Laid-back and calm, bearded dragons can be great pets to have in your house. Reptile lovers call them endearingly as “beardies.” These tiny dragons have impressive personalities and each specimen possesses different traits so enjoy reading that “what fruits can bearded dragon eat?”
The bulk of their diet contains veggies and insects, but you can feed them some fruits every now and then. Because there are limited amount of minerals and calcium in fruits, you should only feed them small quantity of fruits. Now you might be wondering what fruits can bearded dragons eat? You would be able to find out about it in this bearded dragon feeding guide.
You should be extra cautious while setting up a diet plan for your exotic lizard. There is no denying the fact that fruits can make a good snack for you voracious pet. But you should do that with some precautionary measures. The high sugar content in fruits can disrupt the balance of gut flora of your beardie. You can feed them some highly nutritious fruits once or twice a week.
What are the Best Fruits for Bearded Dragons?
Here are some of the fruits that you can feed your dragon to improve their overall health:
No matter where you live you can find these sweet-tasting fruits in abundance. Your beardie is going to love the strong taste of an apple and would consider it a treat to have.
Apples are rich in various essential nutrients including vitamin C, potassium, and chlorogenic acid. If your beardie doesn’t drink much water then you can add some water juice to encourage them to drink fluids. Due to the hard structure of apples it is best to peel them off before feeding to your dragon. You should also chop down the apples into small pieces so that your beardie can easily swallow them.
Rich in fiber and antioxidants, bananas are some of the best fruits that you can add in your beardie’s diet. This curvy yellow fruit is best served when it is completely ripe.
Bananas contain various nutrients such as potassium, manganese, magnesium, iron, folate, and riboflavin. Bananas contain lower amount calcium compared to phosphorous – which can decrease calcium absorption. This is the reason you should only feed them this fruit after every few weeks.
Blackberries can found in abundance during the summer season. Due to the high content of antioxidants in these tropical fruits, they can help body fight against free radicals. They can also help make your dragon’s bones strong, as they contain vitamin K. Some other nutrients found in blackberries include vitamin C, manganese, copper, and folate.
These small summer berries are packed with various nutrients that are highly beneficial for your pet. They can decrease your pet’s chances of suffering from heart disease, obesity, and overall mortality. Some of the key nutrients found in blueberries include iron, phosphorous, calcium, zinc, and manganese.
Cantaloupes, which are also known as muskmelon or sweet melon, can also make some quick healthy snacks for your pet. This fruit contains an orange-colored flesh, which has a sweet taste. It contains nutrients such as phosphorous, vitamin C, manganese, potassium, folate, vitamin B6, and calcium.
You should only feed them as snacks to your bearded dragon a few times in month. They have a high sugar and water content, which can affect your beardies health if consumed in large amounts.
Cherries are small stone fruits that belong from the genus Prunus plant. A cup of cherries contain 90 calories and it is bursting with vitamins and antioxidants. Because of their soft texture you can feed them to your dragon after removing the stones.
The high content of acids, such as oxalic acid, in these fruits can disrupt the digestion system of your pet. They also contain large amount of fructose. This is the reason you should only consider them as seasonal treats for your exotic pet.
Cranberry is an evergreen shrub that is originally grown in North and Central America. They have a very sharp sour taste, which is the reason they are usually eaten with other food items. They contain various nutrients such as copper, vitamin C, manganese, vitamin E, vitamin K, and phosphorous. The proportion of calcium and phosphorous in cranberries doesn’t corresponds to the recommended ratio. They are acidic and contain high amount of fluids. You should also consider them as occasional treats for your adorable lizard.
Dates are fruits of the date palm tree that is originally grown in the Middle East. This ancient fruit is filled with essential vitamins and minerals that improve heart hearth and strengthens bones.
Some are the nutrients that are found in dates are: iron, protein, vitamin B6, magnesium, potassium, phosphorous, and copper. Because of the low content of calcium in these fruits, you should only feed them once a month to your beardie.
