Bearded dragons are not picky, they will eat almost anything. So, to jump right into your question, yes, bearded dragons CAN eat potatoes. With that being said, it should be sparingly. Potatoes lack crucial vitamins and minerals that help your beardie grow big and strong. There are far better foods for your bearded dragon than potatoes.
Nutritional Components of Potatoes
Typically, bearded dragons are fed greens and vegetables that will provide them with the protein they need. With potatoes, there is little protein to be found in them. A medium-sized potato has about 2 grams of protein whereas a green vegetable would have around 10 grams of protein.
They do however have plenty of carbs for energy. For this reason, it should not make up more than 10% of your beardies diet. Specifically for captive beardies who don’t get much exercise. Potatoes are also very high in calories. Check out the list of vegetables for bearded dragons.
Pros of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Potatoes?
The only benefit of feeding your bearded dragon potatoes is that they are very cheap. In comparison to other foods for your beardie, you can get a load of potatoes at the grocery store for next to nothing. And maybe he views it as a treat and you make him happy?
Cons of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Potatoes?
Potatoes have essentially no nutritional value. You have all sorts of greens and vegetables available to feed your beardie, there’s not much else you could give him to compare to those items. Unless he’s a big eater, a single potato will only satiate his hunger for about an hour or two before he goes back looking again so it’s really just costing you money in the long run without doing anything positive in return.
Another con of feeding your beardie potatoes is that they are simply just not that good for him. Yes, he will be happy to get them but in the long run, it’s just money down the drain and bad for his diet.
Vegetable List for Bearded Dragons
High Phosphorous Content
Bearded dragons can eat potatoes but you should always be conscious of their phosphorus content. Potatoes are high in this mineral, seeing as it’s what they use to grow roots. An excess of phosphorous in your beardie’s diet could lead to serious medical problems like liver damage and kidney issues.
So just keep the number of potatoes that you feed him at an absolute minimum because he really doesn’t need them or any other starchy vegetables in his diet. There are plenty of greens for him to munch on throughout the day so he gets all the carbohydrates he needs along with his necessary vitamins and minerals.
High Sugar Content
One of the reasons potatoes are considered a ‘once in a while’ snack is that they contain a good amount of sugar. Too much sugar in a beardie’s diet will lead to health problems and could shorten your dragon’s life by several years.
Your beardie’s gut might have a hard time processing these amounts of sugar, leading to diarrhea and dehydration.
How Often Can You Feed Potatoes to Your Bearded Dragon?
You should only feed your beardie potatoes once or twice a month at the most. You can sometimes give him one as a treat if he seems to be getting into things that you don’t approve of like chewing on cords, etc. But overall, it’s important to remember that they are essentially empty calories and not good for your bearded dragon in any way.
So try sticking to feeding him greens that are packed with proteins, vitamins, minerals and other nutrients instead of giving him an occasional spud. It may take some time for him to get used to it but eventually, he will learn which foods are good for him and which ones taste great but make him unhealthy.
There are far better options out there if you’re looking for a treat to give your beardie. Canned pumpkin is great as it doesn’t spoil and is full of vitamin A that will help their bones, gut and eyes. It’s also fairly cheap at about $1 per can. Zilla Dragons Feast (cockatiel food) is another option as it has protein and fat which will give them energy and make them feel fuller longer. This bag usually costs around $13-15 but it’s enough to last you many months so ultimately very cost-effective compared to buying greens all the time.
Hope this helps!