Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas? – Advantages & Disadvantages
Bananas are one of the easiest fruits to get your hands on. They are sold in pretty much every corner shop or convenience store. But can bearded dragons eat bananas. As discussed in some of the other articles, we know that bearded dragons do like some fruits, and they are a key part in their balanced diets. Bananas are in fact safe for a bearded dragon to eat, so you’re all good on that front. However, keep in mind that like most others fruits, bananas should only be given to a bearded dragon in small amounts every couple of weeks.
(Please scroll down to the bottom of the page to find ‘Other related articles you might like’, once you are done reading).
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon a Banana?
Like all fruits, bananas have their good aspect and bad aspects for a bearded dragon. Bananas contain Phosphorus, and too much of this can lead to metabolic bone disease. Which is a common cause of death for bearded dragons when their owners are uneducated in the correct foods and quantities.
Phosphorus binds with calcium, which then means that the needed calcium already digested by your bearded dragon can not be used effectively. Bearded dragons may become calcium deficient, which commonly results in their bones being very weak.
100 grams of banana contains;
- Phosphorus 22mg
- Magnesium 27g
- Calcium 5mg
- Iron 3mg
- Sodium 1g
Additionally, bananas contain a high level of natural sugars. These sugars are stored and used just like the human body would. However, humans are far more active than bearded dragons, and these sugar will eventually make your bearded dragon obese. This over load of natural (and sometime acidic) sugars can give your bearded dragon a very bad stomach ad will not be pleasant.
Advantages and Disadvantages of Bearded Dragons Eating Bananas
Bearded dragons have a sweet tooth. They love anything that is rich in flavour. As you can imagine, crickets, roaches and mealworms every day would get rather boring. So changing their eating habits and routines will give a sense of stimulation to feeding time.
Minimal work has to be done to prep a bananas before it’s suitable for your bearded dragon to consume. Unlike and apple or pear which needs to be peeled, bananas can be quickly cut up onto small pieces ready to eat. The soft texture of a banana makes it easily digestible for a worry free snack.
The kidneys are the organ which regulates the calcium and phosphate inside the body. If for any reason a bearded dragons kidney functions are contest, then excess phosphate will build up in the body. This excess phosphate will bind to the calcium inside your bearded dragons body.
This is where the real damage is done. Because the phosphate has bind to the calcium, the body will try to extract more calcium from other parts of the body to make up for the deficiency. Calcium is drawn from the bones to make up the lost calcium due to the binding. After calcium is extracted, the bones become very weak and are vulnerable to Metabolic Bone Disease.
Signs of Metabolic Bone Disease to look out for?
- Difficulty walking around
- Unable to control their back legs
- Twitches and Muscle tumours
- Knots under their skin (damaged bone)
If you notice any of these signs, please take your bearded dragon to a trained veterinarian as soon as possible. You must keep a close eye on your bearded dragon and monitor them daily as signs like these aren’t always easy to spot.
Bearded dragons can eat a wide range of fruits. Here is a list of other fruits which bearded dragons seem to enjoy, which should also only ever be consumed every few weeks.
How Should Bananas Be Served To Bearded Dragons?
Can a bearded dragons eat bananas? This may seen like a silly topic to cover, but you wouldn’t believe how many times we’re asked why a pet bearded dragons isn’t eating certain foods. And it all comes down to how it is served.
Did you know what bearded dragons eye up foods in comparison to the size of their heads?
Thats right. A bearded dragons will rarely attempt to eat a food which is any larger than its own head. There’s a good reason for this too. Unlike humans, bearded dragons cannot hold their food, which means its has to already be small enough to fit inside its mouth.
As humans we cut and chop all our foods into suitable eating sizes. Bearded dragons don’t get the luxury of this, so we have to do it for them. If you are placing half a banana, carrot, apple, or whatever fruit/vegetable in their food bowl, they won’t just nibble at it like a rabbit.
You have to cut them down to size. So keep this in mind when you are serving your banana. It’s best to cut the banana into coin shapes and then cut them further into quarters. This size is much more suitable for bearded dragon consumption.
Can a Bearded Dragon Eat Grapes?
