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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Peaches? What You Need to Know!
If you are fond of peaches as most people are, there is no doubt you have wondered whether you can share some of this fruit with your beardie. Are peaches good for your bearded dragon?
The short answer is yes, bearded dragons can eat peaches. But to learn why, we first have to consider a beardie’s natural diet.
Bearded dragons are omnivorous, meaning that they obtain nutrients from both plant and animal sources. A beardie’s diet consists of roughly 80% insects and 20% vegetables and fruits as juveniles and 80% fruits/vegetables and 20% insects as adults.
This means that fruits are a staple part of a bearded dragon’s diet.
Are Peaches Good for Bearded Dragons?
Yes, peaches are good for beardies. In fact, you are advised to feed peaches to your bearded dragon occasionally. Peaches are laden with a host of vitamins and minerals that are very beneficial to these lizards.
For starters, peaches are an extremely hydrating fruit. In fact, up to 90% of a peach’s mass is water. When it comes to pet beardies, foods that have high water content are not only beneficial but also necessary. In the wild, bearded dragons hydrate by licking water droplets off leaves.
Peaches are also rich in fiber, which is crucial for optimal digestion, as well as preventing constipation. These fruits also contain relatively high amounts of vitamin A and C. Vitamin A is helpful for promoting better eyesight and eye health. Vitamin C, on the other hand, plays a critical role in building a robust immune system.
The peach fruit also contains a decent amount of potassium, which promotes a healthier nervous system, stabilizes blood pressure levels, and enhances water retention.
Peaches also allow you to add variety to your beardie’s diet, which makes them incredibly happy.
Nonetheless, despite their benefits, you should not feed peaches to your beardie frequently because it comes with certain risks.
How Often Should You Feed Peaches to a Bearded Dragon?
While peaches are laden with benefits, they also contain certain compounds that can prove to be detrimental to your bearded dragon’s health if consumed regularly.
For starters, peaches contain significant amounts of phosphorous and below-average levels of calcium. While phosphorous is not bad in and of itself, above-average levels of this element in a diet can be dangerous, as it binds to calcium, thus preventing the absorption of calcium. This results in insufficient levels of calcium in the body.
According to PetMD, low calcium levels contribute to metabolic bone disease (MBD). MBD is a condition characterized by the weakening of the skeletal structure, making the victim prone to fractures, tremors, and overall weakness. In addition to causing MBD, low levels of calcium can cause cardiac failure in bearded dragons.
What’s more, all reptiles, including your bearded dragon, are highly susceptible to MBD. And since an improper balance of calcium and phosphorous in a diet is what triggers this condition, you can see why it would be a bad idea to give peaches to your beardie regularly.
The presence of goitrogens in peaches is yet another reason why you should not feed this fruit to your pet on a regular basis. Goitrogens are compounds that suppress the rate of iodine absorption into the body, which compromises thyroid function. A malfunctioning thyroid causes hormonal imbalances among a host of other issues.
Therefore, to avoid those problems, do not give your beardie peaches more than once a week.
Should You Give Canned Peaches to a Bearded Dragon?
You are advised against feeding your bearded dragon canned peaches. This is because canned foods contain chemicals, such as preservatives, that can prove harmful to your pet’s health.
What About Dried Peaches?
Compared to canned peaches, dried peaches are arguably worse. Like all other dried fruits, dried peaches contain extremely high levels of sugar. This is because the drying process only extracts pure water, thus concentrating the previously dissolved sugar and calories into a much smaller package.
This means that the sugar content in even a tiny piece of dried peach can be too much for your beardie to handle. Too much sugar in a bearded dragon’s diet can result in problems such as:
- Obesity, as excess sugar is usually stored as fat
- Tooth decay
- Stomach problems
Therefore, do not feed dried peaches to your pet dragon.
Can You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Peach Fruit Skin?
The issue with the skin of a peach fruit is texture; it is simply too tough for your bearded dragon to chew, presenting a choking hazard. Remember, the reason you are advised to give only soft foods to bearded dragons comes from the fact that they have a poor chewing ability.
Moreover, you can never trust the farming practices used to grow your groceries, especially when it comes to the application of pesticides and other chemicals. Unfortunately, the skins tend to absorb most of these chemicals. Therefore desist from feeding fruit skins to your pets.
Chances are your bearded dragon thinks peaches are the next best thing after sliced bread. Nonetheless, despite their love for this fruit, you should practice moderation when feeding peaches to dragons.
Limit the number of times you give peaches to beardies to maximum once a week. Additionally, avoid dried and canned peaches due to their high chemical and sugar content. Therefore, only give fresh, ripe peaches to your bearded dragon.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
Nicole is the proud mom of Baby, a Burmese cat and Rosa, a New Zealand Huntaway. A Canadian expat, Nicole now lives on a lush forest property with her Kiwi husband in New Zealand. She has a strong love for all animals of all shapes and sizes (and particularly loves a good interspecies friendship) and wants to share her animal knowledge and other experts’ knowledge with pet lovers across the globe.