Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bread? (Fully Explained)

Bread is pretty common in most households, often coming in as a starter or for breakfast. Since most families have bread almost daily, it is understandable to try feeding the same to their bearded dragon. But is this is a healthy practice?

Can bearded dragons eat bread? No, bearded dragons should not be given bread. Even though beneficial to humans, it has little nutritional value to these pets. Due to its components, bread can cause stomach upsets in bearded dragons. It is best to avoid bread with bearded dragons because the potential harm outweighs any benefits bread might have. However, minimal amounts ingested by mistake are not harmful and should not cause alarm.

Giving your beardie food and assessing whether it likes it is not an effective way of determining what is safe for it or not.

Just because your pet enjoys having a given meal doesn’t mean that the meal is good for them; on the contrary, it may be causing them more harm than you could imagine.

Knowing which food may harm your body will help you avoid them. Let us explore the nutritional benefits of bread to a bearded dragon and see it is worth giving the pet.

The Nutritional Value of Bread

To know whether bread is suitable for your bearded dragon, we first need to understand what makes up bread. While there are different varieties of bread, the main component is wheat in all of them.

Even so, some types of bread have a higher wheat content than others; for instance, brown bread has more wheat content than white bread.

Besides wheat, bread also has low quantities of fat, salt, proteins, and minerals like sodium and magnesium. In one way or the other, all these are beneficial to the body.

The high content of wheat ensures that bread is a good source of carbs and energy in calories. It means that if your bearded dragon feeds on bread, it will get a good source of energy.

This table shows the nutritional value of several kinds of bread

White BreadWhole-wheat BreadSourdough Bread
Total fat1 g2 g0.6 g
Carbs13 g17 g18 g
Protein2 g3 g4 g
Fiber0.6 g2 g1 g
Sodium7% of the RDI5% of the RDI9% of the RDI
Manganese6% of the RDI31% of the RDI8% of the RDI
Selenium6% of the RDI18% of the RDI12% of the RDI
Riboflavin5% of the RDI4% of the RDI5% of the RDI
This Table Shows The Nutritional Value Of Different Types Of Bread

Source: Heathline.

Reasons Why Pet Owners Feed Bearded Dragons With Bread

Several benefits are associated with having bread for human beings. Some of these benefits may be good for both humans and bearded dragons, and for this reason, some beardie owners feed their pets with bread.

Below are some of the reasons why some pet owners think it is safe to give bearded dragons bread;

1. Bread is Readily Available

One of the reasons why bread is famous in almost all regions of the world is its abundance. Bread is common in most homes that people cannot go a day or two without having it.

For this reason, it is easy to understand why most people may be tempted to feed it to their pets. Due to its availability, it provides a good source of a reliable meal.

In addition, bread is also cheap, and for owners who assume that it is safe for bearded dragons they find bread to be an affordable food.

2. Source of Energy

As already mentioned above, bread offers a good and reliable energy source. Wheat is known to be a good source of energy, and since it is the major component of bread, it means that bread offers a good source of energy.

The excess carbohydrates that do not end up in the conversion into energy offer a good source of fat which can help insulate the body from cold.

While this is true for bearded dragons, too, there are safer and more effective ways of fattening a beardie other than using bread.

3. Bread is Sweet

Another reason most pet owners give bread to their bearded dragon is that it is tasty. As such, some bearded dragon owners use it as a treat for the beardie.

Bearded dragons love to enjoy sweet things, and because of this, they may take a liking to feed on bread.

However, your lizard enjoying bread does not mean that it is good for them. It only means that they may like how it tastes, leading to them wanting more of it.

You are responsible for assessing whether it is good or harmful to your pet.

Disadvantages of Bread For Bearded Dragon

Having looked at why most bearded dragon owners may end up feeding bread to their bearded dragons with bread, it is good to consider the main reasons why that may not be a wise idea.

Bread causes more damage than good when fed to a bearded dragon. While it is more beneficial to humans, it is more toxic to the reptile.

Below are some of the adverse effects that you need to be aware of when feeding bread to your dragons;

1. Bread is Dry and Starchy

As with most wheat products, bread is usually dry and can choke a beardie if eaten alone. Even human beings need some form of a liquid to avoid a choking hazard when eating bread.

A bearded dragon has no means of softening the bread, thus making the problem worse. While small crumbs of bread may not pose any danger, larger pieces of bread may end up choking your pet.

If you have to feed your bearded dragon with bread, the safest way is to dip it in some form of liquid.

It might, however, not be a permanent solution, especially when your bearded dragon fails to eat the bread immediately and leaves it to dry.

Besides the risk of choking, bread can also dehydrate a bearded dragon. These reptiles do not drink a lot of water.

They supplement the water levels with that from food. Giving bread, which is dry, to your beardie will only make the pet more hydrated.

Dehydration is terrible for a beardie, especially when shedding. It might lead to indigestion, loose skin, and sunken eyes, among others.

