Sometimes it can be hard to know what healthy foods to add to your bearded dragons salad bowl and fruits such as tomatoes are often one of the first considerations.
As the nutritional needs of a bearded dragon are much different to that of us humans, this has caused many owners to ask if their bearded dragons can even eat tomatoes safely?
In this post, you will find the information you need, researched from veterinary nutritionists and experts in reptile care to bring you the facts about how healthy tomatoes are for bearded dragons.
So can bearded dragons eat tomatoes? Bearded dragons can eat tomatoes as part of a healthy and balanced diet. Tomatoes are high in vitamin A and low in toxins such as oxalic acid. With this being said, bearded dragons should only eat tomatoes occasionally due to the fact they are low in calcium and high in phosphorus.
Read on to find out…
- The potential benefits and health concerns if your bearded dragon eats tomatoes
- If baby bearded dragons can eat tomatoes?
- The best way to prepare tomatoes?
- How often your bearded dragon can safely eat tomatoes?
- 5 lesser-known food that experts recommend you feed your bearded dragon
Nutritional Information For Tomatoes
Before we go and take a look at the benefits and possible disadvantages of feeding tomatoes to your beardie, first let’s take a look at the nutritional information.
This will help us easily determine if tomatoes are abundant or lacking in vital nutritional elements such as calcium and more.
Check out the table below that gives you the most relevant information.
Nutritional Information Of Tomatoes Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.19||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||3.18||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes? | More Info
Tomatoes are a fruit that can safely be eaten by bearded dragons. This is backed up by experts such as VCA-Hospitals who have listed tomatoes on their website as a safe food for beardies.
Just because tomatoes are considered safe doesn’t mean that they are all good for reptiles such as bearded dragons.
Most fruits are nutritionally poor when compared to leafy greens and they should generally play a substitute role in your beardies diet.
In fact, VCA-Hospitals again recommend that only 10% of a bearded dragon’s plant-based diet should come from fruits.
Let’s not take a look at the benefits and disadvantages of bearded dragons eating tomatoes…
Are There Any Health Benefits to Bearded Dragons Eating Tomatoes?
As we just mentioned above, fruits should play a secondary role in the diet of bearded dragons due to the fact they don’t offer much of the vital nutrients they need to be healthy.
Some fruits do, however, offer important nutrients if provided in the correct amounts.
Below are two of the key benefits that tomatoes can provide to your beardie…
Tomatoes Are High In Vitamin A
According to health.com, tomatoes are high in vitamin A and can boast 75µg per 100g in a study by the USDA.
Many sources say Vitamin A is vital for normal vision, immune system and reproduction according.
These benefits are also important for bearded dragons, although you need to be aware that too much vitamin A can cause toxicity, which in turn can cause your beardie to feel ill.
This is nothing to worry about but it’s another reason why it’s important to understand the dietary requirements of your dragon and the nutrients that are in the foods you are feeding them so you don’t feed too many foods high in vitamin A all at the same time.
If you are feeding your beardie multivitamins, they are often high in vitamin A so their vitamin A intake from their diet doesn’t need to be as high.
Tomatoes Are Low In Sugar
Most fruit is high in sugar and this is a huge part of why it can only be offered sparingly.
One of the major benefits of offering your beardie tomatoes is that they are low in sugar when compared to other fruits.
Using data from a different study we can see that tomatoes only have 2.63g of sugar 100g which when compared to fruit such as the common apple with 10.1g per 100g is really low.
Too much sugar can actually cause many problems for beardies including…
- Tooth rot and gum problems
- Diarrhoea and sickness
Tomatoes Are Low In Oxalic Acid
Without getting too technical, oxalic acid or oxalates as they are often called are natural compounds found in greens, veggies, seeds and nuts.
They can stop calcium and other minerals from being absorbed in the body and if consumed in high volumes can be harmful.
Tomatoes are naturally low in oxalates as a study from the USDA reveals they only have 50mg of oxalates 100g, when compared to spinach with is considered high in oxalates and contains up to 970mg per 100g.
We have done a full report on spinach and if it’s safe to feed to your bearded dragon here and the results we found about spinach may surprise you.
Are There Any Health Concerns For Bearded Dragons Eating tomatoes?
Even though we have just mentioned some interesting benefits that tomatoes offer to bearded dragons, unfortunately, it’s not all good.
There are some really important nutrients that tomatoes either has too much or too little of that make this a food to be cautious of if feeding it to your beardie regularly.
Let’s take a closer look at the disadvantages of feeding your bearded dragons tomatoes…
Tomatoes Are Low In Calcium
As a bearded dragon owner, you probably understand the importance of calcium in your beardies diet.
Calcium is important for healthy bones and movement and without it, a bearded dragon would suffer from serious illnesses.
