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Bearded Dragon Diet | Bearded Dragon Fruit

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?

About 4 min reading time

We’re often asked whether bearded dragons can eat oranges? The answer is no, bearded dragons should not be fed oranges even as a small treat. Oranges can be relatively dangerous for bearded dragons for a number of reasons which we’ll look into in this post.

Are Oranges OK For Bearded Dragons?

No, oranges are not OK for bearded dragons. Many people think of oranges as a healthy fruit, which for humans they are. But for bearded dragons they contain too much sugar, citric acid and oxalate and can therefore be dangerous. Other citrus fruits should similarly be avoided too. Citrus fruits contain a lot of citric acid which can cause a wide range of issues for the bearded dragon’s intestines.

The excess sugar and citric acid can cause diarrhea and in extreme cases intestinal bleeding due to increased irritation. This increased defecation can lead to a significant increase in parasites and should definitely be avoided[3]. Avoid giving oranges to your bearded dragon, it won’t end well.

That said, if they should somehow get hold of a bit of orange, it’s not poisonous to them and they’re in no grave danger from an accidentally ingested piece of orange. There’s no need to immediately call a vet for one accidental ingestion. But don’t feed it to them deliberately.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?

Bearded Dragons must not be fed oranges. They are too sugary and too acidic and offer no nutritional value to a bearded dragon in any case. Feeding oranges to bearded dragons can lead to chronic diarrhea and therefore dehydration. There is some evidence that this can then lead to an overabundance of parasites, and malnutrition[3].

Similarly, bearded dragons shouldn’t eat orange peel, although the water content is considerably less in the peel, the citric acid is still present.

Bearded dragons should also never be given orange juice to drink. Indeed, the only drink bearded dragons should be given is plain water. Slurries can be made under veterinary supervision if the vet has advised syringe feeding – but this should be done with ingredients recommended by the vet.

In short, no, bearded dragons cannot eat oranges and should not be given orange juice to drink. There are too many health risks.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mandarin Oranges or Clementines?

No, bearded dragons should not eat mandarin oranges or clementines for the same reasons that they should not eat oranges.

Can Feeder Insects For Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?

Feeder insects such as Dubia Roaches and crickets will eat oranges and seem to enjoy them. Because the insects digest differently to how bearded dragons, there’s no harm to the insects. And the citric acid, and to some extent the oxalate, is converted into something harmless for your bearded dragon.

But do leave a reasonable amount of time between the feeding of oranges to the feeder insects before the insects themselves are fed to the bearded dragon. Around 2 days to a week should suffice. It’s also worth remembering that even though the insects can tolerate the acid, if you feed too many then the insects themselves may become more acidic and cause problems with the bearded dragon digestion.

Advantages Of Oranges For Bearded Dragons

  • Absolutely none

Disadvantages Of Raspberries For Bearded Dragons

  • Will lead to intestinal irritation, potential increase in parasitic load, diarrhea and dehydration

How Should I Feed Oranges To A Bearded Dragon?

You shouldn’t. Honestly, just don’t.

Nutritional Data For Oranges For Bearded Dragons

We include this table in this post for completeness and consistency with our other articles on fruits for bearded dragons, but you shouldn’t be feeding bearded dragons oranges, so it’s up to you what you do with this information!

Nutritional ItemContent
Water Content (%)86.8
Fat (%)0.12
Protein (%)0.94
Dietary Fibre (%)2.4
Carbohydrate (%)11.8
Calcium (mg/100g)40 (0.040%)
Potassium (mg/100g)181 (0.181%)
Phosphorous (mg/100g)14 (0.014%)
Vitamin A (ug/100g)11
Vitamin C (ug/100g)53.2
Oxalates (mg/100g)10
Nutritional Data For Oranges For Bearded Dragons [1][2]

Summary

In this post we discovered that bearded dragons should never eat oranges due to their citric acid and sugar content. We also learned that an accidental feed is unlikely to cause any great drama as they’re not poisonous to bearded dragons, but over time will irritate the gut and lead to various digestive health problems. We learned that the same is true for orange peel and orange juice.

Frequency: NEVER.

For more information on other fruits that Bearded Dragons can eat, please see our larger overview post at ‘Which Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?

References

1: US Department of Agriculture FoodData Central. Fetched on 17th September 2021 from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/169097/nutrients

2: Oxalate (oxalic acid) content of 750+ foods, with numbers from university and government sources – sourced from https://oxalate.org/ on 17th September 2021.

3: Pierre, Bearded Dragon Tank, Why I Will Never Feed My Bearded Dragon Oranges Again!, sourced from https://beardeddragontank.com/why-i-will-never-feed-my-bearded-dragon-oranges-again on 18th September 2021

Featured Image by Mario Letschert from Pixabay

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