Have you ever wondered what a bearded dragon would do if it ate a banana?
How much fruit should a bearded dragon eat?
You’ve seen the adorable YouTube videos of bearded dragons eating fruit.
But you know to be careful with certain foods; after all, some may be poisonous.
This may start you wondering:
Can bearded dragons eat bananas?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat bananas, and they do provide health benefits for your pet. However, you should be careful and only feed your bearded dragon banana once or twice a month. Too much banana may lead to health problems for a beardy.
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Bearded dragons are omnivores.
In the wild, they eat a varied diet.
Even in captivity, they are known not to be picky about what they eat.
Much of a bearded dragon’s diet in the wild consists of insects.
However, they will also sample leaves, flowers, and fruits where available.
They will also opportunistically eat the occasional rodent or smaller lizard.
Benefits Of Bananas
The occasional bite of the banana does have benefits for your bearded dragon.
Bananas are a nutrient-rich food for many animals, and beardies are no exception.
Bananas contain vitamins A and C, essential for your beardy’s vision, immune system, and growth.
The potassium in bananas helps with fluid retention, your beardy’s muscles, and kidneys.
The antioxidants and minerals in bananas help strengthen the heart, bones, and tissues.
Note: One thing to watch out for when feeding your bearded dragon any food is whether it has been treated with pesticides.
If you are unsure, peel the banana, or any fruit or vegetable, before giving it to your pet.
If you are buying organic fruit untreated with pesticides, feel free to give your bearded dragon bites of banana with the peel on.
Why Can’t I Feed My Bearded Dragon Bananas All The Time?
There are a few reasons why you should limit your beardy’s banana intake.
First, fruit should be the smallest portion of your bearded dragon’s diet.
Although bearded dragons are one of a few lizards who can eat fruit, they miss out on other vital proteins and nutrients if they are given fruit only.
You should be feeding your pet live insects most often out of all types of food, dusting them with calcium supplement two to three times a week.
Your bearded dragon can eat some veggies, too, which generally have less sugar than fruit and provide many of the same nutrients.
Second, ripe bananas have very high sugar content.
In bearded dragons, too much sugar may lead to obesity and other health issues.
This is another reason why you should be limiting fruit intake in general.
Most importantly, bananas contain a three to one ratio of phosphorous to calcium.
Generally, you should be feeding your bearded dragon food with an equal ratio of both minerals or more calcium than phosphorous.
Too much phosphorous, over time, will interfere with calcium absorption.
Calcium deficiency in reptiles leads to metabolic bone disease or MBD.
MBD is a serious condition which causes significant pain, paralysis, and could even lead to the death of your pet.
Are There Better Fruits For Bearded Dragons?
You have many different options for nutritionally healthy fruits when feeding your bearded dragon.
Remember, bananas are still good for your pet.
You need to be careful how often you are feeding banana to your beardy.
Here are some other fruit options:
Giving your bearded dragon these veggies will help them maintain good nutrition too:
- Bell Pepper
- Collard Greens
- Dandelion Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
Make sure the pieces you cut of these fruits and veggies are no bigger than your beardy’s eyes for easy digestion.
Are There Foods I Should Absolutely Avoid?
We recommend avoiding any citrus fruits for your bearded dragon.
Citrus fruits include oranges, tangerines, lemons, and limes.
These fruits are very acidic and may irritate a beardy’s stomach and gastrointestinal system.
There are some vegetables which do not have much nutritional value for a bearded dragon.
These include lettuce and celery.
Zucchini is also not very nutritious but is safe to feed your beardy.
Spinach, like bananas, may cause calcium deficiency and MBD if fed too often.
Kale is a better option.
Any insects which give off their own light, like fireflies or glowworms, are not suitable for any lizard pet to eat.
The light-producing chemicals are extremely toxic when consumed.
Metabolic Bone Disease
Metabolic bone disease affects all reptiles.
There are many potential symptoms.
Some are specific to bearded dragons, while others are common in other reptiles with MBD or seen with other conditions like mouth rot or an intestinal blockage.
Contact your veterinarian right away if you see any of these symptoms.
The symptoms specific to bearded dragons with MBD are:
- Jaw swelling
- Hind limb swelling
- Softening of the bottom jaw, commonly called “rubber jaw”
Here are some nonspecific symptoms of MBD in other reptiles or other conditions:
- Anorexia or refusal of food
- Legs tremoring when your lizard tries to move
- Crouching low to the ground
- Laying on abdomen
Contacting your veterinarian, possibly setting up an appointment, will also help determine if your bearded dragon is suffering from something which is not MBD.
They will point you towards an appropriate course of treatment.
Fortunately, MBD is easily preventable.
Make sure your bearded dragon gets enough calcium in their diet through nutritional supplements.
Limit the amounts of phosphorous in whatever you are feeding your beardy.
Sufficient vitamin D3 will also help with calcium absorption.
Either feed your beardy a D3 supplement or give them the nutrient through UV light.
We hope this article has helped you understand why you should not feed your bearded dragon certain foods too often.
Your bearded dragon can eat bananas.
If fed occasionally, they are a great source of essential nutrients which will keep your pet happy and healthy.
However, they should remain an occasional part of your beardy’s diet for a few reasons.
The high phosphorous to calcium ratio is the main one.
Too much phosphorous consumption may lead to metabolic bone disease.
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