For us humans, fruits and vegetables are highly important for healthy living. They provide the necessary nutrients that our system requires to fight against diseases and metabolize what we eat. Bearded dragons, on the other hand, hugely differ. While vegetables are important for them to grow healthy and sound, fruits are literally just sweets. Even among the fruits, some are harmful and even deadly to bearded dragons. So it’s very important to study what kind of fruit you feed your beardie and in what amounts so that your pet doesn’t fall victim to an avoidable yet detrimental mistake.
Bearded dragons can eat grapes, but only in minimal amounts. Overly sweet fruits or fruits high in oxalate are toxic to beardies as they do not have the proper means to digest them – and grapes fall in both of the categories. You can classify grapes as a sweet or a treat that you only offer once in a while to your bearded dragon.
To better understand the answers to your question, I’ll be taking you through everything you need to know about feeding grapes to your pet dragon. We’d be discussing the reasons why grapes can be dangerous, the proper way to feed your beardie grapes, and the benefits of grapes to bearded dragons. Let’s dive!
Should I Feed My Beardie Grapes?
Grapes are a controversial food choice for bearded dragons. Some people may decide on feeding their beardies grapes because their pet simply likes them, while other dragon owners may turn down a grape diet because of the downsides. Although they are somewhat dangerous, they do have nutritious values you can uphold. Grapes contain a good level of fiber, vitamin C, calcium, oxalic acid, and sugar. Fiber, calcium, and Vit C are all your dragon needs out of grapes, but the oxalic and sugar remain a hard pass.
Oxalic acid is highly dangerous for bearded dragons; it readily binds to calcium depriving your beardie of utilizing most of the calcium it ingests. This would weaken the bones and lead to further complications like metabolic bone diseases among others. Sugar on the other hand is way too complex for bearded dragons to break down. An excess of sugar will lead to diarrhea and dehydration.
In this case, grapes present a 60% chance of nutrition and a 40% chance of toxicity to your beardie. You may feed grapes to your pet lizard if you discover that they enjoy it, but it should be highly regulated. At most, four grapes in a week are totally fine.
The Safest Way To Feed Your Bearded Dragon Grapes
Since grapes are not a staple food item for bearded dragons, you have to monitor how your beardie consumes its treats.
Bearded dragons can consume grapes with or without the skin, but they simply should never eat the seeds!
You must make it your duty to carefully pluck out the seeds from the grapes to prevent your pet from eating them. Since they cannot chew the seeds or digest them, it could lead to impaction (constipation) and other stomach issues.
You’d have to cut the grapes nicely for baby dragons – fitting the gap between their eyes – before they can consume them. For adults, it may depend on the size of the grapes, but it is still preferable to dice them into smaller pieces for them to fully savor the sweetness of the grapes.
4 Great Benefits Of Feeding Grapes To Your Bearded Dragon
Grapes are good for beardies when they eat only the necessary amount. Here are 4 reasons why grapes are good for beardies:
1. Improves Feeding Habit
Although not all beardies like grapes, the ones that do enjoy it so much that there is a significant improvement in appetite. If your beardie enjoys the delicacy of grapes, you can trick your beardie into eating more veggies by making a salad of grapes and greens.
This way, your bearded dragon will eat the grapes alongside the vegetables and enjoy the meal altogether. Especially if you put eggplant in the mix; you can get purple grapes and eggplant, dice them, and put them on one plate. Your dragon would never suspect a thing. It would dive for the purplish pieces eager for a grape!
2. Improves Immunity
Vitamin C is the major vitamin in grapes and its job is to provide immunity against common diseases. The reason why bearded dragons in captivity outlive dragons in the wild is because of their well-kept immune system that is built by resources that don’t come easily in the wild. While your pet beardie has access to vitamin C and other supplements, the dragons in the wild do not have such privileges.
3. Grapes Provide Hydration
Grapes contain a good level of water that your beardie can benefit from. As you know, bearded dragons are not water-loving creatures. They depend on a few licks of moisture and vegetables to stay hydrated. If you suspect that your pet lizard is dehydrated, you can feed them a few grapes in its diet to improve its mood and hydration.
4. Grapes Contain Calcium
Despite containing oxalates, grapes contain calcium that is good for bearded dragons. Calcium helps to build the bone structure of your beardie and boost its protection from metabolic bone disease.
The Problematic Effects Of Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Too Many Grapes
Similarly to how you wouldn’t want to eat too many sweets because of the aftermath, beardies should not consume too many grapes (treats) because it will disrupt their well-being. Here are 4 consequences of feeding your bearded dragon too many grapes:
Hyperglycemia is the surplus of sugar in the blood, which could be a result of excessive sugar intake or the lack of insulin (an enzyme needed to break down sugar). Bearded dragons are not known to develop diabetes – which is the direct result of hyperglycemia – but they can develop other abnormalities like obesity and high blood pressure as an indirect result of excess intake of sugar. If these conditions are left unattained, your beardie can fall sick and sadly die.
Feeding your bearded dragon way too many grapes can eventually cause diarrhea. Their little bellies do not metabolize sugar as we do, and just as eating too many candies is bad for you, grapes are too sweet for beardies. This could upset the stability of their digestive health leading to diarrhea.
