Although insects and other small prey constitute the major part of a lizard’s dragon, bearded dragons are omnivores and also enjoy the benefits of fruits and vegetables. There are numerous veggies and fruits on the list that a beardie can feed on. So what about the delicious cantaloupe? Can bearded dragons eat cantaloupe? Well to quote the answer in one word, yes!
Your gentle and beloved pet can feed on cantaloupe and devour its benefits. However, as a responsible caretaker, you must know the conditions of giving cantaloupe to your pet first. Fruits make up a very small portion of a dragon’s diet depending on the dragon’s age. Therefore, you may only feed the mouth-watering cantaloupe in restricted amounts, and that too after analyzing its nutrients, values, health benefits, disadvantages, and other informational facts.
Find out all about feeding cantaloupe to your bearded dragon in this informative article for caretakers and keen learners.
Nutritional Values Of Cantaloupe
Let’s start with the various nutritional values of cantaloupe. The values written below are taken and confirmed by the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) and are for 100 g of cantaloupe.
● Calories: 60
● Fat: 0.3g (0%)
● Dietary fiber: 1.6g
● Sugar: 14.0g
● Potassium: 472.6mg (13%)
● Phosphorus: 26.6mg
● Total Carbs: 14.0g (4%)
● Protein: 1.5g (3%)
● Vitamin A: 119%
● Vitamin C: 108%
● Vitamin B-6: 5%
● Iron: 2%
● Magnesium: 5%
● Calcium: 1%
● Sodium: 28.3mg (1%)
Why Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe has many health benefits for young and adult beardies. It is safe and more nutritious than many other fruits that are fed to beardies. If this weary fruit is fed in appropriate amounts, then it can have many positive effects on your beardie’s health.
Firstly, it enhances a reptile’s digestion with a good amount of dietary fiber. The fiber ensures smooth gut movement and improves the digestive system. It prevents constipation and other digestive problems like diarrhea.
Next, the good water content in cantaloupe keeps your pet hydrated. Cantaloupe contains 90% water and can help your pet in the high temperatures, it loves to bask in. The water also maintains the digestive system, prevents yellow urate, and enhances the skin. Moreover, cantaloupe also has a good amount of potassium that reduces blood pressure, and keeps the circulatory system in check. Potassium also plays a role in enhancing muscle contractions and preventing kidney stones.
The orange cantaloupe is rich in vitamin A, which is in the form of beta-carotene. This characteristic strengthens the eyesight to improve vision and prevents night blindness for the beardie. Plus vitamin A also plays a major role in the formation of blood cells and strengthening of the beardie’s immune system.
Best of all, the yummy fruit has a good amount of vitamin C that boosts the immune system and the wound healing process in a bearded dragon. Vitamin C is amazing for the growth, development, and maintenance of body tissues and organs. It also aids the absorption of iron and keeps the body’s systems healthy.
Concerns About Feeding Cantaloupe To Bearded Dragons
Although the benefits of feeding cantaloupe to your pet sound spectacular, there are some downsides to the fruit too and therefore you must feed this fruit occasionally and never too often.
To start with, cantaloupes have poor calcium to phosphorus ratio. The low amount of calcium contrasts with the high amount of phosphorus and so the phosphorus binds to the calcium molecules to prevent its absorption in the blood. This reaction causes calcium deficiency in the lizard’s body and might result in metabolic bone disease (MBD) and other dental issues. It will also lead to poor development in juvenile bearded dragons.
Cantaloupes are very sweet fruits indeed. The high sugar content induces many health issues. It can easily cause obesity for pets in enclosures. Obesity can lead to laziness, heart diseases, kidney issues, liver diseases, and high blood pressure. Remember that too many calories are the worst for adult beardies. Moreover, this juicy fruit is relatively acidic and a greater amount of cantaloupe feeding may disturb the digestive system and induce serious digestive problems.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cantaloupe?
As cantaloupe has both its benefits and disadvantages, it should be fed carefully according to the recommendations of doctors and specialists. And according to them, you should only feed cantaloupe once or twice a week, but that too is a small piece. Always peel the fruit first and cut out a small chunk as one serving, feed it as a treat only and incorporate it with other meals like insects, greens, and veggies.
Bearded dragons can eat cantaloupe safely. It has many benefits to it, for instance, it contains vitamin A, beta-carotene, and vitamin C. It also has a high amount of fiber and water for a smooth digestive tract. Its good potassium content reduces blood pressure and prevents kidney stones. Plus, cantaloupe is 90% water, so it hydrates the scaly pet and keeps its urate levels healthy too.
However, cantaloupe should only be fed once or twice a week as it has high levels of acid, sugars, and poor calcium to phosphorus ratio. All of these characteristics can prove to be fatal for a beardie if an excess amount of cantaloupe is fed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Is cantaloupe a staple food for bearded dragons?
No, cantaloupe is not a staple food for beardies. You can not feed cantaloupe often but only once or twice a week. This is due to its low calcium and high phosphorus levels, and also a very high amount of sugar content. Both of these cantaloupe properties can prove to be fatal for the bearded dragon.
Can bearded dragons eat cantaloupe leaves and stems?
No, beardies can not eat cantaloupe leaves and stems. There are many cons to feeding these bearded dragons. They are hard to chew, swallow and digest. The leaves are filled with water and so can cause diarrhea. Worst of all, the leaves and stems contain alkaloids and so can be poisonous.
What other fruits can be given to a bearded dragon besides cantaloupe?
There are a variety of safe fruits for bearded dragons to munch on. However, remember that all fruits should be given in small amounts. These fruits include papaya, apple, watermelon, figs, mango, apricots, dates, peaches, bananas, plums, pears, cherries, raspberries, etc.
Emma is a pet enthusiast, and her way with words makes her an expressive writer. Her interests lie in healthcare and planning nutrition for various pets. She has two girls, and she’s passing her passion to them through occasional volunteer projects in the small neighborhood zoo. Emma joined our team as an enthusiast and has added more years to her experience by researching more about various creatures!