Bearded dragons owners often love to treat their beardies to a fresh portion of fruit in their salad bowl.
Kiwi is fast becoming a popular choice but should bearded dragons really be eating kiwi?
Or should you be opting for a healthier fruit choice for your bearded dragon?
In this post, we will take a look at the opinions and views of several respected veterinarians and specialists so you can better understand the benefits and potential concerns of feeding your bearded dragons kiwi.
So can bearded dragons eat kiwi? Bearded dragons can eat kiwi safely as part of a balanced diet. Kiwi contains moderate amounts of oxalates and an acceptable calcium to phosphorus ratio. Kiwi should only be fed occasionally and in small portions.
Read On to Lean…
- More about if bearded dragons can eat kiwi?
- The nutritional data for kiwi
- Benefits of eating kiwi?
- Concerns about eating kiwi?
- How to offer kiwi to your bearded dragon?
- How often your bearded dragon can eat kiwi?
- 5 other fruits the experts recommend
Kiwi Fruit | Nutritional Information
Take a look at the table below that contains the nutritional information for kiwi fruit. We will refer to the table throughout this article.
Nutritional Information Of Kiwi Fruit Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.52||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||14.66||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi? (More Info)
As we mentioned above, bearded dragons can safely eat kiwi in their diet.
While we were researching for this post, we found many veterinary experts that say kiwi is a safe food for your beardie.
One such expert is VCA-Hospitals who have included kiwi in their list of safe fruits for bearded dragons.
Even though many experts say kiwi is safe to feed to your beardie, this doesn’t mean that you automatically should feed kiwi to your beardie.
There are many things to consider before you add this fruit to the salad bowl.
Fruit is generally minerally poor when compared to other available foods that are rich in vital nutrients such as calcium.
Let’s take a closer look at the potential health benefits, concerns and myths surrounding kiwi fruit so you will understand whether it’s worth feeding to your bearded dragon.
Kiwi Contains High Amounts Of Vitamin C
One of the benefits of feeding your bearded dragon is that it actually does have some nutritional benefits such as high amounts of vitamin C.
As you can see from the table above, kiwi’s are packed with this vitamin and can actually boast 92.7mg of vitamin C per 100g.
Kiwi’s are actually a great source of other nutrients too. Many nutritional experts talk about the high amounts of fibre and iron that kiwi offers and it’s importance to health.
This combined with a whole host of other antioxidants at least makes them have some nutritional value that’s of benefit to your beardie.
Acceptable Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
Something that’s important when considering foods to feed to your bearded dragon is the ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
They basically need a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 in favour of calcium.
This is echoed by Vetstream who state that a ratio of 2:1 as optimal overall.
This is because phosphorus stops calcium from being absorbed in the body.
If your beardie is consistently consuming more phosphorus than calcium then they can become extremely unhealthy and suffer from bone conditions such as metabolic bone disease.
Again, looking at the nutrition table above, you can see that kiwis contain 34mg of calcium and 34mg of phosphorus per 100g which right on the 1:1 ratio.
Overall, feeding your beardie the odd food that has poor calcium to phosphorus ratio won’t harm them if the vast majority of their diet is high in calcium and low in phosphorus.
This, however, is something that you always need to be aware of as an owner and keeping check of to ensure your beardie is happy and healthy.
Kiwi Is Low In Calcium
Even though kiwis have an acceptable calcium to phosphorus ratio, they are still considered to offer low amounts of calcium when compared to greens and veggies that are available.
This is something that needs noting as calcium consumption is vital to the health of a bearded dragon.
Here’s a post that details all you need to know about calcium as an owner including calcium supplements.
Most fruit is low in calcium when compared to leafy greens such as kale and others.
We understand that it’s not possible to offer leafy greens 100% of the time and kiwis are also offered as a treat and not just for their nutritional value, however, getting the correct balance is key.
Something else that’s often overlooked is the importance of providing your beardie with a calcium supplement.
Many reptile experts recommend that owners use a calcium supplement and most even go as far as to say that they are essential to the health of your beardie.
It’s also important to choose a supplement that is high quality as calcium is so important.
We’ve put together a list of our favourite calcium and vitamin supplements and we also show you the cheapest places to get them online.
A Moderate Amounts Of Oxalates In Kiwi
Kiwi has a bad reputation for being high in oxalates so we decided to do some research and see whether this is actually true.
If you’re not sure what oxalates are then they are an organic compound found in leafy greens, vegetables, fruit seeds and nuts according to experts.
The number of oxalates or oxalic acid found in greens and other food will vary from food to food.
The reason why you need to be wary of the amount of oxalic acid in your bearded dragons food is because it binds to calcium and other minerals and stops it from being absorbed.
This can obviously be serious when a bearded dragon relies healthy on calcium to be healthy and overconsumption of foods that are high in oxalic acid can cause health problems.
We found many reptile experts to talk about the concerns of overfeeding foods high in oxalates.
But is kiwi really that high in oxalates as some people are suggesting?
Researchgate published some research that green kiwifruit ranged from 12.7 to 84.3mg of oxalic acid per 100g.
So is that actually a high number of oxalates?
Well, we would consider it to be a “moderate” number of oxalates or oxalic acid and not a high number as some people are suggesting.
