One of the questions bearded dragon owners often time ask themselves is: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apples? Here’s a SHORT answer for those of you in a hurry:
Bearded Dragons can eat Apples and many other fruits but only occasionally. You will have to REMOVE the seeds and ensure the apple is PEELED, WASHED and CUT into small pieces before serving it to your Dragon. It is advisable to ONLY feed your bearded dragon apples as a treat and nothing more.
In this article, I am going to do a DEEP dive into the topic and provide you with everything you need to know about bearded dragon’s diet. Specifically, is it a good idea to feed them apples, or is it NOT?
Nutrition in Apples
Here’s a table with the Nutrition Facts for one RAW, UNPEELED, MEDIUM-SIZED Apple [100 Grams]:
|Nutrients in Apples||Amount|
|Vitamin C||4.6 mGrams/100 Grams|
|Vitamin A||54 IU|
Source: USDA National Nutrient Database
In fact, here are the most important NUTRIENTS present in apples:
Apples are very RICH in fiber. For example, a medium-sized apple [100 Grams] contains on average about 3 to 4 grams of this nutrient, which represents about 17% to 22% of the Reference Daily Intake [RDI]. Of course, that only applies to humans, but you got the idea.
Among other things, fiber may help LOWER blood sugar levels and BOOST your beardie’s digestive system.
However, apples also contain Vitamin C, Antioxidants, Phosphorous, Calcium, Sugar, and many other great things that help keep them healthy and happy.
You should keep an eye on the Ca:P Ratio however, as this is one of the main reasons dragons suffer from Metabolic Bone Disease [MBD].
Apples are 86% water. Proper hydration is directly linked to cell regeneration and overall health, therefore, feeding your beardie apples is a good thing as long as you do it with caution.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apples?
Bearded dragons can eat apples occasionally. In fact, apples are an outstanding TREAT for your bearded dragon. Generally, this applies to most fruits, especially to apples which have a very HIGH water content [86%].
While apples are packed with a variety of vitamins and minerals, are safe to eat and will benefit your dragon in many ways, you need to make sure the apple is peeled and cut into small pieces prior to feeding.
Apples are also RICH in natural sugar, meaning that if you overboard may cause nothing but harm to your beloved pet lizard.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Apples?
Baby bearded dragons can eat apples. Baby bearded dragons need 80% animal protein and only 20% plant protein, so moderate feeding is recommended here as well.
Making sure you don’t overfeed apples or any other fruit to your bearded dragon is essential, especially if your dragon is under 6 months old. They should take their plant protein mostly from veggies.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apple Seeds?
Bearded dragons CAN’T eat apple seeds! Due to their inability to chew properly, they can pose a choking hazard, which is why bearded dragons and most small sized reptiles, regardless of their age, [Babies or Adults] should only be fed SEEDLESS apples.
Additionally, studies have shown that apple seeds contain a plant compound known as amygdalin, which may be toxic for beardies.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apple Tree Leaves?
Bearded dragons CAN eat apple tree leaves, but…apple tree leaves and branches contain a chemical which further develops into cyanide during digestion. So if I were you, I would play this one the SAFE way and keep my bearded dragon away from apple tree leaves.
Still, if you choose to do it, make sure you CLEAN them properly. Apple tree leaves are usually treated with chemicals and pesticides. You’ll want to remove them prior to feeding.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Green Apples?
Bearded dragons CAN eat green apples. Not only that green apples are packed with plenty of vitamins and minerals as well, but they are also less sweet than other types of apples.
However, they are tart and acidic as well, meaning you’ll have to keep an eye on your little baby and make sure there are no negative effects. Carefully observe its behavior after feeding green apples and make sure he reacts well.
One apple a day keeps the Doctor away. That may, indeed, apply to HUMANS, but how about DRAGONS? Well. They’re GREAT for dragons as well, but not on a DAILY basis.
Improves Digestion: Apples are a RICH source of fibers. To be more specific, apples are a RICH source of PECTIN, which is a soluble fiber that can help your dragon to resolve [avoid] constipation and diarrhea. Additionally, apples can decrease the risk of intestinal infections or inflammation.
The pectin found in apples helps increase stool bulk and movement through your digestive tract.HealthLine.com
Proper Bone Development: Vitamin D3 and Calcium are probably the most IMPORTANT vitamins bearded dragons need. Vitamin D3 and Calcium added together, are ESSENTIAL for the proper development of bones.
