Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cucumber?

Can bearded dragons eat cucumber? Learn the answer in this in depth post, including how to feed, how much and when.

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Cucumber is Good For Hydration

About 7 min reading time

Can bearded dragons eat cucumber? Is cucumber For Bearded Dragons OK? Yes, bearded dragons can eat cucumber occasionally. However cucumber offers almost no nutritional value except for hydration. It’s also a moderate oxalate carrier.

What Is Cucumber For Bearded Dragons?

It’s fair to say that probably anyone reading this knows what a cucumber looks like. They’re a green, long vegetable with soft, edible seeds in the middle. They’re a member of the Gourd family which includes pumpkins, squash and melons. The latter of course being considerably more sweet. Does this mean cucumbers are technically a fruit? Well yes it does, they are. But because they aren’t as sweet as most fruit (though they do exhibit some sweetness) they’re generally used as a vegetable.

Did you know Zucchini and their more adult parents are also fruits in the same family? You do now.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cucumber?

Bearded dragons certainly can eat cucumber on a semi-regular basis as part of a balanced salad diet. They’re not going to gain a great deal of nutrition from a cucumber (see the nutrition table below) but nevertheless they will gain a good amount of moisture for hydration purposes.

Cucumbers can be great gutloader vegetable (fruit!) for insects, as this will help keep the insects nice and hydrated and squishy without them being able to drown. In fact, we never have any water for our feeder insects anymore, too many die by drowning. And they never touched Bug-Gel – so just use moisture rich vegetables instead.

Advantages Of Cucumber For Bearded Dragons

  • Contain lots of moisture for helping hydration
  • Readily available in supermarkets
  • Last well in the fridge

Disadvantages Of Cucumber For Bearded Dragons

  • Almost no nutritional value
  • Too much oxalate to calcium ratio

How Should I Feed Cucumber To A Bearded Dragon?

Cucumber can be fed to bearded dragons as part of a balanced salad diet and can be placed in a dish with other vegetable foods. Be aware that though cucumber will dry out quickly in the heat of the vivarium so it, along with the rest of the salad, should definitely be put as far away from the heat lamps as possible.

Cucumber can be peeled, or not, depending on your willingness and your bearded dragons taste. Then the cucumber can be cut into cross-sectional slices (circles), shredded/grated or cut into longer slices depending on how your bearded dragon prefers it. It’s superbly soft (particularly when the skin is peeled) and unlikely to cause any issues whichever way you do it.

Can I Use Cucumber to Gutload Insects For Bearded Dragons

Cucumber is an excellent gutloader vegetable for any of the bearded dragon insects and is especially good at keeping the insect itself hydrated without needing any water source or expensive (and often untouched ‘bug-gel’.

We keep our Morioworm feeders hydrated using a few chunks of cucumber in their substrate, although the Morios tend to eat it fairly quickly. Care needs to be taken, particularly if you have lots of Morios and don’t feed them to your dragon all that often (as you probably shouldn’t) because the cucumber will make the substrate moist and can lead to mould growth. It’s therefore best to pop a bit of cucumber into the Morio container in the morning, leave it until afternoon and if there’s any left remove it again.

If the insect substrate gets too damp from the cucumber you’ll need to change it. We use Weetabix crushed and chopped to keep ours in. Since hydrating them using cucumber we lose hardly any of them due to premature death and our bearded dragon enjoys the extra plumpness and alertness of them!

How Much Cucumber Should I Feed A Bearded Dragon?

Given that cucumber is mostly water, it’s unlikely you’d actually end up overfeeding cucumber to your bearded dragon – but that much water in vegetables isn’t without risk of over-hydrating. Overhydrating will result in runny poos and potentially a reduction in electrolytes if it goes on for too long so if you notice this happening then cut down on the amount of cucumber.

Nutritional Data For Cucumber For Bearded Dragons

Nutritional ItemContent
Water Content (%)95.2
Fat (%)0.11
Protein (%)0.65%
Dietary Fibre (%)0.5%
Calcium (mg/100g)16 (0.016%)
Potassium (mg/100g)147 (0.147%)
Phosphorous (mg/100g)24 (0.024%)
Vitamin A (ug/100g)5
Vitamin C (ug/100g)2.8
Oxalates (mg/100g)20 (Moderate)
Nutritional Data For Cucumber For Bearded Dragons [1][2]

Can I Grow My Own Cucumber?

Yes, you can. Cucumber is grown around the world in different varieties and the plant can be grown from seed or smaller plants can be purchased from garden centres.

Seeds should be sown in early spring, but can be continued to be sown through to June time with harvesting beginning in July through to October. Frost should definitely be avoided as the plants should be kept above 12 degrees Celsius for best results. Growing in a greenhouse is one of the best ways to grow cucumbers.

Cucumbers will need to be watered little and often. Further information and more tips can be found from the Royal Horticultural Society.

Summary

Cucumbers can be fed fairly regularly to bearded dragons as part of a balanced salad diet but do watch out for overhydration features such as runny poops. Cut back on the cucumber if you notice this happening. There’s nothing intrinsically nutritional about a cucumber but it can help sweeten up a salad a little and provide that important hydration.

Cucumbers are also good gutloaders for insects such as locusts or crickets.

We’ve marked cucumber as a semi-regular dietary feature since there’s no harm in it, but keep an eye out on those poops.

Frequency: SEMI-REGULAR.

For more information on other vegetables that Bearded Dragons can eat, please see our larger overview post at ‘What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?’

References

1: US Department of Agriculture FoodData Central. Fetched on 6th February 2021 from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/1103126/nutrients

2: Oxalate (oxalic acid) content of 750+ foods, with numbers from university and government sources – sourced from https://oxalate.org/ on 15th May 2021.

Featured Image by Steve Buissinne from Pixabay

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