Can bearded dragons eat bananas, and is it safe to include them in the diet? If you are curious to know whether you should feed bananas to your dragon or not, then you are in the right place.
Bearded dragons enjoy the tasty fruits included as part of their healthy diet and bananas are no exception. Some dragon owners will not hesitate to provide bananas to their beardies after seeing how they adore them.
I’m sure when you find out that your dragon loves a particular food, you will gladly let it have the food. This is what has been happening with bearded dragons and bananas. But the main worry comes in when you don’t know the safety of bananas towards your pet.
But don’t worry, we’ll discuss all that here and also cover lots of questions concerning bananas and bearded dragons.
What Nutrients Are Found in Bananas?
Before you even choose to give bananas to your bearded dragon, it is essential first to understand its nutritional profile. Knowing what nutritional value, a particular food has towards your beardie helps you to decide if it is something you should feed or not.
When it comes to bearded dragons, the calcium to phosphorus ratio, protein, vitamins and the sugar content in bananas are of significant interest.
Below are the nutrients found in 100 grams of raw bananas from research conducted by the United States Department of Agriculture.
- Water: 74.9g
- Energy; 89kcal
- Sugars: 12.23g
- Dietary fiber: 2.6g
- Protein: 1.09g
- Total fat: 0.33g
- Calcium: 5mg
- Phosphorus: 22mg
- Potassium: 358mg
- Sodium: 1mg
- Vitamin C: 8.7mg
- Vitamin B-6: 0.37mg
- Vitamin A: 3µg
This is not a complete list of banana nutritional facts; I have focused on the primary nutrients present in this sweet fruit.
Bananas can provide lots of nutrients to bearded dragons, but it has some ingredients that can be fatal if fed in large quantities. For instance, bananas contain higher amounts of phosphorus than calcium, and when phosphorus is in excess, it interferes with calcium absorption.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
Bearded dragons not only can eat bananas, but they love them a lot. From our nutritional profile above, it’s clear that bananas are rich in nutrients and will have incredible nutritional value to bearded dragons.
But the safest way to give bananas to bearded dragons is giving them as occasional foods once in a while. If you supply them in the right proportion, then everything will be fine.
Bananas have a high content of potassium which plays essential roles in bearded dragons. Potassium enhances smooth muscle contraction, regulates fluid balance, lowering the blood pressure, nerve signal, among others.
There is high dietary fiber in bananas, particularly pectin that adds bulk to the stool, and this reduces the chance of constipation. Moreover, dietary fiber helps to prevent diseases related to the heart.
Another beneficial aspect of bananas is that they contain vitamin A that maintains good vision, fortifies the reproductive and immune system. On the other hand, vitamin C enhances proper growth and development.
There are many more health benefits of bananas in bearded dragons, and this qualifies them to be safe fruits for the beardies. You will only need to use them as a rare treat.
Is Banana Leaves and Peels Good for Bearded Dragons?
Yes, bearded dragons can be fed on banana leaves and peels as they are also nutritious. The leaves from this fruit contain vitamin B-6 that helps the body to metabolize fats and proteins, thus assisting in weight loss.
Vitamin B-6 also helps in normal brain development and maintaining a healthy immune and nervous system.
Other nutrients found in banana leaves include; vitamin B-12, carotenoids and polyphenol compounds. Vitamin B-12 ensures that the beardie’s blood cells and body nerves remain healthy.
Similarly, banana peels contain potassium, magnesium, vitamin B-6, as well as vitamin B-12. However, both the leaves and peels should also be fed in moderation to prevent any toxicity.
Is Dried Banana OK for Bearded Dragon?
Dried bananas will not kill your bearded dragon, but they contain too much sugar than the fresh ones. Choosing to feed dried bananas to bearded dragons will depend on the health of your dragon.
If your lizard gets to do some exercise and it always feeds on a healthy diet, you may choose to give some dried bananas occasionally. But it would be much better if you can avoid dried bananas because they can cause obesity and heart problems due to high sugar content.
How Often Should I Feed Bananas to My Bearded Dragon?
To give a simple answer, bearded dragons can be fed on bananas 1-2 times a month and provide a few pieces of sliced banana.
Sticking to this proportion prevents the health problems that may arise due to high phosphorus content than calcium in bananas.
Bearded dragons are fussy animals, and there are times when they won’t eat some vegetables. If that is the case, you can use bananas to trick your lizard into eating the veggies. You will need to include some portions of bananas over the beardies vegetable salad.
When the lizard is looking for the bananas in the bowl, it will also pick some veggies without noticing. If you do that severally, there is a high chance that your beardie will start eating the veggies.
But that doesn’t mean that you can use bananas more often, please don’t, you know how dangerous bananas can be if fed in excess.
Why Should Bananas not be Used as Staple Foods for Bearded Dragons?
Bananas are not an everyday thing, as too much of them can result in some health issues. It is essential to plan for your pet’s diet and make sure you use the correct amounts of every ingredient.
So, what are the problems associated with feeding excess bananas to bearded dragons? Let’s find out.
Bananas, particularly the ripe ones, contain high amounts of sugar. The sugar content increases as bananas continue to ripen. Increased sugar can cause obesity in the bearded dragon.
To be on the safer side, check for average bananas when it comes to ripening and feed them as a treat. Also, excessive sugar can cause tooth decay and high blood pressure in bearded dragons.
Excess phosphorus than calcium can lead to metabolic bone disease as phosphorus binds to calcium and reduces its level in the body. But you can avoid all these problems if only you limit the number of bananas you offer to the beardies and give them occasionally.
How to Prepare Bananas for Bearded Dragons?
There are many ways you can use to feed bananas to bearded dragons. You can include it as part of the diet or peel the fruit and allow the beardie to bite. Which method to use will depend on your preference as they are all correct.
Here are a few steps that you can follow when preparing bananas for your dragon.
- Select fresh bananas that are moderately ripened and remove them from the stalk.
- Allow them to stay for 2-3 days and drain excess water.
- Clean them with clean water.
- Peel the banana and cut it into small slices that your dragon can eat comfortably.
- Feed the banana to the beardie.
Bananas are great for bearded dragons, but they should be fed as a treat. They have many health benefits to the beardies, but they can cause some hazards if used frequently.
Also, bearded dragons can eat banana leaves and peels, which contain a variety of nutrients. Make sure that your dragon is getting healthy foods every time, provide insects, veggies, greens as well as fruits.
A proper balance of these ingredients ensures there is adequate growth and good health.