We love eating avocados, and they are incredibly versatile. You may be wondering if your bearded dragon can also eat avocados.
Some foods might be toxic to bearded dragons, and that is why you need to do thorough research before you decide to give any particular food to your lizard. For instance, avocados are suitable for humans, but when it comes to bearded dragons, it might be a different thing.
So, in this article, we will find out if bearded dragons should eat avocados or not. We’ll also get to learn about other essential things so, let’s get to it.
Avocados Nutritional Profile
Before you even decide to give avocado to your lizard or any other food, it is crucial to understand the nutrients it contains first.
Here, I will share with you a group of nutrients that are in 100 grams of avocados, according to USDA.
- Water: 73.23g
- Energy: 160kcal
- Total fat: 14.7g
- Protein: 2g
- Dietary fiber: 6.7g
- Calcium: 12mg
- Phosphorus: 52mg
- Vitamin C: 10mg
- Vitamin A: 7µg
- Vitamin E: 2.07mg
- Total folate: 81µg
- Ca:P ratio→1:4.3
Avocados are super high in fats and carbohydrates; you can see that in the list above. Likewise, there is a lot more calcium than phosphorus in avocados, and this makes them unfavorable for the beardies.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Avocados?
No, bearded dragons cannot eat avocados as they are high in oxalic acid and even a small piece of it can make your beloved lizard sick.
Oxalic acid binds to calcium and prevents the body from absorbing it. Bearded dragons require calcium for bone development and other essential functions in the body. If they don’t get sufficient calcium, this is likely to cause metabolic bone disease.
Vet answer: Avocados are high in both phosphorus and oxalates which prevent the absorption of minerals from the gut. Oxalates combine with minerals to form complexes as a result they cannot be absorbed from the epithelial layer of the gut.
Another issue about avocados is that they have too much phosphorus than calcium. Phosphorus works in the same manner as oxalic acid; it works against calcium and hinders its absorption.
That’s not all, avocados contain a lot of fat, and as you know, excess fat tends to cause obesity. The same result will occur if you feed your bearded dragon with avocados, so it’s best to avoid them for health reasons.
Avocados are unnecessary choice foods for bearded dragons as they are fatal to them. If small quantities of avocados are enough to make a beardie sick, then, high doses are more dangerous; they will kill your innocent lizard.
You might also like: Complete list of common food can a bearded dragon eat that people usually ask.
Why Else is Avocado Not Good for Bearded Dragons?
There is still a lot to avocados that makes them unsuitable for the beardies. They contain a fungicidal toxin called persin that is deadly to animals on some levels. Birds are more prone to this toxin, and that’s why they should never eat avocados.
But I don’t mean that persin is not bad for bearded dragons, of course, it is lethal to them too. This compound is mainly present in the avocado’s skin and seed, and it tends to leach to the flesh part of the fruit.
The toxins present in avocados cause the production of unwanted gases in the intestine and irritate the epithelial cells. As a result, the dragon seems distressed and restless. Avocados also cause severe diarrea.
You may be wondering why we eat avocados in plenty, and we face no problem. But the truth is, although persin is toxic and dangerous to animals, the small amount of this compound present in avocados is not poisonous to humans.
Here are the side effects of persin to animals which you should look out for in case your dragons eat avocados. This includes, vomiting, respiratory failure, diarrhea and sometimes death may occur.
What to Do If Your Dragon Eats Avocados Unintentionally?
Your bearded dragon can accidentally eat avocados from the compound when it’s out for a walk. A pet sitter may also add avocados in the beardie’s diet when unaware about their toxicity.
When this happens, it can bring a lot of worries, and you may not know what to do. But I would encourage you to be calm and take prompt action.
The first thing you should do is to call a reptile veterinarian and ask about your case, and of course an experienced one. The reptile vet will be in an excellent position to know if your lizard needs emergency treatment.
You will also need to keep an eye on your bearded dragon and check for any abnormal behaviors, especially the respiratory issues. You can also give your lizard a warm bath to try and remove the poisoning avocado out of the system.
Moreover, it is beneficial to give your bearded dragons a lot of water using a syringe. Water will help to eliminate this poison from the beardie’s system.
If a dragon has eaten a small number of avocados accidentally, it will have no serious effects on its health. If a dragon eats enough avocados in your absence, it will get upset the digestive system and get respiratory distress. However, avocados have no long-term effects on the dragon’s health if eaten accidentally.
Beware that avocados are packed with oxalic acid, and this compound is terrible for the beardies. It is always paramount to be safe than sorry when it comes to your bearded dragon or any other pet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Avocado Leaves?
No, bearded dragons cannot eat avocados leaves at all. Both the leaves and bark of avocado have persin compounds just like the fruit itself.
Now, it is clear that everything to do with avocados is poisonous as far as bearded dragons are concerned.
So, when using this fruit in your diet, make sure you dispose of all the remains appropriately to prevent your beloved lizard from accessing them at any time. And if you suspect that the lizard has eaten avocado or any of its parts, consider informing a reptile vet immediately.
What to Feed Your Bearded Dragon Apart from Avocados
Now that we know avocados are not acceptable foods for bearded dragons, what can your beardie eat instead? Bearded dragons are omnivores, and this is a bonus to them because they can eat a variety of foods, including fruits, insects, greens and vegetables.
Instead of feeding your bearded dragon avocados that you know well will put it into a risk, you can consider feeding apples, strawberries, grapes, bell pepper, raspberries, etc. All these fruits are harmless, and they provide the beardies with essential nutrients, plus they are delicious.
Vegetables provide a massive quantity of minerals and vitamins to bearded dragons, and that’s why you should always include them in the diet. Here are a few veggies which you can confidently give to your beardie; carrots, collard greens, zucchini, cilantro, etc.
If you want your lizard friend to stay healthy and live long, make sure to provide a healthy and safe diet at all times. Avoid feeding avocados, lettuce, fireflies, Spinach, beet tops, and rhubarb at all cost. They are all toxic to bearded dragons.
I hope you are now convinced why you should not feed avocados to your bearded dragons. To sum it up, avocados contain several compounds, including oxalic acid, persin, disproportionate Ca:P ratio, and high-fat content and this makes it off the menu for the beardies.
They are potentially toxic to the dragons and exposes them to health risks such as respiratory distress, diarrhea, and vomiting. Avocados can also make your lizard die.
There is no benefit or need to feed these fruits to your dearest lizard, and you should avoid them entirely for your pet’s safety. Some many available veggies and fruits are more nutritious and suitable for bearded dragons.