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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pineapple? What You Need to Know!
Feeding bearded dragons can be hard, especially if you don’t know which foods are safe for them to eat. Case in point: Can they eat pineapples? If you don’t know the answer, then you’re in the right place (spoiler alert: Yes, they can).
Of course, feeding your pet pineapples isn’t as simple as just dumping some fruit in their cage, so for more information on exactly how to share this treat with your lizard, read on.
Is Pineapple Safe for Bearded Dragons?
Pineapple is safe for bearded dragons to eat in that it’s not toxic for them. They won’t die if they have a few chunks of it.
However, that doesn’t mean that feeding it to them doesn’t pose any risks. For one thing, fruit is high in sugar, which can lead to obesity and a host of other health problems for lizards.
More worrisome, though, is the fact that pineapple has a large amount of oxalates, which are compounds that bind with calcium. This is problematic because once those oxalates start joining with the calcium inside your bearded dragon, it can impair their ability to absorb calcium moving forward.
If they eat too many oxalates, bearded dragons can develop something called metabolic bone disease, which can lead to deformities or even death.
All this means is that you need to be careful about how often you give pineapple to your bearded dragon. Limit it to a few times a month, and definitely don’t make it an everyday treat.
Are There Any Benefits to Feeding a Bearded Dragon Pineapple?
Yes. Pineapple is full of vitamins, minerals, and antioxidants, all of which will help your lizard stay healthy and happy.
There’s quite a bit of vitamin C in pineapple, and that can be important for proper immune system function. It also helps your bearded dragon absorb iron.
There’s a good amount of both calcium and potassium inside the fruit as well. The calcium will contribute to a strong skeletal system, and since it’s often difficult to get bearded dragons to consume enough calcium, any extra is welcome. However, there are diminishing returns involved, as they’ll also be ingesting oxalates with all that calcium.
Potassium is helpful for retaining moisture, so it will help your lizard avoid becoming dehydrated. Pineapple is generally full of water as well, making this a potent one-two punch.
What About Other Parts of the Pineapple?
Generally speaking, all you should ever give your dragon is the actual flesh of the pineapple. All the other parts of the fruit can be dangerous for your pet.
You might be tempted to let your lizard munch on pineapple leaves, since they’re leafy and green. However, they can be toxic to certain pets, and their coarse texture makes them difficult for lizards to digest properly.
Likewise, the skin of the pineapple is also rough and covered with thorns. If the thought of trying to pass a bunch of thorn-covered skin doesn’t really appeal to you, you can imagine how attractive it would be to your dragon.
The core of the pineapple is also extremely tough, and while your dragon might be able to digest it, it’s likely to cause problems. You shouldn’t risk it.
Does It Matter What Type of Pineapple You Feed Your Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons tend to do well with both fresh, canned, and frozen pineapple, so it shouldn’t matter in that regard (provided that you thaw out the frozen pineapple ahead of time, of course).
However, you should always go for fresh fruit whenever possible. Frozen pineapple has been known to throw off the delicate balance of a bearded dragon’s digestive system, leading to diarrhea and other minor ailments. Canned fruit, on the other hand, often loses a little nutritional value and may include preservatives and other questionable additives.
You should be careful about feeding them dried pineapple of any kind. Dried pineapple tends to be even higher in sugar than regular pineapple, so don’t give it to your pet. You should avoid giving them pineapple juice for this same reason.
What’s the Verdict? Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pineapples?
Pineapples are safe for bearded dragons to eat — in moderation. Save them as an occasional treat, as feeding pineapple to your lizard more than a few times a month could lead to severe health issues, like obesity or metabolic bone disease.
As long as you follow these simple guidelines, though, you can let your lizard enjoy fruit with a clear conscience.
Featured Image Credit: Pixabay
Quincy has been around mutts his entire life and has been writing about them for the past nine years and now consists of sharing a house with three spoiled pups who couldn’t hold down a job to save their lives. Quincy never intended to be a cat person. When his wife brought home a kitten one day, he told her she had one week to find it a new home. That week turned into 10 years (his wife moves very slowly), and that kitten turned into three (they got two more, the kitten didn’t self-replicate). After a decade of sharing his home with the dogs and three cats, one horrifying realization finally set in: oh God, he’s a cat person now too, isn’t he???