Adult bearded dragons need a balanced diet of 20% protein (usually crickets or roaches) and 80% plant-based. Of the plant percentage, only 10 to 20% should be fruit. So, what are some fruits bearded dragons can eat? That’s what we’re discussing in this article. But first, a bit more about these popular pet lizards and a disclaimer about feeding fruit to a bearded dragon.
What is a bearded dragon?
Bearded Dragons are reptiles named for their unique throat “beards” that can turn black and puff up when they feel threatened. Native to Australia, in the wild, these creatures love to lay on rocks and branches. They also burrow to escape the heat.
This reptile has a triangular head, flat body, and spiny scales. A male will grow to be about 24 inches and a female about 20 inches. They are quite calm and solitary. In captivity, they can live 10 to 15 years.
All of these factors have made the Bearded dragon one of the most popular pets in the reptile realm. However, if a “beardie”, as they are affectionately called, is to be kept as a pet, extra attention must be given to their diet.
Fruit is not needed every day for bearded dragons
Care needs to be taken when feeding your dragon fruit. There are some drawbacks to giving too much fruit.
The biggest culprit is sugar. Too much sugar can make your dragon overweight. It can also cause tooth decay, which will make it difficult for them to eat and cause pain. It can lead to kidney and digestive problems.
Something else to watch for is the amount of oxalic acid (oxalates). This can block the absorption of calcium.
In addition, whatever type of food is given, it should have more calcium than phosphorus. Phosphorus will bind to calcium. Calcium is vital to the health of bearded dragons as they are prone to metabolic bone disease. This disease, which pulls calcium away from the bones, is one of the most common among Bearded dragons.
Always chop the fruit into small pieces (no bigger than the space between the dragon’s eyes is recommended). Try to feed them organic fruit only. Pesticides are harmful to Bearded dragons.
However, the right fruit in moderation can be quite beneficial to your beardie. Which brings us to the promised list of 20 fruits that bearded dragons can eat.
20 fruits bearded dragons can eat
The fruit has many many nutritional benefits for a Bearded dragon. It’s also an exciting treat that all dragons love. Below is a list of 20 safe and tasty fruits a Bearded dragon can eat.
There are over 2,500 varieties of apples in the United States. All of them are safe for the Bearded dragon to eat. Though some, like the Granny Smith, are more nutritious.
Apples are an excellent choice because they are high in vitamins A and C. These vitamins help with the Bearded dragon’s vision, growth, and immune system.
Apples are also high in fiber, which helps maintain digestive health. The plentiful carbohydrates will keep the dragon’s energy level up.
Since Bearded dragons don’t drink a lot of water, the high water content (86%) will help keep them hydrated.
Always peel the apple as peels can pose a choking hazard. The only negative to feeding your dragon apples is the high sugar content. So it’s suggested they only have this fruit once a week.
Bananas are fine to occasionally feed your Bearded dragon. The vitamins A and C, potassium, and calcium in bananas are all great for your dragon. However, they are high in oxalates that block calcium absorption. A few pieces, once or twice a month as a treat is fine. This is one of the few fruits where the peel is safe for the dragon to eat.
While it’s super tasty and a great source of water (92%), watermelon is not the most nutritious of fruits. The Bearded dragon will get some vitamin C and beta carotene from the watermelon but not much else. The sugar content is very high, so a few small pieces once a month will do.
These berries are loaded with vitamin C and K, so your dragon will get growth, immune support, and vision health. Blueberries are not too high in sugar, but they are high in oxalates. You want that calcium to be absorbed, so no more than 1 to 2 berries a week.
5. Prickly Pears
Considered a staple food for your Bearded dragon, Prickly pears are both a fruit and vegetable. The padded part is the vegetable and the pear part is the fruit. Both are great for dragons!
Highly nutritious, they contain the much-needed vitamins A, B, and C. The pear is high in fiber, iron, and protein. Best of all, it’s very high in calcium, which is so important for the dragon’s bone health.
Unfortunately, it’s difficult to get your hands on it in some parts of the United States. If you’re lucky enough to find some, prepare them carefully for your pet. Remove all the spines, skin, and seeds.
These berries are okay to give to your Bearded dragon every 2 weeks. It’s best to just give 2 to 3 each time. Their water content is 88%, so they can help keep your dragon hydrated.
