All of you must have used fruits like apples, bananas, and grapes as a treat for your beardies at some point. But have you ever thought of feeding them dragon fruits?
Can bearded dragons eat dragon fruits? Yes, they can, but only in a limited proportion. Dragon fruits are healthy for bearded dragons when fed in moderation, but when fed in excess, these fruits can also be detrimental to their health.
While you need to remove the skin of dragon fruits before feeding them to your pets, their seeds are completely safe for them.
Is Dragon Fruit Good For Your Bearded Dragon?
It might seem like dragon fruit is the perfect food for your bearded dragon. It’s a dragon fruit, after all.
All jokes aside, is dragon fruit actually healthy for your bearded dragon to eat? Well, it depends. Although it shouldn’t be a large portion of their diet, there are some great nutritional benefits that eating dragon fruit can give to your beardie!
One of the major benefits that feeding your bearded dragon some dragon fruits can have is a boost to your beardie’s immune system.
You see, dragon fruits are high in vitamin C. Just like in humans, vitamin C can help bearded dragons’ immune systems become more fortified and help ward off illnesses. This is great for the long-term health of your beardie!
Secondly, dragon fruit is quite high in fiber. Fiber can make sure that your bearded dragon is digesting its food properly and passing regular, healthy bowel movements which are great indicators that your bearded dragon’s digestive system is working as nature intended!
Dragon fruit is also a fat-free fruit. This means you can feed your beardie dragon fruit as a treat and not have to worry about them becoming overweight! Although this isn’t really a “health benefit” per se, it is a nice little bonus when you’re thinking about your pet’s overall diet.
However, there are reasons to avoid feeding your beardie dragon fruit too often. Dragon fruit has a bad calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, meaning there is far more phosphorus than calcium in the fruit.
This makes it harder for the beardie’s blood to absorb calcium properly, as phosphorus binds to calcium and makes it impossible to absorb into the bloodstream when high levels of phosphorus are present.
Risks Involved With 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.