Bearded dragons eat a wide variety of foods to be healthy (including vegetables and some insects). On the other hand, there are plenty of things that bearded dragons shouldn’t eat. While Beardies have a flexible diet, choosing a healthy treat for them is no easy task. What about peas?
Can bearded dragons eat peas? Yes, they certainly can. In addition to the regular garden peas, bearded dragons can also eat the snap and snow peas. However, feeding them frozen, canned, or processed peas is very unhealthy. Just use the fresh peas as a treat for them occasionally, and they will thrive.
The nutritional value of peas
Have you ever fed peas to your Beardie? Considering the fact that you’re here, we think that you probably haven’t, but are thinking of introducing these veggies to their diet now. And the first step of any new addition to their diet should be finding out whether or not is it healthy for your pets.
The first half of this answer lies in learning about the nutritional composition of peas. You can easily do this by going through the table we have curated below:
|Vitamin A||765 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.265 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.133 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||2.08 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||1.05 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.168 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||65 mcg|
|Vitamin C||40 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.14 mg|
|Vitamin K||24.7 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||25 mg|
|Iron, Fe||1.48 mg|
|Sodium, Na||5 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.177 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||33 mg|
|Potassium, K||244 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.42 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||1.23 mg|
|Selenium, Se||1.7 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||5.1 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Are peas healthy for Bearded Dragons?
If we’ve learned anything from the table in the last section, it is that peas do contain quite a lot of vitamins and minerals. Below, we have listed which of these nutrients are healthy for your Beardies and how:
- Vitamins A and C in peas are essential for the maintenance of your Beardie’s eyesight, breeding, and immune health, and can also help in restoring their tissues and organs.
- Thiamin (Vitamin B1) is vital for the health of their nervous tissues.
- Vitamin K plays a key role in bone health and improves blood clotting in their body.
- Iron is responsible for the production of their red blood cells and the transportation of oxygen throughout their body.
- Calcium and Phosphorus support their bone development.
Risks involved with feeding peas to Beardies
While peas do have some nutrients that can help your Beardies, they’re not without risks either. However, before we move on to talk about these risks, let’s make one thing clear; these risks can only arise when you’re feeding too many peas to your Beardie.
As long as you can stick to moderation, your pets will be healthy and happy (we’ll discuss about moderation later in the article).
Talking about the risks involved with peas, there are only two. The first one is of sugar; while the sugar content of peas is not extravagantly high, if fed in excess, it can lead to several health issues in your pet, such as diarrhea, diabetes, and obesity.
The other issue with peas is the improper ratio of Calcium and Phosphorus in them. Beardies ideally need the Ca:P ratio in their diet to be 1:1 or 2:1. However, as you can notice in the table above, peas contain a much higher amount of Phosphorus than Calcium.
This leads to the deficiency of Calcium in their body (since Phosphorus binds with all the Calcium), ultimately resulting in Metabolic Bone Disease. Some of the common MBD symptoms in Beardies that you should look out for are:
- Difficulty in movement
- Fragile bones, sometimes with knots forming at several places
- Receding jaw
- Twitching and muscle tremors
How often should Beardies eat peas?
As you can clearly see in the last section, it is not a good idea to feed your Beardies too many peas. All the reptile experts believe that the safest way of feeding Beardies peas is in moderation, mixed with other fresh fruits or veggies.
Although there are many factors involved in moderation, as a general rule, feeding them 5-6 pea seeds once a week should be enough for a grown Beardie. If you’re feeding them snow pea or snap pea along with the pod, give them only one whole pea pod.
Is it okay to feed snow peas to Beardies?
Also referred to as “Chinese peas” due to their popularity in Chinese cuisine, snow peas are an edible pea species with a flat pod and thin pod walls. These peas are to be eaten when they’re still unripe and can be consumed along with the pods.
If you are thinking of feeding snow peas to your pet reptiles, make sure that you do so in moderation, for the sugar content in these peas is higher than that of the regular pea variety.
Moreover, we would also recommend you to mix these peas with some other veggies while serving them to your Beardies to maintain their balanced diet.
