Humans often enjoy eating mango because it tastes great and provides us with beneficial nutrition. But is it okay 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.
Mangoes and Bearded Dragons
Mangoes are not toxic for bearded dragons, and they can be safely consumed by these reptiles. These fruits have several benefits for humans, including the presence of vitamin C. But this isn’t an attractive feature for bearded dragons because like many other reptiles, they can synthesize their own vitamin C.
The nutritional profile of a mango isn’t particularly appealing for a bearded dragon’s requirements.
Like most fruits, a mango is mostly water and naturally occurring sugars. Mangoes are also excellent in terms of their exceptionally low goitrogens and oxalate levels, two compounds that are undesirable for a bearded dragon’s diet.
The 4 Reasons Mango Is Good for Bearded Dragons
Besides tasting great, mango has several nutrients that are quite beneficial to bearded dragons.
1. Vitamin C
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.
The Risks Associated With Excessive Mango Consumption
While a mango is safe for a bearded dragon to eat, it has a few properties that can be detrimental to your beardie.
The main reason that a mango isn’t recommended as a staple in a bearded dragon’s diet is its calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. For healthy adult bearded dragons in maintenance, their diet should have a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of anywhere between 1.5:1 and 2:1.
In mangoes, calcium is much lower than phosphorus, typically around 0.9:1. Phosphorus balance in the body requires that it be in the correct proportion with calcium. It binds to calcium, so when a bearded dragon is fed high amounts of phosphorus, their body responds by pulling calcium out from the bones to restore the proper levels of minerals.
Over time, the loss of calcium from bone mass can make the bones brittle and weak. It also increases the risk of kidney stones and parathyroid issues.
In addition, an inappropriate ratio of calcium to phosphorus is undesirable for the long-term health of a bearded dragon because it may predispose them to kidney or parathyroid issues. Therefore, mangoes (like many other fruits) should be viewed as treats and not significant components of their daily salad servings.
High Water Content
Digestive issues may also be observed if you feed too much mango to your bearded dragon. The high water content of most fruits means consuming large numbers of them in a short span of time can lead to digestive distress, which often manifests as episodes of diarrhea.
Mangoes’ sugar content, while high, is not directly associated with diabetes in bearded dragons. However, an overabundance of calories can lead to an obese pet, which isn’t healthy and may serve as a precursor for other diseases.
Also see: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mushrooms? What You Need to Know
How Can I Feed Mango to My Bearded Dragon?
When feeding mango to your bearded dragon, it’s best to do so only on occasion. It has a poor calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, so it’s not something that you want to provide every day or even every week. Like most other fruits, mangoes should be considered occasional treats.
We hope that you have enjoyed reading and have learned more about these awesome pets. If you have any questions about your bearded dragon’s diet, consult your veterinarian to ensure that your pet is being fed appropriately.
Featured Image Credit: ArtistLens, Pixabay