Pet’s diet is a huge concern for every owner. If it is a cat, dog, or any omnivorous creature, owners always find the safest diet. For smaller pets like bearded dragons, the food variety is more tricky, and choosing a suitable diet for beardies is challenging.
Ants are also an insect, and some creatures eat them as food. There are various types of ants, like red and black ants, carpenter ants, fire ants, etc. Are they safe feeder-insect for your beardie? Let’s find out all the sides.
As beardies are omnivorous, they have more options than other pets. They eat insects along with plants and different foods. Insects like a grasshopper and cockroaches are safe for beardies. But can bearded dragons eat ants?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ants?
Arguably yes. Bearded dragons can eat ants sometimes, and sometimes they can’t. There are multiple controversies regarding feeding ants to your beardie.
Undoubtedly, ants have several nutritious compounds which are healthy for your pet. Simultaneously, insects have harmful elements like folic acid and formic acid, which can harm beardies.
In simple words, beardies cannot eat all types of ants. But some ants, like red ants, carpenter ants, and sometimes black ants, are less harmful to beardies. Ants indeed help to promote beardies’ health. But it is not the best choice for your beardie.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Ants?
Beardies should refrain from consuming ants regularly. But moderate feeding is fine for your pet, and you can feed them ants as a treat. As ants are not the safest or best food for beardies, they should not be their staple food.
There is no certain recommendation regarding the frequency or quantity of feeding ants to beardies. Though, some experts suggest feeding ants to beardies once per week or once every other month is not harmful. You can feed 2 to 3 ants to your pet at a time.
6 Benefits of Ants for Bearded Dragons
Neutrally, ants have some very nutritious compounds in them. Ignoring its dark side, the nutrients do work. If you can feed the insect to your pet with proper regulation and maintain the restrictions, your beardie will get the benefit.
1: Protein Aids in Overall Growth
Bearded dragons’ diet includes plants, fruits, and insects as well. Growing beardies need more protein-based food, like insects, than plants. But adult beardies require more plants.
As ants contain a good amount of protein, you can feed them to your pet in moderation. Black ants have a good amount of protein, and you can choose them.
2: Fat Enhances Physical Appearance
Excessive fat harms humans and animals as well. But a moderate amount of fat aids in enhancing physical appearance. Unless your beardie is healthy with a physique, you can use ants as a fat source.
3: Phosphorus Assists in the Formation of Bones & Teeth
Though ants are rich in phosphorus, they can help form bones and teeth. The phosphorus in ants will benefit your pet dragon if consumed in small amounts. The compound also helps in producing energy.
4: Calcium Cares for Bone-Health
Ants have a smaller amount of calcium. But balanced eating could help your pet to get healthy bones or skeletons. You can use calcium powders or other calcium-rich supplements like calci worms with ants to balance the calcium amount. But don’t feed them excessively.
5: Magnesium Helps in Absorbing Phosphorus & Calcium
Ants contain a good amount of magnesium, another crucial mineral for living beings. It controls the secretion of the parathyroid hormone, which helps absorb phosphorus and calcium. Further, magnesium can prevent the severe issue of metabolic bone disease.
6: Potassium Aids in Muscle-Contraction & Controls Blood Pressure
Potassium helps in several activities in your pet’s body. The compound helps in muscle contraction and controls blood pressure as well. Further, it balances fluid in your pet’s body.
Notably, fire ants have a considerable quantity of potassium. But it is not safe for your beardie. Fire ants are known for their most painful sting. So, never feed it to your beardie.
5 Risks of Feeding Ants to Bearded Dragons
Instead of having some benefits, ants’ negative sides are unavoidable. Due to its harmful acids and the imbalanced ratio of compounds, birdies get harmed.
1: Folic Acid Harms Severely
Ants contain a huge folic acid that harms your pet. Folic acid causes gastrointestinal problems in beardies. Additionally, the harmful compound could lead your pet to intoxication, anemia, birth issues, etc.
2: Formic Acid Causes Irritation
Ants’ weapon is formic acid. The acid helps them to fight predators. Formic acid causes severe irritation, including skin irritation, respiratory issues, etc.
3: Imbalanced Ratio of Phosphorus and Calcium
Ants contain beneficial minerals, calcium, and phosphorus. But its ratio is not compatible. Like superworms, ants have a lesser amount of calcium than phosphorus. Higher phosphorus levels block calcium absorption and cause metabolic bone disease.
4: Insecticides Dangerous for Your Pet’s Health
Although, you have to feed ants to your beardie after purchasing from the market. But if insecticides remain in ants, they will harm your pet severely.
5: Beardies Sometimes Cannot Digest Ants
Ants are small in size. But still, beardies sometimes face difficulty in digestion after consuming the insect. Digestive issues are signs of an unhealthy lifestyle.
How to Feed Ants to Your Bearded Dragons?
Choose the Right Ant for Your Pet
After considering all the pros and cons of ants, you must choose the right ants for your pet. Keep in mind it should not be a staple food.
Purchase from A Well-Known Shop
You have to buy your preferred ant from a reputable shop among the various kinds of ants. Don’t feed your pet the ants catching from your garden!
Feeding Immediately is Better
It is better to feed ants immediately after the purchase. Because keeping them alive for a few days needs some extra effort.
Dust with Supplements
Remember to dust the ants with calcium powder, or you can mix it with other supplemental insects, which will balance the calcium quantity and make it healthier for the pet dragon.
Observe Your Beardie
When your beardie eats the ants, you should observe if there is any nuisance with your pet. Don’t feed it if your pet is not comfortable.
The answer to the question, can bearded dragons eat ants? depends on many factors. If you are confused or do not know which ants you should feed to your beardie, it is better not to provide them.
There are so many options of insects for beardies. They are also safer than ants. But it is absolutely fine if your pet accidentally eats ants. But do not let them consume continuously.
Besides worms and insects, veggies and fruits could be an excellent treat for your little pet, and they find them tasty too. Before providing any food, consider your beardie’s age, needs, and preferences.
Other Preferred Foods for Bearded Dragons
- Turnip Greens
- Sweet Potatoes
- Bok Choy
- Alfalfa Sprouts
- Darkling Beetles
- Calci Worms
- Wax Worms
- Rolly Pollies
- Mealworm Beetles
- Dragon Fruit
- Green Beans
Can baby bearded dragons eat ants?
No, ants are harmful to baby bearded dragons.
Do bearded dragons like ants?
Yes, bearded dragons like ants, but it should be offered in moderation/
Are ants safe for beardies?
It is not a safer food. But moderate eating is fine—once a week or a month will not harm the pet dragon.
Can bearded dragons eat dead ants?
Dead ants lose nutritional value. So don’t feed them to your pet.
Can bearded dragons eat carpenter ants?
Yes, the bearded dragon can eat carpenter ants but in moderation. The protein found in carpenter ants can help in positive health.
Can bearded dragons eat black ants?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat black ants in moderation, as they are not toxic.
Can bearded dragons eat red ants?
Yes, red ants are nutritious so bearded dragons can eat red ants.
Can ants kill a bearded dragon?
No, they don’t kill but could harm your pet severely.