There are so many ways to enjoy sweet potatoes, and they have some great nutritional perks for people, such as fiber, antioxidants, and Vitamin A. Can your bearded dragon eat sweet potatoes, too? Find out if bearded dragons can have sweet potatoes, and if so, how often.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Sweet Potatoes?
Bearded dragons can have sweet potatoes as a treat, once or twice a month.
Sweet potatoes do offer a decent amount of nutritional benefits for humans and bearded dragons alike, such as:
- Vitamin C, great for a healthy immune system
- Vitamin A, great for vision health
- Antioxidants, great for immune health, organ health, and cancer prevention
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Have Sweet Potatoes Every Day?
There are really three reasons why sweet potatoes don’t make the daily staple list for bearded dragons:
Moderate oxalates: Oxalates bind with calcium to create calcium oxalate, which removes calcium from your dragon’s body. This can cause metabolic bone disease, a potentially fatal condition characterized by softened bones, deformity, and paralysis.
Too much phosphorus: The calcium to phosphorus ratio of sweet potatoes is 1 to 1.3. Too much phosphorus isn’t good for bearded dragons. Like oxalates, it can cause metabolic bone disease by depleting the body of calcium and preventing calcium absorption.
High in Vitamin A: In high amounts—especially if your dragon is on a multi-vitamin supplement—Vitamin A can cause toxicity. Swelling, lethargy, and weight loss are some of the symptoms.
How to Serve Your Bearded Dragon Sweet Potatoes
To prepare sweet potatoes for your bearded dragon, make sure you wash and peel them first. Bearded dragons can struggle to chew the tough, sandpapery peel on sweet potatoes, so be sure not to feed them any.
You can chop the sweet potatoes into small chunks, but it’s often easier to use the peeler instead. Slice several flakes to make it easier for your dragon to eat them.
You can cook the sweet potato to soften it up, but you don’t have to. Many bearded dragons enjoy raw sweet potatoes more than cooked.
If you decide to cook the sweet potato, don’t add any ingredients—not even salt, pepper, or oil. Just boil the sweet potato in some water or heat the flakes in a skillet to soften them. Additional ingredients can make your dragon sick.
Pro Tip: Serve sweet potatoes with calcium-rich foods such as staple greens, acorn squash, and figs. In fact, this is a good rule of thumb any time you give your dragon a vegetable that is low in calcium or has more phosphorus than calcium.
Does your bearded dragon enjoy sweet potatoes? Do you have any questions or feedback for us? Email us at [email protected]