Last Updated: April 6, 2021
Bearded dragons eat a diverse diet consisting of many insects, fruits, and vegetables. The list of recommended foods for a bearded dragon is long, but many seemingly healthy foods shouldn’t be fed to your dragon, such as lettuce. This causes confusion for many when determining what they ought to feed their dragon.
Kiwi is a tasty green fruit that seems like a perfect treat for a pet dragon. Will your dragon eat kiwi? Almost certainly. They’ll love the sweet taste and would probably eat it daily if given the opportunity. The real question is whether it’s good for your dragon. Thankfully, kiwi can provide a host of benefits for your dragon, making it a great choice for an occasional treat. That said, you can cause some major adverse effects if you feed your dragon kiwi too often.
What Benefits can Kiwi Provide for Your Dragon?
Kiwi is packed full of nutrients, and many of them can provide a health boost for your bearded dragon. For instance, you’ll find loads of antioxidants in a kiwi, which are great for boosting the immune system, aiding digestion, and reducing inflammation. Further improving the immune system is a healthy dose of vitamin C.
Of course, vitamin C isn’t the only vitamin you’ll find in a kiwi. There are also vitamins E and K, plus healthy minerals such as zinc, calcium, and copper. Potassium is great for heart health and calcium helps to improve bone health.
You’ll also find some fiber in a kiwi, which is great for helping digestion. A small dose of protein helps provide some strength and energy, and that little bit of zinc can help with injury recovery.
It’s not just what a kiwi contains that makes it a good choice for your dragon; it’s also what’s missing. You won’t find any fat in a kiwi, which is great since fat in the diet can quickly lead to an overweight dragon. Even though kiwis are quite sweet, they’re low in sugar. Sugary or fatty foods can easily lead to obesity and tooth decay in dragons.
Negative Effects of Feeding Kiwi to Your Dragon
Since kiwis offer such a wide range of health benefits for your bearded dragon, you might be wondering why you’re only supposed to feed it to your dragon occasionally. Offering this treat too often can actually pose a risk for your dragon, despite all the health benefits that occasional feeding can provide.
Kiwis contain quite a bit of oxalic acid, which prevents calcium from being properly absorbed. This depletes the supply within your dragon’s body and can cause metabolic bone disease over time. Foods like kiwi that are high in oxalates should only be fed sparingly to avoid this deadly disease.
How Often Can Your Dragon Eat Kiwi?
Now, the problem we’re faced with is weighing the benefits and risks of feeding kiwi to your dragon. While we know it can provide many much-needed nutrients, overfeeding can cause detrimental health effects.
It all comes down to frequency. Treats like kiwi that are high in oxalates should be limited to a single feeding each month. This allows your dragon to have a varied diet that won’t cause them to get bored without risking problems like metabolic bone disease. Your dragon can still gain the health benefits that a kiwi can provide without any increased risk.
- Related read: Bearded Dragon Impaction: Signs, Causes, & Treatment
Feeding Your Dragon Kiwi
If you’re going to feed kiwi to your bearded dragon, there are a few tips you should follow to ensure you’re doing it safely.
- Only feed your dragon ripe kiwi.
- Wash the kiwi well prior to feeding.
- Don’t feed the peel to your dragon. Remove it completely and only provide the green fruit to your dragon.
- Cut the fruit into small pieces that are easy to digest and won’t choke your dragon.
- The seeds are safe for your dragon, though they might come out whole.
If given the choice, your dragon might opt to eat tasty fruits like kiwi on a daily basis. But as you now know, this wouldn’t be in its best interest. Overfeeding of foods like kiwi that contain high amounts of oxalates can be detrimental for your dragon. Still, occasional feeding can provide a range of useful benefits, including reduced inflammation, improved immune system function, and better digestion. Just be sure to limit feeding to no more than once a month and your dragon will be fine.
Featured Image: Pranjall Kumar, Unsplash
An avid outdoorsman, Dean spends much of his time adventuring through the diverse terrain of the southwest United States with his closest companion, his dog, Gohan. He gains experience on a full-time journey of exploration. For Dean, few passions lie closer to his heart than learning. An apt researcher and reader, he loves to investigate interesting topics such as history, economics, relationships, pets, politics, and more.