Leaping Lizards – Yea Or Nay For Dragon Fruit
Dragon fruit is a refreshing and tasty fruit that many people enjoy eating. But, can bearded dragons eat dragon fruit?
The short answer is yes. Bearded dragons can eat dragon fruit, but only in limited proportions.
In this article, we will learn what benefits dragon fruit has for your bearded dragon and what to watch out for.
Nutritional Profile Of Dragon Fruit
The table below contains data showing the various nutrients in dragon fruit and their content per 100g.
Health Benefits Of Dragon Fruit For Bearded Dragons
Dragon fruits are not as nutrient-dense as bananas or apples but they still are healthy nutrition option for bearded dragons. The benefits include:
- Dragon fruits are rich in Vitamin C, which is essential for the strong immune health of all animals, including your beardies.
- They also contain minerals like Calcium and Phosphorus, which are vital for strengthening your pet’s bones.
- Dragon fruits are rich in fibers, which means that they can help your pet digest everything they eat with ease.
- They also have a high water content to keep your pet hydrated.
Dragon fruit is high in antioxidants. An antioxidant is a compound that prevents free radicals from damaging body cells.
Too many free radicals in the body cause cell damage. These radicals will make the bearded dragons ill.
Dragon fruit is a good source of fiber. Fiber is essential for a healthy digestive system.
Fiber helps prevent constipation.
Risks When Feeding Too Many Dragon Fruits To Beardies
Since you are caught up with knowing about the advantages of dragon fruit for your pet lizard, it is now time to address the risks involved in this diet.
As is shown in the nutritional table of dragon fruits above, the quantity of phosphorus in these fruits is much greater than that of calcium.
It creates a Ca:P ratio of 1:2, which is not recommended for the beardies, who need the Ca:P ratio in their food to ideally range between 1:1 and 2:1. This is because the phosphorus in their body binds with calcium, preventing them from using it effectively.
Feeding them too much dragon fruit will cause calcium deficiency in their bodies, ultimately leading to Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). Some common MBD symptoms in your beardies that you should look out for are:
Too Much Acid
The small, black seeds present inside the dragon fruits are rich in fatty acids, linoleic acid, and linolenic acid.
These acids are healthy when eaten in moderation. However. if your pet beardie is eating too many of these fruits, the acids can irritate their stomach lining and might also lead to eventual heartburn and indigestion.
High Sugar Content
Dragon fruits contain sugar, which is a combination of both glucose and fructose.
While glucose is not troublesome for your pets, fructose is. Reptiles like beardies cannot digest fructose. Too much of it in their diet can lead to several digestive problems such as diarrhea or constipation.
These health issues are potentially dangerous, but they will only affect your pets when you are careless with their diet by feeding them too many dragon fruits. Practice moderation with these fruits and you will eliminate many problems.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dragon Fruit Skin?
Dragon fruit skin contains many beneficial nutrients. One of them is antioxidants, which help prevent free radicals from destroying the body cells.
You can feed the dragon fruit skin along with the flesh. Be sure to cut the skin into small pieces to make it easier to eat.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dragon Fruit Seeds?
Dragon fruit seeds are famous for their high fiber and fatty acids, including omega-three fatty acids. Dragon fruit seeds have the same texture as the kiwi seeds and can be safely eaten by bearded dragons.
However, bearded dragons are vulnerable to impaction when they eat fruit seeds. Because dragon fruit has small seeds, bearded dragons are able to digest them properly. .
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dragon Fruit?
Ideally, bearded dragons should eat a small amount of dragon fruit once a month or less.
For adult bearded dragons, this means a small piece the size of an average ice cube, and for baby bearded dragons, about the size of a thumb.
The reason for limiting the intake of dragon fruit is its disproportionate calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Preparing Dragon Fruit For Bearded Dragons
Preparing dragon fruit for your bearded dragon is straightforward.
Here are easy steps to follow.
- Buy fresh dragon fruit, and if available, select the organic ones.
- Clean the fruit to wash off any dirt, pesticides, or fungicides.
- Remove the skin or cut the fruit and scope the flesh part.
- The fruit is ready for serving. Mix it with other fruits to have a variety and include greens and veggies. That makes a perfect salad to offer to your lizard friend.
To conclude, bearded dragons can eat dragon fruits safely in moderation. The fruit seeds are also safe for consumption. We recommend mixing the dragon fruit with other safe fruit and vegetables to make a healthy salad bowl for your bearded friend.
Research any new food you add to your bearded dragon diet. Stay up to date. Even food that seems healthy can have unhealthy side effects. If you remain unsure, please contact your vet for advice.
Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:
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