Whether you enjoy mushrooms on pizza, in an omelet, or fresh off the grill, you may want to share them with your bearded dragon. Since mushrooms offer various health benefits for people, it’s only natural you’d wonder if they have any benefits for your bearded dragon, too. That’s why many Dragon Keepers ask: can bearded dragons eat mushrooms? The answer might surprise you…
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mushrooms? NO!
To give you a quick answer, bearded dragons should NOT eat mushrooms. Mushrooms are quite toxic for dragons and can kill them! Even though it is possible for a dragon to survive after ingesting a mushroom, it’s far too much of a risk to let your dragon have even the tiniest bite.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Mushrooms?
For people, mushrooms offer antioxidants, B vitamins, potassium, and more. But for bearded dragons, they are extremely dangerous. So now that you know the quick answer, let’s take a look at why bearded dragons can’t eat mushrooms. There are two primary reasons:
Mushrooms are poisonous for bearded dragons. Mushrooms are basically the fruit of a fungus, and fungus is toxic for bearded dragons.
Mushrooms have way too much phosphorus. There is an extremely high amount of phosphorus in mushrooms. Portobello mushrooms, for example, have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1 to 16.3. Typically a dragon should be eating foods that have more calcium than phosphorus, or at least an equal amount.
As you may know, phosphorus works against calcium in two ways: it prevents calcium in a food from being absorbed; and it can take away calcium that is already in your dragon’s body. Over time this can result in metabolic bone disease, which is quite serious and can be difficult to treat.
A 1 to 16.3 ratio is far too dangerous for bearded dragon consumption. For that alone, bearded dragons shouldn’t eat mushrooms.
What to Do If Your Bearded Dragon Eats a Mushroom
Panic is probably your immediate reaction if your dragon eats something dangerous like a mushroom. Call your vet immediately and do your best to remain calm.
Your vet should be able to advise you on next steps to take care of your dragon. They will need to know of any abnormal behaviors or indications that something is wrong, so keep an eye out for signs of illness. Your dragon may be lucky and just end up with an upset stomach, but it could also be more serious.
Possible symptoms include:
- Seizures or shaking
- Acting unusually tired
- Mouth watering
Pro Tip: To avoid accidental ingestion, never feed your dragon vegetables that have been stored in the same container as mushrooms. And if someone is pet-sitting for you, make sure they know what foods are dangerous to bearded dragons.
Things Bearded Dragons Can Eat Instead of Mushrooms
Bearded dragons need a balanced diet to stay healthy. What can you feed your bearded dragon instead of mushrooms?
Some other veggies and fruits to sprinkle in your dragon’s salad include asparagus, green beans, acorn squash, carrots, apples, and blueberries. Toss them in with collard greens and some cactus pad to give your dragon a meal packed with nutrients and flavor!
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