Bearded dragons are fond of bananas and enjoy eating them. However, they should not consume them very often. Fruits should only account for 20% of your bearded dragon’s diet, while vegetables, leafy greens, and insects such as crickets, worms, and roaches should make up the remaining 80%. Bananas can also be soft and sticky, so it’s crucial to either give them small pieces directly to your lizard using tongs or use a high-sided bowl to avoid it getting mixed up in their substrate, potentially causing impaction. In this article, we’ll discuss the various banana plants and fruits that you can offer your bearded dragon and how to do so safely.
Bananas are a significant part of the human diet, but when it comes to reptiles such as bearded dragons, there’s still much to learn about them. Whether you’re new to caring for a bearded dragon or an experienced keeper, it’s always good to refresh your knowledge of the best foods to feed your bearded dragon, such as bananas. This article provides you with comprehensive information about bearded dragons and their consumption of bananas.
Bearded Dragon Diet
Bearded dragons are what scientists call “opportunistic feeders.” This means that they eat whatever is available and eat a wide range of foods easily. They’re also omnivorous, like humans, and can consume protein, such as insects, as well as vegetables and fruits.
In a natural setting, with ample food resources, a young bearded dragon would consume roughly 80% insects and 20% plant matter. As a result, young bearded dragons are regarded as insectivores. However, as they age, this ratio changes, with adult bearded dragons often eating 80% plant matter and 20% insect protein, providing them with a true omnivorous diet.
As a pet, you’ll be responsible for ensuring that your bearded dragon gets the right foods in the appropriate amounts at each stage of their life. You’ll also be in charge of choosing nutritious, healthy, and tasty treats for your pet for dietary enrichment.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
Bearded dragons can consume bananas, and they offer some essential nutrients that bearded dragons require.
However, only 20% of your bearded dragon’s diet should be composed of fruit. Of that, bananas should only be fed as an occasional treat and should always be served with the skin on.
Pros of Bananas for Bearded Dragons
Why is fruit such a small part of a bearded dragon’s ideal diet? Fruits tend to be nutrient-poor when compared to vegetables and insects that are gut-loaded. However, adding bananas to your bearded dragon’s treat rotation has some advantages.
Bananas provide essential nutrients such as potassium, magnesium, vitamin C, and vitamin B6. Furthermore, bananas include pectin, which is a non-soluble dietary fiber and prebiotic.
Bananas are also rich in antioxidants and provide trace amounts of micronutrients such as iron, phosphorus, and vitamin A. Banana skin includes protein, Vitamin B12, and numerous other beneficial dietary fiber.
Cons of Bananas for Bearded Dragons
The primary danger of including bananas in your bearded dragon’s diet is the risk of preferential feeding. This implies that your bearded dragon may opt to eat bananas over other more nutritionally sound foods, resulting in malnutrition.
In addition, feeding bananas too often might cause nutrient imbalances that might impede correct bone and skeletal development. Too much phosphorus can prevent calcium absorption, which is also necessary for bone development.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
Because bananas are high in sugar and calories, it’s critical to limit your bearded dragon’s consumption of them.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Banana Peels?
If you choose to feed your bearded dragon a banana treat, always serve it with the skin or peel on.
The banana peel or skin is, in reality, the most beneficial part of the fruit for bearded dragons. Banana peels contain protein, plenty of dietary fiber, and lots of potassium, as well as trace amounts of calcium, zinc, copper, and manganese.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Banana Leaves?
If you have a banana tree or access to banana leaves for cooking, you may wonder if bearded dragons would enjoy them. After all, they’re green and leafy, like some of the vegetables your bearded dragon consumes.
Banana leaves, like peels, contain high amounts of dietary fiber, some beneficial protein, and trace amounts of calcium and phosphorus. If your bearded dragon can chew them (raw banana leaves may be tough), they’re safe to consume.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dried Bananas?
Fresh bananas are unquestionably delicious. Dried bananas, with their concentrated flavor and high sugar content, are even more so. However, this is precisely why you shouldn’t allow your bearded dragon to eat dried bananas. They’re typically missing the peel.
Dried bananas are filling and tasty and may cause your bearded dragon to eat less of more beneficial and nutrient-rich foods.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Banana Chips?
Banana chips and dried bananas are similar because they have a high sugar content and lack the beneficial peel and the water that bearded dragons require to stay hydrated. Commercially prepared banana chips may also include additional ingredients such as salt, sugar, spices, or artificial sweeteners that are unhealthy for bearded dragons of any age or life stage.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Plantain Bananas?
Plantains, often known as green bananas, are related to the sweet yellow bananas discussed in the previous sections. Plantains are usually larger but less sweet. They can be tough and are typically served cooked.
Plantains are safe to add to your bearded dragon’s occasional treat rotation because they contain higher amounts of valuable nutrients such as calcium, potassium, Vitamin C, and magnesium than regular bananas. However, just like yellow bananas, plantains should always be served raw to your bearded dragon and not be dried or in chip form.
The best way to serve bananas to your bearded dragon is to serve fresh, organic, skin-on raw bananas in small pieces or rounds.
Since bananas are so delicious, you can also dice up a small amount and mix it with a less preferred but nutrient-rich food like vegetables or greens. Your bearded dragon may consume the other food in addition to the banana mixed in.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
Have you given your bearded dragon a banana? How did it go? Share your bearded dragon’s favorite food by posting your experiences in the comments section below.