Can bearded dragons eat potatoes? I used to ask this question when I was a beginner beardie owner. Throughout the years, I found out what bearded dragons can and cannot eat.
While it is true that bearded dragons can eat a variety of fresh foods, not all fruits, vegetables, and root crops are safe for them. In fact, some can be extremely harmful to beardies.
So, can bearded dragons eat potatoes?
Bearded dragons can eat potatoes on a very rare occasion. This is because potatoes have high phosphorus content and disproportionate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio.
Potatoes, in general, have disproportionate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. As we all know, foods that don’t have the right calcium-to-phosphorus ratio should not be part of their regular diet.
Russet potato, for instance, has disproportionate calcium to phosphorus making it not good for beardies on a regular basis. The table below summarizes some of the nutrients that bearded dragons can get from eating a russet potato.
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Table of Contents
Nutritional Facts of Russet Potato
The table below will further tell us why russet potato should not be part of the bearded dragons’ regular diet.
As you can see from the table, russet potato is a good source of energy. This is essential for beardies to keep them active and healthy.
The carbohydrate level is also high. It is also a source of energy. However, I don’t recommend feeding beardies with foods high in carbohydrates especially if your beardies don’t have enough physical activities.
The sugar content in russet potato is also a little bit high. You need to minimize foods that have high sugar content because it could cause potential health issues in beardies.
But the main reason why potatoes are not good staple foods for beardies is their super high phosphorus content. As you can see, the phosphorus content is way higher than the ideal. If consumed in large amounts and on a regular basis, it could potentially cause health issues in bearded dragons.
Lastly, because potatoes should be cooked first before offering it to a beardie, they lose their natural nutrients. This is another problem. Remember that bearded dragons’ diet in captivity should resemble their diet in the wild.
This means that they should not have cooked or processed foods. Therefore, cooked potato is not ideal for beardies. So if you feed it to your reptile, make sure it is in moderation and in a very small amount.
I don’t personally feed my bearded dragons with potatoes. I rather go with a safer route. I always choose healthy greens and fruits instead.
Safe foods for bearded dragons that I can recommend are the following:
- Acorn squash
- Artichoke Heart
- Bell Peppers (Raw)
- Bok choy
- Butternut squash
- Cabbage (Raw)
- Cucumber (Peeled)
- Mustard greens
- Yellow squash
You can choose some of these foods to make a healthy salad for your bearded dragons. I recommend that you mix three to four types of foods. A combination like this is great to make the salad more colorful and healthier.
But if you really want to let your bearded dragon tastes cooked potato, do it rarely. A nibble though will not harm your reptile.
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Is Phosphorus Really Bad for Bearded Dragons?
There is no doubt that bearded dragons need phosphorus to keep them healthy. The only problem with foods that have high phosphorus content is that they could cause harm in beardies instead of good.
The foods that should be fed to beardies are those with proper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. The ideal ratio is 2:1. Unfortunately, potatoes have a disproportionate level of calcium and phosphorus.
This will result in calcium deficiency. And calcium deficiency will also result in many serious conditions that beardies may suffer. One of the most common ones is metabolic bone disease.
Metabolic bone disease is characterized by weak and brittle bones. This will cause serious health problems in beardies. Bearded dragons with MBD will experience difficulty in walking, maintaining appetite, etc.
In the long run, the effect of calcium deficiency to bearded dragons is fatal. So always be reminded to give your beardies healthy foods.
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How Often Can You Feed Potatoes to Your Bearded Dragons?
As mentioned, I don’t normally feed my beardies potatoes. But if you really want to try it to your reptile, do it on rare occasions.
The reason I say this is because beardies should not eat raw potatoes. The russet potato should be served cooked and this creates a problem. The problem with cooked food is that it is not good for bearded dragons.
Remember that beardies are accustomed to raw foods in the wild. So their digestive system is built to digest fresh foods. So when they eat cooked foods, their digestive system might not be able to accept it.
This strengthens the argument that beardies should not eat potatoes on a regular basis. However, there is a type of potato that has less phosphorus content. What I am talking about here is the white potato.
Aside from less phosphorus content, it is also rich in vitamin A, an essential nutrient for bearded dragons. But because it is high in vitamin A, you need to be careful though.
Too much vitamin A can lead to toxicity and beardies can develop health problems. But a moderate consumption will make them no harm. You can offer sweet potato to your beardies twice a month.
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How to Feed Bearded Dragons Potatoes?
As mentioned, unlike other foods that are served fresh, potatoes should be cooked. Before feeding it, make sure that it is already cool.
Sweet potato, however, can be served raw. You can chop it finely by using vegetable cutting tools to make it manageable to eat for bearded dragons.
Always consider the size of the mouth of your reptile. The safest way to do it is by looking at the space between their eyes. That distance reflects the size of food they could easily swallow without choking.
When offering a cooked potato, do not add seasoning to it. Avoid adding salt, butter, etc. Seasoning will cause issues in reptiles.
Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Potatoes
Bearded dragons can eat potatoes on rare occasions. This is due to its very high phosphorus content. Potatoes, in general, have disproportionate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio making it unfit for regular feeding to bearded dragons.
When feeding russet potato, make sure it is cooked and cool enough for beardies to eat. However, sweet potato can be served raw. Just make sure that it is chopped finely to prevent beardies from choking.
I hope you enjoy and learn something from this post.
Thank you for reading.