What Should Bearded Dragons Never Eat (Revealed)


If you are a bearded dragon owner, you know that when a bearded dragon feels hungry, it can eat anything. Bearded dragons are omnivorous and feed on vegetables, insects, and fruits. However, not every food is safe for your beardie.

Some fruits like avocados, lettuce, and insects like fireflies and butterflies, are harmful to your bearded dragon. Some are hard to digest, while others contain poisonous toxins and can make your bearded dragon sick.

It’s crucial to provide your bearded dragon with a balanced diet to ensure that it’s in good health. This blog post will be looking at the foods that a bearded dragon should never eat.

Insects That a Bearded Dragon Should Never Eat

Below are some of the insects a bearded dragon should never eat because they are toxic and can cause death when consumed in large quantities:

Fireflies

Fireflies have lucibufagins to protect themselves from predators, which can be toxic to your bearded dragon’s heart. After eating fireflies, your bearded dragon will develop breathing difficulties, head shaking, or vomiting fifteen to two hours later.

Your dragon can experience paralysis, respiratory failure, and death can occur due to heart failure with all of these symptoms.

Elder Bugs

Elder bugs are toxic since they may carry diseases that can infect your bearded dragons and cause some severe harm like salmonella bacteria.

If your bearded dragon eats an elder bug, you should immediately take it to the veterinarian to get the antivenin to treat your pet.

Ladybugs

They are toxic to your pet because the chemicals they produce keep off predators. They are dangerous, just like the fireflies and elder bugs.

Caterpillars and Butterflies

Caterpillars and butterflies may look harmless, but they are deadly to your bearded dragons. They eat all types of plants, and most of the plants are toxic to your bearded dragon since eating a caterpillar, or a butterfly is like ingesting those toxins.

Some butterfly species may carry parasites and pesticides that can be harmful to your bearded dragon.

Ants

A few ant species can be toxic to your bearded dragon, and the fire ants can sting your bearded dragon when ingesting them. At the same time, the carpenter ants may bite and spray acid on your bearded dragon to protect themselves, which is fatal to your pet.

Earwigs

Earwigs can nip your bearded dragon and cause digestive upsets. Additionally, wild earwigs can have pesticides or mites.

Japanese Beetle

Japanese beetles have a thick exoskeleton that can be hard to digest and can cause impaction to your bearded dragon.

Wild-Caught Insects

Wild insects have parasites that can be transmitted to your bearded dragon when they feed on them. If you need some wild insects, it would be best to get them from pet stores since they are screened for harmful parasites and safe for your pet to feed on them.

Dead Insects

Dead insects lose most of their moisture and nutrients quickly. They also attract parasites, and at times some die from illnesses, and once your bearded dragon ingests them, they can make them sick.

Venomous Insects

It includes:

  • Wasps
  • Scorpions
  • Hornets
  • Bees
  • Centipedes
  • spiders

They can bite or sting your bearded dragon internally or externally. Your pet may eat their toxic venom, which can cause your pet to feel pain, become sick, and sometimes die. If your bearded dragon eats any poisonous insects, it’s best to rush them to a veterinarian.

Vegetables Your Bearded Dragon Should Never Eat

The following are some vegetables that can make your dragon sick or die if your bearded dragon ingests them, and they should avoid them at all costs.

Lettuce

It’s a vegetable that you should avoid feeding your bearded dragon unless it’s the only one available and it’s an emergency. They don’t have any nutritional value, and too much of them can lead to vitamin deficiencies.

It contains a lot of water which can cause digestive conditions like diarrhea to your bearded dragon.

Beet Tops

They contain high magnesium and vitamin A levels, but they have citrate lyase, which can inhibit calcium absorption in your beardie’s digestive system.

The chemical prevents calcium from absorbing into the bloodstream that can cause calcium deficiency in your pet, leading to metabolic bone disease.

Feed them in moderation if you have to feed beet tops to your bearded dragon.

Mushrooms

Some mushrooms contain high phosphorus levels and acidic content that can be toxic to your bearded dragon, and they are also hard to digest once your pet ingests them. 

Unless you are a fungi expert, it’s best if you avoid all mushrooms. In case your bearded dragon consumes some, call a vet immediately.

Rhubarbs

Rhubarb leaves contain anthraquinone glycosides and oxalic acid that are poisonous and can kill your bearded dragon. If your bearded dragon ingests a rhubarb accidentally, give them lots of water immediately and visit a vet.

Spinach

Spinach acts as a calcium binder and can decrease the number of essential minerals available, leading to metabolic bone disease. If you want to feed your pet spinach, feed them moderately in small amounts.

Onions

Vegetables that fall in the family of onions include

  • Garlic 
  • Chives
  • Leeks

They are too acidic and cause the breakdown of red blood cells in your bearded dragons. Consumption of large quantities of leeks can cause organ failure.