Do you struggle with giving your bearded dragon the correct varied diet? We understand that sometimes it can be very confusing to fully understand what our pet bearded dragons can and can not eat. Some foods can be very similar but have different effects on a bearded dragons digestive system. There are many fruits which you can feed your pet dragon, but can bearded dragons eat grapes?
Simply, the answer is yes. Bearded dragons can eat grapes. But this should only be on the odd occasion. A treat if you like.
Grapes are high in fibre and calcium, which is good news for bearded dragons. Unfortunately however, with the good, also comes the bad. Although grapes are high in fibre and calcium, they are also high in water, sugar and oxalates, and this is not such good news for a bearded dragons health.
You Know They’re Fussy Eaters, Right?
Pet or captive bearded dragons are notorious for being fussy eaters. And we know that many dragons owners will try out new foods, to try create a sable diet of food which their dragon will actually eat.
More often than not, a bearded dragon will actually prefer to eat fruit over vegetables. It’s believed this is all down the the variety and diversity of flavour. Think of fruits as a sugary treat for your dragon. Think about it, most of the foods we think taste the best are those which aren’t very healthy for us. Commonly because they are full of sugars. And this is what fruit is like to a bearded dragon.
Why Is Water, Sugar and Oxalates Bad For Bearded Dragons?
These are the three main reason why grapes are considered “unhealthy” in large quantities for bearded dragons. Through this section we will dive deeper into these three factors, and why they can cause health issues.
This is the strangest one, water.
We all know, that to survive, we need one mineral in particular, this being water. So why is the fact that grapes contain water is bad for a bearded dragons health.
Too much water is actually very bad for a bearded dragon. They come from a habitat which is extremely dry and they are used to being dehydrated for very long periods of time. In the dry woodlands of Australia, water is hard to come by. So drinking is not usually a bearded dragons main intake of water. They actually get about 75% of water they need from their food.
Bearded dragons know when they need water, and this is why they will search for vegetation to eat. Greens are full of water, and have enough to keep a bearded dragon hydrated through the blistering hot days.
Taking on board too much water can actually cause pretty severe diarrhoea, and will dehydrate your dragon further. Which in some cases has been know to be the cause of its death. So you really want to avoid this over doing it.
Natural sugars from grapes (and many other fruits) can cause a build up of acid which increases the chances more health issues. Bearded dragons can store sugars for a very long time, which is fine in the wild if they are actively and getting the exercise it needs to work off the store sugars. However pet bearded dragons usually aren’t as active and this can lead to obesity.
Yes that’s right. Pet bearded dragons are commonly overweight, and can actually get diabetes which isn’t uncommon for a cause of death for pet lizards.
Oxalates are a natural substance which is found in many foods, grapes being on the list. They bind to calcium during the digestion process in the stomach and intestines and leaves the body as waste product.
Basically oxalates are calcium thieves. They bind together with the calcium inside your bearded dragons body, and now the calcium can not be used effectively as it should. Therefore leaving the body as water also.
Bearded dragons actually need a lot of calcium, and sometimes it’s recommended to use calcium powders to sprinkle over their food to ensure they are getting a healthy amount. Add these oxalates into their diets and you’re pretty much eating your time and money with the powdered calcium.
One last problem
There is one last problem which many people forget about with grapes and this is the fact they have a skin. Just like and apple, or a pear, then skin of fruit is very tough for a bearded dragon to chew. For this reason, they may sometimes try to swallow it before it is fully edible, which can cause digestive and respiratory problems.
If you are feeding your bearded dragons a grape, please remember to peel the skin off it first, can cut into smaller pieces or scoop out the softer inside to reduce the risk of any digestive problems.
Final Verdict If Bearded Dragons Can Eat Grapes?
Can bearded dragons eat grapes? We say yes, as an occasional treat. A small amount of grapes every few weeks aren’t going to create any health issues for your bearded dragon. This issue only arise if you over feed them these types of foods.
Can a Bearded Dragon Eat Applesauce?
As we know, bearded dragons are opportunist eaters. They will eat at any opportunity they can and this doesn’t just stop and protein foods and vegetables. There’s not much a bearded dragon won’t eat, however there are many food it should not be given. But can bearded dragons eat applesauce?
