The short answer is NO, Bearded dragons cannot eat cheese because their bodies can’t digest dairy. You should avoid feeding your bearded dragon cheese or any other product that contains dairy, including milk and cream. If your dragon eats cheese, it will likely experience intestinal issues.
The rest of this article will discuss bearded dragons eating cheese in greater detail. It will also discuss if they can eat vegan cheese and some of the best foods you can give them.
Why Bearded Dragons Can’t Eat Cheese
Bearded dragons can’t eat cheese because their bodies don’t produce the lactase enzyme, which helps break down the lactose sugars in cheese and other dairy products. This means they’ll become ill if they eat any cheese.
The main goal of lactase is to break down the sugar in cheese, which allows you to digest it. Some humans don’t possess lactase or possess very little of it, which is why many people have to avoid dairy products. They’ll experience symptoms like flatulence and abdominal cramping if they eat dairy.
The same can be said for bearded dragons and many other lizards. Their lack of lactase in their bodies essentially means that they are lactose intolerant.
This rule applies to all dairy products, including:
- Ice cream
If you were planning on feeding your bearded dragon cheese as a treat, it’s best to choose something else that it can digest properly and won’t upset their digestive system.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Vegan Cheese?
Bearded dragons can eat vegan cheese because it doesn’t contain dairy, but you should still avoid it. Vegan cheese is generally processed and high in salt, and it only has low levels of nutrients like protein.
Like in humans, protein is essential for bearded dragons. It’s important that they get all the protein they need, and feeding them foods low in protein is a waste.
Protein helps maintain cell structure and cell growth, which is why it’s so vital.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Sliced Cheese?
Bearded dragons cannot eat sliced cheese because it contains dairy, which bearded dragons can’t digest. Cheese is also high in fat, another thing that bearded dragons don’t need a lot of.
You can view sliced cheese like any other cheese for your reptile: it’s bad and should be avoided! Not to mention, sliced cheese is often processed and contains added unhealthy ingredients such as salt and food chemicals.
It’s understandable to want to feed your bearded dragon sliced cheese because. It’s a common household food item, and you likely already have some sitting in your fridge. But don’t feed your bearded dragon a treat just because it’s easy and convenient—you could be putting it in danger by doing so.
Safest Foods for Bearded Dragons
Vegetables should be a large part of every bearded dragon’s diet. Generally, dark green and leafy vegetables are a great choice. They have the necessary nutrients bearded dragons need to thrive.
Some examples of the best vegetables to feed your bearded dragon include:
They can also eat broccoli, but only in tiny portions.
Although most humans prefer to cook vegetables before eating them, it’s best to keep them raw for your reptile. Cooking vegetables can cause the partial loss of some essential nutrients.
And you don’t have to worry about your bearded dragon not enjoying the taste—it will have no problem chowing down on raw vegetables, unlike many of us humans!
You can also feed your bearded dragon and other reptiles fruit, but the primary focus of their diet should be vegetables. Here are some fruits that are appropriate in small amounts:
What Happens if I Feed My Bearded Dragon Cheese?
If you feed your bearded dragon cheese, it will experience stomach issues. Since their bodies don’t produce the lactase enzyme, bearded dragons are highly prone to stomach upset after consuming any amount of cheese or other dairy products.
If your bearded dragon eats cheese in large amounts, it can cause blockages and severe health concerns. If you think your pet has consumed a large amount of cheese, you should contact your vet for assistance.
Some common symptoms of stomach upset due to consuming dairy products include:
- A general change in behavior
If you notice any of the above symptoms, it’s essential to watch over your bearded dragon until it gets better. In the event of the condition not improving, you should call a vet.
A small amount of cheese or dairy should cause some upset, but the issue may resolve itself. However, in large quantities, it can be highly dangerous.
Dangerous Foods for Bearded Dragons
By now, you should understand why cheese (and other dairy foods) are dangerous for bearded dragons. After reading this article, you should never choose to feed your reptile any dairy, even if it’s a tiny amount.
But there are foods other than cheese that are dangerous for bearded dragons, and it’s a good idea to be aware of them.
Let’s look at some of them below. Note that this is not a comprehensive list—there are still other foods bearded dragons shouldn’t eat.
Lettuce is a big no-no for bearded dragons because it consists primarily of water. This means that it doesn’t contain many nutritional value, so it’s a waste of time to feed it to your reptile. Reptiles are small and don’t eat much, so they must get all the nutrients they need in every meal.
Although lettuce contains nutrients like vitamin A and potassium, it’s not enough for a bearded dragon to be healthy.
Avocados are another food you should avoid when feeding your bearded dragon. This is because avocados are high in two things:
- Fat. Reptiles don’t need too much fat in their diets, so feeding them food that’s high in fat isn’t necessary. Avocados are among the few fruits with such a high amount of fat, so it’s best to avoid them.
- Oxalic acid. Bearded dragons also need to avoid high amounts of oxalic acid. This ingredient stops their bodies from absorbing calcium, and calcium is essential for bearded dragons’ bones. Therefore, consuming high amount of oxalic acid will lead to bone health issues and can cause metabolic bone disease.
You should avoid feeding your bearded dragon mushrooms because they contain high phosphorus levels. Like oxalic acid, phosphorus also affects your bearded dragon’s ability to process calcium. Since calcium is vital for bearded dragons, you need to avoid high phosphorus levels.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Cheese?
No, baby bearded dragons can’t eat cheese. It might effect their digestive tract and cause digestive upset.
Can Adult Bearded Dragons Eat Yogurt?
No, adult beardies can’t eat yogurt as it contains lactose.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Milk?
No, bearded dragons cannot drink or digest milk proteins. Therefore, you should avoid giving them milk or any diary products.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Almond Milk?
The short answer is No, bearded dragons cannot drink or digest almond milk. You should avoid including any kind of diary in your beardies diet.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Soy Milk?
The short answer is No, bearded dragons cannot drink soy milk. Beardies should not be drinking milk as they cannot digest it.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chicken?
Yes, you can let your beardies eat chicken but make sure its well cooked and only in small amount. one to two portion per month only. Stick to their regular diet which consist of mostly insects and vegetables.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rice?
No, bearded dragons cannot eat rice as they can’t eat any type of grains.
Bearded dragons cannot eat cheese because their bodies can’t digest it properly. The same goes for any dairy foods and drinks. You should think of your bearded dragon as lactose intolerant, meaning you should never, under any circumstances, feed it cheese.
If your bearded dragon eats cheese, it will get an upset stomach. It may also experience diarrhea and excessive flatulence. If symptoms don’t subside, you should contact your vet for more assistance.
Focus on feeding your bearded dragon dark green vegetables and some fruits. If you want to give your pet bearded dragon treats, try fruits in small quantities.
READ NEXT: What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? Ultimate Guide