Having Bearded Dragons as pets is a true delight. They not only have an exotic appearance but can also be great companions. And keeping them happy is easy as well. Just keep treating them occasionally, and they’d be ecstatic. Did you know that you can use the fruits from your kitchen as their treats? What about bananas? Can these be used to treat them?
Can Bearded Dragons eat bananas? Yes, they can, but only as a treat and in moderation. While bananas have a number of health benefits for them, eating too many of these fruits can be really unhealthy for these reptiles. Bananas have a Ca:P ratio that is improper for them and contain too much sugar. Therefore, the only safe way of feeding your pet bearded dragon bananas is in moderation.
In this article, you will learn everything you need to know about feeding bananas to Beardies.
Will Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
When you introduce anything new into your pet’s diet, there are two questions you must ask yourself: whether they will like eating it, and how would it benefit them? We’ll focus on the first question here and discuss the second one in the next section.
The Beardies are omnivore creatures, much like ourselves, and can, therefore, eat a variety of both plant as well as animal-based food. In the wild, a large portion of their diet comprises insects, such as crickets, mealworms, roaches, earthworms, and so on. They’re also fond of vegetables like potato, pepper, and leafy greens like kale.
These reptiles hardly come across fruits in their natural habitat, but that doesn’t mean that they can’t eat them, or don’t like doing so.
Many Beardie-owners have fed their pets a variety of fruits and their Beardies have responded positively to them. Some of their favorites are kiwi, peach, melon, apple, guava, and so on. Bananas are also included in this list. Thus, your Beardie will like eating bananas once they taste them.
Why Should You Feed Your Beardie Banana?
Now that we’ve established that Beardies like eating bananas, we must ask ourselves why we’re adding bananas to their diet? Although Beardies can eat a large number of foods, they have a limited appetite due to their small body.
And as a responsible pet parent, it is your job to make their diet as nutrient-dense as possible to ensure their healthy growth.
So, can banana contribute anything to your Beardie’s nutritional needs? In order to answer that question, let’s first take a look at the nutritional composition of bananas:
The Nutritional Value Of Bananas
|Vitamin A||64 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.031 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.073 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.665 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.334 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.367 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||20 mcg|
|Vitamin C||8.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.10 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.5 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||5 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.26 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||27 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.078 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.27 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||22 mg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Potassium, K||358 mg|
|Selenium, Se||1 mcg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.15 mg|
|Dietary fibers||2.60 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
All of us have heard about bananas being rich in Potassium, but from the table, it is evident Potassium is not the only nutrient they’re rich in. Be it vitamins, minerals, or macronutrients, these fruits have it all. Now, let’s learn about banana’s health benefits for your pets.
The Benefits Of Feeding Beardies Bananas
- The Potassium in bananas plays a key role in maintaining the fluid balance of your Beardie’s body and supports their muscle functions.
- Bananas also contain Vitamins A, B1 (Thiamin), B6 (Pyridoxine), and C in abundance. Together, all these vitamins enhance their immune system, promote their eyesight and reproductive health, and boost their overall growth.
- Minerals like Calcium and Magnesium, which are essential for your Beardie’s bone and tissue health, are also present in bananas.
- Moreover, bananas are rich in antioxidants that prevent cell damage in Beardies and strengthen their defense against various diseases.
In addition to all the health benefits mentioned above, bananas are also soft and, thus, easy for your Beardies to chew and digest. Now you know why you should feed bananas to your Beardies.
Why Shouldn’t You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Too Many Bananas?
If bananas are both healthy and easily digestible by the Beardies, why can you not feed them too many of these? Because so far, we have only discussed the advantages of bananas for Beardies, not the risks.
And truth be told, if you keep feeding them these fruits in moderation, you have nothing to worry about. However, when fed in excess or too frequently, bananas can harm their health in several ways.
Improper Ca:P ratio
The Beardies need the ratio of Calcium and Phosphorus to range between 1:1 and 2:1 in their diet. If they’re consuming foods that have more Phosphorus than Calcium, the former will bind with the calcium in their body, preventing them from using it. This phenomenon often leads to Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
Some common MBD symptoms that you need to look out for in your Beardies are:
- Twitching in their fingers and toes
- Muscle tremors
- Difficulty in walking
- Inability to control their hindlegs
- Hardened knots under their scales
- Receding jaw
- Fragility in bones
The Ca:P ratio of bananas is 3:1, which is highly unsuitable for your Beardie’s health.