One of the main reasons people like to give their bearded dragon applesauce is too over come constipation or any digestion problems. The acidity of natural applesauce is believed to aid the discomfort of constipation by freeing up any blockages or build up of gases.
You should only offer your bearded dragon unsweetened applesauce, which contains no syrups, preservatives or added sugars. Natural applesauce is the type which you may feed to a baby, so check in the bay food section at the supermarket to fins this product.
Can bearded dragons eat applesauce, Yes.
So Does This Mean They Can Eat Apples Too?
Yes, apples can be a part of a bearded dragons diet. However they should only be offered occasionally, maybe as a treat as the acidity (in too much quantity) can cause them an upset stomach, which won’t be very nice for your pet.
The apple skin however should be peel off. The skin is rather tough for a bearded dragon and may be hard for them to digest, which can sometimes cause some discomfort in their stomachs. So remember to remove the skin, and cut into small edible sized chunks before offering it to your bearded dragon.
Sometimes farmers use pesticides and chemicals throughout the growing process of fruits and these can be harmful to your bearded dragon. So this is another reason why you should always peel the skin off any fruits you plan to feed your pet.
If you want to be super cautious, then you can always feed your bearded dragon organic fruits and vegetables which do not use any chemical or pesticides in their production. Or one better, grow your own if you like.
There are however some benefits your bearded dragon can get from eating a small amount of apple every so often. This includes benefits such as,
- High in carbohydrates, which provide a high level of energy
- High in Fibre, which helps with the digestion system
- Hydration, as apples contain a lot of water
- Good Iron level, which keeps their blood oxygen rich
- Contains vitamin A and C, which strengthens their immune system
What Other Foods Can You Offer Your Bearded Dragon?
There are many alternative choices of food which you can feed to a bearded dragon, but of course you have to do so in proportion. Offering the best varied diet for your bearded dragon is very important for maintaining its overall health and well being.
Having a varied diet is one way to keep your bearded dragon stimulated with meals. Could you imagine eating the same food day in, day out? It would get rather boring after only a few days, and it’s not different for your bearded dragon. Not only that, if you only ate the same foods every day, then you would become deprived of all the goodness and nutrients which other foods can offer.
Commonly Used Alternatives Foods For Bearded Dragons
- Dandelion Leaves
- Turnip Greens
- Collard Greens
- Green Beans
- Sweet Potato
- Butternut Squash
- Snap Peas
Staple Fruits (in small quantities)
- Pears (peeled)
Foods You Should Avoid Feeding To a Bearded Dragon
There are 3 main foods which you should avoid feeding to a bearded dragon and one of them may surprise you. These foods are; Rhubarb, Avocados and Lettuce.
Yes that’s right, Lettuce!
The one food which you would think can be eaten by many animals all over the world is actually quite bad for a bearded dragon, and many reptiles in general. The reason for this, is simply the fact that lettuce doesn’t really have much nutritional value. Lettuce is mostly made up of water, therefore can easily lead to diarrhoea, and won’t keep them very happy.
The only time is it ever recommended is if your bearded dragon is dehydrated for some reason. Even then, you should be very careful on how much you feed them, as diarrhoea can actually worsen dehydration.
So really it’s just best to stay clear from lettuce altogether.
Avocados and Rhubarb are extremely toxic for bearded dragons and should be avoided always. You should never feed your pet these foods as they will undoubtedly cause some serious discomfort to your pet.
Okay, So What About Fruits?
There are only a couple of fruits which are thought to be acceptable in bearded dragons diets in small quantities, every now and again. These are, Mango, Papaya and Pears.
Fruits are commonly very acidic and citric. It’s for this reason they are usually avoided in reptile diets. Acidic or citric foods can be very difficult for a bearded dragon to digest, specially as a juvenile. And once digested, it can also cause discomfort internally also. So not a very pleasant situation throughout.
Well there you have it. Everything you need to know on, Can bearded dragons eat bananas? (And loads more). We say yes, as an occasional treat, you can indeed feed your bearded dragon bananas. A small amount of banana every few weeks isn’t going to create any health issues for your bearded dragon. This issue only arise if you over feed them these types of foods.
As long as you take this into consideration when constructing a balanced diet for your bearded dragon, you should be fine.
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