Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon? Delicious Treat Or Dangerous Idea?

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Bearded dragons in captivity survive on a robust diet of bugs, vegetables, herbs, and fruit to keep them healthy and happy. Some of these foods, however, are debatable choices for beardies, especially fruits. Fruits are nutritious additions to a bearded dragon’s diet, but if fed incorrectly, they could cause dangerous consequences to the beardie in eating them. This is why it’s important to fully discern what your bearded dragon eats so that you can take corrective measures to keep your pet from harm’s way.

Bearded dragons can eat watermelon sparingly. This is due to the high water, sugar, and oxalate content in the fruit that can cause health difficulties to befall your pet. While watermelons may be good for you, they’re not exactly the best snacks for beard dragons and should be fed with care.

In this article, we’ll be discussing how to feed your bearded dragon watermelon, the risks involved, and the benefits your pet can earn from it. Let’s get into it!

Is Watermelon Any Good For My Bearded Dragon? – The Genuine Answer!

Watermelons are not essential for bearded dragons, and may even cause more harm than good to your pet. The key factor is to feed the watermelon in moderation so that your pet does not suffer an illness from the excess. It’s also rather easy to feed your dragon more watermelon than it needs because the amount your pet should eat is pretty small.

If you feed your dragon any more watermelon than it should eat consistently, it could sadly die from the prolonged consequences. However, feeding watermelon does have good sides to it especially if your beardie particularly likes the fruit.

Here is the approximate nutritional value per 100 grams of raw watermelon:

  • Calories: 30
  • Water: 91%
  • Protein: 0.6 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 7.6 grams
  • Fiber: 0.4 grams
  • Sugar: 6.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.2 grams
  • Vitamin C: 8.1 mg
  • Vitamin A: 28 mcg
  • Potassium: 112 mg

Depending on the ripeness of the watermelon, the amount of constituents listed above may differ. Mildly ripe watermelons contain less sugar and more vitamin C in comparison to ripe ones, but your dragon may only eat the properly ripe watermelon to prevent the acidity from disrupting its digestive system. To better interpret the summarized values, you must understand the benefits of feeding watermelon to your dragon, so let’s get to that right away.

benefits of feeding watermelon to bearded dragons

5 Major Health Benefits Of Feeding Watermelon To Bearded Dragons

Watermelon has some nutrients that your dragon can utilize to improve its well-being regardless of that it’s simply a treat. Here are 5 ways your pet can profit from eating watermelon:

1. Watermelon Is A Good Source Of Hydration

Bearded dragons don’t need frequent hydration to survive. In fact, your pet will fall sick from watering them a little too much. In cases where a beardie is severely dehydrated, perhaps it’s a rescued dragon, watermelons are one of the best treats that can easily get water and sugar into its system. A few cubes of watermelon can hydrate your beardie and lighten up its mood tremendously.

2. Watermelon Is Great For Beardies’ Heart Health

Watermelons are rich in lycopene and citrulline which are organic chemicals that have been proven to regulate blood pressure and improve the flexibility of the arteries, thus enhancing heart health. Blood pressure in bearded dragons may be rare, but eating foods rich in lycopene and citrulline can contribute to the rarity of the disease, eradicating the chances of your pet falling sick from it.

3. Watermelon Improves Neurological Functions In Bearded Dragons

Potassium plays a major role in transmitting signals from one nerve cell to the other. It is highly essential for the connection and communication of neurons; if your bearded dragon’s potassium levels are too low, it could lead to cognitive decline and muscle problems. Potassium deficiency may also cause partial paralysis and sluggishness in reptiles due to the muscles not contracting properly and the lack of communication of the nerve cells.

4. Great For Bone Health

Potassium also plays a role in retaining calcium in the bones. As calcium is one of the most important minerals for bearded dragons, watermelon in the right amounts may help improve the bone structure and density of your pet by utilizing and retaining calcium properly. Just make sure you sprinkle calcium supplements (view on Amazon) on the fruit before your pet eats it so that the potassium can do its job!

5. Watermelon Is Good For The Immune System

Vitamins A and C are important antioxidants and play major roles in enhancing the immunity of bearded dragons. They help to energize the white blood cells and combat foreign bodies from their system, as well as help the body recover from infections that may have occurred one way or another.

How To Safely Feed Your Bearded Dragon Watermelon – 6 Precautionary Measures

To ensure that you don’t put your pet in danger by feeding it watermelon, you must follow the safest process available especially if your dragon is young or ill.

  • Feed your bearded dragon only ripe watermelons. The unripe melons are way too acidic for your pet, and it would surely cause it to suffer a belly ache.
  • Remove all the seeds from the melon. Your bearded dragon cannot digest watermelon seeds. The seeds are highly dangerous to its digestive tract because they’re prone to causing impaction which is a fancy name for a life-threatening intestinal blockage.
  • Cut the watermelon into small pieces to prevent choking. The watermelon should be small enough to fit between your beardie’s eyes.
  • Feed your dragon watermelon twice every other week. Your pet should never eat watermelon frequently because it’s not good for its health and it will cause it to fall sick.
  • Don’t forget the calcium supplements. Calcium powder is important to keep a consistent supply of calcium to the bones at all times. Your beardie needs calcium to have strong and healthy bones. Ensure you give the watermelon cubes a little sprinkle before your pet eats them.
  • Never feed your pet watermelon that is more than 10% of its diet in quantity. Your beardie needs a complete diet of essential vegetables and bugs. You must make sure that the watermelon treats make up only a small part of the staple diet without replacing any essential item.

The table below will give you a clear representation of your beardie’s diet according to its age.

Age (months)Percentage
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

The Terrifying Risks Of Feeding Too Much Watermelon To Your Beardie

Too much of everything is bad, even for delicious seemingly harmless watermelons. It’s important to follow the above set of precautions to ensure that your dragon is safe and healthy. Here are the risks excess watermelons pose to bearded dragons:

The Chances Of Malnutrition

Too much watery food can loosen up your bearded dragon’s poop which is highly unhealthy for them. The foods they eat will have little time for the nutrients to get absorbed during digestion, which can surely lead to malnutrition if this problem is prolonged. Your beardie’s poop must be of proper consistency and frequency to determine how much nutrients it’s absorbing. If it poops regularly from eating watery fruits, then your pet is bound to fall sick and be malnourished.

The Problems With Oxalic Acid

Watermelon contains high oxalic acid that binds to calcium causing a shortage and forming oxalates. Not only can this cause your dragon to develop metabolic bone disease, but it can also cause kidney stones to form from the oxalates. This could lead to impaction and other kidney complications for your pet.

Alternative Fruits To Feed Your Bearded Dragon

If you consider the watermelon to be too much of an effort or a risk to feed your pet, there are much safer options you can try. Beardies can eat a plethora of fruits and may even develop favorites when you feed them a variety.
Here are my 7 top picks of fruits that you can feed your bearded dragon:

  • Apples
  • Prickly pear
  • Bananas
  • Blueberries
  • Blackberries
  • Mangoes
  • Figs
Photo of author

Medi

EL Mehdi (Medi), the founder and voice behind Desired Reptiles. He is a pet lover who loves to discuss about bearded dragons and share the knowledge he gained over time about pet reptiles.