Moderate still isn’t great but it certainly isn’t something you should be worried about or taking kiwi off the menu for.
To put this in perspective, we have included a chart below that shares the amounts of oxalates that common foods contain that you are likely to feed to your bearded dragon.
Check out the foods in the table below and compare them with the 12.7 to 84.3mg of oxalic acid per 100g of Kiwi and see if you agree with our “moderate” tag instead of “high”.
Oxalates Per 100g
|Name||Oxalates Per 100g|
|Sweet Potato||240 mg|
|Mustard Greens||128.7 mg|
|Turnip Greens||50 mg|
Kiwi’s Are High In Sugar
The last thing to mention is that kiwi is a little high in sugar. Being a fruit this isn’t surprising as nearly all fruit is high in sugar when compared to greens and veggies.
As long as you offer kiwi is moderation then you shouldn’t have to worry about the sugar levels but overfeeding foods high in sugar can be a problem.
Just like us humans, bearded dragons can get tooth problems. These problems can actually cause more pain and complication than they do for us humans.
This is because bearded dragons teeth are fixed to their jaw bone and any problems with tooth decay can cause issues with the jaw and not just the teeth.
This can cause unnecessary pain not to mention costly vet bills. Many experts such as vetstreet actually recommend dental scaling on an annual basis.
As well as tooth problems, high amounts of sugar can cause digestion problems and even diarrhoea.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi Seeds?
Bearded dragons can eat the seeds from the kiwi, although some may not fully digest.
You shouldn’t be feeding your beardie high amounts of kiwi that they should be able to consume high amounts of seeds to cause them any sorts of problems.
If you prefer, you can remove the seeds and just provide the fruit and this is equally fine.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi Skin?
Your bearded dragon shouldn’t eat the skin of the kiwi and you should only offer the soft, green fruit on the inside.
The skin of the kiwi is too tough and difficult for your bearded dragon to digest so it’s not worth giving them any unnecessary digestive problems.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi?
Kiwi, like all fruits, should never be offered to your beardie on a daily basis.
With all things considered, such as the amount of sugar, calcium, phosphorus oxalates and other vitamins and minerals you should use kiwi as a treat food.
Even though it has high amounts of vitamin C, there are simply just other foods that have much more nutritional value that can be offered more frequently.
We recommend you offer kiwi to your beardie around once a month.
The portion size should be kept to a minimum. Try and cut a few thin slices of the kiwi and add it on top of a calcium-rich salad to entice your beardie over to eat from the bowl.
Never give your dragon the full kiwi or only the kiwi and any other form of greens and veggies to accompany it.
How to Prepare Kiwi For a Bearded Dragon to Eat?
Every food that you provide for your beardie may need to be prepared in a slightly different way.
We have created this guide/checklist so you can quickly and easily prepare kiwi in the best way.
Always try and provide an organic option whenever possible. We always talk about the importance of this.
Top experts such as Pet-MD say it’s important for foods to be free from pesticides and herbicides.
We believe organic is the best way to go if your grocery store has the option.
- Wash Or Not?
Normally we would always recommend that you wash veggies, greens and fruit extremely well before adding them to the fruit bowl.
With kiwi, this isn’t the case, as you will be removing the skin beforehand so washing isn’t necessary.
- Raw Or Cooked?
With kiwi, this is probably obvious but you don’t need to cook or alter the fruit before adding it to the fruit bowl. Fruit, in general, is soft and is good to go.
- Chopped Or Whole?
As we mentioned in the previous section, you should chop the kiwi. Quartering those slices is even better as it allows better consumption.
Also only provide your beardie with a few thin slices and not the whole fruit.
- With Other Greens?
The kiwi should always be offered in a salad bowl with other highly nutritious greens. You should also provide a bowl that allows your beardie to eat the full salad as many bowls make it difficult for them to eat more than ⅔.
Here’s the kind of bowls we recommend for both salad bowls and live feeders worms.
Recommended Fruits For Bearded Dragons to Eat
We understand it can be difficult to know what fruits to provide for your dragon so we have researched the veterinary experts at VCA-Hospitals to provide you with some recommendations.
We have provided a list of 5 fruits that offer alternatives to kiwi that you may want to consider.
All the fruits are recommended by the experts above and appear in a list they provided in a recent article they wrote on bearded dragon feeding guidelines.
Check out the table below complete with the most relevant nutritional information.
Nutritional Information Per 100g (Fruit)
|Water||79.11 g||20.53 g||86.35 g||85.75 g||90.95 g|
|Energy||74 kc||282 kcal||48 kcal||52 kcal||32 kcal|
|Protein||0.75 g||2.45 g||1.4 g||1.2 g||0.67|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.3 g||0.39 g||0.39 g||0.65 g||0.3 g|
|Carbohydrate||19.18||75.03 g||11.12 g||11.94 g||7.58 g|
|Fiber||2.9 g||8 g||2 g||6.5 g||2 g|
|Sugars||16.26 g||63.35 g||9.24 g||4.42 g||4.89 g|
|Calcium, Ca||35 mg||39 mg||13 mg||25 mg||16 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||14 mg||62 mg||23 mg||29 mg||24 mg|
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