Chocolate is one of the most favorite snacks. If you have beardies at home, you might as well wonder whether or not beardies can eat chocolate too.
So, can bearded dragons eat chocolate?
No, bearded dragons cannot eat and should not be given chocolate. Chocolate can cause many health issues in bearded dragons. Therefore, do not give your beardie chocolate under any circumstances.
It is very important to remember that bearded dragons should not be fed processed foods like chocolate. It could be very dangerous to beardies when they eat chocolate.
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Table of Contents
Nutritional Facts of Chocolate
What makes chocolate bad for bearded dragons? The table below contains several reasons why beardies should not eat chocolate.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
The table above contains several nutrients that may or may not good for bearded dragons.
As you can see, chocolate is a very good source of energy. It contains 540 kcal per 100g. At first glance, high energy content is good. However, it is worth noting that beardies in captivity do not need that much energy.
In the wild where bearded dragons are free to roam, they engage in plenty of physical activities. So they need more calories. But in captivity, bearded dragons do not need a lot of energy.
Be careful in choosing foods for your reptile. Stay with low calories.
Chocolate is high in protein content. As you know, bearded dragons need protein especially the young ones. Proteins help beardies gain speedy growth. This is the reason why babies and juvenile bearded dragons eat more insects than greens. Insects are good protein sources.
This may sound great but still chocolate is still not good for beardies. Continue reading to learn more about why.
Needless to say that chocolate contains high sugar content. Again, chocolate is not good for beardies. Sugary foods may cause many health issues in bearded dragons.
Fat is another problem. As you can see, chocolate has a high fat content. This is another reason why chocolate is ruled out as food for beardies.
Fatty foods are not good for reptiles. This is not only true in processed foods but also in insects. Waxworms, for instance, should not be fed to beardies regularly due to their high-fat content.
Bear in mind that beardies in captivity don’t usually engage in physical activities. So their bodies do not burn the stored energy. If they eat fatty foods, the fats will then be stored which will in turn make your bearded dragon fat.
This makes your beardie unhealthy. So it is better to always avoid feeding your dragon with foods that high in fat.
5. Vitamin A
Vitamin A is also very high in chocolate. Sure, bearded dragons need vitamin A to remain healthy. However, too much of it is not healthy. In fact, it can cause potential health issues in bearded dragons.
The most common effect of too much vitamin A is vitamin A toxicity. This happens when beardies have too much vitamin A. Usually in those bearded dragons that received vitamin A supplement.
My quick tip is that never give vitamin A supplement to your beardies if they already have high vitamin A in their diet. It could only harm them.
6. Calcium and Phosphorus Ratio
You might already know that foods for bearded dragons should have good calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. The ideal proportion is 2:1.
Unfortunately, as we can see from the table, chocolate has a disproportionate ratio for calcium to phosphorus. The phosphorus level is way too high compared to calcium.
This is another reason why chocolate should not be fed to bearded dragons. High phosphorus may dwindle the calcium level in beardies. In the long run, beardies may develop calcium deficiency-related health issues.
The most common health problem related to low calcium is a metabolic bone disease. Metabolic bone disease is characterized by weak and brittle bones.
This condition is serious for beardies. It can severely affect bearded dragons. Some of the most common effects are loss of appetite, difficulty in walking, stress, and many more.
Believe me, you don’t want to see your beardies suffer from metabolic bone disease. I have lost my first beardy (Sam) due to a similar mistake.
So always choose healthier foods for your reptile.
The last thing that is not good for bearded dragons is the caffeine content in chocolate. Although there is no existing scientific study yet on how caffeine affects beardies’ health, I don’t recommend feeding beardies foods with caffeine content.
In my previous article, I talked about the reasons why tea of any kind is not good for beardies. Well, the reason is the same – tea contains caffeine that can be harmful to bearded dragons.
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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chocolate Cake?
I don’t recommend giving a bearded dragon chocolate cake either. Chocolate cake or any cake is too sugary for beardies.
The other reason is that cakes are cooked foods which makes them unfit with beardies. Always remember that even in captivity, beardies’ foods should be natural and fresh.
Instead of feeding cooked foods, choose fresh and raw greens and fruits instead. Stay with these types of foods rather than trying cooked or processed foods.
There are many healthy fresh foods you can give to your bearded dragons. The list below is a short summary of what you can regularly offer to your reptiles.
Healthy foods for bearded dragons:
- Cactus pad or leaf (raw)
- Cactus pear
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Phoenix worms
- Squash (acorn)
- Squash (Hubbard)
- Squash (scallop)
- Squash (spaghetti)
- Squash (summer)
- Turnip greens
Aside from this, there are other greens, fruits, and insets you can feed to your beardies on a regular basis. All you need is a little bit of research to find those additional bearded dragon foods.
You need to be careful though because there are foods that are potentially toxic to beardies.
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Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chocolate
Well, chocolate is not good for bearded dragons. Chocolate can in fact cause health issues in bearded dragons.
This is due to the number of constituents that chocolate contains. With all the unhealthy nutrients in chocolate, the most serious one is the disproportionate ratio for calcium to phosphorus.
Foods that don’t have the right proportion for calcium and phosphorus should be ruled out as food for beardies.
As a rule of thumb, always choose foods that have 2:1 calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Lastly, always choose the raw and unprocessed foods for your reptiles to keep them healthy.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.