In the United States, June 30th is world cantaloupe day; a whole day set aside to recognize the nutritious benefits of the fruit. Cantaloupe is a delicious fruit known for its affinity for salads, great smoothie-making tendency, and nutritional value. Since bearded dragons can eat fruit, you must be wondering if they can eat cantaloupe and how to feed some to your dragon.
Fortunately, bearded dragons can eat cantaloupe but they must eat the fruit in small amounts infrequently. Unlike you, beardies are not wired to munch on fruit regularly and will fall sick if they do. Fruits like cantaloupe are simply treats for them and should be fed with utmost care.
In this article, we’ll be criticizing cantaloupe to figure out whether they meet your beardie’s health standards, the pros and cons of the fruit, and how to feed them to your pet safely.
Is Cantaloupe Good For Bearded Dragons? Nutritional Value Of Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe has a similar effect on bearded dragons as feeding them watermelon, except they hold far less water content and more fiber. Technically, cantaloupe is good for beardies when you feed it to them correctly. As long as you don’t exceed the amount your dragon needs, you and your pet can enjoy a nice little cantaloupe jamboree!
Here is the approximate nutritional value of 100g of raw cantaloupe according to the USDA:
- Calories: 34
- Protein: 0.8g
- Fat: 0.2g
- Carbohydrates: 8.2g
- Fiber: 0.9g
- Sugars: 7.9g
- Vitamin A: 338 mcg
- Vitamin C: 36.7 mg
- Potassium: 267 mg o
- Calcium: 9 mg
- Iron: 0.2 mg
You must acknowledge that while bearded dragons can eat cantaloupe, your pet might absolutely dislike the fruit. Do not force your dragon to eat any fruit that it doesn’t wish to. There is a plethora of fruits bearded dragons can enjoy and a good chance of your pet enjoying other fruits aside from cantaloupe.
The 6 Interesting Benefits Of Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Cantaloupe
There are advantages that your bearded dragon can enjoy from eating cantaloupe. As long as you feed your pet the fruit in moderation, you should be a witness to the following goodies:
1. Excellent Supply Of Hydration
Cantaloupe has a good amount of water that is highly useful for hydration. If your beardie is recovering from dehydration, cantaloupe is a good way to keep them hydrated before further measures are made. However, cantaloupe must not replace pure water because your dragon still needs to be hydrated the proper way.
2. Protects The Skin And Eyes
Vitamin A plays an important role in maintaining the health of the skin and eyes. Your bearded dragon will go through stages of shedding which will stress its skin or it may suffer from eye infections now and then. Vitamin A maintains the natural oils of your beardie’s skin and helps in the development of new skin cells. It also plays a part in rejuvenating the membrane covering the eyes thereby reducing the chances of eye infections.
3. Great For Immunity Against Diseases
Cantaloupe is rich in vitamins C and A which assist in the production of white blood cells. These white blood cells in turn help your bearded dragon to fight off foreign bodies that could threaten your pet’s health like bacteria and viruses.
4. Protection From Free Radicals
Vitamin C is an antioxidant that helps to thwart free radicals from damaging the cells. These free radicals are cancer-causing agents that disrupt the cell DNA leading to abnormal growths and malfunctions in the body. Just like you, bearded dragons are exposed to small amounts of radiation and partake in various metabolic processes that can cause free radicals to occur. Beardies are also prone to cancer and should be fed antioxidant-rich foods to reduce the possibility of the deadly disease.
5. Cantaloupe Is Good For Digestion
Cantaloupe is a good source of fiber for bearded dragons, and it plays a major role in nutrient absorption. Fiber forms the bulk load during digestion and helps to stabilize the process so that complete nutrient absorption can take place. Thanks to this, your dragon will have a more consistent poop pattern and will be healthy since the nutrients it needs are properly absorbed during digestion.
6. The Deliciousness And Variety
Bearded dragons enjoy variety and they marvel at the curiosity of tasting something new. It’s important to engage your pet in new treats to ensure a positive relationship between your beardie and its meal time. So, adding cantaloupe to the list of varieties is one great way to go about it.
