Isn’t it a bit hard to ignore the urge to put a small piece of apple in your beardie’s mouth when you’re having your own bite of the fruit? Well, we can surely relate to that. But can bearded dragons eat apples?
Bearded Dragons can eat apples. Apples are safe for bearded dragons to consume, but only in small amounts. These reptiles should not be fed apples on a regular basis; instead, they should be saved as a special treat. That’s because, as a primary source of nutrition for beardies, apples are too heavy in sugar and should not be fed very often.
But what else is stopping you from making apples another one of their regular foods? And does it contain no benefit at all for the reptile? Well, it’s time to know all of that.
4 Health Benefits of Feeding Apple to Bearded Dragons
Apples are safe for bearded dragons to consume as part of a balanced diet, but you shouldn’t rely on them for all of your reptile’s nutritional needs. After all, apples are good for beardies in moderation. But too much of the fruit might cause gastrointestinal problems as the sugar content is too high.
Nonetheless, here are some possible positive effects of apples that you can expect on your bearded dragon’s health.
One of the best things about apples is they are rich in vitamins and minerals. They’re filled with essential nutrients, including vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, and fibre, and you know how good they are at keeping beardies healthy.
Thanks to their high water content, apples are a great way to ensure that your bearded dragon is well-hydrated. As fresh water is essential for any reptile, feeding fruits with that kind of water content can surely help them meet their daily water needs.
3. Digestive Health
Apples’ high fibre content means they’re great for your reptile’s digestive system and regular bowel movements. So, if you’re asking for a fruit that’d be good for your lizard’s digestive system, then feel free to try apples. But don’t forget that too much fibre can induce diarrhea and other digestive difficulties in beardies.
4. Lower Oxalates
Apples are a better option than some other fruits and vegetables since they contain less oxalic acid. One of the lesser-known facts about Oxalates is, like phosphorus, they also got the ability to bond with calcium, which can lead to MDB or Metabolic Bone Disease and kidney stones.
How Much Apple Should You Feed a Bearded Dragon?
The one thing that you need to keep in mind before you start giving your beardie apples is moderation. If you’re asking for our advice, we’d say go for a weekly treat of a quarter to half an apple. But that’s going to depend on the size of your reptile.
Another option is to thinly slice some and serve it once every several days. The thing is, the digestive tract of these reptiles is not built to process fruit on a daily basis, whether it’s apples or any other. But that doesn’t mean they aren’t okay with tiny amounts of fruit after certain intervals.
By the way, just because you can’t give your lizard fruits on a daily basis, don’t fully deprive them of the food. Who knows? After chewing insects and greens for such a long time, they might actually appreciate a bit of change in their treats.
Why Making Apple Your Chameleon’s Daily Diet is a Bad Idea?
Probably you’ve already heard from the vet that fruits are good for beardies. Then what’s wrong with apples, right? Well, there are a whole bunch of reasons waiting for you below to tell you why you shouldn’t make it a daily meal for your lizard.
1. High Sugar Content
Apples contain a lot of sugar, which is bad news for bearded dragons if they eat them on a regular basis. And the consequences? Well, obesity and metabolic diseases are only two of the problems that can strike hard if your reptile consumes that kind of sugar.
2. Nutritional Imbalance
In case you didn’t know, apples can’t get your reptile the whole spectrum of nutrients that are necessary for keeping its health on point. This fruit basically has certain nutrients that bearded dragons can make useful, but they aren’t enough for them to survive.
3. Digestive Issues
Too much of apples can induce diarrhea and bloating in your bearded dragon, thanks to their delicate digestive systems. Apple seeds and cores, in particular, are notoriously tough to digest and have even been linked to gastrointestinal blockages or digestive obstructions.
4. Dental Issues
Bearded dragons’ tiny teeth aren’t well constructed enough to pull off the task of biting through tough or fibrous meals. Your beardie might even experience dental issues, including broken teeth and gum disease, if you feed it apples on a regular basis.
5. Reduced Appetite
You never know when your bearded dragons will start developing an aversion to more nutritional meals like leafy greens or vegetables due to you giving them sweet or high-calorie treats like apples too often. And once they lose their appetite, keeping them healthy is surely going to be a big challenge for you.
6. Low Calcium and High Phosphorus
You can’t call the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in apples anything but bad. Their usual ratio is 0.5:1; whereas the recommended range is between 1.5:1 and 2:1. In case you didn’t know, Calcium absorption becomes inhibited when excessive phosphorus binds with it.
So, if you start feeding apples to your dragon daily, it may get Metabolic Bone Disease (MDB) from a lack of calcium. On top of that, it can also lead to renal issues and kidney stones, which we bet you don’t want.
Human Foods For Bearded Dragons: Infographic
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Before We Go…..
Probably you’re wondering already, along with apples which ones of the other fruits you can try with your beardie. Well, we can probably help you out a little with that. Check out our blog on – What Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat? before you throw another piece of fruit at your lizard.