A bearded dragon needs the right food to live a healthy life. Although many people might think that lizards are straightforward predators, they are actually omnivores that need a varied diet.
What kind of treats can you give your bearded dragon? Can bearded dragons eat apples? Yes, they can. However, any apples must only be small additions to a healthy diet. This fruit presents a few dangers to dragons if you do not serve it the right way.
In this article, we talk about apples in a bearded dragon’s diet and the proper way to serve them. We also discuss the nutritional benefits of apples for bearded dragons and other kinds of fruits that you can safely feed them.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apples?
Bearded dragons can eat apples, but they are best in small amounts. Since apples contain so much fructose, too much can lead to diarrhea for such a little lizard. It is best to break up the apple and serve it to them only a couple of times a week.
It might be useful to note that you can also give your bearded dragon apple juice. You need to dilute it into their water so it doesn’t contain too much sugar for them to drink safely. Dragons love the smell of the sweet juice in their bowl. This can helps train them to drink water in a domesticated environment. In the wild, lizards often get their water from the things that they eat, so pets will need to learn how to drink it in an enclosure instead.
How to Serve Apples to Bearded Dragons
Serving apples to your bearded dragon is somewhat involved. You should start by peeling the apple. The peel is too hard for them to thoroughly chew before swallowing, since lizards don’t have typical teeth.
If the apple is not peeled correctly, you could risk the tasty snack leading to impaction in your dragon’s digestive system.
Once the apple is peeled, cut it into small cubes. Big pieces can be a potential choking hazard for these little guys. Think “bite-sized” as you chop.
Finally, check the apple to ensure that there are no seeds in the chunks that you create. Although apple pieces are likely to dissolve without presenting too much of a hazard, lizards cannot chew the seeds, and they will get stuck in their throat.
Also, apple seeds contain trace amounts of cyanide. In fact, many different types of fruit seeds share this characteristic. Even minuscule amounts of this poison can damage your small lizard’s internal functions.
Benefits of Apples for Bearded Dragons
While all these potential dangers associated with apples might be too off-putting, your lizard will probably appreciate it if they get a juicy piece of apple. They love the taste and benefit from the vitamins and minerals that apples contain.
Apples are made of about 86% water. For lizards in a desert-like enclosure, as they should be, they need to get enough water. If your lizard is having trouble learning how to drink water from a bowl, feeding them apples can help get water into their systems.
Apples also contain protein and carbohydrates. Typically, an entire apple has around 20 grams of sugar and 3 grams of fiber. Feeding your dragon even a small portion of this means they get needed dietary fibers in their system and extra protein.
That said, the presence of so many carbs and sugars naturally occurring in the apple can be dangerous for your lizard’s overall health, although not toxic. If you feed them apples too often, it can lead to health problems and unhealthy weight gain.
Apples also contain vitamin C, which helps with a lizard’s digestive system and contributes to healing in the body.
Other Fruits You Can Feed a Bearded Dragon
Apples aren’t the only fruit that your bearded dragon can safely eat. Other fruits that you can give them include:
Always make sure to clean the fruit before feeding it to your bearded dragon. A little bit of dirt won’t hurt them, but many fruits and vegetables mass-produced today are treated with harmful chemicals. They have been approved for human consumption, but a bearded dragon is much smaller and can suffer from a much smaller dose.
Most fruit varieties will be safe for your dragon to eat, but you should always check first. Even if the internet says that it is okay, start by feeding them a small piece and monitoring them for a day before giving them more.
Bearded dragons can eat apples, among many other types of fruit. When serving an apple to your dragon, ensure that no seeds and none of the peel are on it. It is essential to give them bite-sized chunks to prevent choking.
Your dragon will appreciate such a sweet treat, and it will help them take in more water.
Featured Image: congerdesign, Pixabay