bearded dragon outside by weeds

Can a Bearded Dragon Eat Canned Tuna? [Not Worth The Risk]

Canned tuna should not be fed to a bearded dragon. Canned tuna contains a lot of mercury, which is toxic to reptiles. Canned tuna also contains an excessive amount of salt and brine, as well as a variety of unhealthy additives. This can cause dehydration, kidney and liver damage, and digestive issues.

Reasons Why Bearded Dragons Should Not Eat Canned Tuna

Tuna Contains High Levels of Mercury

Due to the high levels of mercury in tuna, bearded dragons should avoid eating it. Mercury is a heavy metal that can cause serious health problems, and canned tuna is a major source of this metal. Excessive tuna consumption can result in mercury poisoning, which can cause a variety of negative health effects such as kidney and liver damage, digestive issues, and dehydration.

Tuna Contains Too Much Salt and Brine

In addition to high mercury levels, canned tuna contains an excessive amount of salt and brine. The brine used to preserve tuna is composed of salt, water, and other ingredients. Too much salt can cause electrolyte imbalances in your pet, which can be fatal.

Various Unhealthy Additives

In addition to high levels of mercury and added salt and brine, canned tuna contains a variety of unhealthy additives. Preservatives, artificial coloring, and flavoring are all examples of additives. Because these additives are not present in fresh tuna, it is best to avoid feeding canned tuna altogether.

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Possible Health Effects of Canned Tuna on Bearded Dragons

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  • Feeding canned tuna to your bearded dragon can have serious health consequences.
  • The high levels of mercury in canned tuna can cause liver and kidney damage, resulting in dehydration.
  • Because canned tuna contains an excessive amount of salt and brine, it can cause digestive issues in bearded dragons. This can result in illness and other serious health problems.



Bearded dragons are prone to dehydration, which can be dangerous to their health. Consuming canned tuna, which contains a lot of salt and brine, can quickly cause your bearded dragon to become dehydrated.

Kidney and Liver Damage

Regular consumption of canned tuna can cause kidney and liver damage in bearded dragons. This is because tuna contains high levels of mercury, which can accumulate in the dragon’s body over time. The salt and brine content of canned tuna can be harmful to their organs.

Digestive Problems

If your bearded dragon eats canned tuna, they may experience digestive issues. The high levels of salt and brine in canned tuna, as well as the various additives, can cause serious stomach distress in your pet. Vomiting, diarrhea, and constipation are examples of digestive symptoms.

What if I Already Fed Canned Tuna to My Bearded Dragon?

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  • The first step is to empty the cage of any remaining canned tuna.
  • Give your bearded dragon plenty of vegetables to help compensate for the nutritional deficiencies caused by canned tuna.
  • Keep an eye on your bearded dragon’s behavior for signs of distress or illness. Contact your veterinarian right away if you notice any signs of distress or illness.


Remove the Remaining Tuna From the Cage

It is critical that any remaining tuna in the cage be removed as soon as possible. If the tuna is not removed, your pet may continue to consume these substances.

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Provide Plenty of Veggies

The next step is to provide plenty of fresh veggies. Vegetables are high in vitamins and minerals, and they can help to offset the negative effects of canned tuna. Bearded dragons thrive on fruits and vegetables such as carrots, squash, broccoli, and kale.

Additionally, many leafy greens, such as dandelion greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, and collard greens, can be fed to your dragon. These not only provide essential vitamins and minerals, but also a lot of fiber, which helps keep their digestive system healthy.

Monitor Their Behavior

If your bearded dragon got into canned tuna, you’ll want to watch their behavior the next few hours. Looks for signs of dehydration or stomach discomfort.

Contact a Vet if Necessary

If you notice any changes in behavior, get in contact with the vet as soon as possible. Prompt treatment can help reduce the risk of serious health effects. A vet can examine your bearded dragon and advise you on what steps to take next.

Provide the veterinarian with information such as how much tuna was consumed, when it was consumed, and any other relevant information that may aid in the diagnosis.

What About Canned Fruits Veggies?

It’s fine to give your bearded dragon canned fruits and vegetables on occasion, but keep in mind that they’re high in salt. Canned fruits and vegetables can provide your pet with a variety of essential vitamins and minerals, but always read the label and check for added salt or preservatives.

Fresh or frozen fruits and vegetables, which are lower in salt and more nutritious, should be fed to your bearded dragon on a regular basis. You should also be aware that canned fruits and vegetables may contain added sugar, which, if consumed in large quantities, can be harmful to your pet’s health.

If you do decide to feed your bearded dragon canned fruits and vegetables, only give small amounts on occasion.

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What About Canned Insects?

Bearded dragons can eat canned insects, but it should not be their primary source of nutrition. While canned insects may contain some nutrition, live insects are still the healthiest option. Live insects allow the bearded dragon to hunt and provide mental stimulation, as well as more nutritional value than canned insects.

Like most things “canned”, canned insects typically contain more salt and preservatives than their live counterparts, which can cause health problems if consumed in excess.

[su_box title=”Things to Remember” box_color=”#5a5a5a”]

  • Due to high levels of mercury and unhealthy additives, canned tuna should not be fed to bearded dragons.
  • Mercury poisoning, dehydration, kidney and liver damage, and digestive issues can all result from eating canned tuna.
  • The brine used to preserve canned tuna contains an excessive amount of salt and other unhealthy additives that can be harmful to bearded dragons.
  • If a bearded dragon has already been fed canned tuna, the remaining tuna should be removed from the cage and the dragon should be fed plenty of vegetables.
  • A veterinarian should be notified of any signs of distress or illness.