Because bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits, you might be excited to feed them with your favorite fruits. If you are a new bearded dragon owner, you might have done this.
Unfortunately, not all fruits are healthy and safe for bearded dragons. Some of the fruits that are nutritious for humans are in fact toxic to beardies.
So, can bearded dragons eat avocado?
Avocado contains oxalic acid, a toxic substance for a bearded dragon. A small amount could already harm the beardies and large amounts could kill them. Therefore, bearded dragons should not eat avocado even on an occasional basis.
Give your bearded dragons other fruits instead of avocados to protect them from illness. There are many available fruits that are safe for beardies.
Table of Contents
Nutritional Facts of Avocado
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.527 oz)
|Sugars 0.66 g|
|Dietary fiber 6.7 g|
|– saturated 2.13 g|
|– monounsaturated 9.80 g|
|– polyunsaturated 1.82 g|
|Thiamin (Vit. B1) 0.067 mg||5%|
|Riboflavin (Vit. B2) 0.130 mg|
|Niacin (Vit. B3) 1.738 mg|
|Pantothenic acid (B5) 1.389 mg||28%|
|Vitamin B6 0.257 mg||20%|
|Folate (Vit. B9) 81 μg||20%|
|Vitamin C 10 mg||17%|
|Calcium 12 mg||1%|
|Iron 0.55 mg||4%|
|Magnesium 29 mg||8%|
|Phosphorus 52 mg||7%|
|Potassium 485 mg||10%|
|Zinc 0.64 mg||6%|
Aside from harmful substances, avocado also has a disproportionate ratio for calcium and phosphorus, another indicator that it is not good food for bearded dragons.
Why Avocados Should Not Be Fed to Bearded Dragons?
The main issue of why an avocado fruit should not be given to bearded dragons is that avocados contain oxalic acid. This substance is very toxic to lizards even in small amounts.
Oxalic acid is not only found in avocados. It is also common in other plants such as cocoa, vegetables, leafy greens, and nuts.
In humans, these veggies have no negative impact. But when it comes to lizards, it will be a different story.
Oxalic acid binds to other minerals. The common examples are calcium and iron oxalate. The binding process usually occurs in the kidneys and in some areas of the urinary tract.
In bearded dragons, oxalic acid causes problems. This substance inhibits calcium and other minerals absorption leading to a deficiency in those minerals.
Remember that beardies do need calcium and minerals to remain healthy. When they consume foods that have high oxalate content, they will suffer from different potential health problems.
Calcium is one of the most common minerals that beardies should get. It makes their bones strong. The consumption though will depend on their age.
For baby bearded dragons, they should consume calcium every day. The best way to feed young beardies with calcium is by dusting their food. This makes sure that young beardies get the appropriate amount of calcium.
For juvenile bearded dragons, a calcium dusted food should also be served to their every other day.
Adult bearded dragons on the other hand don’t need much calcium as they used to. But they still need calcium in their diet. Twice a week can be enough for them.
What Will Happen if Bearded Dragons Don’t Get Enough Calcium?
As mentioned, beardies do need calcium in their diet. Acquiring less calcium could potentially cause problems in their health. The most common one is calcium imbalance.
Calcium imbalance may be caused by the following:
- Insufficient amount of calcium gained from the diet
- Higher calcium content in the diet more than necessary
- Absence or inadequate UVB which inhibits calcium absorption
- The inappropriate temperature in the habitat
Insufficient calcium consumption often results in Metabolic Bone Disease, a condition characterized by bone damage, pain, and discomfort which eventually results in death if not treated.
Common symptoms of this condition includes:
- Shaking or twitching of limbs
- Beardies become weak or sometimes lethargic
- Noticeable bone fractures
- Difficulty in walking (usually drag their hind feet)
If you are a beginner, you need to pay attention to these matters. Back when I was started, I was not aware of the possible problems that beardies could potentially develop.
Throughout the years, I learned that bearded dragons need appropriate care especially when it comes to their diet. Giving them a balanced diet must be an utmost priority.
One of the most important considerations is that beardies should have sufficient calcium intake to keep them healthy.
Is UVB Light Important for Bearded Dragons?
Absolutely. Aside from giving your beardies with the needed minerals, they also need UVB light. In fact, in the absence of UB light, sufficient calcium is useless.
UVB light helps provide your beardies with the perfect place to bask. Also, UVB light helps produce vitamin D3 needed to maintain good health.
It is important to remember though, that to keep UVB rays fresh, the lamp bulb should be replaced every six months. The appropriate amount of light helps regulates the beardies’ body’s temperature. This is important to aid and make their digestive system healthy.
Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Avocado
Bearded dragons can surely eat fruits. However, not all fruits are safe for them. Avocado fruits are examples of fruits you should not feed to your bearded dragons.
Avocados have high oxalic content which is dangerous to the overall health of bearded dragons. This substance binds to minerals like calcium preventing the body of the beardies to absorb calcium at all.
If remaining untreated, this will lead to a more serious health condition in bearded dragons known as metabolic bone disease. This condition is characterized by paralysis of the limb, lethargy, and in worst cases, death.
Aside from avocados, there are other fruits and veggies that are also high in oxalic acid. Make sure that your beardies don’t eat them.
To learn more about what bearded dragons should and should not eat, feel free to visit my guide here.
I hope this helps.