Although veggies make up the majority of plants that adult bearded dragons eat, fruit plays a small but important role in their diet, too. Bearded dragons love fruit, which makes it all the more fun to treat your pet! If you’ve ever enjoyed a refreshing smoothie or savory dish sweetened with mango, you just might want to share this popular tropical fruit with your bearded dragon. Can bearded dragons eat mango?
Can You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Mango?
Bearded dragons usually gobble up mango. Its sweet taste is hard for them to resist. Here are some of the perks if you feed your bearded dragon mango a few times a week:
- Vitamins A and C, which are key for a healthy immune system, vision, reproduction, and growth
- Vitamin E, which repairs damaged cells and prevents inflammation
- Vitamin K, which is essential for tissue and blood cell maintenance
- Fiber, which promotes regular digestion
- Folate, which assists in tissue growth and cell maintenance
- Antioxidants, which strengthen the immune system and digestion
- Manganese, which helps regulate metabolism and blood clotting
- Magnesium, which maintains healthy muscles and brain
- Zinc, which helps maintain recovery after injury
In addition, mangoes have these nutritional qualities:
High in potassium. Mangoes are an excellent source of potassium, a mineral they need to regulate their blood pressure and nervous system. Potassium also helps to keep your dragon’s muscles working and maintain proper water retention.
Low in oxalates. Another great aspect of mangoes: they are low in oxalates. Oxalates can be extremely harmful—even fatal—to bearded dragons. They prevent calcium from being absorbed into the body, so when bearded dragons have too many foods with lots of oxalates, they are at risk of developing metabolic bone disease (MBD).
Balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio. Mangoes have just about the same amount of calcium and phosphorus. Bearded dragons should eat a lot of produce that has either the same amount of calcium and phosphorus, or more calcium than phosphorus. As with oxalates, too much phosphorus can cause MBD because it prevents calcium absorption.
Why Can’t You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Mango Every Day?
So you can see, there are quite a few beneficial vitamins and minerals if you give your bearded dragon mango. So why can’t bearded dragons eat mango all the time?
Lots of sugar. Bearded dragons shouldn’t eat mangoes too often because they are sugary. Too much sugar can cause several health problems for bearded dragons, such as tooth decay, liver disease, and even heart failure. Additionally, too many mangoes can cause obesity, which is one of the biggest health risks for captive bearded dragons. It’s quite easy for pet dragons to eat too much food in captivity since they aren’t out in the desert running around free, so definitely be cautious when giving your bearded dragon any fruit.
Low in calcium. Mangoes are not a great source of calcium. Foods that bearded dragons eat on a regular basis should contain high amounts of key vitamins and minerals they need to thrive. Calcium is extremely important for bearded dragons, so it shouldn’t be lacking from the produce they eat most.
High in vitamin A. Some bearded dragons take Vitamin A supplements, which puts them at risk for developing Vitamin A toxicity. This rarely happens to beardies who eat foods rich in Vitamin A, though it is possible. It can happen if your bearded dragon has too many mangoes along with Vitamin A supplements. Symptoms of Vitamin A toxicity, also called hypervitaminosis A or simply Vitamin A overdose, include swelling, weakness, dehydration, and weight loss.
For these reasons, bearded dragons can safely eat mango a few times a week as part of a balanced diet.
How Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mango?
Any time you select fruit or vegetables for your bearded dragon, it’s best to buy organic when possible. That ensures there’s no harmful pesticides on them. When feeding mango to your bearded dragon, follow these simple steps:
- Be sure to feed ripe mango rather than unripe. It’s tastier, and it has more antioxidants.
- Whether or not you have organic mango, wash it thoroughly before serving and remove the peel.
- Although mango peel is nutritious, it’s often too rough for bearded dragons, so it’s best to play it safe and remove it from the mango before offering the fruit to your beardie.
- Slice the mango into very small pieces to prevent choking. You can serve mango pieces alone or in a salad, maybe with some kale or strawberries—your bearded dragon will love eating mango either way!
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