If you have some leftover pumpkin, is it safe for your bearded dragon to eat?
Are there any fruits or vegetables with medicinal qualities for bearded dragons?
Understanding which foods are good and bad for your bearded dragon is an essential part of pet ownership.
Your dragon’s health and well-being are directly affected by the decisions you make regarding its everyday diet and environment.
The nutritional qualities of all kinds of foods can play essential roles in bearded dragons’ care, so let’s take some time to learn more about pumpkin.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pumpkin Puree?
Pumpkin puree is technically safe, but it is a natural laxative and should only be given to bearded dragons for medicinal purposes. Raw pumpkin, however, is safe as a slightly more frequent treat with small servings, appropriate once or twice each month.
In addition to the pumpkin’s fruit, pumpkin leaves are also an acceptable snack on occasion.
However, the pumpkin seeds, stem, and rind should all be avoided, as they are a significant impaction risk.
As a rare snack, pumpkin will not harm your beardie.
If your dragon likes the taste of pumpkin, adding some to its salad bowl could prompt it to munch on some other veggies it’s been otherwise reluctant to eat.
Nutritional Contents Of Pumpkin
The following table shows the nutritional values of 100 grams of raw pumpkin.
|Vitamin C||9 milligrams|
|Vitamin A||426 micrograms|
The calcium-to-phosphorus (Ca:P) ratio is 0.48:1 — much too low for pumpkin to be a frequent food item.
Pumpkin contains a few essential vitamins and minerals, including fiber, vitamin A, vitamin C, and calcium.
However, it generally lacks much of what bearded dragons need in their daily diet requirements.
Potential Health Benefits Of Pumpkin For Bearded Dragons
While pumpkin shouldn’t be an everyday food, it still may offer a few nutritional benefits.
Pumpkin contains a high amount of fiber.
Fiber helps with proper food digestion and healthy, regular bowel movements.
This is the main reason the pureed food is a good option as a laxative.
This antioxidant helps break down unwanted materials in the body.
It also contributes to good eye health, visual acuity, healthy skin, and a strong immune system.
Vitamin C helps boost the immune system, which fends off potential disease and keeps your bearded dragon healthy.
An essential mineral for bearded dragons, calcium promotes bone, tooth, muscle, and tissue strength.
Because they are naturally desert animals, bearded dragons mostly stay hydrated through the food they eat.
They usually stick to only soaking in their water bowl; they rarely drink from it.
Therefore, foods with a lot of water are important to incorporate into beardies’ diets.
Possible Health Concerns Of Pumpkin For Bearded Dragons
Pumpkin’s low Ca:P ratio is the primary concern when it comes to pumpkin consumption.
Proper calcium levels are needed for strong bones.
However, merely consuming calcium is not enough.
Several other factors must be in place before a bearded dragon’s body can absorb and utilize the calcium.
Phosphorus prevents the absorption of calcium. It binds with the mineral and renders it inactive.
It doesn’t matter how much calcium a beardie ingests; if it also consumes high amounts of phosphorus, it will not make use of the calcium.
If a bearded dragon has a calcium deficiency, it can lead to severe health effects.
Namely, a lack of calcium can cause Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), an all-too-common illness which, in the very worst cases, could be fatal.
High Sugar Content
For every 100-gram meal, an adult bearded dragon should have 2.0 grams of sugar, at the very most.
Babies and juveniles must have even less. And at 2.8 grams per 100-gram meal, pumpkin exceeds the maximum intake.
Serving Pumpkin To Bearded Dragons
It is appropriate to serve beardies a couple of small squash pieces once or twice each month.
First, thoroughly wash the pumpkin, dry, and peel it.
Remove any seeds, then chop them into bite-sized pieces.
Serve a few of these pieces mixed in with greens or other vegetables.
Only serve your beardie raw pumpkin unless you’re feeding them puree to treat constipation specifically.
In this case, dilute the puree with water and serve 1 teaspoon (or 1/2 teaspoon for babies) every day until the constipation is alleviated.
Pumpkin leaves are also appropriate as an occasional treat.
Because the leaves have an even worse calcium-to-phosphorus ratio, however, make sure beardies are fed the leaves infrequently.
Because they are an impaction risk, avoid feeding your beardie pumpkin seeds and rind altogether.
Proper Bearded Dragon Diets
All beardies require specific proportions of insects and vegetation in their diet.
These proportions vary depending on the beardies’ age.
Use the following table as a guide and starting point for a proper bearded dragon diet.
|Bearded Dragon Age (months)||Insects||Vegetation||Fruits||Sugar per 100-gram meal|
|Babies (0 to 5)||80%||20%||None/minimal||0 to 1.0 grams|
|Juveniles (5 to 17)||50%||50%||10% of vegetation (5% of total diet)||0.4 to 1.2 grams|
|Adults (17+)||20%||80%||10% to 20% of vegetation (8% to 16% of total diet)||0.5 to 2.0 grams|
It shows the proportion of insect and vegetation consumption, as well as allowable fruit and sugar amounts.
Adult bearded dragons require much higher amounts of vegetation but can consume more fruits, while baby bearded dragons must consume a lot of insect protein and keep sugars to a minimum.
Pumpkin is a food with questionable nutritional value for bearded dragons, whether they are adults or babies.
A dragon can eat the raw fruit on an occasional basis but should always be fed its staple foods of insect and vegetation in proper proportions.
Besides the leaves, the other parts of the pumpkin (seeds, rind, and stem) are not safe foods for beardies to eat.
Puree should only be administered as a constipation treatment once it’s diluted with water.