Feeding a bearded dragon is as intentional and tricky as it can get. Although they’re omnivores, there are still some bugs, veggies, or fruits that are harmful to beardies and in some cases, fatal.
Did you know that avocados are lethal to your beardie’s health? It could leave you wondering just what other kinds of fruits are bad for them and why.
Bearded dragons can only eat low-acidity, low-oxalate, and persin-free fruits in minimal amounts over time. They can consume a safe amount of fruits as it’s proven to improve their metabolism, but they don’t particularly need them to survive.
In their natural habitat, fruits are a scarce commodity to find, so it’s quite normal to be absent from their diet. Factually, they do more harm to dragons than good, but the reason why bearded dragons in captivity outlive the ones in the wild is that they are properly fed with healthy vitamins and minerals.
In this article, I’ll be discussing the safest and most toxic fruits you can feed your dragon so that you have the best knowledge on how to improve or protect your pet’s lifestyle.
Are Fruits Even Good For Bearded Dragons?
Fruits can be both good and fatal to bearded dragons. These extremes depend on the contents of the fruit and the amount your pet is being fed. The conclusion of the matter remains indifferent because while fruits prove to improve the immune system of beardies, they’re not a necessity. They more or less serve the role of a multivitamin or an extremely healthy once-in-a-while snack.
Since there is quite a variety of fruits, I have classified them into safe and danger zones to help you understand their differences and how they’ll affect your dragon. Let’s dig in!
|SAFE ZONE FRUITS
|DANGER ZONE FRUITS
The Safe Zone Fruits For Bearded Dragons
Fruits are like healthy treats and medicine for bearded dragons. They might not need them in their daily diet, but there are many times fruits come in handy. One of those cases is observed by a sick, recovering, or injured beardie where the cells need assistance to rejuvenate. Vitamin C and other antioxidants found in fruits can help to hasten the process by improving immunity and fighting against toxins.
The fruits under this category are of low acidity, high sugar, and minimal moisture content. Here are 10 good examples of safe zone fruits to feed your bearded dragon:
Note: Oranges are slightly acidic and should be fed with immense care. The best way to feed oranges to your bearded dragon is by feeding a slice to mealworms and then immediately feeding the mealworms to your dragon.
Accompanied by the benefits of fruits, the sugar content will keep your dragon responsive and energized. This aspect is highly recommended for laying female dragons before or after they have plopped their eggs.
The Danger Zone Fruits For Bearded Dragons
Bearded dragons have a strict but simple diet to follow. When it has to do with fruits, it gets even more complicated. High-acidity, oxalate-rich, and persin-abundant fruits are a capital NO for dragons, and I’ll explain why.
When humans consume fruits with high levels of acidity like citruses, our gastrointestinal system is equipped with the proper mechanism to manage the levels of acidity. In fact, our natural stomach juices can match the acidity of citrus fruits so they don’t pose any threat to us.
In addition to this reason, vitamin C is highly regulated in the human body and can be readily excreted due to its solubility and our significant intake of water; the opposite is found in bearded dragons. They are not equipped with the correct system or proper enzymes to break down such complex levels of vitamin C and are insufficiently hydrated to regulate the vitamin – which is where the problem starts.
The consequences of accumulated vitamin C from the intake of citric fruits by your bearded dragon are diarrhea, stomach ulcers, excessive dehydration, and body weakness.
6 examples of high-acidity fruits that are harmful to bearded dragons:
- Passion fruits
Oxalate acid is a substance found in some fruits and vegetables that possess a high affinity for calcium, which just so happens to be one of the most important minerals your bearded dragon needs. This means that instead of the calcium being metabolized by your beardie, the oxalate binds to it instead and forms a compound thaI is insoluble. It is highly poisonous to your beardie and can easily lead to expiration after a few minutes of consumption.
Bearded dragons lack the gut bacteria needed to break down oxalate acid. This leads to acute poisoning, metabolic bone disease, kidney problems, respiratory complications, and death.
3 examples of oxalate-rich fruits that are harmful to your bearded dragon:
In cases of accidentally high intake of oxalate acid, an immediate response will be feeding your dragon calcium-rich foods or calcium supplements. Calcium readily binds to oxalate, and will eventually attenuate the consequences. However, ensure you rush to the veterinary doctor for a proper check-up.
Persin is a highly toxic fungicide that aims for nothing but to inflict fatal consequences on your bearded dragon and should be treated as such. I simply cannot overemphasize the dangers of a beardie ingesting persin. First, it triggers the bearded dragon’s immune system upon ingestion and induces extreme measures to remove the substance, leading to serious vomiting and diarrhea.
Now, we all know a beardie is not the most hydrated animal there is, and that’s where another problem arises.
Once persin is consumed by a bearded dragon, severe dehydration settles in, followed by respiratory and nervous problems, and then finally, death.
Avocados are the most notorious balls of persin to exist in the world of beardies! They contain fatal amounts of the toxin that could painfully end your dragon in minutes. Keep your dear pet away from the skin, seeds, or flesh of avocados entirely.
If an accident has occurred where avocado has been consumed by your beardie, immediately get them hydrated to give them a better chance at excreting the substance. Understand that this is a first aid measure, and the best chance you have of saving your bearded dragon is making a bee dive to the vet.
How Much Fruit Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons shouldn’t get more than 10% to 20% of fruits in their diet. At most, 5 bites that measure the distance between their eyes once a week should do it. Too much fruit could lead to obesity and other complications that would be painful to endure. Since it’s not a huge necessity, it’s better to keep their diet as simple as possible.
Also, bear in mind that since all bearded dragons have distinct personalities, intensifying their likes and dislikes, they certainly wouldn’t all like the same kind of fruit. Some beardies don’t even fancy fruits at all! However, the ones that do, tend to gravitate toward reddish fruits more than the other kinds.
If feeding your dragon costs an arm and leg, one trick is to spray the pieces of fruit on their greens before they feed. They may not happily gobble it all up, but they will fall for your trick and munch on a few.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do bearded dragons like fruit?
Some beardies do enjoy the sweetness and juiciness of fruits, and may even have favorites and look forward to eating them. However, some do not care too much about it and would prefer their regular grubs and greens.
Are fruits essential to bearded dragons?
Fruits are not essential to beardies. Remember that essential vitamins are needed by the body but cannot be synthesized. So, they have to be consumed. Dragons do not require fruits so they’re not essential to them.
Are fruits safe for baby dragons?
Baby dragons can digest fruits the same way adult bearded dragons can. Although the same method of issuance complies, be sure to administer the right sizes to prevent asphyxiation. The fruits should be diced to fit into the spaces between their eyes.