Pretty much everyone enjoys chocolate – and why wouldn’t they?
It tastes oh-so-yummy, and it doesn’t include anything inherently bad for us – unless you count the fat and sugar, which might threaten our waistlines.
But if you have beardies at home, you might be wondering if they can consume chocolate, too. That’s the central question we’ll be tackling today: Can bearded dragons eat chocolate?
Sorry to disappoint you – but no, you can’t share this treat with your beardie. Bearded dragons should stay away from chocolate.
But you’re probably wondering, why?
Well, chocolate is toxic for your bearded dragon, just like it’s hazardous for dogs and many other pets – and it could cause a variety of health problems in bearded dragons.
So, under no circumstances should you offer your beardie chocolate. That’s the short version of the answer; stick around to learn more!
Chocolate: Nutritional Value
We’ve created a table that contains chocolate’s nutritional value per 100 grams; the answer to “Why is chocolate bad for my bearded dragon?” lies in it.
|Vitamin A||195 IU|
As demonstrated, chocolate is a high-energy food and contains 524 kcal per 100 grams. At first glance, a lot of energy appears to be beneficial. But, it’s worth mentioning that bearded dragons held at home do not require as much energy.
Bearded dragons participate in various physical activities in their natural environment and are free to wander – meaning they require more calories. But your beardie is sitting comfortably in your home.
That’s why selecting meals for your pet reptile – and maintaining a low-calorie diet – should be done with caution.
Another issue is excess fat. As the table above indicates, chocolate contains a lot of fat, which is another reason chocolate is not recommended as a treat for your pets.
Reptiles should avoid fatty diets. That’s true not only for processed meals but for insects, too.
Because of their high-fat content, waxworms, for example, should not be fed to beardies on a daily basis.
Please remember that bears in captivity seldom participate in physical exercise, meaning their bodies do not use up the energy stored. If they consume fatty meals, the fats will be deposited – making your bearded dragon overweight.
That’s bad for your beardie’s health.
So, it’s best to avoid giving your dragon high-fat meals – and that includes chocolate.
We’re all familiar with the fact that chocolate contains a high amount of sugar – and, therefore, is bad for your bearded dragon.
Chocolate could cause them many different health problems, all because they can’t tolerate its sweetness.
Phosphorus And Calcium Ratio
You may be aware that diets for bearded dragons should have healthy calcium to phosphorus ratio – with the optimal ratio being 2:1.
Sadly, as the table shows, chocolate has an unbalanced calcium-to-phosphorous ratio. When compared to calcium, the phosphorus level is far too high.
That is yet another argument why bearded dragons must not be fed chocolate.
Calcium levels in beardies may be depleted due to high phosphorus levels. As a result, beardies could develop calcium-insufficiency-related medical problems down the line.
For instance, a metabolic bone illness is the most prevalent health concern associated with low calcium levels and is characterized by brittle and weak bones.
And yes, it’s a life-threatening condition for beardies. It can also have a severe impact on them, causing “side effects” such as difficulty walking, lack of appetite, and tension, to name a few.
Chocolate contains a lot of vitamin A.
And sure, bearded dragons require vitamin A to be healthy. However, too much of this vitamin is unhealthy – and has the potential to create health problems in beardies.
The most prevalent side effect of too much vitamin A is vitamin A toxicity.
It occurs when beardies – and other living beings, in general – consume an excessive amount of vitamin A, typically through oral supplements.
Most vets are against giving vitamin A supplements to beardies, especially if they already have plenty of vitamin A in their diet. You probably mean well, but it could only be detrimental to them.
Can Beardies Eat Chocolate Cake?
Giving your bearded dragon chocolate cake is as bad as giving it regular chocolate. Any cake is far too sweet for beardies, for that matter.
Also, there is another problem with cakes: We’re talking about cooked food here – which, for bearded dragons, is unsuitable.
Their meals should always be fresh and natural, even while they’re kept in captivity, as pets.
If your bearded dragon accidentally consumes a tiny portion of chocolate or chocolate cake, it will most likely pass through its stomach without causing severe harm.
However, you should never – ever – give your beardie even a tiny bit of chocolate on purpose!
Pick fresh, raw vegetables and fruits instead of experimenting with cooked or processed foods.
There are so many healthy, nutritious, and fresh options you can provide your bearded dragon with – and we’ll talk about some of them now!
Healthy Meals For Bearded Dragons
A bearded dragon’s diet should be omnivorous. So, it’s highly beneficial to your beardie’s health if it’s fed various foods. Insects, larvae, worms, and snails make up the majority of the diet (very convenient for the amount of calcium they provide) – but fruits and veggies can be included, as well.
Recommended Regular Fruits
To begin discussing fruits and vegetables for our beardies, we’ll list several fruits that are highly recommended for regular consumption owing to their digestibility and nutritional qualities.
So, here’s a list:
All of the seeds from the fruits mentioned above must be removed since they are poisonous and can create significant health problems in our bearded dragons.
It’s also generally advised to peel the skin of certain fruits – and thoroughly wash them – before serving them because beardies are particularly sensitive to the pesticides used in farming.
Recommended Regular Vegetables
Vegetables that your bearded dragon can consume regularly include:
- Sweet potato
- Green beans
It is worth noting that carrot, due to its high carotene content, causes the bearded dragon to have more vibrant colors. Fascinating, right?
On the other hand, as we’ve mentioned in the case of most fruits, the seeds from the peppers must be removed.
Oh, and while we’re at it, we have to tell you that cabbage is one of the best meals for bearded dragons.
If you didn’t know, bearded dragons also like to munch on flowers. Some of them are:
- Grape flowers
- Rose petals
- Alfafa flowers
You should avoid flowers from florists, though, since they are frequently treated with chemical preservatives that are harmful to beardies. It’s best to grow them at home and treat them with organic, natural remedies.
Moderately Used Food
Some fruits and vegetables are safe for bearded dragons – but should be offered in moderation. Here are some examples:
These meals include oxalates, which limit calcium absorption and damage the bearded dragon’s bones. You should not serve them daily; instead, offer these foods to your beardie on occasion.
Tips For Preparing Plant Food
All veggies must be well cleaned and sliced into tiny pieces to avoid choking your little bearded dragon. The rule of thumb is that the pieces should not extend beyond the space between the bearded dragon’s eyes.
Here’s a tip: If your bearded dragon isn’t a particular fan of snails, which offer calcium for the bones, grating a small cuttlefish bone with a grater over their regular food is an excellent alternative.
Unsuitable Beardie Foods
There are some foods you should never – ever – give to your bearded dragon. Here are a few examples:
Of course, we should not forget chocolate – and sugar in general!
The Insect Based Food
Even if you attempt to feed your dragon a diet similar to what they’d eat in the natural habitat, keep in mind that they are no longer in the wild. They are now a household pet – meaning the diet should be adjusted.
You shouldn’t feed your bearded dragon wild-caught bugs since they might transmit disease and parasites.
Some of the suitable insects are:
- Dubia Roaches
Well, let’s sum up this interesting topic – can bearded dragons eat chocolate?
First and foremost, bearded dragons cannot eat chocolate under any circumstances! Chocolate is not beneficial for them – and it can only cause serious health problems in beardies.
That’s due to nutrients found in chocolate, like sugar. However, the calcium to phosphorous ratio is the most harmful aspect of chocolate as far as beardies are concerned.
Remember: In a bearded dragon’s diet, foods that don’t contain proper calcium and phosphorus levels should be avoided.
The best way to feed your beloved bearded dragon is to create a varied diet, mixing vegetables, fruits, and insects. But also have in mind that not all veggies are healthy for your beardie!