Bearded dragons need a balance of protein, calcium other minerals, and vitamins to grow well. Since insects fulfill protein, can bearded dragons eat butternut squash to meet their vitamins and calcium needs?
The more you know about your pet’s nutritional requirements, the more you can help them grow into healthy reptilians. The daily diet for dragons has to be specific as it can make all the difference in their moods and daily life.
What Is In Butternut Squash?
Bearded dragons can have butternut squash regularly and there are numerous benefits of it. This vegetable is rich in calcium, Vitamin A, B, C, and even K. The amount of water in this vegetable is also moderate and the fibrous pulp of squash tastes good so your pet dragon will love it.
The calcium content is of course not as high as milk or other calcium-rich foods, but among other vegetables, squash has a higher amount of this element.
Apart from calcium, vitamins, and good water proportion, the best thing about butternut squash is its texture that bearded dragons love. The soft, yet firm pulp is something these reptilians enjoy. Moreover, the phosphorus content of butternut squash is negligible, making it a good choice for bearded dragons.
What Do Bearded Dragons Need?
Bearded dragons are made for hot and dry weather. They do not require a lot of water, but they will always need protein and calcium. The protein helps build their muscles and the calcium ensures they have a strong bone structure. At every age, bearded dragons need a lot of protein and calcium, and of course, minerals and vitamins are necessary.
You need to feed your bearded dragon a lot of protein and calcium, and while you have insects and occasional meat to fulfill their protein intake, your pet dragon needs vegetables and fruits to fulfill its calcium and vitamin intake. Since dairy products are not allowed for bearded dragons, it can be a challenge to find enough calcium for them. While you can look for supplements, there are many vegetables that are rich in calcium.
One very important thing about bearded dragons is that they cannot have a lot of sugars or fats. This is because their metabolism is very slow. The slow metabolism is due to the bearded dragon’s cold-blooded nature which allows them to pass three months of winter in hibernation. While your bearded dragon might not hibernate due to the controlled environment at home, their metabolism remains slow and they cannot pack a lot of calories out of sugars and fatty foods.
Benefits Of Butternut Squash
Butternut squash is an excellent vegetable as it does not have a lot of sugar but is high in vitamins and fiber. Moreover, there are a lot of minerals that help dragons build good immunity. Butternut squash is also rich in protein and calcium, which makes it a good palate item for bearded dragons.
How Often To Give Butternut Squash To Dragons
You can feed dragons, and butternut squash every day as it fills in all the nutritional components. However, there are still some daily portions for the dragon so that they do not overdose. You can feed almost a 100grams to your dragon daily.
When you feed butternut squash, make sure that you have to chop it up into small pieces. If you feed bigger pieces of squash to dragons, they might choke on them or if they are able to swallow them, they can get impaction.
A Few Sensitive Factors
When bearded dragons eat food in big chunks, they can get impaction, which is the clogging of the intestine with semi-solid food. This condition is going to be uncomfortable for the bearded dragon because they get constipated and their hind legs can get paralyzed if this persists for long.
Another serious problem is that if you feed bearded dragons some vegetable or fruit that has lower calcium but a higher phosphorus content, they may lose calcium over time and this leads to metabolic bone disease. This disease makes bones soft and as it advances, your pet dragon loses the ability to move. Moreover, they become so lethargic and their joints hurt. The final stages of this disease can bring along paralysis that leads to death, and we always recommend pet owners to take their dragon to a vet when they feel that it is moving slowly so that this disease can be ruled out.
Butternut squash is a good mix of calcium, protein, fiber, water, and vitamins therefore you can feed your bearded dragon this vegetable every day. The best way to ensure that their nutrition is met is to keep a record of the nutritional value of various foods so that you can create a mix of various vegetables and fruits along with insects to keep their diet balanced and healthy. Once you begin feeding them the right kinds of things, they will thrive.
Vegetables That You Can Provide With Butternut Squash
Bearded dragons can eat various vegetables and you will see them enjoy a few of them too. With butternut squash, you can feed them a collard green, mustard greens, turnip greens, beans, and capsicum. These reptilians can eat their heart’s fill when their palate is colorful and attractive.
Bearded dragons can eat butternut squash every day as it offers various nutrients that help these creatures grow. If you want your bearded dragon to stay healthy, give it various vegetables, fruits, and insects along with butternut squash and they will stay happy!
How small should I cut butternut squash for my bearded dragon?
The rule is to chop up every vegetable small enough or even smaller than the size of their eyes. If they can place it in their moth and soften it, it is a good size. You can cut butternut squash into small cubes or you can even mash it up with a fork and mix it with other vegetables.
Do I need to cook the butternut squash?
We always recommend pet owners feed raw vegetables to their dragons because cooked vegetables can lose some essential nutrients and we do not want the bearded dragon to miss out on anything!
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!