These two vitamins are also very important and can make a real difference for gravid females. Experts recommend that Calcium and Vitamin D3 should be given simultaneously since dragons can’t metabolize calcium if they lack proper intake of Vitamin D3.
In captivity, dragons need a FULL-SPECTRUM light to mimic the ultraviolet rays they benefit from the sun when in the wild. BABY dragons need a small but DAILY dose of both Calcium and Vitamin D3 to ensure proper growth and good bone development.
Decreases Chances of Tail Rot Disease: In fact, this is a COMMON issue bearded dragon owners have to deal with. There are several reasons dragons may suffer from this condition such as poor husbandry conditions, a tail injury, or insufficient Calcium.
Overhydration: Apples contain a lot of water. In fact, apples have a water content of 86%. We already discussed and decided that apples make a great and healthy SNACK, but here’s the deal:
Beardies are originally from the dry woodlands of Australia, therefore, they learned to live without water for extended periods. Bearded dragons DO NOT need a lot of water to stay healthy. Feeding apples in excess can cause MORE HARM than good.
Diarrhea & Weight Gain: We are aware that apples don’t contain a LOT of sugar…for a human being. That’s what we know…and it’s TRUE. However, for a small reptile, the sugar content in apples it is quite a LOT.
Overfeeding your dragon can cause weight gain or diarrhea, therefore, it’s very important to know how to choose the RIGHT AMOUNT of apples for your beardie. Here’s an article posted by the veterinarians at Azeah.com on Some of the Most Common Causes of Diarrhea in Bearded Dragons.
Fatty Liver Disease: Apples, like most fruits, contain sugar and fruit acid, among other beneficial vitamins. While these vitamins are very good for your dragon they can also become very DANGEROUS.
Overfeeding your dragon [or Small Lizards in General] can lead to Fatty Liver Disease, which in some cases may be FATAL. Due to the HIGH content of SUGAR found in apples, excessive feeding may also cause high blood pressure or tooth decay.
How OFTEN Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apples?
Apples make GREAT treats for bearded dragons. I would say that feeding them a couple of small bits/cubes once or twice a week is considered to be safe. The VAST majority of the animal protein dragons need should come from veggies while fruits represent their weekly treat.
How to Prepare Apples For Your Bearded Dragon
This is the kind of thing that can MAKE or BREAK your dragon’s diet, which is why I recommend you not to skip this part. This is a very SIMPLE process, and yet, very IMPORTANT. Here’s what you need to do:
- Choose the RIGHT apples for your dragon. Unripe apples are more acidic than ripe apples. Choose a perfectly RIPE apple.
- This is the part I hope you’re used to. CLEAN the apple properly. Imagine you’re going to eat that apple and clean it the right way. Apples, like most fruits, usually contain chemicals, so you want to make sure you clean out any unwanted chemicals off their skin.
- Slice the apples in appropriate sizes and remove the seeds. Or at least make sure that the slice you want to serve to your Dragon has no seeds in it.
- Dinner time. Now SERVE the meal and enjoy the moment.
Most dragons prefer FRUITS over VEGETABLES. If that’s your case, try to partially include some veggies into its meal when serving him something he likes. That way he’ll get used to the taste.
In fact, vegetables will BOOST the nutritional value in your dragon’s diet, helping him grow strong and beautiful.
Personally, I learned a lot of NEW things about them as well as I had to combine my existing knowledge with some in-dept research just to make sure I cover the topic thoroughly and provide you guys with everything there’s to know about it.
Bearded dragons CAN eat apples, apple tree leaves, green apples, Granny Smith apples, and drink apple juice but they CAN’T eat apples with skin and apple seeds. Always peel the apple PRIOR to feeding and practice moderate feeding.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Granny Smith Apples? Bearded dragons CAN eat Granny Smith apples. In fact, these apples have the HIGHEST amount of nutrients in it. These apples are somehow similar to green apples, meaning they have high levels of acidity but less sugar.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apples With Skin? Bearded dragons CAN’T eat and SHOULDN’T be fed apples with skin. Due to their inability to chew properly, bearded dragons should only be fed PEELED apples.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi? Kiwi is a REAL treat for bearded dragons. However, you shouldn’t feed your dragon kiwi on a daily basis. While FRESH kiwi provides your lizard with Vitamin C, it also come with a HIGH amount of oxalic acid, which binds with calcium.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raspberries? Raspberries make a GREAT snack for dragons. Raspberries, therefore, are great for dragons in moderation. Raspberries can be fed whole to adult dragons only make sure to clean them properly prior to feeding.