Blueberries are also a good source of vitamin C. Sugar and oxalate levels are quite high, so that’s why this fruit should only be given occasionally. Make sure to take any uneaten berries out of your dragon’s enclosure as they spoil quickly.
Raspberries are fine as a rare treat for Bearded dragons. The sugar and oxalate levels are too high to be a part of the regular fruit rotation. Raspberries do have iron, potassium, vitamin K, E, and C. Which are all great for beardies.
Bearded dragons love juicy fruits. So they’ll love some ripe peach. Filled with 88% water content, they will help keep the water aloof dragon hydrated. They are also a great source of fiber and vitamin C. Feeding this fruit once a week is sufficient. Be sure to take the peel off.
One of the more calcium to phosphorus balanced fruits, strawberries can be given to your bearded dragon about once a week. Full of vitamin C and calcium, strawberries are very healthy for your bearded dragon.
The water content is 45%, so it won’t over hydrate and give them upset stomachs. The seeds are small enough that they won’t pose a choking hazard.
So, can you feed your bearded dragon strawberries? The answer is yes. Feeding your bearded dragon a variety of fresh bruits, like strawberries, will keep them happy and healthy. Just be aware that most fruits will need to be fed in moderation.
Any of the many colors of grapes are fine to give your Bearded dragon 1 to 2 once a week. Just be sure to peel them, take any pits out, and slice them into small bits.
There’s lots of fiber and potassium. The sugar and water content is high, so be careful not to give too much. FYI, grape leaves have more nutrients than the grape itself and are loaded with calcium!
Dates are safe and healthy for Bearded dragons to eat. Like any other fruit, moderation is the key. No more than 1 to 2 dates a week are recommended.
Dates contain healthy doses of vitamins A and B, potassium, fiber, and magnesium. The only drawback is they are high in sugar. It’s best to feed your dragon fresh dates, not dried.
Figs have some great benefits for the Bearded dragon. They contain beta carotene, vitamin A, fiber, and have a nice level of water content. Best of all, figs are loaded with calcium. As with most fruit, the sugar level is high, so feed sparingly. Also, do not give dried figs as they have higher levels of phosphorus.
Guava is fine as a treat a few times a month. Bearded dragons love the juiciness and smell of fresh guava. It has plenty of vitamin C but is low in calcium and high in sugar. So, nutritionally speaking, it’s not the best.
It is suggested if your beardie doesn’t like to eat its greens, that you sprinkle a bit of guava on them. It will entice the dragon and it will gobble down the green vegetables. Make sure to peel the skin.
If it weren’t for the oxalates, Kiwi would be a staple food for bearded dragons. It’s a highly nutritious fruit that has many benefits. This fuzzy fruit is loaded with antioxidants, vitamins C, E, K, calcium, copper, fiber, calcium, and protein! There’s also no fat.
However, with high oxalate levels, it’s recommended that Bearded dragons eat kiwis 1 to 2 times a month. Make sure it’s ripe, peeled, and preferably organic.
Bearded dragons enjoy a good pear. Juicy and fragrant, they are able to enjoy this nutrient-rich fruit 1 to 2 times a week. This fruit is a great source of calcium and iron. Peel and finely chop before serving.
Coconut is safe to give a Bearded dragon as a rare treat. The main problem is that it’s high in saturated fat. This is a “bad” fat that can quickly make your dragon gain weight. Other than that, they are a great source of calcium, carbohydrates, and potassium.
Be sure to feed the inside part of the coconut. The outer husk can make them sick.
Only fresh apricots should be fed to your Bearded dragon. Dried apricots do not have the same levels of nutrients as potassium and vitamin C. Neither do they help hydrate the dragon The fresher the apricot, the more water it can offer. A few pieces every other week will do.
Honeydew can be refreshing for your Bearded dragon. It’s loaded with potassium, vitamin C and A. Though it has calcium, it has more phosphorus. So this fruit should be given only once a month. Always wash and peel the melon.
These fruits are a juicy, nutrient-rich fruit your Bearded dragon is sure to gobble down. Cherries have a ton of vitamin C and calcium. Unfortunately, the sugar level is super high. So it’s recommended only as a once-a-month (or less) treat.
This fruit is not toxic to your beardie and can be given occasionally. High in vitamin B, C, calcium, and carbohydrates, dragonfuit can give needed nourishment and energy to your pet. High phosphorus levels put it on the list of occasional fruits.