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Bearded dragons are laid-back and easy-maintenance pets for people who want to get into lizard care. They are fairly easy to care for and would eat almost anything. Beardies are herbivores, after all. In the wild, they would eat just about anything they could get their claws on. But, can bearded dragons eat mice?
As an owner, there are a few things you need to know about what happens when your beardie eats a mouse. In this article, you will learn relevant information you will need to help you decide whether to give mice to your scaly pal. Let’s get started.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mice?
Other than bugs and insects, bearded dragons will also eat small mammals in the wild. They will pounce at every opportunity to fill their stomachs. And mice are not outside their menus. So, yes, bearded dragons can eat mice.
Mice are not toxic to bearded dragons. It is perfectly safe for them to eat, but should they?
What Is the Problem with Feeding Mice to Your Bearded Dragons?
Despite eating mice, there are a few issues that keep them out of their usual diet. Mice are very high in fat, calcium, and protein. And, it doesn’t matter how old the mouse is.
As babies, these mice are known as pinkies, thanks to their pinkish skins. At this age, they are very high in protein. As juveniles, they are called fuzzies. At this stage, the protein in them is lower, but there is more fat. The fat continues to increase into adulthood.
A healthy bearded dragon shouldn’t eat too much fat. Eating too much protein and fat puts your bearded dragon at risk of obesity. If your beardie is already eating enough healthy insects and greens, there is no need for them to add more fat to their diets.
If you need help with getting your bearded dragon back to shape, here is a handy guide for you.
What Is the Biggest Problem When Your Bearded Dragon Eats Mice?
The biggest problem with eating mice is impaction. This problem happens when their digestive tract is blocked by masses that are a little too big for their digestive systems. This can cause immobility for bearded dragons, especially around the area of their back legs. If left untreated, this can lead to the death of your dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pinkies?
Short answer, yes. A pinkie is also healthier for bearded dragons. They have much less fat than more mature mice. They also have more protein in comparison to their weight. They do not have claws or teeth, and their meat is easier to digest for bearded dragons.
If you want to feed mice to your bearded dragon, give them pinkies instead. Pinkies between 1 to 3 days old do not have fully formed skeletons yet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fuzzies?
Fuzzies are older than pinkies. Generally, they are about 5 to 9 days old. They are larger, and they have fur. They have grown skeletons that make impaction an obvious risk for your beardie. They also have excess fat that a beardie doesn’t need. Pinkies are still the best choice if you really must add mice to your dragon’s meal.
Why Can’t You Feed Adult Mice to Your Bearded Dragon?
Other than the high fat and protein content in adult mice. Their size is another issue. But the most pressing concern about feeding these to your dragons is their fur.
Beardies are known for having gastrointestinal issues. And, beardies have difficulties with swallowing and eating fur. Thus, adult mice are an absolute no for your beardies.
Pro-tip: Here are a few mealworms that are much healthier than mice for your dragons.
Can Pregnant Bearded Dragons Eat Mice?
The problem with mice is their high-fat content, but pregnant beardies need more fat in their diet. There are several benefits to feeding pinkies to pregnant bearded dragons. And frankly, they need them.
This adds a little variety to their meals compared to letting them eat feeder insects exclusively. Similarly, if your beardie is undernourished, a pinkie a month will do wonders for them.
How Many Mice Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
Regardless of your bearded dragon’s size, a pinkie each month should be their limit. Any more would cause issues for your dragon. And, as long as you monitor the amount of fats they get from other sources, there shouldn’t be any problems.
Pro-Tip: After eating mice, your dragon must be stuffed. Get them this beautiful carpet to rest on!
How Do You Feed Mice to Your Bearded Dragon?
If you want to feed a pinkie to your beardie, you must defrost the mouse a little. The meat needs to be around 86°F and 95°F to help your bearded dragon digest the pinkie better. Food that is too cold or too hot can negatively impact their digestive systems and cause discomfort after a while.
You can either put it in boiled water for a few minutes or put the pinkie in a microwave. Microwaving it for a few seconds may seem better because you won’t introduce more water to the meat. But be careful not to leave it for too long since this can be a real mess. And microwaving can also aggravate bacteria growth and reduce some of the nutritional value of the pinkie.
When warming a pinkie up, it is best to just let it thaw in warm water for 20 minutes. This should be enough to bring it up to the desired temperature. It needs to feel warm and soft before giving them to your bearded dragon.
A bearded dragon may not find this meal enticing, but you need to make the meal inviting. Use a pair of thongs and put the pinkie closer to your pet’s mouth. You don’t need to chop the mouse up at all. They should be more than able to eat the pinkie whole.
To add variety to their meals, mix it with vegetables like the ones you can find in this article.
Mice are not toxic for beaded dragons. But, they are still not the best meals you can give your pets. They may be great for pregnant beardies, but too much fat is dangerous for every other dragon. If you want to feed mice to your dragons, pinkies are the best choice. And only feed these to them occasionally.
Now that you’ve finished reading the article, you should have enough information to decide whether or not to add this to their diets. Remember to practice caution, and your beardie should stay happy and healthy even after eating a pinkie.