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What Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
We often get asked what fruits can bearded dragons eat, or indeed whether they in fact can eat any fruits at all. 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.
If you’re looking for which vegetables and leafy greens are safe for bearded dragons, then check this article instead. And if you’re wanting to know which insects or live food are suitable for bearded dragons, try this article instead.
Keep reading for more information on what fruits can bearded dragons eat specifically.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat apples?
Apples are a lovely treat for bearded dragons. Bear in mind that many bearded dragons don’t chew their food very well though, so you’ll need to cut them into safe bite-sized pieces. It’s probably worth cutting the peel off as well because that’s quite tough. It’s also worth making sure you’re not giving them apple that’s cut too close to the core as that can be quite woody.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Avocado?
NO. Avocado is not suitable for bearded dragons in any form due to the high level of oxalates present. Oxalates bind to calcium and reduce the amount available for good bone and heart health. In the case of avocado the level of oxalate is so high that it can be poisonous to the bearded dragon even with relatively small portions.
Avoid Avocado for bearded dragons – it can be poisonous even at relatively small doses.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Banana?
Bearded Dragons love a banana treat – indeed the only time my partner was bitten by her dragon 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.
Bearded dragons can also eat the banana skin if it’s grown organically, well washed and chopped up.
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.
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 Cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe melon is sweet, with an orange flesh. It’s known as Rock Melon in Australia. It is a good treat for Bearded dragons and can help keep them nicely hydrated since it mostly contains water. Like all fruits it should only be a treat though.
Cantaloupe is high in Vitamin A and Vitamin C. It doesn’t have very much calcium in it but does contain a fair amount of potassium. Excess potassium in the bearded dragon diet can reduce the calcium uptake and can therefore lead to Metabolic Bone Disease
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 ( Bearded dragon impaction and how to avoid it ) 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 Grapes?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat grapes. 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. Be aware too that they contain a fairly high amount of oxalates, so be extra cautious if you’re struggling with a calcium deficient dragon.
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 Oranges?
No, 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. In fact, pretty much all citrus fruit should be avoided due to the high acid levels.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Peaches?
If you’re like me, then you may be forgiven for thinking that a peach is actually a form of citrus fruit. In fact though, peaches are unlike citrus fruits in that they are actually moderately alkaline as opposed to acidic. They’re OK as a treat for a bearded dragon although of course they are sugary like all the fruits listed here. They also contain a high level of goitrogens so should be given only as a treat now and then. They can be added to a salad bowl though to give some extra colour and flavour particularly if you have a fussy salad eater!
The pit, or stone should be removed before feeding to a bearded dragon and the skins should be removed. The rest of the peach can then be chopped up and given to your dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pears?
Pears can be fed to bearded dragons and many of them seem to rather like them. Remove the stem and skin as well as the core. The rest of the flesh can be chopped up and given to your bearded dragon as a treat.
Pears are quite high in oxalates as well as sugars of course, so once again, only give as a treat now and then or in small doses with a normal salad.
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.
We tend to add a sliced up raspberry to our girl’s salads. One of them loves a bit of raspberry and it’s helped them to realise where the salad bowl is and what’s in it. So if you’re finding it awkward to get your bearded dragon to eat salad then a few thin raspberry slices in the salad bowl might help!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Rhubarb?
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 Strawberry / 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 Watermelon?
Watermelon is safe for bearded dragons, but bear in mind it has almost no nutritional value and contains mostly water. There is therefore a danger, if fed too watermelon too often, that your dragon will become overhydrated. This can lead to runny poo and reduced electrolyte levels as too much water flushes them out. As a treat and a treatment for dehydration, watermelon is safe.
As you can see from the list above, most fruits are reasonably safe for bearded dragons with the exception of Rhubarb (which isn’t really a fruit anyway – but most people consider it a ‘dessert’ food so we’ve included it here). Avocado, which is a fruit that isn’t normally thought of as such, is not suitable for bearded dragons as they have a huge amount of oxalate content and can be poisonous to them.
All the other fruits listed are safe, but like many things, they’re only suitable as a treat. If you’ve any questions please feel free to leave us a message below or join our Facebook group using the blue button at the top!
Thanks for reading,
Steve and Claire – Bearded Dragons Rock.