Serving your bearded dragon the right food is essential for their health. But sometimes it can be difficult to know what foods they are allowed and what ones should be avoided. A lot of owners are left asking, what can I give my reptile as a snack?
Can bearded dragons eat apples? Indeed, bearded dragons can eat apples. But it is best for this to be a snack in a healthy diet, with all bits cut small and the skin peeled. This is going to make it delicious and easy for your bearded dragon to eat since they do not chew properly.
Let’s take at how you should serve apple to your reptile friend and what the right diet looks like for a bearded dragon.
Bearded Dragons and Apples
If you choose to serve some apple to your bearded dragon, it is recommended to peel the apple first. Then you can cut it into small cubes that are the right size for them to dig in to. This is due to their inability to chew properly.
There is the possibility that it they are not peeled properly, it could lead to impaction for your small reptile.
It is best to only feed a small amount of apple to your bearded dragon. Feeding them too much may cause running stools. So, perhaps treat apple cubes as a treat that they can enjoy throughout the week.
You can even feed your bearded dragon apple juice. This can be diluted in their water to encourage them to drink from their bowl. They cannot resist the sweet smell of the apple juice and this is a good way to train them to drink water in a domestic environment.
Good for Hydration and Vitamins
Apple is a nutritious food to give your bearded dragon. It naturally contains water, which can help them to stay hydrated. This is particularly helpful if they have not yet mastered how to drink from the water bowl.
Apples are also full of vitamin C, which can help to keep your bearded dragon healthy.
An Occasional Treat
It is recommended to only feed your bearded dragon apples or service apple juice sparingly as a treat. This is due to the sugar content. While it is not excessive for humans, for a small reptile, it is quite a lot.
Not only will this be bad for their health and could lead to weight gain, but it can cause diarrhoea.
Remove the Seeds
It is recommended that you remove the apple seeds before you serve up small pieces of this fruit to your bearded dragon. Due to the inability to chew properly, they can pose a choking hazard.
In addition, it is believed that seeds from apples may be toxic for this reptile. So, you do not want to take any risks.
The Right Diet for your Bearded Dragon
Everybody wants their bearded dragon to live a long and healthy life. Of course, this means having a good diet and feeding them the right things. A lot of people do not realize that bearded dragons are actually omnivores.
This means that they eat animals and plants.
So, if you thought that these reptiles only ate insects, this is not entirely true. When they are babies, they do tend to eat more bugs than plants. But as an adult, it is the other way around; you really want to feed your adult bearded dragon 80 percent plants and 20 percent insects.
The Best Foods Serve to Your Bearded Dragon
There are a lot of fruits, vegetables, and plants, as well as insects, that you can give to your bearded dragon as a snack. They offer good nutrients for them and can make sure they stay healthy. Let’s take a look at some of them so you can see if your reptile loves it.
- Papaya – This exotic fruit may be a favorite with your bearded dragon. It is really healthy and it is a good source of fiber for them.
- Figs – this plant is a fantastic source of calcium for your bearded dragon. This can be served up once a week and it will also provide some fiber too. It is a good healthy snack.
- Broccoli – it is best to chop broccoli down into small parts for your reptile. They can enjoy broccoli in moderation. It is very nutritious and contains good protein for a bearded dragon.
- Crickets – this is a food that is not only tasty for your bearded dragon but fun too. They can enjoy the chase and get their reward.
Do Not Forget Fresh Water
Do not forget that you should provide a clean source of water for your bearded dragon. While they live in hot desert areas, they still need some water to stay hydrated. Most of their water will come from their food.
But it is still recommended to have a bowl of water available for them.
The water bowl should be cleaned out every day. It is not unusual for your bearded dragon to also use it as a toilet. So, be sure to disinfect it and give your reptile clean water every day to drink.
Foods You Should Not Feed Your Bearded Dragon
There are some foods you should avoid feeding to your bearded dragon. This is either down to toxicity or having no nutritional goodness for them. So, let’s take a look at some of them so that you can prevent bad foods being fed to your reptile.
- One of the foods you should never feed your bearded dragon is rhubarb. This is a toxic food that you want to avoid at all costs. It can damage your reptile’s kidneys and make them very sick. If you think that your bearded dragon has ingested rhubarb, it is important to contact your veterinarian as soon as possible.
- Another food to avoid feeding your bearded dragon is lettuce. It is not toxic for your reptile and they may even enjoy eating it. But it has no nutritional value for them. In fact, eating too much of it can cause runny stools. So, it is best to just avoid it altogether and swap it out for more nutritious and delicious food.
- You should never feed your bearded dragons fireflies. This is a bug that is very toxic to your reptile and it is something that should be avoided at all costs. This is something you should be mindful of if you let your reptile wander around outside. Really, it is best to avoid all wild insects in case they are not safe.
- Avocados contain a lot of oxalic acids that can kill bearded dragons. This is if it is in high doses but it is best to avoid this green food altogether. The last thing you want is to make your reptile ill or worse. There are lots of leafy greens that you can choose from instead.
- We all know that calcium is important for the health of your bearded dragon. Unfortunately, beet tops contain a chemical that can stop them from absorbing calcium. This may increase their chance of developing metabolic bone disease. Some beet tops as a very occasional treat may be safe. But if you are wanting to be on the safe side, it is best to cut out beet tops altogether.
- Another food that can increase the risk of your bearded dragon developing metabolic bone disease is spinach. This contains a similar chemical to beet tops that can affect the absorption of calcium. Small amounts may be fine but it should not be a regular food.
How often should I serve food to my bearded dragon? It is best to serve up fresh food to your reptile almost every day. You will be able to monitor how much they are eating, as well as throw out the food that is going bad. Fruit and vegetables can dry up under the lighting.
If you need help with that, here is how to feed your bearded dragon correctly.
Should I mist and spray my bearded dragons’ food? It is common for owners to mist the vegetables they serve bearded dragons with some water. This can be a good way of hydrating your reptile. This is particularly true if they do not seem to drink very often from their water bowl.
What is metabolic bone disease? If your bearded dragon does not get enough calcium and vitamin D then they are at risk of developing metabolic bone disease. This can be an illness that makes your bearded dragon weak and sick. Some signs can include lethargy, receding jaw, tremors or bone fractures.