How frequently should your bearded dragon eat fruit?
Is every part of a pineapple good for dragons?
As an owner, feeding your bearded dragon a healthful and balanced diet is one of your primary responsibilities.
Pets rely on their humans to keep them safe, strong and fulfilled.
This article will help you gain useful knowledge about the ideal diet for your beardie.
You’ll learn specifically about the health benefits and detriments of pineapple and about the fruits and vegetables which are best for your lizard.
Table of Contents
Is Pineapple Healthy for Bearded Dragons?
Your beardie can occasionally eat pineapple once or twice each month at most. Pineapples do have health benefits like high vitamin C content. Still, the issue with pineapple is how it also creates some health concerns for dragons, such as high acidity, sugar, and phosphorus content. Only feed your pet the fruit itself, not the pineapple tops, pineapple skin, or pineapple core.
Nutritional Content of Pineapple
100 grams of fresh pineapple chunks contain the following nutritional values.
|Vitamin C.||47.8 milligrams|
|Vitamin A.||3 micrograms|
Pineapple is a good source of fiber. Fiber does excellent things for the digestive system.
If your beardie is ever constipated or mildly impacted, a little bit of pineapple could be an excellent remedy.
Pineapple is also a good source of Vitamin C, which boosts the immune system and allows bearded dragons to fight off potential diseases.
Calcium is a vital mineral for beardies.
It promotes bone strength, tooth health, muscle wellness, and body-tissue regeneration.
Vitamin A is good for vision and skin health.
Like most fruits, pieces of pineapple also have high water content.
It is a whopping 86% water.
Water content is critical because bearded dragons frequently do not drink water.
Because they are desert creatures, they don’t always recognize standing water as a hydration source.
Instead, they remain hydrated through soaking in water and eating moist foods.
Why Should Bearded Dragons Rarely Eat Pineapple?
Fruits should only make up a small part of your dragon’s complete diet.
Beardies mainly require dark, leafy greens and insects.
The table below shows the appropriate proportions of each food group.
|Lizard’s Age||Proportion of Insects in Diet||Proportion of Vegetation in Diet||Proportion of Fruit in Diet|
|Baby (0 to 5 months)||80%||20%||Minimal|
|Juvenile (5 to 17 months)||50%||45% to 50%||0% to 5%|
|Adult (17+ months)||20%||60% to 70%||10% to 20%|
Follow these guidelines to feed your beardie a complete and balanced diet.
Fruit is not a required part of a dragon’s diet.
However, an occasional fruity treat does provide variety and may make salads more appetizing!
Again, we can’t stress this enough: Don’t feed them pineapple tops, cores, or pineapple skins.
Health Concerns of Pineapples And Bearded Dragons
There are many reasons you should be quite cautious about feeding your beardie this tropical fruit.
Let’s take a look at a few of the main health concerns.
Low Calcium-To-Phosphorus Ratio (Ca:P)
If bearded dragons don’t have enough calcium absorption, their bodies can deteriorate when bones become rubbery or brittle.
Calcium deficiency may lead to Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
The keyword from the last paragraph is “absorb.”
There are substances, including phosphorus, which prevent calcium absorption.
If these substances (known as oxalates) are too prevalent in a beardie’s diet, it doesn’t matter how much calcium the dragon ingests.
The oxalates will prevent the body from utilizing calcium’s beneficial qualities.
Because of this, beardies require a high Ca:P ratio of at least 2:1.
There must be at least 2, if not 3, units of calcium (twice as much calcium as phosphorus or more).
Unfortunately, ripe pineapples have a low ratio of 1.6:1, making it a less-than-ideal-choice for a frequent food item.
High Sugar Content
Sugar can cause severe problems in beardies if it’s consumed too frequently or in large amounts.
Some examples of health issues which develop from high-sugar intake are:
- Diarrhea leading to dehydration
- Tooth decay
- Bone infections and inflammation
- Digestion complications
To avoid giving your dragon too much sugar in its diet, follow these guidelines:
|Lizard’s Age||Healthy Sugar Intake Per 100-Gram Meal|
|Baby (0 to 5 months)||Minimal; 0 to 1.0 grams|
|Juvenile (5 to 17 months)||0.4 to 1.2 grams|
|Adult (17+ months)||0.5 to 2.0 grams|
Notice, the older the animal gets, the more sugar its body can handle.
Like sugar, the acid found in fruit can disturb the natural balance of gut flora and lead to serious digestion problems.
This could also cause diarrhea.
Preparing Pineapple for Bearded Dragons
Once or twice each month, a couple of small slices is plenty of pineapple for your dragon.
Cut away the leaves and skin, cut the fruit into small pieces, and serve.
Or, squeeze a little fresh pineapple juice onto your beardie’s salad as a dressing.
Avoid feeding your dragon any other parts of the pineapple except for the ripe fruit.
Dispose of pineapple tops, pineapple skin, and the core.
There is usually extra sugar added into canned fruits, so canned pineapple should also be avoided.
But if you’re interested in using canned foods we have a post dedicated to feeding bearded dragons canned food that you’ll find helpful.
Other Safe Fruits For Bearded Dragons
In addition to pineapples, there are many other fruits safe to feed your pet dragon in small amounts.
- Apples (without the peel)
- Cherry (without pits)
- Dragon fruits
High-acid citrus fruits like lemons and limes are bad and need to be avoided.
The healthiest fruits are those with lower levels of citric acid and sugar.
Just remember, no fruit should ever be considered a staple of a bearded dragon’s diet.
Pineapples are a safe option as a “sometimes treat” for bearded dragons.
While the amounts of calcium content in pineapples are high, there are also high levels of oxalates which prevent calcium absorption.
Other concerns are the acidity and sugar levels in pineapple.
Be sure to provide a balanced diet for your beardie, which mainly includes vegetables and insects.
By doing so, your pet is much more likely to live a long and happy life!