Bananas are one of the most popular fruits for us humans to snack on. Wouldn’t it be nice to be able to share our tasty fruit snack with our pets? You are likely here because you are aware that not all foods that are safe for humans to eat are safe for your pet bearded dragon to eat. Can bearded dragons eat bananas?
Dr. Jess explains it all below:
Let’s Talk Bearded Dragons!
Bearded dragons are chill little reptiles that are grouped into the category of desert lizards – they like a warm, dry environment.
They are grouped into the genus Pogona with eight different species falling under this grouping.
The eight species of bearded dragons are distinguished from one another and named for the differences in their spines on their chins and necks.
Bearded dragons get their name from their armor of spiny scales, which include a “beard” of spikes under their chins, and a neck that puffs up depending on their mood, most commonly seen when puffed out when they are upset.
They do this to seem larger to whatever is upsetting or intimidating them.
This may be paired with a erry ‘hiss’ when really upset.
They can live up to 10 years and can reach up to 24 inches long and weigh up to 18 ounces once full grown. They range in colors from brown, to orange, to yellow, to cream.
Beardies have a precise eye and good sense of smell.
Bearded dragons are often referred to as “beardies”, are one of the more popular reptilian pets because of their cool, interesting exterior and their popularity being of low maintenance pets.
What Do Bearded Dragons Typically Eat?
So many great questions to answer here!
Beardies commonly consume vegetables, fruits, and insects.
Bearded dragons are considered omnivorous, meaning they eat what both herbivores (plant-eaters) and carnivores (meat-eaters).
Young, immature, growing bearded dragons tend to be mostly carnivores, and eat more meat, at most 80% animal and 20% plant material
Adult bearded dragons are usually the exact opposite when it comes to diet, they tend to eat more plants and be more on the herbivorous side of things. Some adult beardies can be more along the lines of 80% plant and 20% animal foods.
As a basic rule of thumb, a bearded dragon’s diet should be comprised of foods that are around the basic ballpark of 50% animal-based and 50% plant-based.
As mentioned above, the age and maturity of each and every dragon should also come into play here, so it is a very good idea to discuss your dragon’s specific diet with your veterinarian.
If your bearded dragon stops eating – check out this article on how long bearded dragons can go without eating food and contact your local veterinarian.
Common Store-Bought Fruits for Beardies:
- and a multitude of other fruits, vegetables, and other foods such as eggs.
Medical Concerns Regarding Fruits:
Many fruits can be fed to bearded dragons every now and then in very small amounts.
However, many fruits are extremely acidic or high in sugar and can be difficult on bearded dragon digestive systems.
This is why only a very small amount every blue moon (like once a month!) should be the norm with most fruits for beardies.
This goes for many fruits and vegetables.
Bananas are a very popular fruit because of their mild tasty flavor, beautiful yellow exterior peel which makes it easy to pack as a snack, and its many uses in cooking, especially in desserts.
Bananas have many nutritional benefits as well as tasty benefits.
Bananas contain antioxidants that may help to prevent cell damage that harmful free radicals can cause. These antioxidants can help with things like preventing certain cancers and diseases.
2. Sugar Levels:
With how tasty they taste, it shouldn’t come as any surprise that bananas contain sugar. Too much sugar can cause health concerns.
3. Packed with Vitamins and Minerals!
Bananas contain vitamins A B1, B6, and C, which aid in maintaining the bearded dragon’s immune system, eye sight, reproductive system, and body growth while they are young.
Bananas also come packed with essential minerals such as calcium, magnesium, and iron, which strengthen bones and tissues throughout the beardie’s body systems.
Potassium helps regulate fluid balance, nerve signaling, and aids in muscle function.
How To Feed Bananas To Your Bearded Dragon?
- 1 fresh, ripe banana
- kitchen cutting knife
- cutting board
- Take a visual inspection of the banana to make sure that you are giving your pet a ripe, healthy fruit to eat.
- Next, you will need to peel, cut, slice, chop, or dice up the banana so that your dragon can safely eat it. The banana pieces need to be bite-sized.
- Give your bearded dragon a small piece of banana and wait to see how your bearded dragon takes to the banana before introducing them to any more than that one first bite-sized piece.
Contact your vet before making any dietary changes to your pet's diet.
First off, you should always purchase high-quality bananas for your lizard from a reputable food source.
All fruits and vegetables will need to have a visual inspection done to make sure that you are giving your pet a ripe, healthy food to eat.
Next, you will need to peel, cut, slice, chop, or dice up the banana so that your dragon can safely eat it.
They will need food in bite-sized pieces.
