Phosphorus and Bearded Dragons

A healthy diet will provide bearded dragons with most of the vitamins, minerals and nutrients they need to stay healthy without supplementation. There's only a few minerals and nutrients owners need to monitor for their beardies health and Phosphorus is one of those.

What is Phosphorus

Phosphorus is a mineral that occurs naturally in fruits, vegetables, and insects so it's most likely already included in your beardies normal diet. What makes this mineral important is its influence on calcium, bone development, and skeletal health.

Phosphorus and Calcium

When consumed, phosphorus will bind to undigested calcium making the calcium unavailable for absorption. This means as levels of phosphorus increase, levels of calcium will decrease.

Diets high in phosphorus but low in calcium can create a calcium deficiency in bearded dragons. The perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorus (Ca:P) is 2:1, or 2mg of calcium for every 1mg of phosphorus consumed. Diets with this 2:1 ratio will provide a surplus of calcium and allow both minerals to be absorbed.

How Much Phosphorus Do Bearded Dragons Need

Bearded dragons need twice as much calcium than phosphorus. The easiest way to make sure your beardie is getting the correct amount of phosphorus is to do the following:

  • Write down everything your beardie normally eats each week (including supplements)
  • Write the total Calcium (Ca) consumed per week
  • Write the total Phosphorus (P) consumed per week
  • Compare to find the Ca:P ratio

If your beardie is consuming nearly twice as much calcium as phosphorus, the diet is good. Keep in mind it doesn't need to be an exact 2:1 ratio, but the diet should always have more calcium than phosphorus.

It's most common for diets to be too high in phosphorus. If this occurs you will want to either reduce the amount of phosphorus or increase the amount of calcium and try to get the 2:1 ratio.

Calcium for Bearded Dragons

The complete guide to understanding calcium needs for bearded dragons.

Go to the Previous Page

Other Foods

About this Article

Authored by:The Bearded Dragon
Updated:November 29, 2022
Site Menu