As far as reptiles go, bearded dragons are relatively adventurous eaters. They’ve got a tendency to gobble down—or at least try—pretty much everything put in front of them.
But what about raisins? In the wild, bearded dragons are known to eat fruit. However, it’s normally fresh and not dried. Nevertheless, the question remains:
Can bearded dragons safely eat raisins?
Yes, bearded dragons can safely eat raisins without any fear of toxicity. Yet, that doesn’t necessarily mean that they should. As you will soon find out, raisins aren’t the greatest of foods for your beardie.
When consumed in mass quantities or very regularly, raisins can harm your lizard’s diet and health.
Nutritional Information for Raisins
When scoping out a new addition to your bearded dragon’s diet, you need to pay close attention to the nutritional content of that item—particularly protein content, fat, fiber, calcium, and the calcium to phosphorus ratio.
With regards to calcium, raisins have 62 mg of calcium and 98 mg of phosphorus per 100 grams of raisins. This is where one of the biggest issues lies when it comes to your pet snacking on this dried fruit.
Unhealthy Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
Bearded dragons—and other reptiles—need a high dosage of calcium each day. This helps to support their bone structures as they grow into mature creatures.
Calcium is also extremely important for gravid females to ensure that their eggs are strong enough to endure the laying process. Also, without a sufficient amount of calcium, female egg-layers will risk a major loss of calcium and become susceptible to many complications.
However, it’s not just about getting as much calcium as possible. You’ll need to keep track of how much phosphorus is entering your bearded dragon’s diet. Phosphorus effectively prevents calcium from being absorbed into their bodies.
That’s why the recommended ratio for calcium to phosphorus is 2:1—or 2 parts calcium to one part phosphorus. This will ensure that your bearded dragon can get the right amount of calcium they require. Please note that the recommended calcium to phosphorus ratio for a laying female is approximately 10:1.
But with raisins, you’ll notice that the ratio is completely flipped. There’s more phosphorus than calcium! This can be very detrimental to your lizard if fed to them in large quantities leading to problems such as metabolic bone disease.
High Sugar Content
Another downside to your bearded dragon eating raisins comes from their high sugar content. Raisins, like most dried fruits, have a huge concentration of sugar with around 65 grams of sugar per 100 grams!
High sugar content in a bearded dragon’s diet has been linked to a type of cancer in bearded dragons (neuroendocrine carcinoma).
Benefits to Your Bearded Dragon Eating Raisins
While raisins aren’t the best snack for your bearded dragon to chomp down on, there are a few health benefits to giving them a raisin every now and then.
Raisins contain a good amount of dietary fiber. If your bearded dragon is having bowel complications or another digestive issue, the fiber contained in a raisin can help get them back on track to being regular.
Just be sure to only give them one or two—not an entire meal’s worth.
How Often Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Raisins?
Although non-toxic and technically safe to eat, we don’t recommend feeding your bearded dragon raisins regularly. Their high sugar content and undesirable calcium to phosphorus ratio can lead to some serious complications down the road if they have them too regularly.
If you do want to toss your bearded dragon a raisin, we only recommend that you do so once a month at a maximum. There are plenty of other tasty snacks out there for your lizard that meets the criteria for them to live their best lives.
Featured Image Credit: Håkan Stigson, Pixabay