I got curious whether beardies can actually eat bread without any health issues. To understand the subject better I did some research, below are my results.
Can bearded dragon eat bread? Bearded dragons should not eat bread. Bread has almost no nutritional value to the body of bearded dragons. Bread in the stomach of bearded dragons will swell and may lead to digestive issues such as constipation and impaction and even dehydration to your bearded dragon.
If your bearded dragons happen to eat a small piece of bread by mistake, do not panic, dragons can handle a small piece of bread comfortably.
Breads in the diet of bearded dragon
Breads are a staple breakfast food in most homes. A breakfast is not complete in most homes without bread.
To understand why breads have little or not nutritional value to your bearded dragon and why they may make your dragon sick lets try and understand its ingredients and how it is made.
Below is a table showing the nutrients content of some types of breads.
|White bread||Whole-wheat bread||Sourdough bread|
|Serving size||1 slice (25 grams)||1 thin slice (33 grams)||1 small slice (32 grams)|
|Total fat||1 gram||2 grams||0.6 grams|
|Carbs||13 grams||17 grams||18 grams|
|Protein||2 grams||3 grams||4 grams|
|Fiber||0.6 grams||2 grams||1 gram|
|Thiamine||8% of the RDI||7% of the RDI||9% of the RDI|
|Folate||7% of the RDI||5% of the RDI||12% of the RDI|
|Sodium||7% of the RDI||5% of the RDI||9% of the RDI|
|Manganese||6% of the RDI||31% of the RDI||8% of the RDI|
|Selenium||6% of the RDI||18% of the RDI||12% of the RDI|
|Riboflavin||5% of the RDI||4% of the RDI||5% of the RDI|
|Niacin||5% of the RDI||7% of the RDI||8% of the RDI|
|Iron||5% of the RDI||6% of the RDI||6% of the RDI|
So, how are breads made and what are the ingeridients.
Ingredients used to make bread
- Yeast helps with rising the dough
- Flour. the main type of flour used in bread comes from wheat
- Liquids. Water being the main liquid
- Sweetener. Sugar adds flavor and rich brown color to a bread’s crust.
There are two types of flour the refined flour and whole grain flour
Refined just as the name suggests is made by refining the grain, a process whereby the germ and bran are both removed leaving the endosperm alone.
As a result, you are left with white flour, Bread made using refined flour have a lighter, finer texture and a longer shelf life.
Refined flour products have very little nutritional benefits as during the refining process they lose fiber, minerals, and vitamins.
Consequently, manufacturers have resulted into adding supplements into the flour but still this does not make the products as nutritious as they would when made with unrefined flour.
Whole grain flour
Whole grain floor are more nutritious as compared to refined flour. Whole grain flour have not been refined meaning they contain all the nutrients in the grains used to make them.
Grains are loaded with dietary fibers and proteins which are very beneficial towards the health of a bearded dragon.
Breads made using whole grain flour normaly have a whole grain label inscribed in the packaging.
Some nutritious types of bread such as Ezekiel and Ryan bread are made using whole grains that are not wheat and are more nutritious compared to wheat based bread.
Unlike most breads, ezekiel breads is made from sprouted whole grains as a result they may contan extra nutrients.
The grains used in ezekiel bread is soaked and as it germinates it is processed to make bread flour.
Ezekiel breads flour contains several different grains such as barley, spelt and lenticels.
Some of the nutrients found in 45 grams ezekiel breads include
- 140 calories
- 5 g of protein
- 3.5 g of fat
- 22 g of carbohydrate
- 4 g of fiber
Rye bread is made from flour made from rye floor, that is very similar to white flour nutrition wise.
Nonetheless, it does not matter what type of bread it is they cause more harm than good to bearded dragons.
Risks of feeding bearded dragon Bread
Low nutritional value
Breads have little to no nutritional value to bearded dragons. Feeding your beard dragons nutrition loaded food is very important towards its growth especially for baby or juvenile bearded dragons.
Only stick to foods that benefit the health of your dragon.
When consumed bread may cause constipation as it swells and becomes hard to digest, even worse a constipated dragon may not be able to eat and pass poop.
Impaction is very dangerous to bearded dragons and may come from constipation.
To avoid impaction and constipation always ensure your dragon has enough fiber and exercises enough. Some of the best ways to exercise your dragon are through swimming or letting it chase after its prey.
Breads consumes water in bearded dragon to swell, given that bearded dragons do not drink that much water and the importance of keeping your dragon hydrated.
Dehydration can very dangerous especially to a bearded dragon that is shedding or preparing to shed.
Therefore, avoid feeding bearded dragons bread and make sure everyone in the family knows about it.
You could make a list of foods that should and should not be fed to your bearded dragons when you are not available.
This way your bearded dragon will always be safe whether you are around or not.
Best alternatives for bearded dragons compared to bearded dragons
What if bearded dragon eats a bread
If it is a small piece of bread that was fed by a mistake you should not worry.
But if it is a large piece of bread you should contact your vet immediately for help.
There are tons of other fruits, insects, veggies that will provide your bearded dragon with the right nutrients without causing adverse health effects. Some insects like hornworms can even be fed on daily basis. Always avoid feeding foods such as breads and avocado to your dragon.