‘Can bearded dragons eat bananas?’ is a common question from new pet parents, and why not. It is a delicious fruit, with lots of health benefits for all. Moreover, it is a tasty treat that is economical and not a problem to find. It is natural for pet owners to wonder if they can simply slice up a banana and add it to their dragon pet’s palate to get done with the day’s meal. Here’s the good news, yes, you can feed bananas to your new pet.
This guide will not only answer the question in detail but will also tell you what kinds of nutrients should be made a priority if you want to see your bearded dragon happy and healthy. While it is best to feed this fruit in moderation, you will understand what moderate means for these reptiles. Here is all you need to know about this fruit and its benefits for your pet dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas Or Not
Bananas can be a good fruit for bearded dragons but you must not feed them every day. Moreover, when you serve it to them, do not fill the plate with only one fruit. Bearded dragons need protein and calcium, and they rely on fruits and vegetables for some of it. More than half of the daily nutrition for dragons comes from insects. The protein requirements might be met, but calcium and vitamins need to be fulfilled by vegetables and fruits.
Bananas are a common fruit and people of all ages like them. It is believed that bananas have more nutrition than bread or other food staples and that is why many individuals include this refreshing and wholesome fruit in their daily routines. However, for pets, the preferences of taste are one thing, but the nutritional value of any fruit also makes a difference. Find out what this fruit has to offer your bearded dragon pet.
Nutrients In Bananas For Bearded Dragons
We’ll start by sharing the calories and nutrients in the fruit. These are the values for 100 g of bananas. You can analyze by reading to understand how beneficial or harmful a banana is for your pet.
Protein: Protein is an integral part of bearded dragons’ diet because they need this nutrient for stronger muscles. There are 1.09 grams of protein in 100 grams of bananas, which is too low. If you are feeding a small meal to these little reptilians, they must have the primary nutrients that are suitable for bearded dragons.
Fat: Bearded dragons cannot have fatty foods because they have a slow metabolism. However, that is not a problem because there are only 0.33 grams of fat in 100 grams of bananas. This is an advantage for bearded dragons so at least there is no danger of getting your bearded dragon obese.
Fiber: Due to the slow metabolic rate in bearded dragons, fiber is a great part of their diet. You can feed fiber to your dragon pet because it has a good amount of fiber. Your bearded dragon will have healthy bowel movements and it will keep them active.
Sugars: Here is the real problem. Bananas are high in sugar and that is not suitable for bearded dragons. There are 12.23 grams of sugar in 100 grams of bananas. Sugars will not get digested fully in bearded dragons and they end up becoming obese. As they gain weight, their bodies become sluggish and they become anxious. A high amount of sugar can make bearded dragons very ill as they can get diarrhea, and their anxiety shoots up.
Calcium: Another reason that bananas are not good for bearded dragons on a daily basis is that they have only five grams of calcium in 100 grams of bananas. Calcium is a vital nutrient for bearded dragons so you need to ensure that they get enough of it in their daily meals. Metabolic Bone Disease is one of the side effects of low calcium in bearded dragons’ diet. This disease makes bones soft and that can be extremely dangerous for these reptilians. Keep calcium intake high for your pet dragons and they will remain healthy.
Phosphorus: For bearded dragons, calcium is integral and phosphorus can hinder the absorption of this mineral. If the ratio of calcium to phosphorus is not 2: 1 in any particular fruit or vegetable, it is not suitable for bearded dragons. Bananas have 22 mg of phosphorus in 100 grams of the fruit. This amount is extremely high and can lead your bearded dragon to suffer from soft bones and immobility if fed daily.
There are some nutrients like Vitamin C, Magnesium, and Potassium that are suitable for bearded dragons, but the high phosphorus changes everything.
Why Can They Eat Bananas Occasionally
Bearded dragons like aromatic and colorful fruits. Bananas have a unique, sweet smell and the yellow-pale color is also attractive. However, these fruits cannot be everyday items. While bananas are loaded with potassium, which has several health benefits in the body. It helps in healthy muscle contractions and also aids the nervous system. Moreover, potassium molecules in the body maintain a healthy cardiovascular system by preventing high blood pressure. Potassium also plays a role in regulating fluid balance.