The 4 Terrifying Risks Of Excess Cantaloupe To Your Bearded Dragon
Bearded dragons do not need fruits in the same way you do. While fruits are essential to your health, your beardie already gains most of its nutrients from the bugs and vegetables it eats daily. Feeding your dragon too much fruit, or cantaloupe in this case, will surely cause it to fall sick with the following:
Vitamin A Toxicity
Cantaloupe has a high level of vitamin A, which may be moderate but can lead to liver problems for your pet if fed regularly. For a bearded dragon that weighs 250 grams, the daily requirement of vitamin A is 1250 to 2500 IU. In retrospect, 1 gram of cantaloupe carries precisely 64 IU of vitamin A which makes it over 3000 IU per 50 grams of cantaloupe.
Added to the other sources of vitamin A in its diet, feeding your pet the fruit daily can eventually cause vitamin A toxicity and in severe cases, lead to death. It’s highly important to feed your beardie cantaloupe in limited quantities to prevent it from falling sick with Vitamin A poisoning.
Vitamin A poisoning may present the following symptoms:
- Skin ulcerations
- Weight loss
- Loss of appetite
- Sudden death depending on the severity.
Cantaloupe has a surprisingly different effect on bearded dragons as they could get obese from eating too much cantaloupe due to the level of sugar in it. Since beardies cannot break down sugar as effectively as we do, they instead will transform this sugar into carbs which will easily cause weight gain.
Cantaloupe can upset your bearded dragon’s stomach due to the high levels of water and sugar in it. Feeding it too much of the fruit can and will disrupt your beardie’s poop pattern and consistency. This could directly lead to malnutrition and extreme weight loss.
Your beardie should only eat fruit moderately and it should only make up a small percentage of its diet. If your pet is eating too much cantaloupe, it’s most likely to replace a staple item and disrupt the nutrient balance your dragon needs to stay healthy. This problem is a classic example of malnutrition and is highly dangerous to your beardie.
How To Feed Your Beardie Cantaloupe Without Causing Any Health Hazards
If you must feed your bearded dragon cantaloupe, there are safety measures to take to ensure that your pet is not endangered by the fruit.
Pick The Right Cantaloupe For Your Pet
It’s important to feed your beardie only ripe cantaloupes; the fruit should be firm, sweet-smelling, and rid of dark spots. Under-ripe cantaloupe is way too acidic for beardies and will disrupt their digestive system due to the imbalance.
Feed The Flesh Only
Bearded dragons cannot digest the rind or seeds of cantaloupe. You must ensure that only the flesh is available for your pet to eat. The indigestible rinds and seeds of cantaloupe can lead to digestive tract blockages called impaction.
Cut Into Bite-Sized Pieces
Your beardie can choke on the pieces if they happen to be too big for it. Ensure that you chop the fruit into smaller bits, small enough to fit between your pet’s eyes, before you feed it.
Never Feed The Cantaloupe More Than Once A Week
Due to the high levels of vitamin A, cantaloupe is best for your dragon if fed once a week. Remember that it is only part of a main diet that already contains all the vitamins and nutrients your pet needs.
Douse With Calcium Supplements
It’s essential to have calcium supplements on standby for your pet at all times (view on Amazon) so that the calcium value is not compromised in its diet. Douce the cantaloupe with the supplement powder before feeding them to your pet. Your bearded dragon needs strong bones throughout the stages of its growth.
Cantaloupe Should Make Up Only 10% Of Your Pet’s Diet
The daily diet for your bearded dragon consists of bugs and veggies. As the collective amount of bugs and vegetables your beardie needs add up to 100%, the quantity of cantaloupe should make up precisely 10%. Any more than this can cause your pet to fall sick especially if it’s a baby dragon.
The table below will give you a direct percentage of bugs and greens that your dragon requires based on its age:
|0 – 2 (Baby stage)
|30% greens, 70% grubs
|3 – 6 (Juvenile stage)
|30% greens, 70% grubs
|6 – 9 (Subadult stage)
|40% greens, 60% grubs
|9 – 18+ (Adult stage)
|70% greens, 30% grubs
Are There Other Fruit Alternatives For My Bearded Dragon Aside Cantaloupe?
Your beardie can eat several fruits that can positively improve its health if, of course, fed correctly. You can give your pet the luxury of variety and perhaps even discover its favorite fruits amongst them.
Your bearded dragon can dislike cantaloupe which is pretty common. In this case, the table below gives you more fruit choices for your pet alongside the fruits your beardie should never eat: