Can Bearded Dragons Eat Canned Chicken?

Bearded dragons are native to the semi-desert inlands of Australia, and their diet consists mostly of live insects. They supplement their diet with vegetables and fruit. However, bearded dragons can tolerate a small amount of chicken in their diet. Hence, you should not worry about introducing canned chicken to your pet, as long as you do it only in small portions.

Nutritional Value

While you may have heard of canned chicken and other meat products, these are not ideal for bearded dragons. These items lack the nutritional value of plant foods and may cause digestive complications in your beardie. You should also avoid feeding your beardie canned fruits and vegetables, and instead, opt for fresh fruits and vegetables.

A balanced diet for bearded dragons is composed of 70% plant matter and 30% insect protein. Fresh, organic vegetables are the best choice. Never give your beardie canned green beans, as they do not have as much nutritional value as fresh vegetables.

Potential Risks

A bearded dragon can safely eat insects and animal-based foods, but canned chicken poses potential risks for its health. Chicken contains phosphorus, which will prevent the dragon from absorbing the calcium needed by its body. This can lead to vitamin A poisoning. Even if the bearded dragon eats less than 10 IU/kg of chicken, it may still develop health problems over time.

While commercially-raised feeder insects are often deficient in calcium, bearded dragons need this important mineral for proper growth. They should be supplemented with calcium daily if they are young and up to five times a week if they are adults. You can also dust salads with calcium powder, but this won’t fall off the leaves as easily.

Serving Size

Providing a balanced diet for your bearded dragon is essential to maintaining a healthy and happy pet. It should comprise about 70% plant matter and 30% protein from insects. It is best to purchase fresh and organic vegetables to ensure maximum nutritional value. Fresh fruits and vegetables are better for your bearded dragon than canned or processed ones. Besides, fruits provide your beardie with essential vitamins.

While chicken is packed with protein and nutrient-dense ingredients, you must keep in mind that chicken is a known cause of metabolic bone disease in bearded dragons. This disease can lead to death or permanent paralysis. The problem is that chicken is full of phosphorus, which depletes the dragon’s calcium supply. Calcium does make it to the dragon’s bloodstream, but phosphorus causes problems.

Other Alternatives

You can provide other alternatives to canned chicken for your bearded dragon. Artisan lettuce, such as arugula, is a great choice for this animal. But it is important to select the right type. Avoid Romaine, which has poor nutritional value. Rather, choose arugula, also known as rocket salad. It has high vitamin A good Ca:P ratio.

You can also provide your beardie with dubia roaches, which are high in protein and easy to digest. Crabs and crickets, on the other hand, are less digestible. As for vegetables, you should offer plenty of fresh and chopped greens. You should also take care to remove any food that has gone bad. A rotten or moldy piece of food can cause ill health and can cause your beardie to refuse to eat.