety of vegetables, which are essential for a balanced and nutritious diet. Leafy greens like Baby Spinach collard greens, mint leaves ,mustard greens, and turnip greens are excellent choices, providing essential vitamins and minerals.

Squash, bell peppers, and snap peas add variety and are well-liked for their texture and taste. Occasional servings of carrots and sweet potatoes are also beneficial, offering beta-carotene and other nutrients. It’s important to avoid vegetables high in oxalates, like spinach, as they can hinder calcium absorption.


Can baby bearded dragons eat cilantro?

Baby bearded dragons have different dietary needs focused more on protein (insects) than vegetables. It’s generally safe to introduce cilantro in very small amounts, but their primary diet should be insect-based.

Is frozen or dried cilantro as good as fresh cilantro for bearded dragons?

Fresh cilantro is preferable due to its higher nutritional content. Frozen cilantro can be an alternative if fresh is unavailable, but avoid dried cilantro as it loses a significant amount of its vitamins during the drying process.

How do I store cilantro for my bearded dragon?

Fresh cilantro should be stored in the refrigerator in a loose plastic bag or wrapped in a damp paper towel to maintain its freshness. Use it within a week to ensure it retains its nutritional value.


Cilantro can be a healthy and beneficial addition to a bearded dragon’s diet when introduced properly and fed in moderation. It’s rich in essential vitamins and minerals, low in oxalates, and offers hydration and fiber.

However, it should be given as an occasional supplement, not a staple, and always served fresh and finely chopped. Observing your bearded dragon’s reaction to cilantro is crucial, as individual responses can vary. While cilantro offers nutritional benefits, it’s essential to maintain a varied and balanced diet for your pet. As always, consult with a veterinarian for personalized advice, especially when making significant dietary changes.

Olivia Eva

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