Some of us live to savor the sweet and sour taste of citrus oranges, the seasonal fruit imparts so many nutritional benefits to us that we could never believe that such a miracle fruit can have any downsides too. We may enjoy this luxury to ourselves but what about our beloved pets? Can bearded dragons eat oranges too?
To answer the twisted question in a simplified word, yes! They can take oranges, however, in an extremely limited amount! Have a read and know why that is so.
Nutritional Information About Oranges
To start with, you need to know what an orange contains to make your own decision. There are hundreds of sources where you can get information regarding your beardie however, you need to confirm the authenticity on your own as a responsible pet owner. Fortunately, we are providing the nutritional facts of oranges as given by the US Department of Agriculture.
You can analyze the values that we are testifying for our words on oranges being a part of a bearded dragon’s diet.
|Vitamin A||11 μg|
|Vitamin B6||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.18 mg|
|Vitamin C||45 mg|
Benefits Of Oranges
As the table above clearly shows the nutrients found in the juicy fruit and their respective values, it is easy for an expert to list down the health benefits and downsides of oranges for your reptile.
Firstly, oranges come with many vitamins that have no health disadvantages for bearded dragons. These vitamins include Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Vitamin E, and Vitamin B6. These vitamins are essential for boosting the immunity of your docile pets and also keeping their organs and bones strong.
Moreover, the most important vitamin C, for which oranges are known, is present in rich amounts and therefore protects the bearded dragon from diseases and illness. It is most important for boosting immunity for your precious pet.
In addition to good vitamins, oranges also contain potassium. This nutrient helps in muscle development and also keeps the kidneys healthy by preventing any sort of kidney disease.
Lastly, the calcium included in this juicy fruit results in strong bones and teeth. Not only this, calcium keeps the muscles and other body tissues healthy too.
Downsides Of Oranges
If we weigh the benefits and downsides of oranges, certainly the downsides are heavier. Ultimately, experts advise us to feed very little amounts of orange to a beardie.
To start with, like every other fruit, oranges also contain a high sugar content. This is why only 10% of the total diet for bearded dragons should contain fruits and the rest 90% should constitute insects, greens, and vegetables. This is because it has many adverse effects on these lizards. It causes obesity, tooth decay, tar, plaque, bone infections, and diarrhea that can cause instant dehydration.
Other than high sugar amounts, oranges also include high acid levels. The citrus fruit is known to have a large portion of citric acid. The low pH of the citric acid disturbs the gut flora’s optimum environment and gives rise to many stomach problems including indigestion.
Worst of all, oranges have low calcium to phosphorus ratio. This means that the phosphorus depletes the calcium inside the reptile’s body and results in metabolic bone disease. The bones deteriorate and there’s a disastrous decrease in calcium levels.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges Daily?
The most important question that stands now is how often can bearded dragons eat oranges. Well, it is as little as it can be, which means bearded dragons cannot be given oranges daily. Ideally, bearded dragons should be fed only once or twice a month, and that too a small chunk or slice of it.
Only an occasional feeding of fruits can keep your lizards healthier and happier. It is best to keep a balanced diet throughout the month.
Which Type of Orange Is Best for Bearded Dragons?
You might be aware of the different types of oranges found in the market. Luckily, there’s one type of orange that is best suited for the health of your pet. This is the Mandarin type. The Mandarin oranges have the best calcium to phosphorus ratio and therefore, they help to prevent metabolic bone disease, weak teeth, and low calcium levels. Hence, dragon owners should only consider these while feeding an orange slice once or twice a month.
Adding more to this, Mandarin oranges also have less citric acid as compared to regular ones and so there are fewer chances of stomach disturbances.
However, all these benefits of a Mandarin orange still do not alter our conclusive statement. Your pet should not be fed more than a slice of orange in one month.
What Fruits Can the Bearded Dragon Eat?
It is best to avoid feeding citrus fruits or fruits high in sugar to beardies. Although the ratio of fruits and other meals in a dragon’s diet is 1:10, you should know which fruits are best suited for this small portion of the diet too. Following is a list of some fruits that you can feed your pet:
In a nutshell, bearded dragons can only eat a small chunk of orange once or twice a month. It is best to have only one slice in a month to avoid taking any risks. Also, it is recommended to feed only Mandarin oranges as they have better calcium to phosphorus ratio and low acid levels. But conclusively, oranges should be given as little as possible for the betterment of your pet’s health as there are other fruit options too.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Orange Peels?
No! Not at all. Orange peels are extremely acidic. This imparts an adverse effect on the body’s pH and also the oxalic acid in them combines with the calcium to form calcium oxalate and as a result, the body falls short of calcium. The calcium deficiency may cause metabolic bone disease and other tooth and bone problems.
Can Bearded Dragons eat Other Citrus foods?
No, it is best not to feed citrus foods like lemons, limes, pickles, etc. to your pet, as they disturb the stomach greatly and irritate the gastrointestinal tract. It may also cause other health issues like metabolic bone disease, calcium deficiency, diarrhea, and dehydration.
Can Beardies Eat Tangerines?
No, tangerines are also citrus fruits. Their high acid content can upset the stomach of your pet and also cause other health problems. Also, the large portion of sugar in Tangerines will cause obesity in lizards that are kept in enclosures, and also give rise to other health problems related to obesity.
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!