Secondly, bananas are packed with fiber. Dietary fiber enhances bowel movement and keeps the digestive system clean. It keeps the body safe from stomach problems like diarrhea and constipation.
Lastly, the vitamins in the satisfying fruit serve many benefits for a living being. Vitamin A and Vitamin C are greatly efficient in improving the development of tissues, and organs. The vision is enhanced and the dragon is saved from night blindness too. Moreover, the immune system and the reproductive system are fortified. The muscle tissues and the bone tissues are strengthened too.
Despite all these advantages, there are many issues that make bananas an unfit fruit for daily consumption. Whenever you decide to feed your bearded pet this fruit, remember to consider a few factors that make it unsuitable for the reptilians.
Disadvantages Of Bananas For Bearded Dragons
Bananas are not a staple food. Therefore they cannot be eaten often. Consuming any food in excess will lead to serious health issues for your beloved pet.
Firstly, bananas contain a lot of sugar. The high amount of sugar leads to various fatal health issues. Ripe bananas are already high in sugar and many times they overripe to turn brown, these brown ones are even higher in sugar. It can cause high blood pressure and dental issues like decay.
More importantly, it can cause obesity which then results in laziness, heart problems, kidney problems, and liver diseases. Bearded dragons tend to get anxious and lose their cool rather quickly when they are not well. This makes them give up food and they grow weak. Nobody wants to see their pets suffer, and therefore, this situation can be torturous for you as well as your pet. Make sure that you limit banana consumption so that your bearded dragon remains safe from a lot of potential risks.
Excess consumption of bananas can also cause metabolic bone disease (MBD) as there is a high percentage of phosphorus in this fruit and so the calcium to phosphorus ratio is very poor. The higher percentage of phosphorus rapidly absorbs calcium and causes a calcium deficiency in the body. The lower calcium can also lead to weaker bones and weak teeth. Also, find out Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raspberries.
How Often Can They Eat Bananas
As the downsides of eating too many bananas can prove to be fatal, it is recommended to only feed them once or twice a month. Bananas should be given in small portions and should be clean and sliced properly in smaller chunks. The chopped bananas prevent the dragon from choking.
Can They Eat Banana Peels & Leaves
Yes! Bearded dragons can ingest banana peels safely. The peels of the banana have essential minerals like magnesium and potassium, which are very beneficial for your pet. They also have vitamins B6 and B12. Both these vitamins have no side effects and only work to enhance the body’s functions. However, it is best to feed the peels rarely, to prevent toxicity, tough digestion, and excess nutrients.
Banana leaves are very healthy too. They contain carotenoids, Vitamin B12, and polyphenol compounds. These healthy compounds increase the body’s metabolism and keep your lizard active by breaking down fats and proteins. They also strengthen the brain development and nervous system of a bearded dragon. Moreover, it also benefits the immune system by making it stronger. Therefore, bearded dragons can safely eat banana leaves if you feed them in small amounts and only sparingly.
Bearded dragons can eat bananas. The fruit is rich in potassium and other vitamins along with fiber. However, excess feeding should be avoided as it can cause major health concerns. It is recommended to feed small chunks of bananas as salad toppings once or twice a month only. Moreover, you can check out Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberries to know more about your pet’s diet.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can bearded dragons eat dried bananas?
It is best to feed only fresh fruits to your pet. Dried bananas have excess sugar as they are sweeter in taste. The high sugar content will harm your pet’s health as it will cause high blood pressure, dental decay, and obesity.
What other fruits can the bearded dragon eat?
There is a list of fruits that a bearded dragon can eat, but remember fruits should constitute only 20% of the whole diet. The major part should constitute insects, greens, and vegetables. The fruits that a bearded dragon can eat include mango, watermelon, figs, apple, peach, apricot, papaya, dates, etc.
Can bearded dragons eat brown bananas?
No, you shouldn’t feed brown bananas to your pet. The brown bananas are overripe and hence contain a lot of sugar content. And as we have mentioned, excess sugar can cause high blood pressure, obesity, dental decay, and other derived diseases.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!