Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ants? – A Detailed Experts Guide
You will be curious to know whether Bearded Dragons can eat ants. This is a common question, and as a Bearded Dragon owner or pet lover, you should know which foodstuff is safe and good for your pet’s health. Besides veggies, Bearded Dragons enjoy champing on insects. Not all the insects are healthy for the Bearded dragons, because some of them are harmful. So, can you give ants to your Bearded Dragon, and is this safe?
Here, we will find out if the ants are good or not for the Bearded dragon and also explore the insects that Bearded Dragons can eat instead of ants. Ants have nutrients that may or may not be helpful for Bearded Dragons. Let’s discuss these constituents.
Folic Acid is the primary defense system of Ants against predators. If this is used for the defense against the predators, then it has anything that the predators don’t like. I am not assured what will happen if a bearded dragon eats a number of these insects. For the health of your bearded dragons, you rather offer your pet healthy insects, veggies, and greens instead. No one should compromise the health of their pet.
Also read: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi?
Obviously, the ants contain high content of phosphorus in the abdomen. phosphorus is vital for the bearded dragon’s health, but too much of its amount is not good for your pet. High phosphorus amounts may lessen the calcium content in the body for the long run. It is not so good for bearded dragons. As Bearded Dragons need calcium for the development of healthy bones.
The decrease in calcium content may cause many health issues in bearded dragons. The most common issue is a Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). Metabolic Bone Disease is a situation characterized by weak bones, walking problems, and poor appetite in Bearded Dragons. There are many other symptoms too.
Ants also possess a fair content of Calcium in their abdomen, but this amount is lower than the amount of phosphorus. Unfortunately, this ratio is not good for the Bearded Dragons. You might know that when selecting food items for a bearded dragon, the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus is always considered.
Their ideal ratio is 2:1 (Calcium: Phosphorus). As you have seen, the ants have disproportionate levels of these two nutrients. This is the major reason I do not recommend feeding Bearded Dragons ants although this insect is a diet part of it in the wild. The ants are not toxic at all for bearded dragons. You can give it on occasion. A few ants may not harm your bearded dragon.
This insect, however, possesses a good content of Potassium. It is a most essential mineral that the Bearded Dragons need. What it does do? It helps regulates the fluid in the body, nerve signals, muscle contractions, reduce Blood pressure. Band some other essential functions.
High level of protein
According to other sources, Ants have a high level of protein. In each 100g of Ants, you will find 13.9g of the protein. It shows that ants are good sources of protein. As you should know, Bearded Dragons require protein especially the baby ones.
Juvenile and baby Bearded dragons eat more insects than greens or veggies. The reason is that they need more protein for their rapid growth. I don’t suggest feeding your bearded dragon ants despite their protein portion. You can also go for other protein-rich food items for your pets or reptiles. As mentioned, it’s essential to stay on a secure route.
Also read: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Lizards?
Harms of wild ants
Although we are not 100% sure whether Ants are totally safe for bearded dragons to eat, there are some possible dangers while feeding wild insects to pets or reptiles. Wild insects, Ants may have insecticides (or some other chemicals) that will adversely affect the bearded dragon or the health of your reptile. This is also true for other foodstuff like greens and fruits. Never feed your pet with foodstuff you caught in the wild. What foods might contain chemical in them that can negatively affect your reptile?
Can baby bearded dragons eat ants?
Baby Bearded Dragons are more sensitive to unsafe food items. They are more tending to have health issues if eaten inappropriate foods for them. Therefore, I recommend that baby Bearded Dragons should not be fed ants. Its reasons are same that are discussed above for adult beardies. Instead of this feed your baby Bearded Dragons healthier insects. You should not compromise the health of your pet and stay on a safe route.
As you have read from the above discussion that the ants are not totally dangerous for Bearded Dragons. In fact, it contains essential nutrients that can boost bearded dragon’s health. However, there are some valid reasons why Ants should not be given to Bearded Dragons. It is clear that there are two major reasons: improper Calcium-to-Phosphorus ratio and the level of folic acid.
The improper Calcium-to-Phosphorus ratio raises a major issue. Food items that have false proportion of calcium and phosphorus should not be given to Bearded Dragons. The second major reason is that folic acid is also not safe for the beardie’s. Due to these reasons, we don’t suggest feeding your pet with ants. Instead of this insect, you can offer your beardie other more beneficial insects. The most common insects that the Bearded dragons can eat are cockroaches, crickets, and worms.
I am Nick James, I have been three male beardies since 2015. I love to take care of my pets and their diet. Here, I am sharing my personal experiences and strategies to grow up your cute pet.