Figs are fruits of the Ficus tree, which belongs to the Mulberry family. They are the superstars of the autumn season, as they are grown in abundance during this season. They are high in natural sugars and soluble fibers, which can enhance the digestion process of your bearded dragon.
Some of the nutrients found in figs include vitamin B6, vitamin K, calcium, phosphorous, potassium, and dietary fiber. They contain a decent balance of calcium and phosphorous. You can feed them to your dragon once a week.
These low-calorie and fat-free fruits contain numerous essential antioxidants and vitamins to support the health of your pet. The anti-inflammatory properties in grapes can help prevent the formation of free radicals in the body.
Feed them to your beardie by chopping them into small bite-sized pieces. You should avoid feeding raisins to your dragon, which are dried grapes. Raisins have a high sugar content, which can affect the digestive system of your beardie.
Guava is a tropical fruit that is considered an immunity booster due to its high content of antioxidants. During the sweltering summer, eating this fruit will quickly replenish the nutritional deficiencies of your pet. The fruit contains large amounts of dietary fiber, such as pectin, which can reduce the chances of constipation.
Make sure to remove the seeds before feeding them to your dragon, as that can cause impaction.
Honeydew melon belongs to the species cucumis melo. This tropical fruit contains a greenish flesh, which has a similar taste to that of a cantaloupe. It can make a refreshing treat for your beardie during the summer days. Make sure to remove its rind before feeding it to your pet dragon.
Mangoes are juicy stone fruits that belong to the drupe family. They contain high level of vitamin A, which improves immunity and eyesight. You can feed ripe mangoes to your bearded dragon by chopping them into small edible pieces.
Watermelons are delicious fruits that are soaked with nutrients beneficial to your beardie’s health. This low-calorie summer snack can keep your pet hydrated throughout the day. It contains vitamin A, B1, B5, B6, and C. You should always remove the seeds before feeding them to your pet.
Mulberries are juicy fruits that are related to figs and breadfruit. They come in various color varieties such as black, red, and white. You can safely feed mulberries to your bearded dragon. You can also allow you pet to eat mulberry leaves to cater to their plant matter requirements.
Papayas are large pear-shaped fruits that are grown from the Carica papaya plant. They have a sweet-flavored flesh that has a similar color like that of a mango. The fruit contains various nutrients such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin B9, magnesium, and potassium. You can feed bite-sized papaya cubes to your dragon as an occasional treat.
Can Fruit Cause a Calcium Deficiency for bearded dragon?
The high content of oxalate in fruits can affect the calcium absorption in your beardie’s body. These elements bind to calcium, which makes it difficult for the body to absorb the nutrient.
You should also look at the calcium to phosphorous ratio of each fruit you feed to your beardie. The idea ratio is 2:1, which tells about the importance of having less phosphorous than calcium in diet. Gut loading the insects with calcium-rich foods would make it easier for your beardie to absorb calcium. Similarly, you should also dust the feeder insects with calcium supplements before feeding them to your bearded dragon. Baby bearded dragons can eat dusted insects about 5 times a week. Adult bearded dragons can eat dusted insects 2 to 3 times a week, depending upon their calcium requirements.
You can also add multivitamins in your bearded dragon’s diet to improve their physical wellbeing. Make sure to pick a suitable multivitamin brand that contains all the essential nutrients.
Note: You should always avoid multivitamins with high content of vitamin A, as it can be highly toxic for your pet dragon. Instead, you can look for supplements that contain beta-carotene. Beta-carotene is an antioxidant that helps your beardie convert the required amount of vitamin A.
What Fruits Can Bearded Dragons NOT Eat?
There are various food items that you can add in your beardie’s diet, but you should avoid the following fruits:
We know avocados as super-foods for humans but they can actually be adverse for the health of your pet dragon. The high amount of oxalic acid in these fruits makes them poisonous to bearded dragons. A small amount might make your beardie sick, while a large dose can be fatal.
