Bearded dragons can definitely eat fruit, however some fruits are more suitable than others. You should really only give fruit as a treat though not as part of their staple diet.
In this post we’ll look at the more common fruits that bearded dragons like to eat and ones which should definitely be avoided.
Fruits are high in water content which can be helpful to keep your bearded dragon hydrated. However, vegetables are generally a better option for this as they contain less sugar.
All fruits are high in sugar content, which has a number of risk factors for bearded dragons. The following things can occur if you feed too much fruit to your bearded dragon.
- Calcium deficiency, which in turn leads to Metabolic Bone Disease. A lot of the fruits listed here are high in oxalates which bind to calcium and prevent its uptake into the system.
- Tooth decay, because of the sugar content.
- Over-fermentation in the gut, again because of the sugar content.
- Obesity, due to the sugar content and lack of exercise experienced by captive dragons.
- Acidity regulation. Many fruits are quite acidic in nature, particularly of course the citrus fruits and tomatoes. We recommend avoiding fruits that are too acidic as it upsets the natural balance of gut flora required for proper digestion of other foods.
- Too much sugar, acid or water will potentially cause diarrhoea and therefore dehydration. So even though fruit contains a lot of water, they could lose more than they gain if they’re fed too much fruit.
Keep reading for more information on specific fruits that are suitable for bearded dragons.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apples?
Apples are a lovely treat for bearded dragons. Bear in mind that they don’t chew very well so you’ll need to cut them into bite sized pieces. It’s probably worth cutting off the peel too because that’s quite tough.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Grapes?
Yes, grapes are fine for a beardie. Just bear in mind the size of the grape verses the size of their head and the toughness of the grape skin. It’s worth cutting the grape up into probably 4 pieces to reduce the risk of them not swallowing it properly. This is of particular importance for babies and juveniles.
Grapes are a relatively good source of calcium with a moderate amount of phosphates, but they’re quite sugary so should only be given in moderation.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberries?
Yes, occasionally. Blueberries contain moderate amounts of oxalates and as mentioned elsewhere, oxalates bind to calcium, reducing the amount available for metabolism. Don’t overdo the blueberries but they are safe in moderation and most bearded dragons will enjoy them
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raspberries?
Yes, occasionally. Raspberries are OK in moderation. Due to their moderate level of oxalates they should only be given as a treat now and then though.
Raspberries can be fed whole to adult bearded dragons as they’ll mush them up nicely in their mouth. Bearded dragons do tend to like raspberries so be careful that they don’t get too attached to them and stop eating other things. Also, when feeding raspberries by hand be careful to avoid being bitten by your bearded dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rhubarb?
NO. Rhubarb is highly toxic to Bearded Dragons. Rhubarb is a nephrotoxin and will damage or destroy their kidneys. If your bearded dragon eats any rhubarb it’s vital to contact your vet as soon as possible.
Rhubarb is best avoided by humans who have kidney issues too – particularly those who have kidney stones. It’s a nephrotoxin to humans too, although the doses required to cause problems are a lot larger for humans, since they and their kidneys are larger too.
Don’t give Rhubarb to bearded dragons – it’s highly toxic to them.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mango?
Mango is safe for Bearded Dragons in moderation. Like most fruits, there’s fairly high levels of sugar which they will enjoy but shouldn’t be given too much of. Mangos are relatively high in oxalates too so this could reduce their calcium uptake from other foods. But in moderation it’s OK as a treat.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries?
Cherries are quite high in potassium which has a similar effect to phosphorus and oxalates in the metabolism of calcium. As an occasional treat cherries are OK for bearded dragons. But, it is essential that you remove the stone ( pip ) before giving it to your dragon though. If you leave the stone in the cherry and they eat it, there’s a strong possibility that the stone will cause impaction. Bearded dragon intestines cannot break down the hard stone in the middle.
Impaction is discussed in various other stories throughout the site, such as this one ( my bearded dragon looks sick, what could be wrong? ) or this one ( my bearded dragon won’t eat ). To avoid impaction from cherries just make sure you remove the stone before feeding them to you little friend.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are like most of the other fruits for Bearded Dragons – they’re safe in moderation. They do have a fairly moderate level of oxalates so could interfere with your bearded dragon’s calcium intake if they have too many strawberries.
Strawberries can be quite large and may present a problem for swallowing in the smaller, younger dragons. Give consideration to cutting them into a better size before feeding them to your bearded dragon as you don’t want them to choke.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bananas?
Beardies love a banana treat – indeed the only time my partner was bitten by her beardie was when she fed him some banana… He didn’t bite her deliberately but because he loved banana so much he was a bit over-eager to get at it and ended up catching her finger too. Ouch!
However, although Beardies love bananas, they’re not that good for them. They’re very high in phosphorus. Phosphorus binds with calcium, meaning it is no longer available for metabolism. This isn’t a problem once in a while as a treat. You shouldn’t feed it too often because if your bearded dragon doesn’t get enough calcium they’ll end up with Metabolic Bone Disease.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?
Oranges should be avoided as they’re far too acidic. Oranges also contain a lot of fruit sugar. Both of these can cause severe diarrhoea in bearded dragons and diarrhoea can lead to dehydration and reduce their nutrient intake.
The same also applies to navel oranges, satsumas, clementines and mandarin oranges.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries?
Like most of the other fruits listed here, blackberries are suitable for bearded dragons as a special treat. You should only feed store bought or home grown blackberries though. Wild picked blackberries, especially from the roadside, could contain harmful pests or toxins.
Blackberries are a fair bit harder than raspberries and should definitely be cut into pieces for baby bearded dragons. Adult dragons probably won’t struggle with them but it won’t hurt if they’re cut in half before feeding.