2. Bread Is Not Available In The Wild

Like some of the food fed to pets in captivity, bread does not exist in the wild. Biologically, it means that your pet dragon is not adapted to feed on bread.

In addition, the digestion of bread and any other starch digestion starts in the mouth, which exacerbates the situation.

A beardie’s digestive tract is too short to digest all the starch fully. A shorter-than-needed digestive system means that your bearded dragon will be prone to indigestion.

Indigestion leads to bloating and other stomach issues, which you certainly need to spare my bearded dragon.

Indigestion also means that the bread that your beardie takes will not be ready for assimilation into the body, hence being of no use to their bodies.

Therefore, indigestion is yet another reason why you should not give your bearded dragon bread even as a treat; the adverse effects are not worth it.

3. Low Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

A bearded dragon’s diet needs to meet at least a 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio.

It ensures that the pet gets enough calcium into the body while canceling out the effects of phosphorus mineral binding calcium.

Bread is high in phosphorus and low in calcium. As such, it is not a suitable choice for a bearded dragon because it will severely affect the amounts of this mineral that the pet requires.

Calcium helps bearded dragons grow, develop, and maintain proper bone health while supporting other body functions.

4. Bread Contains Gluten

Today, in most food commercials, it is hard to miss the phrase “gluten-free.” It seems like all food companies are running away from gluten, and it is for a good reason.

Gluten is some indigestible scum that usually remains in your stomach when you eat wheat products. It is prevalent in processed wheat and white bread.

Since the body cannot eliminate gluten quickly, gluten is deposited on stomach walls, clogging the digestive system.

The problem is a real challenge to human beings whose digestive system has adaptations for handling wheat.

You can, therefore, imagine how serious it is for your bearded dragon, which has a shorter digestive tract and no adaptation to dealing with wheat.

5. Bread Is of No Nutritional Value

A bread offers little to no nutritional value for your bearded dragon. The fact that dragons lack adaptations for the digestion of bread worsen the situation.

There is little nutritional value from bread, even in human beings. Besides the carbs for energy, you will not get many additional benefits from bread.

For this reason, it would be in your best interest to avoid feeding bread to your dragons; even as an occasional treat, you will end up clogging their system for no good reason.

Instead of bread, you should look for more beneficial alternatives that will add value to your dragon.

bearded dragon

Other Human Foods That Are Harmful To Bearded Dragons

Bread is not the only common human food that is harmful to your bearded dragon.

There are others foods too, which, although safe for human consumption, cause the same problems and more to bearded dragons, and you should avoid giving them to your beardie.

1. Spinach

Spinach is rich in oxalates which prevent calcium absorption by binding the mineral.

Oxalates naturally occur in plants, and although not harmful to the plants, they are toxic to beardies because of their effect on calcium absorption. The metabolic bone disease may arise from a calcium deficit.

Small amounts of calcium once a month will not harm your pet reptile. However, this is one human food you should be on the lookout for.

2. Avocadoes

Avocados are liked and disliked by humans in equal measure. They provide human beings with a good source of fats and fibers.

They are high in oxalates which is dangerous for bearded dragons because of their effect on calcium absorption.

You should totally avoid avocadoes for bearded dragons. Even the most negligible amounts are harmful, and if taken in large quantities, they might cause death.

3. Lettuce

Lettuce is a common vegetable in human being meals, often added to salads. Although not entirely toxic to humans to beardies, you should not give them in plenty and frequently.

It is a water-rich vegetable that presents the problem of diarrhea in beardies that results from watery foods.

Excess diarrhea leads to dehydration. It doesn’t help that bearded dragons love lettuce, so it’s up to you to limit the amounts of lettuce the reptile feeds on.

4. Beet Tops

Just like spinach, beet tops contain oxalic acid. Therefore, too many beet tops put the reptile at risk of developing metabolic bone disease that under severe cases might be irreversible.

Healthy and Safe Treats for Bearded Dragons

Although bread is not a safe treat for bearded dragons, there are other rewards that you can give them that are rewarding without jeopardizing their health and life.

Safe and healthy fruit alternatives to bread include kiwis, strawberries, plums, papaya, figs, apples, dates, and mangoes.

As for safe insect treats for bearded dragons, consider silkworms, locusts, butterworms, crickets, king worms, waxworms, earthworms, and phoenix worms.

Only get captive-bred insects, and you should not feed a beardie with wild-caught ones which might be parasite-infested.

It would be best to give a beardie all treats in moderation since they are not a staple part of your bearded dragon’s diet.


Bread is not suitable for a bearded dragon. It presents more harm than benefits. Although a significant food to most humans, wheat-based food has little to no nutritional value for beardies.

It puts the pet at risk of dehydration, bloating, choking, and stomach problems.

Avoid giving your bearded dragon bread and instead feed it with other healthier foods such as dandelion, broccoli, bell peppers, celery, mustard greens, and turnip greens.

Other human foods that are not good for bearded dragons include avocados, spinach, lettuce.

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