As a direct result of diarrhea, your bearded dragon can be dehydrated from the whole process. Diarrhea diminishes the normal absorbance of water by the body, causing your pet to excrete the moisture it needs to stay healthy.
The oxalic acid in the grapes is troublesome to the kidneys of bearded dragons. The acid readily binds with calcium and phosphorus creating a buildup that would be rather difficult and painful for your beardie to excrete. Usually, these are termed kidney stones and are passed out as urate plugs.
4 Things To Do If Your Bearded Dragon Has Eaten Too Many Grapes
If you suspect that your beardie has consumed too many grapes accidentally, here are ways you can assess the situation:
1. Observe Your Beardie
If your bearded dragon has consumed too many grapes, you can take three observatory days to ensure nothing is going wrong. During this period, you’d need to closely watch your dragon’s demeanor, poop, and activity. Here are signs that your beardie might be suffering from a decline in health:
- Beardie is suddenly lethargic (sluggish)
- Beardie is eating less
- Beardie’s poop is watery, bloody, or unusually different in color
- Beardie has droopy or sunken eyes
- Beardie looks pale
- Beardie is basking less
- Beardie is unresponsive
- Beardie has not pooped/ is pooping less
If you notice any of these signs, immediately contact your veterinary doctor for an evaluation before the condition worsens.
2. Give Your Beardie A Warm Bath
Soaking your bearded dragon in a bath will help it to excrete the excess oxalic acid that it has consumed. By hydrating your dragon, it will stimulate its bowel movement and help it to poop. This is particularly useful if your bearded dragon is impacted by accidentally consuming the grape seeds.
For better and faster results, try massaging the belly of your pet when they’re immersed in the water. Slip your hands underneath the belly and make subtle strokes toward the tail of your dragon to help stimulate the muscles and push the junk out.
3. Introduce Calcium Into Your Beardie’s Diet
The oxalic acid in grapes binds to calcium causing kidney stones and urate plugs, this means that the calcium that your beardie needs to strengthen its bones is low. You can help your dragon replace the used-up calcium by sprinkling calcium supplements (view on Amazon) on their greens and grubs to ensure that the bones stay healthy and strong.
4. Refer To A Veterinary Doctor Immediately
The vet doctor knows best. In a case like this where you’re not sure of the effect of the accident, quickly visit your veterinary doctor for professional analysis. Especially if you suspect that the situation is dire.
How Many Grapes Is “Too Many” For My Bearded Dragon?
There is no definitive number to measure the number of grapes that will be too many for your beardie, but there’s a number that can guarantee your pet is safe from the havoc of eating too much. As mentioned earlier, 4 grapes a week are just enough. This is because depending on the size, it’s possible to feed your beardie an excess.
So if you have rather large grapes, it wouldn’t be over the top to dice and feed just four to your pet. If otherwise, they’re small-sized grapes, it will still be a safe number to feed. You also do not necessarily need to feed your dragon all four at once, you can feed your pet one grape after the other every other day.
Do The Type Of Grapes Matter To Bearded Dragons?
All the colors (types) of grapes have the same nutritional benefits. Whether red, green, or purple, your bearded dragon will enjoy the same levels of fiber and vitamin C. However, purple grapes particularly have higher levels of antioxidants in comparison to green and red grapes, but they’re also much sweeter.
So your beardie can profit from the antioxidants in the purple grapes, the low sugar content in green grapes, or the milder version of both which is the red grapes.
Is There A Better (Safer) Alternative To Grapes For My Bearded Dragon?
If you decide that grapes are simply not worth it, you can feed your bearded dragon blueberries instead. They contain good amounts of fiber, vitamin C, and antioxidants. They also contain significantly lower amounts of oxalic acid in comparison to grapes. So if you decide to take a safer route that’s similar to grapes, you can try blueberries. You’d also have to feed your beardie 4 (or 5) blueberries a week, just like you would with grapes, to be on the safer side.
Take Away: Can I Feed My Beardie Grapefruit?
Grapefruit is a totally different fruit from grapes. They’re citrus fruits and are high in citric acid, which is not exactly safe for beardies to consume. Putting it into perspective, grapes make an even better choice of fruit to feed your beardie than grapefruit. I’m pretty sure your dragon will flinch at the acidic sour and acute bitter-sweet taste of grapefruit.
Citrus fruits are not advisable for bearded dragons to feed on directly as they can lead to stomach ulcers and teeth problems, so they’re fed indirectly by “gut packing” the worms with a few slices before feeding the worms to the dragon in question. Grapefruit is just too much work to deal with, especially if you’re a beginner bearded dragon parent. The risk is simply higher than necessary.
Bearded dragons enjoy grapes – at least most of them do – and fortunately, grapes are nutritious treats. Although, this is simply a majority. It’s possible for your beardie not to enjoy it. If your little lizard finds grapes delicious, you must ensure that you feed them the treats properly, just as we’ve discussed, so that your dragon doesn’t fall ill. If you have any concerns or worries, you should pay visits to a veterinary doctor for professional advice. Good luck!