Can Bearded Dragons Eat Avocados? (Is it safe?)
If you are looking for the ideal food to keep your beardie safe (Click here to learn, from this guide, exactly what you should be feeding your Beardie) you may be wondering about Avocado.
Can bearded dragons eat avocados? No, you should not feed your Bearded Dragon avocado. Because it has high levels of oxalic acid and poor calcium to phosphorous ratio. Also, it is believed that too much o fit can make him sick.
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Now that you know that it is not a good idea, keep reading to learn exactly why oxalic acid is bad news, other potential health risks it has, also if baby Beardies should avoid it as well, and much more.
What is an avocado?
To make sure we are on the same page, in this section, I will explain exactly what an avocado is. I understand that most people will believe they already know this, but do you know its scientific name, its flowering plants family, or other names that is known by?
Origins and other names
According to Wikipedia, the scientific name for avocado is Persea Americana. It is believed to be from south-central Mexico, and its flowering plant is part of the Lauraceae family. The avocado, as we know it is the fruit of the plant, which is also called avocado.
Depending on where you are from, you may have heard the avocado called other names, such as avocado pear or alligator pear.
No doubt you have seen an avocado before, but, on the off-chance, you haven’t let me explain. It has green skin, with a pimpled looking texture. The skin is quite tough, and not easily pierced.
Inside of the avocado, you will see light green, fleshy texture. Once you cut through this you will see a big seed in the middle. It only has one seed, but it is quite large when compared to its overall size.
Is the avocado a fruit or a vegetable?
You may have seen me refer to the avocado as a fruit during this article and wonder why. Because let’s face it, many people refer to it as a vegetable, right? Well, in this section, I will explain exactly what it is, and why I believe this is the case.
According to this site, the avocado is a fruit. This is based on the fact that fruit is defined as a sweet and fleshy product of a tree or plant that can be eaten and has seeds. I get it, strictly speaking, it’s not sweet, but never the less, it still falls into the fruit category.
What is the nutritional content of an avocado?
Before we can decide if the avocado is good for your Bearded Dragon it is important to understand exactly what it consists of. For that reason, in this section, I will share a table with you that details it’s contents.
Source: USDA (per 100g)
What are the health benefits of an avocado?
Now that you know what the nutritional content of the avocado, you may be wondering if there are any nutritional benefits of the fruit, right? For that reason, in this section, I will explain any health benefits that I know of. This will include any known benefits for us humans as well as your bearded dragon, to get a full understanding of the food.
For Bearded Dragons
There are no proven health benefits of avocado for Bearded dragons. And, later you will see why this may be. However, some general health benefits are known, that is based on human consumption/usage that I will discuss next.
One of the first general benefits, for us humans, is the potassium content. I say this because, according to this site, a 100g serving will provide 14% of the recommended daily allowance (RDA). This is considerable for just one portion. They also claim, there have been studies that have concluded that high potassium intake is linked to lower blood pressure.
Help with your vision
According to this site, avocados can help with your vision. In particular, it is known to contain lutein and zeaxanthin and has protection from ultraviolet. They also claim that it is an antioxidant. Antioxidants help us avoid oxidation. This chemical reaction produces free radicals that in turn affect our cells.
Help with pregnancy
Avocado is believed to help with pregnancy. This is mainly down to the ingredient folate. It is believed that folate is important during pregnancy. The expectation is that it will help to reduce the chances of miscarriage.
According to this site, a study by McGill University concluded that fathers’ folate levels, before pregnancy, are just as important as the mothers during pregnancy.
Are there any negatives or known health risks?
Now that you know the benefits, you may be wondering if there are any negatives or known health risks with it, right? For that reason, in this section, I will explain exactly what negatives or risks may be available.
High levels of oxalic acid
You may be thinking, what is oxalic acid, right? Well, it is known as an anti-nutrient. It is also known as oxalate. It is an organic compound that is found in many different plants.
Binds itself to other minerals
It binds itself to other minerals. During stabilization, it forms oxalates. So, if we use calcium as an example. After stabilization, it would form calcium oxalate.
These oxalates are naturally flushed by your system. However, there are cases when it is a problem to flush it. This is usually seen when high levels of oxalic acid is consumed. It is known to lead to health issues, such as kidney stones.
Prevents minerals from being absorbed
The other issue is its prevention of mineral consumption. So, if we use calcium as an example again. High oxalic acid foods, like avocado, may prevent a lot of the calcium from being consumed.
As you may know, calcium is an important part of a Bearded Dragons diet. Like us humans, it helps with bone development. Also, if they do not consume enough of it, it can lead to calcium deficiency. Which can lead to diseases such as Metabolic Bone Disorder (MBD).
Believed to make Bearded dragons sick or worse
One of the biggest concerns is the effect that this will have on your Bearded Dragon. Some say, in high doses, it can be fatal to your Beardie. And, in low doses can make him sick. To be honest, just the thought of this is enough to make it not worth it.
Poor Calcium to Phosphorous ratio
If you look at the nutritional content above, you will notice the calcium and phosphorous levels. The issue is there is not a good balance. According to this site, The ideal calcium to phosphorous ratio should be 2:1. So, you can see that the avocado is nowhere near this. It actually has more phosphorous than calcium.
Should you feed your Beardie an avocado?
Now that you know the potential benefits and risks. You may still be wondering for a definitive answer if you should feed it to your Bearded Dragon. Therefore, in this section, I will give you my view.
I wouldn’t advise you to give avocado to your Beardie. It has limited nutritional benefits and also raises concerns about making him sick, or even worse.
My point is, there are many other foods available that offer more nutritional benefits that do not carry these health concerns. So, why bother?
What about your baby Bearded Dragon?
Now that you know what my thoughts are about adult Bearded Dragons, you may be wondering if this should be the same for baby Beardies, right? Well, let me answer this.
No, I would not recommend you feeding your baby Beardie avocado. This is for the same reasons as stated above. When there are som many other nutritional food sources available, why bother?
In this section, I will answer some questions related to Bearded Dragon’s diet and behavior. If you have any other questions feel free to contact me.
Q: How do Bearded Dragons learn?
Bearded Dragons learn by their mother and other lizards around them. Not many people know how smart Bearded Dragons are (Click here to see how much). For example, they can pick up problem-solving techniques by watching the behaviors of other Beardies.
Q: Is there any nutritional benefits in grains for Bearded Dragons?
No, in general, grains like bread, or grains such as oats, used in oatmeal, offer limited nutritional benefits (Click here to see how much). But, like most things, there is always some unknown exception to every rule.
Q: Why are they called Bearded Dragons?
They are called Bearded Dragons because of their throat pouch (Click here to see what it’s for). It resembles a beard, especially when they puff it up. This is usually done when they are fending off other males, to attract their female.