Many fish species are consumed as nutritious foods as they are extremely rich in nutrients and omega 3 fatty acids. Honestly, this can tempt you to want to share a few fish with your lizard. Can bearded dragons eat fish?
There have been several questions about bearded dragons and fish from the dragon owners who want to make sure that the food they are feeding is safe. The critical thing about feeding the beardies is to identify what is right and what isn’t so good for the sake of their health.
Continue reading to know if fish is something to offer to bearded dragons or not, and a lot more information.
What is the Nutritional Profile of Fish?
Fish come in different varieties, and the majority of them are consumed as foods. According to the USDA, below is the nutritional data of raw tilapia fish, tuna, and salmon.
|Vitamin A, µg||0||35||655|
|Vitamin K, µg||1.4||0.4||0|
|Vitamin D, µg||3.1||10.9||5.7|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fish?
There is a list containing all the good and bad foods for bearded dragons, but you will hardly find fish. And that indicates that fish is not a natural food for bearded dragons. But, can you feed fish to your beloved lizard?
Wild bearded dragons are known to eat fish but on rare occasions. However, in captivity, where you are in full control of your lizard’s diet, you should not offer fish at any time.
Bearded dragons should not eat fish, whether it is raw, cooked, canned, or smoked. Yes, the beardies are omnivores, but that doesn’t mean they should eat anything. One common thing with bearded dragons is that they will eat anything they find, whether bad or good.
And you may realize that your lizard has had fish without your conscious; although the fish might not harm it, this is something you should always avoid.
Fish, especially in raw form, carries plenty of parasites, germs, and destructive bacteria. Such organisms can pose several health issues to bearded dragons, which you may not be able to control.
Why is Fish Dangerous for Bearded Dragons?
Now you know that fish carries parasites, which makes it unsuitable for bearded dragons. Other bottom lines concerning fish is the presence of thiaminase and an imbalance ratio of calcium and phosphorus.
Thiaminase is an enzyme that is harmful to bearded dragons since it hinders the absorption of thiamine into the body, leading to depletion of the level of vitamin B1. And as you know, vitamin B1 is essential as it helps the body cells to convert carbohydrates into energy.
Without sufficient energy in the body, bearded dragons can become sick. Due to the same case, you would also need to avoid any seafood, including shrimps, crabs, prawns, etc.
Fish is also too high in phosphorus more than calcium. This is a bad indication in bearded dragons because high phosphorus levels block calcium absorption by binding to it.
Also, Omega 3 fatty acid in fish, although helpful to humans and other household pets like dogs, may not be suitable for bearded dragons. So, the best thing to do is to avoid fish and look for alternative nutrient sources.
Is Fish Food Safe for Bearded Dragons?
It has been common for various pets to share their meal, but is that a good thing to do? Fish food contains several ingredients, and some of them might be beneficial to bearded dragons. However, note that fish food is formulated or designed with only fish in mind.
That tells you that fish food is only meant for fish, whose composition is different from the bearded dragon’s diet. Therefore, the beardies cannot eat fish food at any time, and you should stay away from them unless you are keeping fish.
Look for other foods that are helpful to bearded dragons, such as black soldier fly, silkworm, super worms, Dubia roaches, etc. Generally speaking, the beardies should only eat live feeder insects or worms, greens, and veggies.
Some of the veggies and greens that you can feed to your dragon are broccoli, kale, cilantro, dandelion greens, mustard greens, among others.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Meat or Poultry?
Talking of meat or poultry, they make a delicious meal for us, and we tend to love them a lot. It makes plenty of sense to want to share some meat with your lizard friend since they aren’t only tasty but nutritious.
The specific thing about our lizards here is that they can eat meat from insects and a few invertebrates. It is also not unheard of that bearded dragons can eat some small vertebrates and prey.
But beef and poultry meat are not suitable foods for bearded dragons because they tend to be high in phosphorus more than calcium. You know how dangerous excess phosphorus can be to bearded dragons.
Typically, all meats including fish, turkey, beef, chicken, pork, are high in phosphorus, and you need to avoid them as food for bearded dragons.
The high-fat content in meat is also something to be concerned about when dealing with bearded dragons. Excess fat, especially in massive amounts, risks the beardie’s health by exposing it to obesity issues.
I’m glad now that you have good knowledge about bearded dragons and fish. Fish is not good food for bearded dragons because of the presence of thiaminase and has a lot of phosphorus.
Additionally, fish carries parasites, germs, and harmful bacteria, which can kill a bearded dragon. From the nutritional aspects of various kinds of fish from the table at the beginning of the article, we can see that fish is highly nutritious, but it’s not suitable for the beardies.
You also need to avoid fish food, meat, and poultry when feeding bearded dragons. These foods contain a lot of phosphorus.