For many newer owners, the question “can bearded dragons eat bananas?” is on the top of their mind when it comes to diet. It’s popular, tasty, and affordable food, so being able to serve it to their beardies would be quite convenient!
This guide goes over everything you need to know about feeding bananas to your bearded dragon. You’ll learn about the nutritional values, benefits, how much they can be fed, and more!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
Bananas, those ubiquitous additions to smoothies, cereal bowls and school lunch bags, are simply chock full of natural health benefits. If you’re like many bearded dragon owners, you’re probably wondering if bananas are a good addition to your bearded dragon’s diet.
The answer to this question is yes, bearded dragons can eat bananas. However, they should be given in moderation only (more on this later). The pros and cons of feeding bananas to your beardie will be discussed in more detail later on.
The Health Benefits Of Bananas
There’s a reason why including some bananas in your beardie’s diet makes sense. They’re a great source of Vitamin C and Vitamin A, which play a big role in the overall health of your pet. These vitamins will help prevent them from getting sick and also grow as big as possible!
They also have a solid amount of calcium, magnesium, and iron. These are incredibly important for reptiles, and bearded dragons are no exception.
Feeding your bearded bananas from time to time can also improve kidney function and keep them feeling spry and active. This is because bananas are a great source of potassium as well.
Lastly, the antioxidants that bananas contain are great for heart health and general wellbeing. Sprinkling in some of these is never a bad thing!
Expert Tip: When feeding your bearded dragon bananas, it’s important to keep their overall diet in mind. You don’t want to go overboard with a certain vitamin or mineral if they’re already getting plenty from another food!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Banana Peels?
Now that you know that it’s alright to give bananas to your bearded dragon, it makes sense to wonder if the peels are safe to give to your beardie. After all, they will try to eat it when given the chance!
The answer to this question is also yes. Giving banana peels to your dragon can be another source of varied nutrients, but as with banana pieces, the peel should be given in moderation.
Expert Tip: If you do decide to let your beardie have some of the peel, make sure that you either buy organic bananas or wash the peel very carefully. Non-organic bananas are often treated with pesticides, and pesticide-laced banana peels can be very bad for your dragon.
What About Frozen Or Dried Bananas?
Frozen bananas are definitely a big no-no for your pet bearded dragon. Even if you cut the frozen banana up into very small pieces, it will still be too hard and can become a serious choking hazard.
Some newer owners are lured in by the convenience that frozen bananas offer when it comes to cost and the fact that you can store them for a while. Don’t fall for this trap!
The same thing does for dried bananas. Although they are rather convenient, you should put these on the list of no-go foods for your dragon. Dried bananas are very high in sugar, which can lead to a number of potentially serious health complications later on.
How Often Should You Feed Bananas To Your Beardie?
Since there are definite health benefits to feeding bananas to your bearded dragon, it’s understandable that you would want to do this fairly regularly. However, there are several reasons why banana consumption by your beardie can be too much of a good thing.
One of the main cases against feeding too many bananas to your bearded dragon is that bananas are notoriously loaded with sugar. Yes, it’s natural sugar, but it’s sugar nonetheless. Too much sugar can cause obesity, tooth decay and diabetes, and these can become serious issues very quickly.
Expert Tip: Just like with humans, bearded dragons can also become addicted to sugar. If this happens, they may stop eating the healthier items you give them and only want to eat the sweet, sugary treats.
On an even more serious note, bananas contain a phosphorus to calcium ratio that can, at times, be lethal. Bearded dragons, like most reptiles, need a high level of dietary calcium in order to prevent health issues such as metabolic bone disease. When the phosphorus level exceeds the calcium level, not enough calcium is able to enter the bloodstream, and weak bones, pain or death can be the result.
Because of this, we suggest limiting banana consumption to a couple of times per month. Consider this a fun occasional treat!
The Right Way To Prepare Bananas For Your Beardie
When preparing bananas for your bearded dragon, there are a few important steps that should be taken. Taking your time to properly choose the banana, wash it and present it in the most palatable way, are all necessary parts of safely including this food in their diet.
1. Make Sure The Banana Is Healthy
There are a few things you need to take into consideration when choosing the perfect banana to give to your bearded dragon.
First, decide if you are going to go the organic or the non-organic route. In general, we typically recommend going with organic bananas. As we hinted to previously, the peels of non-organic bananas often contain high levels of pesticides and herbicides. Buying organic bananas is especially important if you are going to give the peels to your dragon.
Next, you’ll want to choose a banana that is neither too ripe nor too green. The riper the banana, the higher the sugar content will be. As you should know by now, too much sugar (even natural sugar) is not good for your dragon. On the other hand, a banana that is too green can cause stomach issues, and it may not be as tempting as one that is a bit riper.
Finally, give the banana a good once-over. Make sure that the peel is intact, that there are not any slits or holes in the peel and check for moldy areas. In other words, if it looks like one you’d eat, then it’s one you’ll want to give to your dragon.
2. Cut It Into Small Pieces
Even though bananas are soft, you should only give your bearded dragon small pieces. There are some beardie owners who will put a whole, peeled banana into the enclosure, but we don’t think this is a good idea.
There are many ways to cut up the banana, but we find that slicing it into thin rounds, then cutting the rounds into pieces is the easiest way. If you decide to leave the peel on, simply slice through the banana, peel and all.
In the end though, there is no real right or wrong way to do it. As long as the pieces are small and easily eaten, the shape the pieces are cut is not super important.
3. Serve It To Your Beardie!
Until you’re sure that your bearded dragon is going to like bananas, it’s best to start off with one or two small pieces. Doing this will let you know if bananas will end up being one of their favorite treats or something you won’t be offering again.
If your beardie seems to dig bananas, then never give them more than they can eat in one feeding. Leftover banana pieces will rot and attract bugs or other critters.
Place the banana pieces in a sturdy, shallow feeding bowl. It’s always a good idea to mix the banana pieces in with their greens or vegetables. This will trick them into eating all of their food and not just the sweet bananas.
Now that you know bearded dragons can eat bananas (and how to properly include these fruits in their diet), it’s time for you to start experimenting.
Go out, buy some high-quality organic bananas, and see how your beardie likes them. You never know, bananas might end up being their favorite treat!