You may need to consider mixing the chopped banana with vegetables, up together to help discourage picking through their food bowl and eating only the preferred items in their dish.
Food should be presented in a shallow clean dish that is not easily tipped over.
Fresh water should always be available in a shallow dish that can’t be easily tipped over. This water dish should be washed and cleaned daily.
Any food left in your bearded dragon’s enclosure that is not eaten up will start to get old and become unsafe for your dragon to eat, if they will even touch it at all.
This could lead to some major health issues, as well as a smelly enclosure and a bug problem – things you definitely do not want to deal with.
So, it is very important to clean out any foods that your bearded dragon leaves behind in a timely manner.
How Much Banana Should I Give My Bearded Dragon?
Contact with your local veterinarian for expert advice about your pet’s diet.
They will be able to help you decide how much banana to give your beardie.
The amount of food you should give them will definitely depend on what foods you and your vet have decided are going to be a part of the pet’s diet.
As a rule of thumb, if your dragon is leaving food behind – then it may be that too much food is being offered to them.
Banana should be given to your beardie in small bite-sized pieces.
Start with just piece.
After 24 hours without any adverse side effects observed, then you are likely safe to feed your dragon a few bite-sized pieces of banana the next time to serve them up bananas as a treat.
How Often To Feed Bearded Dragons Banana?
Most young bearded dragons eat once or twice daily, while older lizards can be fed once daily, depending upon each pet’s individual appetite.
Some bearded dragons will not eat for a period of time.
Read this article on why bearded dragons may not be eating daily. Because of its high phosphorus amount, bananas should not be given regularly.
At most, a small amount once weekly or once every other week is more than enough if you want to stay on the safe side – which I highly recommend that you do!
Can Bananas Be Harmful to Bearded Dragons?
There are always risk involved when your pet consumes anything, whether it is a new food in their diet or not.
I have listed a few of the hazards that come with feeding your pet beardie bananas:
Bananas can be quite large and slippery and may become a choking hazard in smaller, younger dragons.
Give consideration to cutting them into a smaller, more manageable size before feeding them to your bearded dragon so that they are less likely to choke.
Digestion Problems / Sugar Content:
Bananas do contain sugar, just like many other fruit do.
Too much sugar, especially on a regular basis, can lead to obesity, dehydration, digestion problems, diarrhea, tooth decay (yes, bearded dragons have teeth!), and inappetence, all of which can further develop into more serious issues.
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio:
It is commonly known in the bearded dragon world, that bearded dragons need to consume more calcium than phosphorus in their daily diet even though they must have phosphorus in their diet.
Phosphorus is an essential mineral that helps build healthy strong bones. Phosphorus also binds with calcium, making it unavailable for the bearded dragon to use!
Any failure to achieve this ratio over a long period of time can result in the bearded dragon suffering from illnesses like metabolic bone disease.
Bananas have a higher phosphorus to calcium ratio than what is deemed healthy if consumed in large quantities.
Because this ratio is so incredibly important to your beardie’s health, it is also important to provide your beardie with calcium supplementation to ensure that your beardie is getting enough calcium that it needs daily to support proper body functions.
Can They Eat Banana Peels?
Great question! Bearded dragons can eat banana peels.
In fact, the peel of the banana has added nutritional value to your lizard.
If you are going to serve up the banana with its peel to your lizard, then make sure that you clean the outside of the banana very well, so there are no chemicals or pesticide residue left on it.
Also, make sure to cut up your banana with peel, into small bites so it is less of a choking hazard.
Can They Eat Dried Banana?
The higher sugar content of dried fruit such as dried bananas makes me always say a resounding no.
Do not feed your bearded dragon any dried banana pieces, stick with the fresh fruit.
Can They Eat Frozen Bananas?
Frozen banana is quite hard and are a potential choking hazard, so I do not recommend offering your pet frozen bananas, even if they are already in smaller pieces.
Bearded Dragon Diet Supplements:
Bearded dragons have an increased need for calcium versus phosphorus in their diet.
This is especially true when they are young and their bones are growing.
Most veterinarians will likely recommend to sprinkle bearded dragon calcium powder over the food that you are offering your dragon.
This is usually done 2-3 times per week.
Contact your veterinarian for specific recommendations about supplementing your dragon’s diet.
Bearded dragons can be fed quite a plethora of fruits, vegetables, and insects safely, including bananas.
However, it is important to know how much, how often, and how to properly serve bananas and every other food we give our little dragons before we allow them to consume it.
For individual questions regarding your pet and their diet, contact your vet for specific dietary plans.