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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mushrooms? What You Need to Know

Ashley Bates

If you are a fan of mushrooms, you might wonder if your beardie can enjoy them, too. After all, these fungi are quite delicious for humans, pairing well with many entrées. There are so many types, flavors, and textures. Your beardie needs lots of variety in their diet to thrive.

But if you’re wondering, “Can bearded dragons eat mushrooms?” We will have to disappoint you and tell you—no. Your beardie should never eat mushrooms, even in small doses. There are a few reasons why this is not healthy for them. Let’s explain in more detail.divider-bearded dragon

Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Mushrooms

In looking at the nutritional benefits versus the adverse effects of mushrooms, you have to look at the contents. Bearded dragon nutrition is very specific and different from many other pets. Because of their unique needs, it can be a little tricky to wrap your head around their dietary needs at first.

mushrooms-pixabay
Credit: monika1607, Pixabay

Dragons are highly sensitive to unbalanced levels of calcium and phosphorus in their diet. If they have too much of one or the other, it can tip the scales, having negative consequences.

Here are the nutritional facts of mushrooms according to the USDA:

Calories: 15
Carbohydrates: 2 g
Sodium: 4 mg
Protein: 2 g
Vitamin D: 25%
Potassium: 5%
Phosphorous: 82.6 mg

If you have an influx of phosphorus in the diet, it can cause an imbalance of calcium. When it comes to mushrooms, phosphorus levels outweigh the calcium content. Because calcium is such a crucial portion of their diet, we can’t allow phosphorus to interfere with the absorption.

On top of that, there isn’t a lot else mushrooms offer that is very beneficial to your dragon. So, they do better with a variety of other fruits, veggies, and protein sources instead.

Oxalates

Oxalates are something that your bearded dragon is going to run into within their regular diet. Small doses of oxalates do not damage or hurt your lizard. However, when they start to get too many, it can really upset their natural cycle.

Oxalates cause calcium to bind within the system. When this happens, your bearded dragon’s body cannot absorb calcium, which is one of the most vital minerals that you offer to your beardie.

Calcium provides bone growth, skin health, solid structure, and proper bone density. Your beardie can develop even more severe health issues such as metabolic bone disease after prolonged calcium blockage.

Metabolic bone disease causes your bearded dragon to develop brittle, stiff bones, in some cases even leading to paralyzation. Adding in a food item like mushrooms can lead to much more trouble than what it’s worth, so you should avoid them altogether.divider-multipet

Mushrooms Contain Oxalic Acid

As if the high levels of phosphorus weren’t enough, oxalic acid — also found in mushrooms — prevents calcium absorption as well.

That means your bearded dragon is getting calcium blockage from every angle by eating a mushroom. This is highly dangerous and can be detrimental to the health of your beardie. Mushrooms are entirely toxic to them in any variation.

bearded-dragon-eating_Maayke-Bakker_shutterstock
Credit: Maayke Bakker, Shutterstock

Symptoms of Mushroom Poisoning

If you know that your bearded dragon accidentally ate a mushroom, you might see the following symptoms:

Symptoms:
  • Vomiting
  • Diarrhea
  • General upset
More severe symptoms:
  • Seizures
  • Bleeding
  • Tremors
  • Salivating
  • Lethargy

If your bearded dragon shows any more severe symptoms, you must get to your veterinarian right away.

If your Bearded Dragon Eats a Mushroom

Carefully monitor your bearded dragon if they have eaten any kind of mushroom. There is a chance that the symptoms could be minimal, but you won’t want to take any major risks. Also, don’t wait — especially if they ate more than one piece. Contact an exotic vet immediately for further guidance.divider-food2

Final Thoughts

Mushrooms of all varieties are a big “no” for your bearded dragon. It doesn’t matter what type or how you prepare them—they are toxic and can poison your lizard. They also contribute to calcium blockages, which can be deadly. When you’re writing up the newest menu of beardie-safe foods, keep mushrooms away at all costs.


Featured image credit: congerdesign, Pixabay

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.