Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon?
Can bearded dragons eat watermelon? Yes, bearded dragons can eat watermelon and most love them. They should only be fed as a treat though, since they’re high in sugar and water content. They have barely any calcium, indeed almost no nutritional value for a bearded dragon. But they are tasty and sweet and can be used to rehydrate a dragon who’s become dehydrated. They can also help entice a dragon to eat more salad, although we find most of the time they eat the sweet stuff and leave the actual salad behind.
What Is Watermelon For Bearded Dragons?
Watermelon is a large cultivated fruit with a green, often stripy looking outside, with a tough skin and juicy sweet red interior. It contains, as it’s name suggests, a considerable amount of water but does have some other nutrients as well. But mostly water. Watermelon seeds have been found in Pharaoh tombs in Egypt so they’ve been cultivated for some time.
The fruit, which is actually a modified berry, has large black seeds inside, though seedless variants do exist too. The skin, or rind, is quite tough although is allegedly edible after cooking. Not that we’ve tried.
Watermelon can be grown in warm temperate climates as well as tropical areas as they require temperatures generally above 25 Celsius to thrive.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon?
Bearded dragons can eat watermelon as an occasional treat. They offer very little nutritional value, but are a good source of water and do taste nice. Many bearded dragons do like the occasional piece of watermelon and mixing some small pieces into their salad here or there will be unlikely to cause any drama. It’s worth cutting them into small pieces and mixing them in nicely with the salad, as this well help entice stubborn dragons to actually eat their salad. The seeds should all be removed prior to feeding though.
We recommend not overfeeding watermelon though as they are very high in water content and sugar. Both can lead to digestive problems. Watermelon also has a moderate amount of oxalate per 100g, so given the lack of other nutritional qualities, the watermelon should definitely only be given occasionally as a special treat.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon Seeds?
No, watermelon seeds are not safe for bearded dragons. The occasional accidental seed is unlikely to cause any harm, but they should be removed from the watermelon before feeding to your bearded dragon. This is because watermelon seeds are quite hard and difficult to digest. For humans this is not an issue as our intestinal tract is considerably larger than that of your bearded dragon. But hard, difficult to digest food items can lead to impaction.
Don’t panic if your bearded dragon accidentally ingests one or possibly two watermelon seeds from a feed, but do try your best to remove them.
Advantages Of Watermelon For Bearded Dragons
Disadvantages Of Watermelon For Bearded Dragons
How Should I Feed Watermelon To A Bearded Dragon?
Watermelon for bearded dragons should have the rind removed completely and should be cut into long thin strips (up to about an inch or two in length) with the width being less than the space between the bearded dragons eyes. This latter dimension is just a guide, thinner can be better, but in the case of watermelon which is very soft, it’s not a big deal if it’s wider either. But it’s a decent guide.
If you prefer you can dice the watermelon into smaller pieces instead.
Any seeds must be removed and discarded – cutting into thin slices should help you spot any seeds easier too.
Then you can hand feed the watermelon strips if you like, helping you to bond with your bearded dragon. Alternatively you can place the strips or diced watermelon into the salad mix for them. Be aware though that in the salad mix, if it’s in the vivarium, it’ll likely dry out quite quickly from the heat and lack of any skin protection.
How Much Watermelon Should I Feed A Bearded Dragon Or How Often?
Watermelon is not particularly nutritious and has a moderate oxalate content. It is also made up of mostly water and sugars, which isn’t great for a bearded dragon’s digestive system. With this in mind, watermelon should form only a very tiny part of its overall diet – generally as a little treat now and then.
A few pieces of diced or sliced watermelon once a month would be our recommendation. It can help re-hydrate a dehydrated dragon and may be a better solution than trying to use a syringe to get fluids into one that is dehydrated. But this would be best done under the advice of a Veterinarian anyway.
Nutritional Data For Watermelon For Bearded Dragons
|Water Content (%)||91.4|
|Dietary Fibre (%)||0.4|
|Carbohydrate (%)||7.55 (moderate)|
|Calcium (mg/100g)||7 (0.007%)|
|Potassium (mg/100g)||112 (0.112%)|
|Phosphorous (mg/100g)||11 (0.011%)|
|Vitamin A (ug/100g)||28|
|Vitamin C (ug/100g)||8.1|
|Oxalates (mg/100g)||11 (Moderate)|
Can I Grow My Own Watermelon?
Watermelon can be grown in temperate climates such as the UK, but the cooler parts of these climates (much of North America and the UK for example) will likely require watermelons to be grown in some form of greenhouse or under a ‘cold-frame’ arrangement to increase the daytime temperatures for the plants.
Watermelon plants are pollinated by insects such as bees, so you’ll need to make sure there is good access for flying insects during their flowering season. Open windows to allow access.
The Royal Horticultural Society gives intricate and detailed instructions for growing your own watermelons – but it doesn’t look easy for most of us.
In this post we looked at whether bearded dragons can eat watermelons and watermelon seeds. The answer, we discovered, is yes, bearded dragons can eat watermelons as an occasional treat but should not eat the seeds. We also looked at how to feed watermelon to your bearded dragon and discovered it was relatively easy to do this.
We learnt that growing your own watermelon is not particularly easy, depending on your climate – and discovered the nutritional value of them is really quite low. But as a nice, sweet treat for your bearded dragon every now and then, they’re an OK choice and for rehydrating a dehydrated bearded they have some value.
Frequency: VERY OCCASIONAL TREAT.
For more information on other vegetables that Bearded Dragons can eat, please see our larger overview post at ‘What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?’
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