Yes, bearded dragons can eat apples. They add variety to the lizard’s diet while giving it essential nutrients necessary for a healthy life. Apples should, however, be given sparingly, ideally once a week. Bearded dragons do not desperately need fruits in their diet, so the intake of fruits should be kept minimal. In addition, apples have a lot of sugar which can cause digestive problems, so you need to give it in moderation.
Bearded dragons naturally live in the wild. The wild environment does not have apples, and as such, beardies only encounter these fruits in captivity.
Your beardie may or may not like apples, and you need to find effective ways of introducing the fruit to them. Ensure to thoroughly wash the apples, peel them and remove the seeds before giving them to your bearded dragon.
Benefits of Apples for Bearded Dragons
Now that we know that beardie’ can eat apples, let’s have an in-depth look at the nutritional value and benefits of adding fruits to the bearded dragon’s diet.
Apples Nutritional Value
|Name||Content per 100 g of apples|
|Vitamin K||5.6 mcg|
|Iron, Fe||0.07 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||5.1 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||10 mg|
|Sodium, Na||<1 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.02 mg|
Apple’s Nutritional Benefits for Beardie’s
Bearded dragons need to remain hydrated to maintain normal body functions and avoid eye problems such as sunken eyes. Water aids with their digestion and keeps their body systems functioning at optimal.
Apples have high water content. They are thus ideal in helping the pet stay hydrated and avoid dehydration-related health problems. It is also good to provide the lizard with clean and fresh drinking water that is accessible all the time.
2. Plenty of Vitamin C
Apples have Vitamin C, which is vital to a bearded dragon. The vitamin content in the apples helps supplement that produced by the beardie’s body and meet the necessary nutritional requirements. It is a powerful antioxidant that helps remove free radicals. It enables the reptile to avoid oxidative stress that significantly affects its overall quality of life and health.
3. Source of Iron
Apple treats help boost the iron levels in your beardie’s body. Although the lizard gets most of the iron from iron-rich green vegetables such as broccoli and kales, apples are also a reliable source of supplementing this.
Iron helps with blood production as the body uses it to produce hemoglobin and myoglobin. It also helps with the transportation of oxygen into the bloodstream from the lungs. As such, it is an essential mineral for a bearded dragon.
4. Source of Potassium
The fruit also has minerals such as potassium that keep the body functioning optimally. Potassium is a vital electrolyte that ensures that the nervous system works effectively. It also regulates the system’s functioning and how it interacts with other muscle functions.
Another benefit of potassium is that it aids in iron uptake by the body. It also helps promote a healthy heart and facilitates regular heart rate.
Apples are a good source of potassium, and giving it to your beardie helps prevent potassium deficiency problems such as severe motor function dysfunction.
5. Rich In Fiber
Apples have high fiber content. It helps with digestion and also prevents constipation while improving the beardie’s gut motility. In addition, the fiber makes the beardies feel full, thus preventing overeating leading to obesity.
6. Low In Oxalates
The amounts of oxalates in any food you give a beardie is a major concern. Oxalates bind calcium and potentially hinder its absorption by the beardie. Calcium is a vital mineral for these reptiles. Besides providing the bearded dragon with calcium-rich foods, you should give it supplements to ensure that it gets the required calcium levels.
Apples are low in oxalates, making them a safe choice in terms of food choices that do not interfere with your bearded dragon’s calcium absorption.
Disadvantages of Apples For Bearded Dragon
Apples have several benefits to beardies. However, they also have some disadvantages, which is why they should be given sparingly to the lizard lest the benefits outweigh the drawbacks. Here are the main disadvantages of apples for bearded dragons.
1. Low Calcium: Phosphorus Ratio
Phosphorus plays a role in a beardie’s body. However, as with oxalates, it too can bind with calcium limiting the amounts of calcium absorbed by the body. In cases where this results in calcium deficiency, your beardie is at the risk of developing kidney stones and metabolic bone disease.
A ratio of between 1.5:1 and 2:1 is recommended as the bare minimum. The calcium to phosphorus ratio in apples is 0.5:1, which is significantly low. If not supplemented with calcium-rich foods and supplements, apples can cause calcium deficiency in a bearded dragon.
2. High In Sugar
Apples are sweet and rich in sugar. Bearded dragon’s digestive system cannot effectively handle high sugar content, leading to stomach problems. In addition, high sugar content can lead to diabetes, tooth decay, or even obesity in the beardie, whose effects may include difficulty in walking and kidney problems.
High sugar is the main reason why you should not feed your beardies with apples often. In extremely high sugar intake cases, the lizard might suffer from heart failure leading to death.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Green Apples?
Yes, bearded dragon can eat green apples. They are more nutritious than all other apple varieties. Green apples are richer in fiber, iron, protein, and potassium.
The other common type of apple is the red apple, which is equally okay to give to the bearded dragon. As long as you give them sparingly, both green and red apples are okay.
Are Apples Good For Bearded Dragons?
Yes, apples are good for bearded dragons, but you should practice moderation. The fruit provides the beardie with hydration, iron, potassium and is low in oxalates. However, its high sugar content is detrimental to the beardie and, when taken in plenty, can lead to digestive problems, obesity, tooth decay, and heart failure in severe cases.