Are sugar snap peas safe for Beardies to eat?
The sugar snap peas are more commonly known by the name of “snap peas”. Although these peas are also eaten whole like the snow peas, they have a distinct appearance, with their rounded pods and thick pod walls.
Another similarity between these peas and the snow peas is that both of them have a slightly higher sugar content than the garden peas. This is why you should follow the same moderation with these peas as with the snow peas while feeding these to your Beardies.
Are frozen peas healthy for Beardies?
Although eating fresh peas is very convenient in the summers, during the winters, it becomes difficult to find these fresh veggies around, which is why we resort to eating their frozen versions. But while it is okay for us to eat frozen peas, what about our pet reptiles? Can they eat these as well? Ideally, they should not.
Since these peas lose most of their nutrition in the process of freezing, they will not do much good to your little pet’s health. However, in case you don’t have a choice, always mix the frozen peas with other fresh greens.
Can Beardies eat mushy peas?
Mushy peas are a traditional British snack that is now popular in many parts of the world. In order to prepare these snacks, a special kind of peas, known as marrowfat peas (the peas that are left to dry naturally in the field when they have matured), are used.
In the traditional recipe of mushy peas, the marrowfat peas are soaked in baking soda overnight and then boiled and simmered the next morning until they are soft and mushy. Although salt and pepper are commonly used to season these peas, many people use other herbs as well.
While the mushy peas might appeal to your taste buds, feeding them to your Beardies is a bad idea. These are, after all, processed foods. And as you might already know, your Beardie’s ideal diet should not contain any processed food.
Can you feed your Beardie canned peas?
If you have your Beardie for a while, you must already know that all processed foods should be off-limits to your pet reptiles, including canned goods. Canned peas are manufactured for human consumption and can thus be detrimental to the Beardies’ health.
Not only have they lost most of their essential minerals, but they also contain several additives and preservatives to give them a longer shelf life. All these chemicals might not harm us, but to our pets, they can be lethal. Therefore, you should not be feeding canned peas to your Beardies.
Is it safe for Beardies to eat pea pods?
As we’ve discussed above, there are several pea varieties that are safe for us. However, when it comes to the regular garden peas, we usually discard the pod and eat only the seeds. What about your Beardies? Can they eat these discarded pods?
Since there is little data about the effect of these pods on the Beardies, it would be best not to feed them these. If you wish to use these pods in something useful, you can find many soup recipes online in which these are used as ingredients.
Can baby Bearded Dragons eat peas?
All Beardies that are younger than the age of 18 months are considered to be baby Beardies. If you happen to have one of these little reptiles at home and are wondering if they can eat peas, we might have some bad news for you.
Although a couple of pea seeds wouldn’t be outright toxic to these little guys, it would be best not to feed them these altogether.
Unlike the adults, these babies have a primarily insectivorous diet, with only about 10-15% of it consisting of fruits and veggies. It is, thus, essential that you fill this portion with nutrient-dense fruits and veggies, and there are far better choices than peas for them.
Preparing peas for Bearded Dragons
Although we have learned about feeding peas to Beardies so far, below are some quick pointers that might help you with it:
- Always purchase organic peas for your pets, for these have been cultivated in an organic environment and are safe from all kinds of pesticides.
- In the case of garden peas, remove the pods and feed your pets only the seeds.
- Even when you’re feeding them snow or snap peas, chop them down into smaller pieces to make it easy for your pet to chew or digest them. If they try to eat these peas whole, they might choke on them.
- Wash the peas thoroughly before you feed them to your Beardies.
- Always remember that fresh peas are the healthiest alternatives for your pet bearded dragons.
Conclusion: Can Bearded Dragons eat peas?
Let’s do a quick recap of everything we have learned so far: although peas are not as nutritious as other fresh greens, they’re still rich in some nutrients that can help your Beardies.
Bearded Dragons can also eat a variety of peas safely (some even with their pods). Just make sure you’re not feeding them these treats too often, for it can lead to some serious health problems in the long run.