The Risk Of Oxalates
For those of you who didn’t know this, bananas are among the low-oxalate fruits, which is why they are safe for Beardies to eat in moderation. However, when your Beardie eats too many bananas, they will increase the oxalate level in their body. These oxalates will then bind with calcium, which will result in the calcium in their body going to waste.
Too Much Sugar
Like all other fruits, bananas are also rich in sugar. And while Beardies might like eating sweet things, adding too much sugar to their diet is not a good idea. It can lead to a number of health problems in their body, such as tooth decay, dehydration, obesity, diarrhea, and other digestive problems.
Practicing Moderation with bananas
As you can clearly see in the last section, you cannot feed your Beardies bananas every day if you want them to be healthy. You have to practice moderation with these fruits. But how would you know how often should you feed them these? And how many? We will tell you.
You can feed them a maximum of five medium-sized slices of these fruits once every two weeks. If you follow this moderation, your Beardies can benefit from the bananas without having any ill-effects.
Prepping Bananas For Beardies
As far as fruits go, bananas are pretty easy to eat. They have an outer peel soft enough to be removed easily by hands and contain no seeds or other unwanted parts that have to be cut out. But is it equally easy to prep them for Beardies? Yes, it is.
If you have bought organic bananas for your little friends, you needn’t remove the peel; but in the case of the regular ones, peeling is necessary.
Next comes slicing. You can cut the banana into medium-sized slices (with a width of about half an inch) and feed 4-5 of these slices to your pets. If the slices are unpeeled, give them only 2 to 3 of them.
Also, you should never leave the banana in their cage for too long, for these fruits take little time to go bad.
Can Baby Beardies Eat Bananas?
Is your pet Beardie younger than 18 months of age? Then you have a baby Beardie in your hands. And since the diet of the baby Beardies is completely different from the adults, you need to be extremely careful about what you are feeding them.
While the adult’s diet is mostly plant-based with occasional insect treats, their babies need a predominantly insect-centered diet while growing up. This is because they need animal-based protein for their healthy development.
So, can these babies eat bananas? While they can, we would recommend you not to feed them these, or any other, fruits because they’re not old enough to be able to digest sugary treats without consequences at this point.
Can Beardies Eat Banana Peels?
Are you wondering if it is a good idea to feed your pets bananas along with their peels? If your pet is a fully-grown adult, they shouldn’t have trouble chewing or digesting these peels. Besides, these also have a surprising nutritional value and can add healthy fibers to your pet’s diet.
However, there’s another thing you should keep in mind. The bananas that are commercially grown are often sprayed with toxic chemicals like pesticides and insecticides to keep them safe from all kinds of insects.
These chemicals can be lethal to your pets. Thus, you should always purchase bananas that have been grown organically and perfectly safe for their consumption. This should apply to any fruit or vegetable you’re buying for your pets.
Can Beardies Eat Dried Bananas?
Dried bananas are the bananas that have been dried out in the sun or in the oven to give them a longer shelf life and a unique flavor. While you might enjoy eating these, feeding them to your pets is a bad idea for two reasons.
The first reason is, they have a much higher sugar content than fresh bananas, and we’ve discussed above how sugar can be detrimental to their health. So, it’s a no-no.
Moreover, the store-bought dried bananas are even worse, for they’re manufactured solely for human consumption. This means that there might be a number of chemicals and additives in these that can’t harm humans but can certainly damage a Beardie’s health.
Can Beardies Eat Frozen Bananas?
While frozen bananas have more or less the same nutritional value as the regular ones, you should still not feed these to your Beardies. Why? Because in the process of freezing, these bananas get quite hardened and can present a choking hazard for your pets, even if you cut them into smaller pieces.
Conclusion: Can Bearded Dragons eat bananas?
To wrap it up, bananas can make a perfect treat for Beardies when fed carefully. They’re rich in many nutrients, and can even be fed to them along with their peel. However, if you want to feed your pets unpeeled bananas, you must go for organic ones.