two bearded dragons relaxing on a rock

Can Beardies Have Mashed Potatoes? [4 Reasons to Avoid]

Mashed potatoes can be beneficial for bearded dragons in moderation. They are a source of Vitamin C, which can help boost their immunity and keep them healthy. Additionally, mashed potatoes contain fiber which aids in digestion and keeps their gut functioning properly. Potassium and calcium can also be found in mashed potatoes, which are both essential minerals that help keep your bearded dragon’s bones strong.

Although it is important to consider the risks associated with feeding mashed potatoes to bearded dragons, the benefits could outweigh the risks if done in moderation.

Benefits of Mashed Potatoes for Bearded Dragons

Vitamin C

Mashed potatoes are a great source of Vitamin C, which is essential for many biological functions in bearded dragons. Vitamin C helps their bones and muscles develop and stay strong, helps to maintain the health of their skin and connective tissues, and boosts their immune system. Sweet potatoes are especially high in Vitamin C, so they are the better option when feeding mashed potatoes to bearded dragons (we will dive into sweet potatoes vs. white potatoes below).

Fiber

Mashed potatoes are an excellent source of dietary fiber for bearded dragons. Fiber helps keep the digestive system healthy and regular, and can help prevent constipation and other digestive issues.

Sweet potatoes are particularly high in fiber, with one cup of mashed sweet potatoes having nearly 8 grams of dietary fiber. Fiber is important for beardies since it helps keep them full and provides energy throughout the day. Fiber is also necessary for the proper absorption of vitamins and minerals, which is essential for a beardie’s overall health.

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Potassium

Potassium is an essential mineral for bearded dragons and can be found in mashed potatoes. Potassium helps to regulate the nervous system and muscles, as well as maintain fluid balance in the body. It can also help to reduce the risk of hypertension, stroke, and heart disease.

Bearded dragons should not have a high-potassium diet, but the occasional serving of mashed potatoes can help to provide your pet with a good source of this important mineral.

Calcium

Calcium is essential for the health and growth of Bearded dragons. Unfortunately, mashed potatoes are low in calcium, with only four milligrams per cup. For this reason, they are not a suitable source of calcium for bearded dragons. So why are we including calcium in the “pros” list? Because mashed potatoes are a great food source to dust with calcium powder. The calcium powder can easily be mixed in with the mashed potatoes, ensuring your bearded dragon gets all the calcium they need.

Risks of Mashed Potatoes

  • One of the risks of feeding mashed potatoes to bearded dragons is that they are high in starch.
  • Mashed potatoes are often made with butter, salt, and garlic, which can be too salty or greasy for a bearded dragon to handle.
  • Mashed potatoes are a high carbohydrate food.

High in Starch

Mashed potatoes are a rich source of starch and carbohydrates, which can provide energy to bearded dragons. However, too much starch can be unhealthy for them. Starch is known to cause digestive issues in bearded dragons, and can also lead to obesity if they are overfed.

Moreover, it is important to note that some potatoes may have a higher starch content than others. When feeding mashed potatoes to your beardie, make sure to monitor the amount of starch in them and reduce the serving size if necessary.

Often Made With Butter, Salt, and Garlic

When feeding mashed potatoes to your bearded dragon, it is important to take into account the ingredients that are often used to make them. Many people add butter, salt, and garlic when making mashed potatoes, but these ingredients can be harmful to your pet.

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Butter has a high fat content which can lead to obesity, while salt and garlic can cause digestive issues. Too much of these ingredients in the diet can be dangerous for your beardie, so it is important to avoid them altogether.

High Carbohydrate Food

Mashed potatoes are high in carbs. This can be problematic for your pet, as they can quickly become overweight if they are fed too many carbs. Small amounts of potatoes can be ok, but it is important to monitor how much your beardie consumes.

How to Safely Feed Mashed Potatoes to Bearded Dragons

Feeding mashed potatoes to a bearded dragon should be done with caution and moderation.

  • Make sure the mashed potatoes are plain and not made with butter, salt, or garlic.
  • Sweet potatoes should be used instead of white potatoes.
  • Keep the serving size small and feed the mashed potatoes along with other vegetables.

Make Them Plain (Not Butter, Cheese, Garlic, Etc.)

It’s important to make sure that mashed potatoes are served to bearded dragons in a plain manner. This means avoiding adding anything like butter, salt, garlic, cheese or other ingredients that can be unhealthy for the dragon.

The dragon will not receive any nutritional benefit from these extra ingredients, and they can actually be quite harmful. Instead, it’s best to keep the mashed potatoes plain and only serve them as an occasional treat.

Use Sweet Potatoes Instead of White

Sweet potatoes are generally considered to be healthier for bearded dragons than regular white potatoes, as they contain more vitamins and minerals. Sweet potatoes are also much higher in fiber and lower in starch than white potatoes, making them a better choice for bearded dragons.

Sweet potatoes contain more calcium and vitamin C than white potatoes, which is important for a bearded dragon’s overall health.

Keep the Serving Size Small

It is important to keep the serving size small when feeding mashed potatoes to your bearded dragon. Too much mashed potato can be unhealthy, as it is high in starch and carbohydrates, leading to digestive issues and obesity.

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Feed Along With Other Veggies

It is important to pair mashed potatoes with other vegetables when feeding your bearded dragon. Leafy greens, peppers, carrots, and squash are great options to add to your bearded dragon’s meal. These vegetables are packed with essential vitamins and minerals that provide more nutritional value than potatoes alone.

By adding other vegetables to your bearded dragon’s meal, you can ensure they get the nutrition they need without overfeeding them on potatoes.

How Often Should Bearded Dragons Be Fed Potatoes?

Bearded dragons can eat potatoes, but not often. Potatoes have little to no nutritional value for beardies, so they should not be a staple food in their diet. It is best to feed them mashed potatoes in small amounts once a month or so, and make sure to use sweet potatoes instead of white potatoes to provide some nutritional value.

Key Points

  • Mashed potatoes can provide Vitamin C, fiber, potassium, and calcium to Bearded Dragons
  • Sweet potatoes are preferable over white potatoes
  • Keep serving size small and feed with other vegetables
  • Avoid adding ingredients like butter, salt, and garlic
  • Feed potatoes in moderation, no more than once a month