How Much Apple Can A Bearded Dragon Eat?
A beardie can eat as much apple as it is provided with. It is up to you to limit the amounts you give the pet to prevent it from overfeeding on the high-sugar fruit.
How Much Apples Should I Give My Bearded Dragon?
Beardies can’t eat apples as humans do. The most effective way is peeling the fruit, removing the seeds, and chopping them into small pieces. It is also essential that you thoroughly wash the apples are remove any toxins that might be present.
If you are giving it for the first time, you need to closely monitor the pet and ensure that the sizes are small enough and it doesn’t struggle to swallow.
It is best to give them as a treat or together with another food whose taste the bearded dragon is already familiar with.
Peeling the apples makes them softer and easier for the beardie to chew and swallow. Apple peels might also cause constipation because of their hard texture.
Another reason why you must peel the apples is that they may contain harmful chemicals such as pesticide residues or chemical preservatives meant to keep them fresh for longer.
Beardies cant digest seeds; you must remove them, including any core pieces or stem. The reptile can’t chew them because of the tough skin.
Seeds can lead to blockage in the lizard’s digestive tract leading to death if no immediate action is taken. Seeds also contain cyanide, which, although minimal, is still toxic to a bearded dragon.
What Fruit Is Best For Bearded Dragons?
Fruits play an essential role in a bearded dragon’s diet. They provide the lizard with minerals, vitamins, and other essential nutrients that might not be available in the other foods in its diet. Even so, fruit should act as a treat and not a staple part of their diet. Remember always to wash them first, chop them and serve them raw.
Here are some of the best fruits for bearded dragons.
Strawberries are ideal for beardies thanks to their rich folate, vitamin C, potassium, and manganate content. However, they are high in oxalates, and you should give them to the beardie sparingly.
Blackberries are packed with Vitamin C and fiber, and as we have seen, both are vital in a bearded dragon’s diet. In addition, their seeds are pretty tiny, and there is no risk of impaction or choking; they easily pass through the lizard’s digestive system.
They have high Vitamins K, A, C, and E levels. In addition, mangoes are loaded with potassium and zinc besides fiber and folate. All these nutrients make them a good choice for a beardie. There is little to worry about calcium absorption as mangoes are low in oxalic acid. Their calcium to phosphorus ratio is also good.
As with apples, you should peel the mangoes and chop them before giving them to your bearded dragon. That the fruit is quite affordable is a plus.
Cantaloupes have potassium, fiber, Vitamins C and A. Even though cantaloupes are some of the best fruits for a bearded dragon, they are acidic and thus should be given less frequently. Remember to remove the skin and seeds to ensure that your pet beardie is safe.
Some of the other ideal fruits for a bearded dragon include papaya, raspberries, and pears.
Other fruits are safe to include in beardie’s diet but only in moderation. Some are high in sugar oxalates or have low calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Giving them in moderation helps prevent the beardie from suffering from potential illnesses caused by the above properties. Even so, they still have beneficial nutrients, which is why you should still consider giving them to the beardie.
Toxic Fruits for a Bearded Dragon
Citrus fruits such as grapefruits, oranges, and lemons should not be given to the pet. They can cause diarrhea and ingestion due to the high acidic content. In addition, most citrus fruits have high levels of oxalic acid, which affects the lizard’s calcium absorption into the bloodstream.
Another reason why citrus fruits are harmful to bearded dragons is that they have low calcium to phosphorus ratio, which can cause metabolic bone disease.
Avocados are also not suitable for these reptiles because they are rich in oxalates. They also have persin, which is harmful to bearded dragons, although non-toxic to humans. Persin is a toxin that eliminates fungi.
Another toxic fruit to a beardie is the eggplant, also known as aubergine. It is very acidic and can cause stomach upsets besides being dehydrated.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apples Every Day?
The question of how often you can feed a bearded dragon with apples is pretty common among pet owners. You want to give the pet the fruit for the various benefits but still want to be sure that you are not endangering its health by doing so. Worry not; we are here to answer you.
A bearded dragon’s dietary needs vary significantly. It depends on their age, size, and whether they are currently ill or suffering from a particular condition. Baby beardies feed on about 80% proteins and 20% plant matter. Therefore, the main dietary focus for them is a carnivorous-based diet.
On the other hand, adult beardies feed plenty of plant-based foods. Within this large portion, there is more room for fruits than in the 20% part of a baby beardie’s diet.
It is not ideal to give both baby and mature bearded dragons apples daily. They contain a lot of sugar, and this can cause stomach upsets. To be safe, give the beardie a few slices of apple once every week. The quantities and feed frequency should be lower for the babies.
It is evident that giving apples to a bearded dragon has advantages and disadvantages. The good thing is that when given in moderation, the benefits outweigh the disadvantages. Apples make a good fruit choice for the beardie, and its intake should be limited to once a week or less, especially for juveniles.
Ensure to prepare them well to avoid the risk of choking for your beardie. Whether you opt for green or red apples, it will serve as a good treat for your beloved bearded dragon and help you keep its quality of life at optimal.