Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
If you are worried about feeding bananas to your bearded dragon, you have come to the right place. In this in-depth article, you will learn whether or not bearded dragons can eat bananas. We will guide you through all the dos and don’ts. It covers all the answers you seek before feeding bananas to your bearded dragon friend.
Let’s explore the important information step by step to determine how useful or harmful a banana is for them.
Is it safe for bearded dragons to eat bananas?
In a word, yes. Bearded dragons can eat bananas, provided it is consumed once in a while. Bananas are highly nutritious, but their phosphorus to calcium ratio is not considered suitable for bearded dragons. And, the fact that it’s sugar content increases when ripened can prove unhealthy for them.
Research conducted by VCA Hospitals reveals although bananas are safe for bearded dragons, they are not fit enough to be consumed regularly. There are many fruits, vegetables, plants, and protein-rich insects listed by VCA Hospitals that have received a green signal for both nutritional values and effects on bearded dragons.
Nutritional value of bananas
Speaking of nutritional value, the table below denotes the nutritional value of bananas as suggested in a research by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. Most importantly, the main things to look out for when feeding bananas to your bearded dragons are phosphorus and calcium levels, as well as sugar and protein levels.
|Total Fat (lipid)||0.33 g|
|Iron (Fe)||0.26 mg|
|Potassium (K)||358 mg|
|Vitamin C||8.7 mg|
|Sodium (Na)||1 mg|
How often should you feed them?
It is no secret that your bearded dragon’s diet must be a high-quality, nutritious diet. But, the mineral and vitamin levels mentioned above might put them at risk if consumed too often. Therefore, they can eat bananas as a treat in a time duration of every one or two months.
How to prepare bananas for bearded dragons?
The VCA Hospitals list of safe foods for bearded dragons also contains banana skin. It is good for them for nutritional purposes. However, the best way to feed banana skins is organically or along with the skin.
Bananas should be pesticide and herbicide-free to make sure the banana skin is organic. For it’s harder texture, it should be chopped to bit sizes for easier consumption.
If you wish to feed the banana without skin, the soft banana can be chopped to slices. They need no cooking.
Remember that bearded dragons only entertain their salad bowl for the top 3rd part. After that, they get bored. So, it is better to place the maximum banana slices on top and somewhat hidden inside.
What are the advantages of feeding bananas to bearded dragons?
It can be used as a salad topper when your beardie refuses to eat boring greens and vegetable salad. They love to eat bananas due to their sweet taste and soft texture. So, you can fool them into eating nutritious foods by sliding bananas in their diet. This way, there is less waste and more nutrition consumed by your bearded fella.
What are the disadvantages of feeding bananas to bearded dragons?
High amounts of phosphorus vs. calcium can put bearded dragons at risk. The ideal ratio is between 1.1 to 1.2. Any more than that, on a regular basis, results in diseases such as Metabolism bone disease.
The phosphorus content for bananas in the above table is more than calcium. This explains why you must only offer bananas to bearded dragons occasionally.
Poor nutrition is considered a key factor in bearded dragons who suffer from bone disease, as suggested by Pet-MD. But, this should not restrict you from letting them enjoy the rich taste of banana on an occasional basis.
It is extremely difficult and impossible to provide your dragon with ample calcium needed for their good health. Therefore, a source of organic calcium is always better. Due to lack of calcium in their diet, many depend on calcium supplements for bearded dragons.
Although nutritious and beneficial for many, bananas contain low nutritional value for dragons. This is also because of their sugar content, which is not good for their overall health. And the fact that when they ripen and turn yellow to brown, their sugar content increases only makes it worse.
Not only high sugar levels are a risk factor for the health of bearded dragons, but they also affect their teeth. As calcium is already scanty in the approved list of organic foods for them, it is not ideal to make it worse by adding sugar-rich food to their diet.
Apart from that, sugar makes them overweight if consumed in surplus. Baby or juvenile dragons grow at a rapid pace. So, although they have small stomachs, every meal counts for nutritional and growth benefits.
What are other alternatives to bananas?
It is no secret that fruits are less healthier than vegetables, greens, and flowers for bearded dragons when it comes to plant-based foods. However, despite the ideal phosphorus to calcium ratio, there are certain fruits you can rely on to let them savour the rich taste of fruits.
Therefore, below are the names of certain fruits included in the VCA Hospitals’ list that you can feed to your dragon buddy.
The VCA Hospitals experts name these fruits as the top 5 fruits that can be consumed by your bearded dragon. Also, please take note that they can be fed only occasionally like bananas.
Nonetheless, they offer better nutrition to them than bananas. One interesting thing to note is figs and their calcium content. The calcium levels in figs are high, making them one of the best salad topping fruits for bearded dragons. These top 5 fruits for bearded dragons can be used as salad toppers separately and in turns.
Long story short, you may feed bananas along with skin to your bearded dragons, but in limited amounts as an occasional treat, which is once a month.
|⚠️ This article is a transcribe of articles from other sources. Please consult a vet before deciding the diet of your pet. This is just for a basic idea & should not be followed to decide your pet’s diet.|