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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Nuts? Vet-Reviewed Health Risks & Safety Guide

Melody Russell

By Melody Russell

nuts on wooden background

Vet approved

Dr. Chyrle Bonk Photo

Reviewed & Fact-Checked By

Dr. Chyrle Bonk

DVM (Veterinarian)

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

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When considering the dietary needs of our cherished bearded dragons, it’s paramount to understand the full breadth of their culinary requirements. These intriguing creatures, known for their distinctive physical features and relatively mild temperament, are popular pets for those captivated by reptilian charm. As omnivores, their dietary repertoire includes insects, fruits, vegetables, and sometimes small rodents. Yet, what remains uncertain to many owners is the question: Can bearded dragons eat nuts?

They can, but they really shouldn’t. Nuts are high in protein and fat; higher than a bearded dragon needs. Their size and hardness also make them a significant choking hazard, and some nuts could make your beardie sick.  When it comes to feeding your bearded dragon, it is super important to offer a variety of foods, nuts just don’t need to be a part of it. If you’re set on giving your beardie nuts, talk to your veterinarian first.

bearded dragon divider

What Nuts Can a Bearded Dragon Eat?

You might not be surprised to hear that there is very little information out there about the ins and outs of feeding nuts to your bearded dragon, and what little information there is seems to be conflicting.

If we are to be guided by nuts that are known to be harmful to our more mainstream pets, you should steer clear of macadamia nuts, walnuts, raw cashews, pecans, pistachios, and Brazil nuts. These can either contain substances that can be toxic or are too high in fat or phosphorus to be safe.

That leaves us with peanuts, roasted cashews, almonds, hazelnuts, and pine nuts. These are still too high in fat to be a healthy option for your bearded dragon, but they lack any real toxic or harmful qualities.

bowls filled with different kinds of nuts
Image Credit: Towfiqu barbhuiya, Unsplash

The Advantages of Including Nuts in a Bearded Dragon’s Diet

There are some nutritional benefits to including nuts in your beardie’s diet, such as providing protein, minerals, and vitamins, but the main benefit is in providing them with variety. In nature, these guys are opportunistic omnivores, and their diet is extremely variable. As we always aim to mimic the wild diet of exotic species like the bearded dragon, offering them foods that contain different tastes, textures, and nutrient profiles is essential.

We don’t recommend making nuts a significant feature of your bearded dragon’s menu, but as an occasional snack or food topper, they can make a nice option.

The Potential Risks of Nut Consumption for Bearded Dragons

While there are some benefits to feeding certain nuts to bearded dragons, it is important to be aware of the potential risks associated with excessive consumption. Overeating nuts, which are high in fat and extra calories, can lead to weight gain, obesity and other health problems.

Furthermore, their size and hardness present a significant choking hazard, especially if not appropriately chopped into manageable pieces. The possibility of allergic reactions is also a risk. Some bearded dragons, like humans, may have adverse reactions to certain nuts, manifesting as digestive issues, skin irritation, or other health concerns.

a bearded dragon with the mouth open
Image Credit: Deb Kletch, Shutterstock

How to Offer Nuts to Your Bearded Dragon

A bearded dragon’s diet should be made up of a mix of animal proteins and fresh produce, such as leafy greens, bell peppers, green beans and the occasional fruit. They don’t need nuts to survive. But if you want to give them a little variety in taste and texture, speak to your vet first about which nuts are safe and how much you can give.

To cut down on the risks of choking, the best way to offer nuts to your beardie is by crushing them. If you are giving them nuts for the first time, a pinch is where to start. If they have no adverse reactions and they seem to enjoy it, you can try sprinkling their food with about ¼ teaspoon once a week. If they aren’t keen on the nuts, then go no further. They don’t need them, so there is no need to push it.

If you find that they love crushed nuts, a sprinkling can be a great way to make sure they are eating the things they should be having, like their leafy greens or pellets.

bearded dragon divider

Navigating the Nut Conundrum: The Final Verdict

Essentially, bearded dragons don’t need to eat nuts. Although variety is an important component of selecting their food, there are plenty of ways to provide them with all the nutrients they need without including nuts.

That being said, if you are looking for a treat to spoil your beardie, or a way to entice them to eat their greens, an occasional small sprinkling of the right type of crushed nuts shouldn’t do any harm. Stick to peanuts, roasted cashews, hazelnuts, pine nuts, and almonds, and always start by offering a tiny sample after getting the okay from your veterinarian.

Featured Image Credit: Dionisvera, Shutterstock

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