Are watermelons safe for bearded dragons to eat?
Are fruits a healthy part of a bearded dragon’s diet?
Bearded dragons have some specific nutritional requirements.
Bearded dragon owners need to learn about the best foods to feed their pets to give them a well-balanced diet and keep them healthy.
Watermelon may seem like the perfect, healthy food, but there are some things you need to watch out for.
In this article, we’ll cover the place of watermelon in a healthy bearded dragon diet.
Table of Contents
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon?
Bearded dragons can eat watermelon, but not as a staple food. Feeding your bearded dragon watermelon about once a month will give them a sweet and tasty treat without being detrimental to their health.
Nutritional Value Of Watermelon
Watermelon contains several nutrients good for bearded dragon wellbeing.
However, there are also concerns about the makeup of watermelon.
This table outlines some of the key contents of the fruit.
|Nutrient||Amount in 100 grams of watermelon|
|Vitamin C||8.1 milligrams|
|Vitamin A||28 micrograms|
Watermelon also contains essential nutrients like copper, potassium, magnesium, and beta carotene in small amounts.
Bearded dragons need vitamin A, as long as they don’t get too much of it.
Vitamin C benefits essential health functions like:
- Skin health
- Immune system effectiveness
- Digestion health
Magnesium is good for maintaining a healthy metabolism and blood pressure.
Calcium is an essential mineral for bearded dragons. It benefits:
- Bone and tooth health
- Muscle strength
- Body tissue strength
Beardies in captivity even need daily mineral supplements to get appropriate baseline levels of calcium.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon?
From time to time, bearded dragons can eat watermelon.
Feed small amounts of this sweet fruit to your dragon once a month and no more than three times in a month.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Have Watermelon Every Day?
There are many health concerns stemming from bearded dragons overeating watermelon or too much of any other fruit.
- High sugar content
- Amount of calcium levels versus phosphorus levels
- High water content
Fruit isn’t a natural part of a bearded dragon diet.
This is why it’s important only to make it a small part of their regular diet.
High Sugar Content
The high sugar content of fruit is a main cause for health issues.
High levels of sugar can cause beardies to experience:
- Tooth decay
- Digestive issues
- Overfermentation in stomach
Baby bearded dragons can take in less sugar than adult bearded dragons can.
Refer to this table for safe amounts of sugar for bearded dragons.
|Age (months)||Safe amount of sugar per 100-gram meal|
|Baby bearded dragons (0 to 5)||Less is best. Maximum of 1.0 gram.|
|Juvenile dragons (5 to 17)||0.4 – 1.2 grams|
|Adult dragons (17+)||0.5 – 2.0 grams|
Bearded dragons do like the sweet taste of watermelon, so they’ll eat a lot of it if it’s given to them.
As an owner, it’s your job to feed them appropriate amounts of sugary snacks.
All lizards, including bearded dragons, require high amounts of calcium.
To use calcium, they also need vitamin D, which gives them the ability to absorb the mineral in the first place.
They also need low levels of phosphorus in their bodies.
Phosphorus prevents calcium absorption in bearded dragons by binding with calcium and rendering it inactive.
This can lead to calcium depletion, which can have serious health consequences for bearded dragons.
The best foods for bearded dragons have a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio between 2:1 and 3:1.
A 3:1 ratio would mean the food contains three times as much calcium as it does phosphorus.
Watermelon, however, contains a disproportionate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 1:1.6.
It has a high phosphorus content compared to calcium.
Watermelon also contains oxalates, which behave similarly to phosphorus.
They prevent bearded dragons from absorbing calcium.
Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
MBD is an all-too-common disease in bearded dragons, resulting from calcium deficiencies.
Your dragon may not be absorbing calcium for the following reasons:
- Insufficient calcium in the diet
- Too much phosphorus in the diet
- Insufficient vitamin D3 levels because of incorrect diet or incorrect enclosure lighting
- Other diseases affecting calcium absorption
MBD is especially common in younger bearded dragons.
Bearded dragons can become overhydrated if they overeat fruit.
This, in turn, can lead to diarrhea, which can cause dehydration.
A diet with consistently too much fruit will not properly keep a bearded dragon hydrated, preventing it from retaining correct amounts of water in its body.
How Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon?
If you want to feed watermelon to your beardie, the first step is to find the best fruit.
Select a ripe melon.
An organic, seedless watermelon is best.
Wash the fruit thoroughly to remove any chemicals on the watermelon rind.
Cut the fruit away from the watermelon rind.
Then, chop the watermelon into bite-sized pieces.
Only give bearded dragons a couple of small pieces of watermelon in a serving.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon Seeds?
Watermelon seeds are a choking hazard for bearded dragons.
It’s best to remove them before feeding your beardie.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon Rind?
Technically, beardies can eat watermelon rind.
However, they won’t like the taste as much as they enjoy the sweet fruit.
If you feed the rind to your beardie, make sure you wash the fruit to get rid of any chemicals.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Watermelon Juice?
Concentrated juice is much too high in sugar for bearded dragons.
The natural juice from the fruit is good in small amounts.
Sprinkle a bit over the salad in your beardie’s food dish to encourage it to eat its veggies!
All fruits should not be considered part of a staple diet for bearded dragons.
Beardies require mostly vegetables and insects, with a diet high in calcium and low in phosphorus.
However, watermelon is fine as an occasional sweet treat.
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