If you have ever owned a bearded dragon, you might gasp at the question, ‘can bearded dragons eat cheese?’ However, if you are a newbie at petting bearded dragons, you might find our panic a little strange. The truth is that bearded dragons cannot and should not eat cheese.
Cheese is a dairy product that has various active bacteria. It is one of the most common dairy products, and there are many types of cheese. We all love it and often see people feeding cheese to cats, parrots, hamsters, and other pets. Then why not bearded dragons? Let’s dive in deeper to see why bearded dragons cannot eat cheese.
BEARDED DRAGONS AND THEIR FOOD CHOICES
Many food types and everyday food items are unsuitable for our pets. Owners must remember that they cannot feed their pets everything when it comes to dragons. All reptiles are unique, and as they hibernate in winter, their metabolism is slow, which means they cannot digest heavy foods. Dairy products, especially cheese, have a high-fat content, which is not suitable for your little pet! You must ensure that you know the nutrition requirements for your bearded pet so that they grow well and remain active.
In larger portions, the main food groups that suit bearded dragons are vitamins, carbohydrates, and protein. Calcium, phosphorus, and magnesium are also essential in smaller amounts. However, the most significant chunk should be protein, and the lowest should be fat. Since cheese has a high content of fat, it becomes an unfavorable, rather dangerous food for bearded dragons. The high-protein vegetables and insects form a significant part of a reptilian’s diet. You can feed them any vegetables, except a few that we shall mention later. However, all of them are out when it comes to dairy products.
WHAT IS IN CHEESE
Cheese is a complex dairy product with high-fat content. Furthermore, it has numerous types of bacteria that give it a distinct flavor and texture. Your bearded pet might not be able to digest cheese, and that is why vets do not recommend it. In fact, cheese can be harmful to your pet dragons! All kinds of cheese are excluded from the diet as they all have high fat and bacteria.
WHAT HAPPENS IF BEARDED DRAGONS EAT CHEESE
Cheese is a fatty food, and it can be dangerous for your bearded dragon because of its slow metabolism. We all know this by now, and we have our answer to the question, can bearded dragons eat cheese? However, what will happen if a bearded dragon eats cheese? First of all, you will see a change in your pet’s behavior. Secondly, it will be hard on the digestive system, which will slow down your dragon pet of yours! We never want to see our pets in a lazy mood as they become a part of our home.
Bearded dragons may get bloating, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea, and the intensity will be according to the amount consumed. If bearded dragons consume a large amount of cheese, impaction occurs. Impaction is the slowdown of the digestive system. One significant component of all dairy products is lactose, and bearded dragons do not have glands that produce enzymes to digest this component. If you are not careful and your bearded pet eats up cheese many times, its digestive tract might get damaged forever.
Cheese is a dangerous food for bearded dragons, and we have seen many people lose their beloved pets due to negligence towards their nutritional requirements. Moreover, giving your bearded dragons the wrong type of food can be criminal as it may lead to irreversible damage to the organs and body systems. Please read Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chicken.
OTHER DAIRY FOODS
Bearded dragons cannot have any other dairy item either! When a bearded dragon is young and can only take a liquid diet, the usual feed is water with calcium and protein. All the ingredients of this drink are non-dairy, and they are fed up to six times a day. Gradually as they grow older, their diet is dominated by vegetables and insects.
Cream, milk, and yogurt are all rich in fats, and they may cause kidney failure in bearded dragons. While some foods are for rare occasions, some foods are downright forbidden! Dairy items are all off the table for your bearded dragon pet, and that is where they should always be.
WHAT CAN BEARDED DRAGONS EAT
Bearded dragons can eat various vegetables, and they will never be full of any worms or roaches. You can feed them many vegetables except broccoli, spinach, and beet tops. The more you keep their favorite fruits and veggies on the plate, the happier and healthier pets will be a delight for you too! Many pet owners consider dairy products the best way to fulfill the calcium requirements for their pets and even themselves. If that is your primary worry, you don’t have to ask if bearded dragons can eat cheese or not.
You can use one of the calcium powders available in pharmacies, drug stores, and even grocery stores. You can dissolve this powder in water and feed your bearded dragon! Moreover, now you can get multi-vitamin supplements for your bearded pet, and they will grow healthily and happily.
Another way to boost calcium absorption in bearded dragons can be by placing a warm bulb of light in their tank. The warm light helps these reptilians gain strength as calcium gets absorbed more efficiently. Similarly, the protein requirement is also fulfilled with store-bought protein powders along with protein-rich vegetables and insects. Bearded dragons can live healthily if you make sure that you serve these reptilian pets the best for them.
Cheese and all dairy products are harmful to bearded dragons. Fat-rich foods like cheese can slow down or stop the digestive system in these reptilian pets, and you will never want to see your pet in turmoil! Be sure to feed your dragon pets the foods that are allowed for them. They can enjoy vegetables and insects, and that is what their palate should hold. Moreover, you can also have a look at Can Bearded Dragons Eat Peanut Butter.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Is dairy bad for all animals?
All mammals drink milk and consume all other dairy items such as cheese and yogurt. However, reptilians are not milk-consuming creatures and their bodies do not produce the enzyme that breaks down dairy products. For your bearded dragon pets, it is best that you abstain from milk and other dairy items such as cheese.
Can I give my pet cheese occasionally?
Cheese is not an occasional item but it is a forbidden food item! Not just cheese, you must not feed your bearded dragon any dairy item.
What if my bearded dragon accidentally eats cheese?
In case of accidental consumption, it is best to give them a warm bath, or some olive oil to speed up the metabolism and get the cheese out of their system. However, these tips are shared by some pet owners. We recommend that if your bearded dragon has eaten cheese, you allow them to rest so that it passes its system and then give them its next meal. Do not feed them more food when they have eaten this forbidden dairy item.
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!