A bearded dragon owner should ensure that your pet avoids any form or quantity of onions.

Chives have a high content of vitamin c, oxalates, and vitamin A, which can be fatal to your pet.

Jack-in-the-Pulpit

Its roots are used as medication and edible; however, its fresh roots contain high calcium oxalate concentrations that are toxic to your bearded dragon.

Eggplants

Whether raw or cooked, eggplants are acidic to your bearded dragons, and they should be kept away from them.

Potatoes 

As a bearded dragon owner, you should never feed it any raw potatoes. Potatoes are hard to digest, have high phosphorus levels, and are highly starchy.

Pickles

Pickles are salty and are not very nutritious for your bearded dragon, and you should avoid feeding them to your pet.

Bran and Wheat

They have a high content of phosphorus and fiber.

Lilies

Toxic lilies include

  • Calla lilies
  • Tiger lily
  • Oriental lily
  • Glory lily
  • Lily of the valley

Considering you are not a lily expert to know which lily is toxic and which isn’t, you should not feed your bearded dragon any lily or let your pet come near one.

Parsley

Parsley contains high levels of oxalates which are toxic to your bearded dragon. Large consumption of parsley can make your bearded dragon ill.

Fruits You Should Never Feed Your Bearded Dragon

Bearded dragons are given fruits as treats, but not all fruits are safe to give as treats to your pets. You should never share the following fruits with your bearded dragon since they cause digestive issues.

Avocados

They contain oxalic acid, which binds to minerals like calcium and stops your bearded dragon from absorbing the calcium. Small portions of avocado can make your bearded dragon sick, while oversized pieces can cause death to your pet.

If your bearded dragon ingests an avocado, detoxify them with charcoal power immediately and visit a vet.

Apple Skins

Apple skins are hard to digest, and you should not feed them to bearded dragons. If you want to provide your pet with an apple, it’s best if you peeled it first.

Elderberries

Elderberries are famous for medicinal purposes in humans, but to dragons, they are poisonous and can be fatal if your bearded dragon consumes them in large quantities.

Juniper Berries

They are used in flavoring for humans; however, they are bitter and poisonous for bearded dragons and can make your beardie sick.

Olives

Olives contain lots of fat, and you should never feed them to your bearded dragon since they may make your pet obese and have respiratory problems.

Acidic Fruits

You shouldn’t feed your bearded dragon acidic fruits like:

  • Oranges
  • Limes
  • Lemons
  • Tangerines 
  • Pineapples
  • Grapefruits

They are highly acidic, and they can cause unbalanced acid levels in your bearded dragon’s stomach and digestive tract, and they can cause digestive problems like a runny stool to your pet.

Other Types of Foods That Bearded Dragon Should Never Eat

The following are other types of food that don’t fall into insects, vegetables, or fruits that bearded dragons should not eat.

Nuts 

It is best not to feed any nuts to your bearded dragon since they may cause choking, impaction, or ingestion. Almonds are high in fat and not nutritionally balanced; they contain too much phosphorus compared to calcium.

Acorns contain tannin that is dangerous to your bearded dragon, and if your pet ingests the acorns, it may fall sick.

Beef

Beef or any other meat has high fat, and phosphorus binds calcium in your beardie. With a high content of fat, beef will not be nutritionally balanced.

Raw meat can have some parasites that may make your bearded dragon sick. Beef is also hard to swallow, and it can chock your pet.

Diary Products

You should never feed your bearded dragon dairy products like milk or cheese since they don’t have the enzymes needed to break down the dairy products.

Seeds

Just like nuts, you shouldn’t feed your bearded dragon any seeds since they can cause choking, impaction, or ingestion.

Pine Needles

When putting a Christmas tree in your home and your bearded dragon is around, ensure it doesn’t feed on them. Pine sap and needles are very toxic to your pet.

They can choke your dragon, and if ingested in large amounts, they can cause death. You should always keep your bearded dragon away from a Christmas tree.

Cereal

You shouldn’t feed your bearded dragon any cereal since it contains high sugar levels and it’s also processed.

Dates

It would be best not to feed your bearded dragon any dates. Dates are dry and hard to eat and digest and can cause impaction, and they also have high levels of sugar.

Iris Flower

They cause digestive tract issues and skin reactions. They are toxic to your bearded dragons once it comes into contact with them or if it ingests them.

Fish

Fish carry parasites, and they have small sharp bones that may choke, injure your bearded dragon’s insides and cause impaction. A fish is not a meal to feed your dragon.

FAQ’s about Bearded Dragons

Conclusion

If you desire to have a healthy and lively bearded dragon, you should monitor your pet’s feeding times to ensure it doesn’t eat food that can make it sick or, worse, death. Suppose it eats something it shouldn’t; you should rush your pet to the vet.

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