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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mango? What You Need to Know!
Humans often enjoy eating mango because it tastes great and provides us with plenty of disease-fighting nutrients. But is it alright to feed “the king of fruits” to your bearded dragon? The short answer is yes, your dragon can eat mango. However, before you make it a regular part of their diet, there are a few things you should consider. Keep reading while we discuss all the pros and cons of feeding mango to your pet and the best way to do it.
Is Mango Bad For My Bearded Dragon?
While mango is listed as safe to eat by VCA Hospitals, it has a few ingredients that can be harmful to your beardie.
Sugar is the primary concern when feeding your bearded dragon mango. It contains approximately 14.8 grams of sugar per 100-gram serving, and this much sugar can quickly lead to obesity if you feed it to them too often. Obesity is a problem for humans and our pets, and it is on the rise. An overweight dragon is prone to several health issues, including heart disease, fatty liver disease, kidney disease, and more. Being obese can make it more difficult for your dragon to get around and can cause difficulty breathing. If your bearded dragon’s stomach drags on the ground, it’s too heavy.
Sugar can also lead to dental issues for your bearded dragon, much like it can for humans. Once problems with the teeth set in, your pet can have difficulty eating the foods it needs to stay healthy.
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
Bearded dragons have difficulty getting enough calcium in their diet, and we often need to sprinkle calcium powder over their food to help it get the recommended daily amount. Another thing we can do is avoid foods with improper calcium to phosphorus ratio. Experts recommend keeping the ratio at 1:1, but 2:1 is even better with two parts calcium to every one part phosphorus. Phosphorus binds with calcium and prevents it from being absorbed by your dragon, so if the food has more phosphorus than calcium, it will prevent your pet from receiving the nutritional benefits. Even worse, if the ratio benefits phosphorus too much, it can bind with other calcium in the system, preventing that from getting absorbed as well.
Mango has about 14 mg of phosphorus to 11 mg of calcium per 100-gram serving. Since the ratio favors phosphorus, your dragon will not absorb the calcium from this food and eating too much of it can prevent the absorption of calcium from other sources as well.
While the amount of vitamin A in mango is not terribly high, bearded dragons are susceptible to vitamin A toxicity. Vitamin A toxicity can lead to health issues like osteoporosis and congenital disabilities. While it’s unlikely to reach toxic levels by ingesting fruits, you must be careful when providing fruits like mango along with some supplements that may also contain vitamin A.
Is Mango Good For My Bearded Dragon?
Besides tasting great, mango has several nutrients that are quite beneficial to bearded dragons.
Vitamin C is a powerful nutrient that can help boost your best immune system and help them fight disease. Mango contains more than 36 mg of vitamin C in each 100-gram serving, so it will increase levels by quite a bit. If you want to see how powerful vitamin C is, put some wilted lettuce in a bowl of water containing vitamin C powder and watch it come back to life.
There is also a small amount of iron present in mango, and this nutrient is important, especially for baby dragons that are still growing and developing. Though iron can also be toxic, the amount present here is far from dangerous.
Mango is also high in fiber and contains 1.6 grams per 100 grams serving. This fiber can help regulate your bearded dragon’s digestive system and reduce the frequency of diarrhea and constipation. High fiber diets also reduce the risk of colon cancer by allowing the body to expel toxins faster.
Reptiles like the bearded dragon get most of their water from fruits and vegetables. Mango will provide this essential nutrient to keep your pet hydrated. You can also use mangos to help rehydrate a dragon that has gone too long without water and is in distress.
How Can I Feed My Bearded Dragons Mango
When feeding your bearded dragon mango, it’s best to do so in small amounts as a treat. It’s high in sugar and has a poor calcium to phosphorus ratio, so it’s not something you want to provide every day or even every week. Since bearded dragons have such a difficult time getting enough calcium in their diet, we recommend making high calcium foods like dandelion greens and collard greens a major part of their diet and keep foods like mango for special days.
We hope you have enjoyed reading and have learned a little more about these awesome pets. If we have helped put your mind at ease, please share this guide to feeding your bearded dragon mango on Facebook and Twitter.
Featured Image: Marco Verch Professional Photographer, Flickr
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.