Bananas are very easy to come by in the market. Given their abundance, I was wondering whether they are safe beardies. I did some research here is what I found?
Can bearded dragons eat bananas? Bearded dragons can eat bananas as an occasional treat. Feeding bananas to bearded dragons will provide them with beta-carotene, vitamins, water, and proteins. However, the calcium-phosphorus ratio of bananas does not make it a good staple food for bearded dragons.
When left to over ripen, bananas can have high sugar content which is not safe to bearded dragons.
Bananas in Bearded Dragons’ Diet
Bananas are very easy to source in the local groceries, one maybe tempted to feed their bearded dragon this fruit on daily basis or often.
This decision can lead to a sick dragon.
Nutritional value of bananas
The table below shows the nutritional benefits of the 100g serving of bananas.
There are both benefits and risks of feeding bananas to bearded dragons.
Benefits of feeding Bananas to Bearded Dragons
The soft texture of bananas make it easy for the dragons to munch on. Bearded dragons can also eat the banana peel without any harmfull side effects to their health.
Bananas have a high moisture content, offering bananas to your bearded dragon will help in hydration especially for bearded dragons that do not drink water easily.
It is very important to keep bearded dragons hydrated as dehydration can affect them negatively. Moreso, bearded dragons that are shedding.
As a rule of thumb a 300g bearded dragon should drink about 10ml per day, this amount includes water obtained from the food as well as direct drinking.
However, you should not make bananas an occasional treat for bearded dragons as too much water can cause diarrhea in dragons.
Though not in very high amounts bananas especially sweet bananas have some acceptable levels of beta-carotene for your dragon pet.
Since offering high levels of vitamin A can result to Vitamin A poisoning.
Offering beta carotene is advisable as dragons can convert it to vitamin A in the amounts that they need.
Though not in high amounts bananas contain proteins. Whereas you should not substitute animal protein with protein contained in bananas.
Banana servings can serve as a source of some protein to your bearded dragon.
Risks of feeding Bananas to Bearded Dragon
Phosphorous to Calcium ratio
|Calculation||5 divide by 22|
Bananas have very high amount of phosphorous compared to calcium.
A 100g serving of banana contains about 22mg of phosphorous as compared to just 5mg of calcium.
A high amount of phosphorus in a bearded dragon diet can prevent the bearded dragon body from absorbing calcium. Calcium binds with phosphorus to form calcium phosphates.
The recommended safe ratio of calcium to phosphorous is either 2:1 or 1:1. The vice versa can have detrimental health effects on your dragon pet such as metabolic bone disease.
Therefore, you should only feed bananas as an occasional treat rather than a staple diet.
High sugar content
Bananas have one of the highest percentages of sugar content. High sugar content is not safe for bearded dragons.
Moreso, if your bearded dragon is mature. You see domesticated bearded dragons do not exercise as much as their wild relatives.
Too much sugar in the bearded dragon’s diet can easily result in them becoming obese.
Another concern with too much sugar in the bearded dragon diet is that sugar ruins the teeth of bearded dragons.
A bearded dragon with ruined teeth cannot be in a position to feed well especially when it’s feeding on insects that require some crushing.
A poorly feeding dragon will eventually succumb to poor health conditions which may lead to death. Therefore keep the banana servings low and rare.
Given the risks of bananas outweigh the benefits especially for baby and juvenile bearded dragons that need all the help they can get in terms of nutrition there are better options than feeding bananas.
You may get away with offering bananas to adult bearded dragons once in a while but I would recommend sticking to safer and nutritious foods for younger dragons.
Like most other fruits and veggies such as grape seeds, tea, coffee, chocolate, carrots, grapes, raisins, lettuce, spinach, rhubarb, and onions.
Bananas too have tannin, tannin binds with protein, and hinders its absorption into the body of bearded dragons.
Additionally, tannin inhibits the action of some enzymes in the guts of bearded dragons hence preventing the absorption of iron and vitamin B12.
Therefore only offer bananas to bearded dragons sparingly.
How to Prepare Bananas For Your Bearded Dragon
Below is a step by step guide to follow when feeding bananas to your bearded dragons.
- Buy bananas that are organically grown without using chemicals
- Clean the banana thoroughly
- Chop the cleaned banana into small pieces
- put it in a bowl and present to your dragon
- Be sure to remove the uneaten fruit in 10-15 minutes
Alternatives to bananas include figs that have higher calcium content when compared to bananas and you can feed them to even baby and juvenile and even adult bearded dragons.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can bearded dragons eat bananas every day? Unfortunately, despite the fact that dragons love bananas, bearded dragons should not eat bananas every day. Bananas should only be offered as a special treat to adult dragons and rarely to baby and juvenile bearded dragons.
How much banana Can a bearded dragon eat? For baby and juvenile bearded dragons feeding bananas once a month is considered safe or not at all. For adult bearded dragons you can offer banana treats twice a month. and should be served with a treat that has high calcium content such as figs.
Despite bananas being safe for bearded dragons, they should only be fed in moderation. For baby and juvenile bearded dragons avoiding bananas is a good idea.
Young bearded dragons need as much calcium as they can get, given that phosphorous in bananas can bind with calcium to reduce calcium content in the body.
This can lead to a metabolic bone disease which can eventually lead to death. Given that there are other foods safe for bearded dragons in terms of phosphorous and calcium ratios, you should avoid bananas entirely in young dragons.
Overripe bananas have higher levels of sugar which can lead to obesity in your dragon.