If you see a juicy and fresh bell pepper in the grocery store, you might wonder if you can feed it to your bearded dragon. After all, these treats are low in calories and relatively inexpensive, making it an excellent, healthy way for your bearded dragon to have some variety in his diet.
Can bearded dragons eat peppers? Yes, bearded dragons can eat bell peppers, but it is not a good idea to give them any other type of pepper. The great thing about bell peppers is that they don’t have capsaicin in them, which is what makes hot peppers hot (that fiery feeling you get on your tongue). They make a great everyday veggie.
Now you know that your bearded dragon can safely enjoy a bell pepper here and there. What are the types of bell peppers you can feed? How often should beardies eat them? Keep reading to find out all of that info.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Peppers?
Beardies are like us humans in that regard- some reptiles just love the veggie while others will turn up their snouts at it. In their natural habitat, bearded dragons will eat many different plants and animals. So, it is only natural they will enjoy the veggies you give them each day.
Aren’t These Hot?
Nope- the bell pepper is an excellent choice because it lacks the capsaicin that you find in peppers like the scotch bonnet, jalapeno, and Carolina Reaper. It makes bell peppers slightly sweet to the taste and removes any health threat to your bearded dragon.
Bell peppers are also pretty high in vitamins and nutrients, plus they provide some hydration to your bearded dragon. (Don’t misunderstand me-you must provide water at all times for your beardie. Peppers are no substitute for a dish of clean, freshwater).
Bell Pepper Facts
Bell peppers are nightshade family plants and are related to Central American plants like tomatoes, breadfruit, and chili peppers.
You can cook them or eat them raw. When it comes to a bearded dragon, always offer them fresh- there’s no need to cook them, and the nutrients won’t get cooked out of the veggie.
The great thing about these plants is that they are high in Vitamin C, which is really helpful to your bearded dragon’s immune system. They come in a few different colors, such as yellow, orange, red, and green, making them a colorful and fun choice for your beardie to dig into.
Nutritional Value of Bell Peppers
In this section, we will look at the nutritional value of these veggies and why they make an excellent snack for your pet.
These veggies are comprised of 92% water.
The rest of the plant is just carbs and miniscule amounts of fat and protein.
Suppose you had 100g or 3.5 oz of bell pepper. Here’s what your beardie would get nutrient-wise:
- 31 Calories
- 1g protein
- 6g carbs
- 2 g natural sugar
- 1g fiber
- .3g of fat
Even though you are seeing things like fat, sugar, and carbs, they still make great snacks for your beardie, all thanks to the fact that they are loaded with a heaping helping of good old H20.
Vitamins and Minerals of Bell Pepper
Here’s the “good stuff” your bearded dragon will take in once you feed him some bell pepper strips:
- Potassium- good for heart health
- Vitamin K1- Good for blood clotting and healthy bones
- Vitamin C- Good for the immune system and fights scurvy
- Vitamin B6- helps in the formation of red blood cells
- Vitamin E- Great for healthy muscles and antioxidant
- Vitamin A- It is beta carotene, which the body needs to turn into Vitamin A.
- Folate-especially important for pregnant beardies, this is also what we know as Vitamin B9.
How to Serve My Beardie a Bell Pepper?
If you are ready to begin serving your bearded dragon a bell pepper, let’s go through the steps it takes to choose a good bell pepper from start to finish.
Good shopping practices are the first step to choosing a bell pepper. Look for a pepper that is ripe and free of any mold or weird spots.
If you are not sure, ask yourself this: would YOU chop that pepper up and eat it? If the answer is no, then put it back and look for a different pepper. You can always tell when a bell pepper is fresh using these three techniques:
- Feel the pepper and give it a little squeeze. If the skin is taut and firm, it’s good. Don’t squeeze too hard-you break it you buy it!
- Make sure the pepper feels nice and heavy for how it looks. It means it is full of watery walls that your beardie will crunch.
- look for darker colors. A deeper green bell pepper is better than a lighter green, as the deeper green one means it is more ripe.
Wash the Pepper
Next, good washing techniques are your friend. Whether you buy these peppers at the grocery store or get them from a farmer’s market, you have to wash them thoroughly.
(That goes for you gardeners, too-even if you grow your own peppers, rinsing them under running water is key to a healthy snack). Wash and dry your pepper. You can set it on a paper towel to dry if you like.
Now cut up the bell pepper. Here’s how you can cut to remove the seeds and membranes inside.
Cutting A Bell Pepper
I will tell you how to dice the bell pepper, as this is how my bearded dragons enjoy eating it. It also makes it easier for them to consume, as the peppers are bite-sized little pieces that are easy to grab. It involves using a knife, so kids-get an adult to help you out.
Place the pepper on its side. Now use a knife to cut off the top and bottom of your pepper. Now insert the knife into the pepper and run the blade along the inside of the flesh to cut the insides out. Throw out the core, which is the seeds and whitish inner membranes.
Now dice the bell pepper into small pieces, about one-quarter inch long. The smaller, the better, but not too small- about the size of a fly is fine for beardies as it is easier for them to grab.
Serving Your Dragon
You can put the pieces of pepper into the habitat, or you can put them in the food dish if you like. If it’s your first time feeding the beardie peppers, monitor him to make sure he likes it. If not, remove the peppers and discard them.
Be sure to watch your beardie eat. They may accidentally lose some peppers around the habitat, which can get stinky if hidden away! Watch them as they eat so you can clean up after them as they go.
Serve them about four or five pieces at a time. Remember, beardies do not eat just veggies, so make sure you are serving these along with regular live food and water.
Bell peppers make an excellent treat for your dragons. Pick and choose them wisely, and you will see your dragon get so excited when you bring them out. Enjoy this healthy treat!