Even though a bearded dragon’s diet is primarily protein-based, it also needs to eat the right amount of fruits and veggies to complement its insect-heavy meals. Wild bearded dragons are opportunistic omnivores, and as such, there’s very little they don’t like to eat. But do bell peppers have a place in this reptile’s diet?
Bearded dragons can eat bell peppers. However, their preferences toward the fruit can vary from one individual to another. Moreover, bearded dragons should consume bell peppers a few times a week at most.
Although bell peppers can be safely included in a bearded dragon’s diet, it’s best to keep a few things in mind before introducing this fruit to your pet’s daily meals.
In this article, I’ll explain why beardies shouldn’t indulge in a crispy, fresh bell pepper every day, even if they prefer it. I’ll also delve into whether and how bearded dragons should be consuming other pepper varieties.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Bell Peppers Every Day?
Given that bearded dragons can eat almost anything as long as it’s portioned to a reasonable size, it’s hard to imagine why bell peppers — mild-tasting and vitamin-rich fruits — would need to be limited.
After all, bell peppers don’t have a reputation as being toxic or harmful to reptiles, so why can’t bearded dragons eat bell peppers more than a few times a week?
Bearded dragons cannot eat bell peppers every day because they are not nutritionally rich enough to sustain an average bearded dragon’s dietary needs. Bearded dragons require a highly varied macro and micronutrient profile, and bell peppers are not the most efficient dietary source in this context.
Therefore, bell peppers won’t necessarily be “bad” or damaging to your bearded dragon. However, they can lead to micronutrient deficiencies if consumed long-term. Here’s why.
Fruits and veggies already comprise a tiny percentage of a bearded dragon’s diet (20-25%) as the species consumes mainly insect-based protein. However, they still have a vast range of dietary needs regarding their micronutrient intake.
Therefore, the few fruits and veggies that do make it into their diet should be as packed with vitamins and minerals as possible to make sure your pet isn’t missing out on any essential micronutrients.
When feeding your bearded dragon bell peppers, you risk maxing out their daily caloric needs (as far as fruits and veggies go) with little to no real nutritional value to show for it.
Therefore, even though bell peppers won’t directly harm a beardie’s health, they can still leave your pet malnourished if consumed in excess, causing more nutritionally-rich options to be left out of its diet.
That said, if your bearded dragon seems to enjoy the taste and aroma of bell peppers, there’s no reason you should leave them out of its diet altogether.
But when building your pet’s weekly or monthly feeding plan, make sure to treat the fruit as a treat rather than a regular meal component.
It’s important to note that bell peppers aren’t devoid of nutritional value altogether. Unlike lettuce or spinach (which are all water and contain little to no vitamins and minerals), bell peppers do provide some crucial nutrients to your pet. These include, but aren’t limited to:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K1
- Vitamin C
You might be wondering why you should bother feeding your bearded dragon bell peppers at all. Firstly, many of them enjoy the crisp, refreshing taste of the fruit. Secondly, variety is one of the most important qualities in a healthy diet.
Its a good idea as bearded dragon owners to have a background about these sweet peppers including orange bell peppers and other veggies.
In the wild, bearded dragons like to consume almost anything they can get their claws on. This feeding behavior should be encouraged even while in captivity, as it allows your pet to obtain a wide variety of vitamins and minerals that it needs.
Although bearded dragons are omnivores (meaning they can literally eat anything considered edible for their species), there are foods more suitable for them than others. In the case of these reptiles, you should give them a steady diet of insects and other nutritionally rich plants on top of peppers.
Like humans, however, bearded dragons should have a balanced diet. While insects are pretty protein-rich, you shouldn’t feed bell peppers in excess as well. Give them an even amount of insects, plants, and (yes) bell peppers so their tummies will stay happy and healthy.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Green Bell Peppers?
