Potato is a nutritious, highly palatable, filling, and versatile vegetable that not only fits in many recipes, it is also included in the list of favorite vegetables or food by most of us.
Although bearded dragons are omnivores and can eat a variety of vegetables and fruits, other than insects, every vegetable is not suitable for them. So It is natural for you to wonder, “Can our bearded friends enjoy this delicious vegetable?
Let’s find out the scenario in detail.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Potato?
Before discussing this in detail, I would like you to have a look at short answers to commonly asked questions regarding bearded dragons and potatoes.
- Can bearded dragons eat a potato? ………………………………….. Yes
- Is potato harmful to bearded dragons …………………………………. No / Yes
- Can I feed potato to my beardie regularly ……………………………. No
- Is Potato a healthy option to feed to a beardie ……………………. No
By merely looking at the above answers, you can assess the situation; however, the answers may be confusing for some readers. Yes, bearded dragons can eat potatoes; certain nutrients found in potatoes are good for your bearded friends. At the same time, potatoes also contain some elements that are not good for our bearded reptiles. So although potatoes may not be toxic for bearded dragons (like some other foods, e.g., onion, chives, celery, mushrooms, etc.), potatoes are not considered a healthy option to feed your bearded pet on a regular basis.
How Often Should I feed Potato To My Bearded Dragon?
From the above discussion, we can conclude that potatoes are not necessary for a beardie’s survival, and can live well even if you don’t feed this vegetable at all. Still, if you want your bearded friend to enjoy this delicious vegetable, offer him occasionally, just as a treat.
The reptile experts recommend feeding only a small amount once or twice a month.
Why Can’t You Feed Potatoes To Your Bearded Dragons Regularly?
Before discussing this aspect of the topic, let’s first look at potatoes’ nutritional composition.
(per russet potato)
The table above indicates that potatoes are a good source of carbohydrates, vitamins C & B6, folate, and minerals (like calcium, potassium, and magnesium).
So let’s see why potatoes are not considered a healthy food for bearded dragons.
1. More Phosphorus Than Calcium
Though any diet containing calcium is considered healthy for bearded dragons, to be more precise, you must look carefully at the amount of calcium and phosphorus both because phosphorus binds the calcium and render it unavailable to the body. So even if calcium and phosphorus are in equal amounts in a food item, calcium is not available for the body. Calcium deficiency can lead to a lethal condition called MBD (metabolic bone disease. So there is no question about feeding your bearded friends a diet with more phosphorus than calcium. The minimum recommended calcium to phosphorus ratio is 1.1 : 1.
As the table indicates, the Ca:P ratio in potatoes is 1:5, which is the primary factor making potatoes less favorable for the beardies.
2. High Sugar Contents
Since potatoes have a lot of carbohydrates or sugars, it is not good for a bearded dragon, especially for beardies in captivity. Beardies in captivity generally don’t have enough physical activity, and higher sugar intake can make them obese quickly. Obesity (as we all know) can lead to many complicated health issues.
3. Contain A Lot Of Oxalates
Potatoes also contain a lot of oxalates, and like phosphorus, oxalates also bind with calcium and hinder its absorption from the intestine into the body. So feeding a diet that contains a lot of calcium binding agents (phosphorus and oxalates) is not favorable for your beardie’s health.
Though potato is a highly nutritious, palatable vegetable and bearded dragons can eat them, they are not recommended to be fed regularly to your bearded dragon. Despite their nutritional value, higher sugar, oxalate, and phosphorus contents make potatoes unfavorable food for bearded dragons. So it’s enough if you feed potatoes in a minute quantity once or twice a month only.