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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Avocado? Vet Approved Nutrition Facts & FAQ

Grant Piper

By Grant Piper

freshly cut avocado

Vet approved

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Alice Athow-Frost

Veterinarian, BVM BVS MRCVS

The information is current and up-to-date in accordance with the latest veterinarian research.

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Avocados are extremely popular with people right now. It is considered a delicious super fruit that can be eaten in a variety of different ways. It can be put on toast, eaten raw or chopped, and eaten in something like guacamole. The prevalence and popularity of avocados can make one wonder if they are good for pets like Bearded Dragons. Animals like Bearded Dragons eat many fruits and vegetables, but can they eat avocado? The answer is no, because avocado is potentially toxic to Bearded Dragons. It is not recommended to feed any part of the avocado plant to Bearded Dragons.

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Never Feed a Bearded Dragon Avocado

Bearded Dragons should absolutely not eat avocado as it is believed to be highly toxic to them, even in small quantities. There are no studies looking at Bearded Dragons and avocado in particular, but we do know that avocado is very toxic to birds and as reptiles and birds are closely related, it is very likely that Beardies will react similarly.

Avocados are thought to be toxic due to a number of different chemicals within them that are dangerous to Bearded Dragons (and, indeed, many other animals). Humans are one of the only animals that can safely ingest large amounts of avocados without any side effects.

avocado-pixabay
Image Credit: GerDukes, Pixabay

Harmful Elements in Avocados

Avocados contain multiple harmful elements that can be dangerous, toxic, and even fatal to Bearded Dragons. There is nothing healthy about avocado for a Beardie. So what makes avocado so toxic to a Bearded Dragon?

Oxalic Acid

Oxalic acid is a compound that is found in noticeable quantities in avocados. Oxalic acid is organic and can bind itself to calcium in the blood and bones. When oxalic acid binds itself to calcium, it prevents it from being properly absorbed. That can be especially detrimental for reptiles like Bearded Dragons that require a large amount of calcium to maintain skeletal health. With too much oxalic acid in their system, Beardies will not get the calcium that they require to survive. Over time, a lack of calcium will develop into metabolic bone disease, which will eventually become fatal.

Signs of metabolic bone disease include:
  • Twitching or shaking limbs
  • Lethargy and weakness
  • Bone fractures
  • Limb paralysis

Persin

Another dangerous compound found in avocados is persin. Persin is a natural fungicide that can be toxic to a number of animals. Persin has been shown to be toxic to birds, rabbits, horses and ruminants. It has been shown to cause problems including mastitis, heart failure and breathing difficulties in these species, which can be fatal. Persin is present in large amounts in the skin, leaves and pip of an avocado. When you cut an avocado, persin can leak into the meat of the fruit. There are no studies into the toxicity of persin in reptiles specifically but it is recommended not to feed avocado to them.

Excess Fat

If oxalic acid and persin were not bad enough, avocados also have a very high fat content. If Bearded Dragons eat too much fat, they can grow obese, sluggish, and unhealthy. Even if avocados did not include toxic organic chemicals, eating avocados would still be unhealthy for Bearded Dragons.

avocados
Image Credit: endriqstudio, Pixabay

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What to Do If Your Bearded Dragon Eats Avocado

If your Bearded Dragon accidentally eats avocado, you should call your veterinarian immediately. There are steps that can be taken to try and reduce the chances of your Beardie becoming unwell. Veterinarians can provide treatment, including activated charcoal, fluids, and baths that can help flush the toxins from your pet before they build up and become toxic. The faster you can get treatment for your Bearded Dragon, the better chance it will have to survive.

Luckily, since most Bearded Dragons are kept in cages or enclosures, it is very unlikely that they will stumble upon an avocado on their own. Just remember to never feed your Bearded Dragon avocado and you and your Dragon will be fine.

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Conclusion

Avocados are highly dangerous for Bearded Dragons and therefore should never be fed to your Beardie. Eating avocado can be fatal for Bearded Dragons both in the short term and in the long term. If your Bearded Dragon eats avocado, you should consult with a veterinarian right away for treatment options and advice.


Featured Image Credit: Gil Ndjouwou, Unsplash

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