The acidic content of tomatoes is one of the reasons why you shouldn’t feed them to your beardie. They also have low calcium to phosphorous ratio, which can reduce calcium reserves in your beardie’s body. Also, tomatoes are high in vitamin A, which can affect your pet’s health.
Just like any other citrus fruit, lemons can be dangerous for your bearded dragon’s health. These highly acidic fruits can cause an imbalance on the advised ratio of Ca:P. So, you should avoid this fruit at all costs.
Oranges can cause stomach irritation to your bearded dragon because of their acidic nature. You don’t want your agamid lizard to suffer from diarrhea, as it can weaken them to a great extent. Oranges also contain acetic acid, which can disrupt the balance of calcium and phosphorous in your pet’s diet.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fruit?
Because of the high content of sugar and fluids in fruits, you should consider them as treats for your pet. The acidic nature of most fruits can disrupt the healthy gastrointestinal function of your bearded dragon. Similarly, the high amount of sugar in fruits can cause dental issues to your bearded dragon. In order to keep all the periodontal diseases at bay, you should reduce the fruit intake. You can feed fruits to your dragon about twice a week.
When Should Bearded Dragons Eat Fruit?
Just like most wild animals, bearded dragons have an instinct to always go for a live prey. This means that you would quickly notice that they would gulp down on feeder insects as soon as you place them in the terrarium. This also means that your bearded dragon would only eat fruits when it doesn’t have any other feeding option.
In order to encourage your beardie to eat fruits, you can hand-feed them chopped down fruits. If you don’t want your hands to get stinky, then you can always use a feeding dish. These feeding bowls would make it easier for you to keep the cage well-maintained. Bearded dragons tend to scatter food during the feeding frenzy. Placing a food bowl would help you prevent fruit pieces from falling over the floor.
The fruits you place in the terrarium would go through the rotting phase very quickly. Therefore, it is always a good idea to take out the leftover fruits after the feeding time. To make hand-feeding more fun, you can use feeding tongs for your bearded dragon.
What Else is Needed in a Bearded Dragon Diet?
Bearded dragons are very hardy eaters and it is fairly easy to feed these exotic lizards. They have a diverse feeding menu, and it mainly depends upon their age and bodyweight. As long as you provide them the right nutrition, you can expect to spend many years with your pet. Apart from adding fruits, you should have the following things in their diet:
Baby bearded dragons require high amount of protein, as they grown rapidly during this phase of life. Young dragons have a large appetite, as they need to constantly aid the growing process. As a general rule of thumb, baby beardies need 80% protein and 20% vegetables in their diet. This rule reverses when they grow into full adults. An adult bearded dragon’s diet consists of about 20% protein and 80% veggies.
To give a juicy treat to your beardie, you can feed them hornworms a few times in a month. Because of the high fat content in these insect larvae, you should consider them as treats for your beardie.
Vegetables offer numerous health benefits to your bearded dragon regardless of their age. You should feed about 20% veggies to your baby beardie. Depending upon the texture of the vegetables, you can boil and cook them. This way your beardie would be able to easily ingest them. Some of the best vegetables you can feed your beardie include kale, collard greens, zucchini and carrots. Make sure to chop down the vegetables before feeding them to your pet.
Just because your bearded dragon belongs to dessert regions that doesn’t mean they don’t need water. Despite the fact that they get most of their fluids from the foods they eat, you should still place a water bowl in the cage to ensure proper hydration. In the wild, bearded dragons are accustomed to drinking morning dew on leaves. You can mimic this by using a pipette to help your beardie drink water in a natural form.
What is the Bearded Dragon Favorite Fruit?
Bearded dragons happily eat from a wide variety of fruits. You should ensure to feed small portions of fruits to your pet. Some of the favorite fruits include papayas, bananas, apples, and raspberries. Make sure to never feed citrus fruits to your bearded dragon, as they can cause stomach irritation.