Can Bearded Dragons Eat Aloe? (Is it a laxative?)
If you only want the best food for your Beardie (Click here to learn, from this guide, the best food for your Beardie) you may have been wondering if Aloe is a good idea.
Can Bearded Dragons eat aloe? No, it is not a good idea to feed your Bearded Dragon Aloe Vera. This is because it has limited nutritional benefits and it is a known laxative that could cause him issues.
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Now that you know that I do not advise you using Aloe Vera with your Beardie, keep reading to learn exactly what Aloe is, the benefits it offers, known risks, and much more.
What is Aloe?
To ensure that we are on the same page, let me clarify exactly what Aloe is. I get it, the chances are you have heard of Aloe Vera before. But, do you know taxonomic rank, scientific name, etc?
According to Wikipedia, an Aloe Vera is an evergreen perennial plant. For those that do not know, perennial means that it lasts longer than two-year cycles. And, evergreen means that it has leaves all year round (later on you will see why some Beardie owners like this for their enclosures).
It is from the Genus called Aloe. To clarify, a genus is a taxonomic rank. In simple English, its a way of categorizing used in biology. Think of it in this way, the genus is one level above the species level.
So, an Aloe Vera is part of the Aloe Genus that has many different species, are you with me?
The Aloe Vera plant has long and thick green leaves. When you cut open these thick leaves and inspect the inside you will see some thick oil. This is one of the qualities that many people talk about when they refer to Aloe Vera.
What is the nutritional content of aloe?
Source: Health Benefits Times (per cup)
Are there any advantages or health benefits using aloe?
Now that you know some of the nutritional content of Aloe Vera, you may be wondering if there are some advantages or known health benefits using it. For that reason in this section, I will detail this for you.
Help with Shedding?
Some Bearded Dragon owners believe that Aloe Vera will help with shedding. As you know, shredding can sometimes be painful for some lizards, especially if they do not shed their entire skin successfully.
The belief is that the soothing and moisturizing qualities of Aloe vera may help if applied to their skin. Personally, I haven’t seen any hard evidence to back it up, apart from here say.
Decorative plant for your enclosure
Another use for Aloe Vera, according to this site, is a plant for their enclosure. The first reason for this is because it looks good. I mean, just look at it (see the images above).
Also, another benefit is the ease of maintenance. The Aloe plant stays at a manageable size and does not need a lot of water to keep it happy.
Treating Human Burns
I mentioned earlier about the aloe oil and how it is well known for its oil inside its thick leaves, remember? Well, one of the uses for this oil is treating burns on us humans.
According to this site, this oil has three qualities that make it ideal for this. It is soothing, moisturizing, and has a nice cooling effect.
If you have ever had a burn, even a minor one, you will understand how much it stings, hence the reason why many people instinctively place it under cold water. The cooling effect from this oil, in particular, makes it ideal.
This same site also explains of a study, comprised of 50 burn victims, these burns were more superficial. Some of the subjects used Aloe Vera, the others used 1 percent silver sulfadiazine cream. The study concluded better results when Aloe Vera was used.
May help with Irritable bowel syndrome (IBS)
Another benefit of Aloe Vera is its use to help with IBS. It is believed that it can help with digestive tract issues, which include IBS. A review was conducted on three studies. This is based on 151 subjects. These subjects were used to compare the use of Aloe Vera with a placebo.
For those that do not know what a placebo is, in simple terms, it is a fake solution that has no know medical benefit. It was used in this instance to compare the effect of Aloe. To check if there were real benefits or if it was just physiological.
It concluded that the Aloe had significantly better results when compared to this placebo.
Good source of vitamin C
One of the benefits of Aloe is vitamin C it provides, according to this site, it provides 9.1g per cup. You may be wondering what is so good about this, right?
Well, vitamin C is crucial for Bearded Dragons. It helps with their growth and development. And according to this site, if he does not get enough he could get a deficiency. This can result in bruising, some signs of bleeding gums, and his skin tearing or separating.
Are there any known risks of eating aloe?
Now that you know some of the benefits of Aloe, you may be wondering if there are any known risks of Aloe, right? In this section, I will explain any known risks that it may present.
Aloe vera is known to have a laxative effect. This means that it can lead to diarrhea. In some cases, this can be advantageous for us humans. For example, if you are constipated and need to go, are you with me? But, some Bearded Dragon owners are not willing to take the risk with their pet.
High Consumption of Aloe Vera Latex
The Aloe Vera latex is not often talked about. This may be because it is not always seen. It is a thin yellow layer. It is located between the gel and the skin.
The concern is too much of it can be quite harmful. In small doses, it can be helpful, such as helping with constipation in us humans.
But, at high levels, there are health concerns. According to this site, back in 2002, the FDA banned its sale in over the counter transactions. This is believed to be due to concerns of stomach cramps, kidney issues, and more.
Should you feed your Bearded Dragon aloe?
Now that you know the risks and potential benefits of Aloe Vera, you may be wondering if it is a good idea to feed it to your Beardie. Therefore, in this section, I will give you my opinion.
I would not advise you to feed your Bearded dragon aloe vera. I say this because it has little nutritional benefits and concerns with how its laxative effect may react with your Beardie, are you with me?
There are many other proven foods (Click here for the best foods for your Beardie, from this guide) that you can feed him, so why bother?
How about baby Beardies?
Now that you know my view on Aloe for adult Beardies, you may be wondering about your baby Beardie, right? Therefore, in this section, I will give you my opinion on them.
Baby Beardies are fragile and growing fast day by day. To maintain their healthy growth they need a well-balanced diet (Click here to see, from this guide, what is best for them to eat). Also, they need more insects than Adults, so the little veg and trust they consume, need to count.
So, to cut a long story short, no, I would not advise you to feed aloe to your baby Bearded Dragon.
I this section I will answer some questions related to Bearded Dragons eating habits and behavior. If you have any other related questions, feel free to contact me.
Q: Can Bearded Dragons eat fruits?
Yes, Bearded Dragons eat Fruits. However, fruits, such as apricots, are more of a treat for Beardies (Click here to see why). The reality is, fruit in general, should only represent a small portion of their diet. For adults, the majority of their diet will be veg. They will also have some fruit and insects.