The answer to this question is absolute No. A bearded dragon should not be fed with avocado, not in a small or limited quantity. A bearded dragon can eat a variety of fruits, insects, and vegetables but do not include avocado in their diet. Although avocado is a superfood but isn’t good for a beardy.
The reason behind this is avocado contains persin a fungicidal toxin that is poisonous for all the animals on the same level. This toxin is found in the seeds and skin of the avocado which makes it poisonous to animals especially birds but harmless for humans.
In case of animal consumes it, and then it can cause diarrhea, vomiting, problem in respiration, and death also. Bearded dragons can die if consume avocado so this is the main reason why avocado should not be given to bearded dragons at any cost. Let’s take a look at why avocado should not be given to bearded dragons.
Reasons behind not to feed Avocado to Bearded Dragons
There are several reasons why avocado should not be given to a bearded dragon. It would still be harmful to bearded dragons if it did not contain persin. In this article, we will take a closer look at all the health risks to bearded dragons due to feeding avocado.
- High amount of oxalic acid
Oxalic acid is also known as oxalate is an anti-nutrient compound found in plants like leafy vegetables, cocoa, fruits like avocado, and nuts. Oxalic acid is not good for the health of a bearded dragon because it binds with calcium and prevents absorption in the bloodstream.
On the other hand, avocado contains lots of oxalic acid in it. Calcium is a very important nutrient for the good health of a bearded dragon and too much calcium in their body can lead to many serious health problems and mostly on their skeletal system which can cause a problem like Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
Symptoms of metabolic bone disease are:
- Bone fractures
- Lethargy and weakness
- Limb paralysis
- Lead to Obesity
The problem of obesity can lead to many health diseases like liver disease, heart failure, and tooth decay. Avocados are one of the fattiest fruit ever, high in micro-nutrient fats and calorie count. This excess fat will lead to obesity in your lovely pet. Due to this reason, avocado is considered an unwise food option for bearded dragons.
- Presence of Persin
We have discussed earlier that avocado contains lots of persin which is a fungicidal toxin that increases the lethargy in bearded dragons. Apart from oxalic acid, persin is also present in a very high amount. This toxin substance is present on the skin and inside the seed of avocado whose consumption can cause problems like vomiting, diarrhea, or can even be dangerous to the life of a dragon.
- Decrease in mineral absorption
This problem is caused due to the consumption of oxalic acid present in the avocado. When oxalic acid enters the body of the lizard, it binds with the other minerals and vitamins and reduces the ability of a bearded dragon to absorb the required calcium.
To boost a healthy life for bearded dragons, vitamins and minerals play a major role. Calcium is an important nutrient required for the dragon and if there would be a lack of calcium in their body it can develop problems in their skeletal development and other body functions. It could lead to weakness in the body of the bearded dragon.
- Lots of fat
Avocado contains lots of fats which is healthy for humans but dangerous for animals. More than 75% of fats are present in the avocado and most of the calories come from fats in avocado and are considered as one of the fattiest food in fruits and veggies. So it is obvious that if bearded dragons eat avocado they will gain a lot of weight which can cause serious health issues. So avocado is an unnecessary choice for bearded dragons.
- Binding with other minerals
Oxalic acid is considered a great binder that when consume binds with other minerals and vitamins also to form oxalates. As bearded dragons can eliminate oxalates from their body to keep a healthy system but due to the consumption of avocado the number of oxalates will increase and a beardie would not be able to flush them out from the body.
- Calcium to phosphorous ratio
For a bearded dragon, a portion of healthy food is considered as one in which the calcium to phosphorous ratio is 2:1 or 1:1. This is because bearded dragons require a higher amount of calcium than phosphorous. If the amount o phosphorous becomes higher than it would work against calcium and bearded dragons will not be able to absorb calcium. This is also one of the reasons why avocado is not better for dragons because it contains more phosphorous than calcium.
- Choking Hazards
Avocados are a rigid food even if they are ripe properly and bearded dragons cannot chew food as they eat their food by swallowing it. So it can choke the pet and can suffocate them if the food is not properly mashed.
What if Bearded Dragon eats Avocado?
First of all, you need to be very careful about your bearded dragon’s diet but accidents do happen. So in this case you should act quickly and calm and do some of the important steps like:
- Immediately call the vet.
- Give a lot of water to the dragon using a syringe to wash out the poison from the body very quickly.
- Keep an eye on the behavior of the dragon, especially on the breathing process.
- Feed the solution of activated charcoal by mixing it with water with the help of a syringe as it can bind the poison in the body and can save the life of the pet.
Other Harmful Food for Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons are omnivores in nature which means they can eat both plants and animals but in a limited amount. There is a variety of food which includes herbs, veggies, fruits, and insects. But on the other hand, they cannot eat everything from them. There are many things that a bearded dragon cannot have and could be dangerous for its health.
Here are some food items that should not feed them.
- Onion and garlic
- Beet Tops
- Oak Nuts
- Wild Insects
These are some variety of food that should not be given to the bearded dragon at any cost otherwise it can cause some serious problems and can risk their lives.
The Bottom Lines
Here we conclude that avocado is dangerous for loving beardies and can cause fatal health issues. As a beardie’s owner, you must be aware of the benefits of calcium for your loving pet’s health. So it is better not to provide avocado and other calcium inhibiting food and also prevent them from eating fatty food too.
There are plenty of other nutritional foods available to feed them and you should follow a strict diet and make sure your bearded dragon takes the proper amount of calcium. You can also provide high calcium insects like grasshoppers and crickets occasionally and UVB lights at their place that will help them provide heating that will keep them sufficiently warm.