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What Fruits Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons, or “beardies,” are a great first lizard to welcome into your home! They’re very even-tempered and adapt to life in captivity smoothly. They don’t even mind being handled that much. As far as caring for them goes, they’re usually considered to be fairly easy.
But taking care of a bearded dragon still takes lots of work and know-how. Before you get a beardy, there are a few things you should know about taking care of them. For example, there are healthy fruits they love and others that can be poisonous. So which are okay and which are no-nos? Let’s take a look.
Beardy Diets and How They Change
As they grow into adults, their diets will switch to include fruits and vegetables. In their natural habitat, which is the Australian desert, they primarily eat meat. But it doesn’t work the same way for lizards in captivity. Because our pets don’t get as much exercise chasing their food down, a diet of just meat can make bearded dragons overweight. So most captive beardies eat a mix of fruits, veggies, and insects. How much of each varies by the animal, and the owner. Some people prefer to feed their bearded dragons a majority of plants, others go with more insects than fruits and veg.
Good Fruits, Bad Fruits, and More!
That being said, your bearded dragon should always get more veggies than fruits. Fruit is high in sugar and can be unhealthy for your pet in large quantities. Think of fruits as a fun little treat for your happy bearded buddy. But when offering them as a treat, considering these fruits for your bearded dragon:
Here are some things you can try giving them when they’re being extra cute:
These are what we think of as “soft fruits,” types of things that should be given as a special treat, infrequently. Try different things and see what your beardy likes best!
There are other fruits that you can incorporate into your beardy’s diet more regularly too. These are typically things you wouldn’t think of as “fruit” in the kitchen, but count because they contain seeds. Fruits that are ok for beardies more regularly are the more fibrous ones, such as:
- Acorn Squash
- Butternut Squash
- Bell pepper
- Yellow Squash
These are much healthier for your beardy, as well as being tasty. Mixed in with fibrous greens like parsley, watercress, kale, and collards, these fruits are a great part of your bearded dragon’s diet.
Yard Weed Snacks
Additionally, there are a few “weeds” from around the yard that bearded dragons love to snack on. If you’re pulling them out and throwing them away, why not turn a few of them into a healthy treat? Just make sure to wash everything thoroughly before giving it to your bearded dragon. Beardies can eat all of the following:
- Nettles (dead only)
- Plantain (the stalky ones, not those green bananas)
All in all, there are a lot of things you can try giving your bearded dragon! Beardies’ varied diets are part of what makes them such fun pets.
Foods to Avoid
But, be wary. If you’re going to try giving your bearded dragon something new, be sure to research first to make sure it’s okay to eat. There are also lots of things that are poisonous to bearded dragons. Lizards aren’t exactly the smartest members of the animal kingdom, so bearded dragons will gladly eat things that are bad for them. This means you have to be extra careful. Never let your beardy eat any of the following:
- Strong citrus fruits like lemon and orange
- Beet greens (can cause nutrient deficiency)
- Avocados (toxic!)
- Rhubarb (poisonous!)
It’s also worth noting that wild bugs are a hard no-go. It might make sense that wild bearded dragons eat wild insects all the time. But the reality is that wild insects commonly contain parasites that can easily be passed to your pet. We definitely want to avoid that happening.
Lots to Love
Bearded dragons are a blast as pets. They’re animated, intelligent (as far as lizards go), and very agreeable around people. Make sure to spoil them enough (but not too much!) and be careful what you spoil them with and you’ll have a happy, healthy buddy for years to come.