Cheese is one of the most common dairy products that we eat. But if you have a bearded dragon in the house, you might be ended up asking yourself whether it is safe for him/her too.
What I learned throughout the years of having beardies is that not all foods that are safe for humans are also safe for bearded dragons. That said, there are foods that you should not feed to your beardies.
So, can bearded dragons eat cheese at all?
Bearded dragons should not eat or be given cheese at all. This is because dairy products are not good for beardies. Their digestive system is not built to digest dairy foods. Aside from having no nutritional value, cheese can also harm the bearded dragons. For these reasons, cheese is ruled out as food for bearded dragons.
Choosing the best food for your reptile can be difficult sometimes especially if you are a beginner. One of the most important things you need to remember is that not because food is safe for humans, it is safe for beardies too. Cheese is a perfect example of this.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ham?
Why Cheese is Not Safe for Bearded Dragons?
Personally, I don’t feed cheese to my beardies since then. I follow the vet advice. Well, the main reason why cheese should not be fed to beardies because beardies will not be able to digest it.
All dairy products are in fact not good for bearded dragons. Their digestive systems were not evolved to deal with dairy foods. Their digestive system is incapable of producing enzymes responsible for breaking down lactose.
As a result, if beardies eat cheese, they will not able to digest it which in turn could do harm than good to them. It is better to choose other safer foods instead.
You might be thinking that other types of cheese might be good for reptiles. Unfortunately, none of them is safe for bearded dragons. If you want to keep your beardie safe from health problems, avoid feeding him/her cheese under any circumstances.
The best way to keep your beardy healthy is to avoid offering foods that do not give health benefits to them.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bread? (You Should Know This)
What Happens if Bearded Dragons Eat Cheese?
You already know that cheese is ruled out as food for bearded dragons. But what will happen if beardies eat cheese anyway?
Well, in most cases, bearded dragons can suffer from several digestive issues such as digestive upset, diarrhea, and bloating. The effect may depend on the amount of digested.
For large consumption, for instance, beardies may suffer from impaction. Impaction occurs when food is not digested. Remember that bearded dragons’ digestive systems do not have the enzymes needed to break the lactose down.
That said, you can tell the result. The worst outcome seen in some cases is the damage in digestive tracts. This happens in bearded dragons that eat cheese over a period of time.
But even a small amount, I will never recommend feeding cheese to beardies. I lost a bearded dragon before (Sam) because I chose the wrong food. From then on, I rather choose healthier foods for my beardies than trying the unsafe ones for them.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Other Dairy Foods?
Unfortunately, as mentioned, all dairy products are not safe and healthy for bearded dragons. The reason is the same, beardies should not eat dairy foods because their digestive systems will not be able to digest it.
Other dairy foods to avoid feeding to bearded dragons are milk, cream, butter, yogurt, and ice cream. Aside from containing lactose, these products are also high in fats.
Fat-rich foods like dairies can potentially cause kidney failure and digestive upset in bearded dragons. This only means that dairy foods of any type should never be fed to bearded dragons under any circumstances.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ice Cream?
Better Foods for Bearded Dragons
One of the reasons why many bearded dragon owners wonder whether beardies can eat cheese is because of its calcium content. It is true that cheese is high in calcium but not good for beardies.
If this is what concerns you, there are other healthier ways to provide your bearded dragons with calcium without jeopardizing their health.
The best and easiest way is using a calcium powder (click here to view my recommended calcium powder on Amazon). Dust beardies’ salad with calcium powder and they will be okay.
However, you need to remember that you do it in moderation. Bear in mind that although calcium is essential for bearded dragons’ health, too much of it will certainly be unhealthy.
For safety measures, I recommend that you seek advice from a reptile vet before doing so. It is better to be sure than experimenting.
The other thing you can do is to make sure that your bearded dragon gets the appropriate lighting in his/her tank. This is also a great way to boost calcium absorption without having problems.
Aside from calcium, also remember that beardies need protein in their diet. Protein consumption differs depending on the age of the reptiles. Younger bearded dragons tend to consume more protein than their adult counterparts.
The reason for this is that young beardies need more protein for their speedy growth. This is also the reason why juvenile bearded dragons eat more insects than greens.
But as they get older, their protein consumption decreases. As a result, adult beardies tend to eat more greens than insects.
When feeding insects, make sure that you choose the right size for your beardies especially if you are dealing with young reptiles. Remember that bearded dragons are prone to choking and impaction.
The best way to do this is by considering the distance between the eyes of the reptile. Never feed your beardy something that is larger than the space between their eyes.
So choose smaller insects for your beardies. Also, chop the fruits and vegetables finely so that they can eat them without having potential digestive problems.
Other Harmful Foods for Bearded Dragons
Aside from cheese and other dairy products, there are a number of foods that should never be fed to beardies. Most of these foods are fruits and greens.
Although bearded dragons can eat a variety of insects, fruits, and greens, there are foods of these kinds that could harm the reptiles. In this section, let me share with you the foods that could potentially harm your beardies.
Although bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits, there are fruits that should not be given to beardies. One perfect example of this is avocado. Avocadoes contain oxalic acid which is extremely dangerous for them. If ingested in large amounts, it could potentially kill beardies.
The other food that should not be fed to beardies is beet tops. Beet tops contain substances that hinder calcium absorption. When this happens, bearded dragons will potentially suffer from calcium deficiency. One of the common problems is a metabolic bone disease. Metabolic bone disease can cause several health problems in beardies.
Lettuce is one of the greens that you should avoid feeding to your bearded dragons. Despite having no nutritional benefits, it can also cause digestive issues such as diarrhea.
Rhubarb is another harmful food for beardies on this list. It can cause many health problems if ingested.
Spinach could also hinder calcium absorption in bearded dragons which will ultimately lead to health problems. Although some bearded dragon owners do offer spinach as an occasional treat to their reptiles, I don’t recommend it. I rather choose healthier food options.
Bearded dragons can eat a variety of insects but not fireflies. These insects are extremely poisonous to bearded dragons. Even a small amount can be fatal already.
If your bearded dragon accidentally consumed one of these foods, contact a vet immediately. Without professional intervention, your beardie will be in great danger.
Related Article: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Baby Food? You Should Know This
Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cheese
Bearded dragons cannot and should not be given cheese. This is because cheese is a dairy product. As you know, all dairy products are ruled out as food for bearded dragons.
The main reason for this is that beardies’ digestive systems are incapable of producing enzymes necessary to digest dairy food.
Aside from cheese, there are other foods that should not be offered to bearded dragons. Some of them are listed above. So be careful. Make sure that you are feeding your beardies with safe and healthy foods.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.
Can bearded dragons drink milk?
Bearded dragons cannot drink milk. Milk is another dairy food that should never be offered to bearded dragon under any circumstances. Choose healthier foods for your reptiles instead.
Can bearded dragons eat eggs?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat eggs as an occasional treat. This is because eggs have high protein content which is not suitable for adult beardies. Just make sure that the egg is well-cooked scrambled or hard-boiled.
Can bearded dragons eat rice?
Unfortunately, bearded dragons cannot eat rice. All grains are also ruled out as food for bearded dragons. The reason for this is that bearded dragons’ digestive systems are not built to digest grains.