You’ve probably noticed I’ve been using “bell pepper” as an umbrella term. There are several varieties of the fruit, each of which has its unique nutritional value. Take green bell peppers, for example. They’re not a distinct species of pepper; rather, they’re just an underripe yellow or red pepper.
Bearded dragons can eat green peppers, but they should not do so in excess. Bell peppers, in general, are already fairly low in micronutrients, and green peppers are an underripe version of the usual red and yellow peppers. As a result, they are even lower in minerals and vitamins.
As far as nutrient efficiency goes, green peppers score even lower than their red and yellow counterparts. I highly recommend you avoid feeding bell peppers to your bearded dragon altogether, as you’ll be filling its already small fruit and veggie diet with water, fiber, and not nearly enough vitamins and minerals.
But if you have to (or your pet really, really likes green peppers for some reason), try to keep green pepper consumption to a minimum — let’s say, once a week or even less. If your pet seems to favor green peppers, make sure to feed them other vital foods as well.
On the bright side, bell peppers are an excellent way to introduce additional hydration into your beardie’s diet, so it’s not a complete dealbreaker. That said, I still highly recommend fully ripe bell pepper varieties, as they’ll provide a more varied and richer range of micronutrients than their green counterparts.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Peppers?
Bearded dragons can eat most types of peppers, though bell peppers are the safest and most nutritionally rich alternative. Still, feeding your bearded dragon any type of pepper should be considered an occasional treat, as peppers are not ideal to include in its daily diet.
When it comes to other pepper varieties, it’s best to proceed with caution. For example, while jalapeños can be safely included in a bearded dragons diet once every three or four weeks, I recommend you avoid spicier peppers as much as possible.
While most peppers aren’t inherently toxic or damaging, they can still cause intense digestive issues that may lead to life-threatening illnesses if consumed in excess.
Additionally, as I’ve explained several times already, these fruits provide little to no actual nutritional value to your beardie.
It’s essential to keep in mind your bearded dragon’s preferences when introducing a new type of food to its diet.
You’ll rarely find a fruit or veggie that’s beloved by all individuals of the beardie species (though some are admittedly more popular than others).
Therefore, if your bearded dragon hasn’t shown any particular interest in peppers of any kind, there’s no reason you should include them in its diet at all.
Instead, stick to more nutritionally rich fruits and veggies, including (but not limited to):
Check this post to learn more about What Do Bearded Dragons Eat? – Ultimate Guide
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Red Peppers?
Bearded dragons can eat red peppers. They are one of the best pepper varieties to feed a beardie, as they are relatively rich in vitamins and minerals. However, red peppers are still not an ideal source of nutrition for bearded dragons and should not be fed to them more than a few times a week.
Red bell peppers are the fully ripened version of the bell pepper. As such, they’re significantly richer in vitamins and minerals than their green and yellow counterparts. They contain the following essential nutrients:
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin K1
- Vitamin C
However, as with any other pepper variety, red bell peppers should be considered a treat for your bearded dragon and shouldn’t be included regularly in their meals and snacks.
Otherwise, not only will they take up valuable caloric space and leave more nutritionally rich fruits and veggies out of your bearded dragons diet, but the high water content can also lead to digestive problems.
Therefore, keep red bell pepper consumption under the recommended 3-4 times a week if you want to err on the side of caution.
If your pet enjoys them, you could include them a bit more often. Just remember to keep the portions small and supplement them with other micronutrient-packed foods.
So, can bearded dragons eat bell peppers? Yes, bearded dragons can eat all types of bell peppers in moderation (red bell peppers, green bell peppers, orange pepper).
While some beardies seem to thoroughly enjoy the smell, taste, and texture of green bell pepper, the fruits shouldn’t be included more than a few times a week in their diet.
Bell peppers aren’t the most mineral and vitamin-rich option, and bearded dragons need to fulfill a wide range of micronutrient needs within a very small percentage of their caloric intake.
As a result, you’ll want to include more nutritionally varied fruits and veggies in your bearded dragon’s daily diet.