Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dragon Fruit? | Benefits & Risks!
Dragon fruit or Strawberry pear is a sweet tropical fruit of the cactus species. It is known to provide several health benefits to us, but can bearded dragons eat dragon fruit like human beings? Fruits are not the staple part of a beardie’s diet and so they are only fed occasionally. Responsible caretakers must choose the fruits wisely while feeding a beardie.
Yes, bearded dragons can eat dragon fruits. They can have it occasionally as a sweet treat with their main meal. But it is always essential to know all about a fruit’s nutritional profile, health benefits, and concerns before choosing to feed it.
Nutrients In Dragon Fruit
The basics of feeding any meal to a bearded dragon, especially fruits, start with knowing the nutrients and their respective values. This will help you determine the authenticity of your final decision after taking any other advice.
The data above is taken from the US Department Of Agriculture and is for 100 g of dragon fruit.
How Often Can They Eat Dragon Fruit
Due to a number of reasons fruits should be fed in lesser quantities and less often to reptile lizards. Although there are some fruits that can be fed more often, dragon fruit is not one of them. You can only feed small pieces of dragon fruit to your pet dragon once a month or maybe twice depending upon its total diet and age, but not more than that.
Health Risks Of Feeding Dragon Fruit
The reason why the dragon fruit can not be fed too often is that it may induce some health concerns for your pet. Only an occasional feeding of the dragon fruit will ensure a healthy diet for your beardie. Here are some drawbacks of dragon fruits.
Poor Calcium To Phosphorus Ratio
Bearded dragons need a lot of calcium when they are in a growing phase. Unfortunately, dragon fruit does not succeed in meeting this nutritional criterion. It does contain calcium but it is not sufficient for the beardie’s needs. What’s more, is that the phosphorus content exceeds the calcium content, which means that the phosphorus will absorb all the calcium that is present, and will lead to an overall calcium deficiency.
Lack of calcium results in many health diseases like Metabolic bone disease, the bones will be weak and porous and the facial bones may curve. The bone development will slow down or stop. Moreover, the teeth will also become weak and may fall out.
Fruits are known to be watery, and dragon fruit is no exception. The dragon fruit provides excessive hydration and thus troubles the gastrointestinal tract of the lizards. Too much water in a beardie’s diet may cause health issues like diarrhea, and vomiting. Therefore, always keep the diet balanced with a small portion of fruits and veggies and a larger portion of insects.
Benefits Of Feeding Dragon Fruit
Alongside all the health concerns that an excessive feeding of dragon fruit can give, there are some benefits of feeding a dragon fruit too, these can help your beardie to develop well if the fruit is fed only once or twice a month.
Dragon fruit has many beneficial vitamins that can help the bearded dragon in maintaining a stronger immune system. It can also help in maintaining the internal organs, and tissues, and fortify the healing process.
The attractive and vibrant-looking fruit is rich with fiber and so helps greatly in digesting food. A small amount of dragon fruit can ensure smoother digestion and bowel movement.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dragon Fruit Seeds
Yes, bearded dragons can safely eat dragon fruit seeds. Bearded dragons in the wild are known for feeding on the cactus plant as their natural habitat is deserts. Cacti have bigger seeds in them and beardies have no problem digesting them without any health risks.
The dragon fruit is also from the cactus family and contains smaller seeds that are easily digested without any risks of impaction. Just like the kiwi seeds that have the same size and texture as the dragon fruit seeds. However, seeds from other fruits should always be avoided and taken out before feeding the fruit to the beardie, as eating bigger and harder seeds have a huge risk of impaction for bearded dragons. Also, check out Can Bearded Dragons Eat Carrots.
How To Prepare Dragon Fruit
There are a few steps to take before feeding the dragon fruit to your docile pet dragon.
Start by buying the fruit from the right place, you must always buy organic and fresh dragon fruits and not processed or canned ones. Then wash the fruit thoroughly to avoid intake of any pesticides, fertilizer, chemicals, or dirt. Next, you can either peel the skin using a peeler or a knife or scoop the flesh out from the fruit along with the edible seeds. Make sure that the amount of fruit is not too much and is only a few chunks. You can now serve the fruit with the other veggies, and greens, in the salad bowl. Remember to feed fruits once in a while to your bearded dragon.
What Fruits Can They Eat
As mentioned before the fruit part of the diet of the bearded dragon is supposed to be the smallest. Fruits should comprise only 10% of the total beardie’s balanced diet. When these exotic bearded lizards are babies, juveniles, or young adults, they are only growing and developing at a faster rate. They need more protein in their diet which is included in insects and not found in high levels in most fruits. Hence, it is always smart to feed fewer fruits overall.
Choose the best and safest fruits for your dragon to make the most out of the small percentage of fruits in your dragon’s food bowl. Always feed a fruit that does not have an exceeding water content, to prevent digestive problems. Next, check for the sugar levels, although all fruits are sweet, some fruits like raisins are too sweet for a beardie. Have a look at Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cantaloupe.
The most important factor to check on is the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. If the phosphorus content is greater than the calcium level, then the fruit is not an ideal fruit for your beardie. Always feed a fruit that has high calcium levels. Another important check is the level of acids in fruit. Fruits often have high levels of oxalic acid. Citrus fruits are often rich in oxalates and prove to be very harmful to the proper absorption of calcium. Acidic fruits can alter the pH of the dragon’s body and also cause digestive issues for your pet.
The fruits that are safe for pet bearded dragons include,
Bearded dragons can eat dragon fruit, you can feed the fruit once or twice a month to benefit from it. However, it should not be fed more than that as it can cause many health concerns for your pet dragons such as metabolic bone disease, diarrhea, etc. The best way to feed a dragon fruit is occasionally, and that too only if the fruit is organic, washed, and cut into small pieces. Moreover, there are many other fruits that are safer than dragon fruit and you can feed your bearded dragon.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Avocados?
No, avocados should never be fed to bearded dragons. They are known for being very fatty and having extremely high levels of oxalic acid. They will instantly make your pet beardie sick and show negative impacts on its health. It hinders the absorption of calcium and makes the dragon unhealthy.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
Yes, you can feed bananas to a beardie. They are rich in potassium, fiber, vitamin A, Vitamin C, and manganese too. However, they should not be fed regularly. You can feed a few pieces of banana to a beardie, twice a month. As the fruit has high sugars and phosphorus.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Fruits?
Yes, baby dragons can eat fruits. However, it is far more important to feed them protein-rich foods like insects rather than feeding them fruits. You can feed your baby dragon 10% fruit or less without any health issues. But make sure the fruits are washed thoroughly and also cut into small pieces as baby bearded dragons often choke on large pieces of food.
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!