One such illness is MBD or metabolic bone disease and Vetstream pinpoint lack of dietary calcium as one of the major factors in the onset of this illness.
Pet-MD says the severity of the illness can be as bad as constant limping and even difficulty lifting the body off the ground.
Like most fruits, tomatoes are low in calcium and looking at the table we provided above, you can see they only offer 5mg of calcium per 100g.
It’s important to prioritise your dragon’s diet with calcium-rich foods that allow them to keep their bones healthy.
This doesn’t mean that fruits like tomatoes are off the menu totally but it does mean that you have to offer them sparingly.
You can find out everything you need to know about calcium as a bearded dragon owner in under 5 minutes in this easy to follow guide here.
Tomatoes Have an Unhealthy Phosphorus & Calcium Ratio
Another very important factor to consider is that tomatoes have a poor phosphorus to calcium ratio.
Phosphorus binds to calcium and stops it from being absorbed in the body.
Because of how important calcium is to a reptile, it’s vital that you don’t provide them with too many foods that are high in phosphorus and low in calcium.
Vetstream recommends that the ideal ratio is 2:1 which means double the amount of calcium to phosphorus.
Unfortunately for tomatoes, they offer only 5mg of calcium to 29mg of phosphorus which is totally out of balance.
Giving your beardie foods with a calcium and phosphorus ratio like this sometimes or as a small part of their diet is fine, however, if a large part of their diet is made up of foods with this kind of ratio then it can easily cause MBD as we talked about earlier.
Many veterinarians and experts also recommend that you supplement your beardies diet with a calcium supplement to ensure they are getting the high levels of calcium they need.
Petplace recommends that you use RepCal, Reptocal or Nekton and sprinkle it on your beardies insects a couple of times per week.
We agree with this and the supplement we would pick out is Rep-Cal. We believe this to be the best and most trusted calcium supplement.
Here we share the best place to get hold of Rep-Cal and the other vitamin products your beardie needs.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
Baby bearded dragons are growing at a crazy pace and they need all the nutrients they can get hold of to support this growth.
Here’s a post with tables and charts that shows how quickly bearded dragons grow and also what can stop them from growing as quickly.
At the point in their life, a high percentage of the nutrients they consume should be coming from insects and the plant-based foods they consume should be full of calcium and other nutrients they desperately need.
With all things considered, baby bearded dragons can eat tomatoes but they should only be offered as a treat as their stomachs are small and large portions of tomatoes on a regular basis would take the place of more nutrient-dense foods.
Leafy greens such as kale are much better options and can offer your baby or juvenile beardie a wealth or nutrition such as some much-needed calcium
We have published a recent post that breaks down everything you need to know about kale before you offer it to your bearded dragon here.
What’s The Best Way to Prepare Tomatoes For BeardedDragons to Eat?
Most greens, veggies and fruits that you offer to your beardie will require slightly different preparation.
To make it easy to know the best way to add tomatoes to your bearded dragons salad bowl we have provided a quick 5 step guide below…
- The first step is to make sure that you wash the tomatoes thoroughly.
This is highly important and experts such as Per-MD recommend that all foods you provide for your bearded dragon are free from pesticides and herbicides and washing them is the first step towards this.
2. This second step might seem pretty self-explanatory but you shouldn’t cook the tomatoes and they should only be provided raw.
This is because cooking will decrease any nutritional value they hold and as tomatoes and naturally soft and juicy there’s really no need to cook them.
3. The tomatoes should be chopped up into small manageable chunks or cubes.
This makes it easier for your beardie to consume them and allows plenty of the sweet-tasting juice to flow onto other greens and veggies that they might not always be highly interested in.
4. It’s only necessary to provide your dragon with a maximum of a quarter of a tomato.
It’s important not to fill them up solely on tomatoes due to the fact they don’t contain the dietary calcium they require.
5. Ideally, tomatoes should be used as a salad topper to tempt your beardie into wondering over to their bowl and having a nibble.
The main part of the salad should be healthy, nutrient-rich greens that lay under the tomatoes.
Make sure you provide bowls that allow your bearded dragon to easily east all the salad and not just from the top. Bowls like the ones we share here are great.
How Often Should Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
Due to the lack of calcium and poor phosphorus ratio, it’s not recommended that you feed tomatoes to your bearded dragon on a daily basis.
Even though they offer healthy amounts of vitamin A, the negatives outweigh the positives in this regard.
Taking into consideration that experts such as vetstream recommend that only 10% of your dragon’s diet should come from fruit, we suggest that you only feed tomatoes to your bearded dragon around once a month as a great.
This should allow them to enjoy the sweet taste of the tomatoes as well as the health benefits of the vitamin A they provide without taking the place of other important leafy greens and veggies.
5 Lesser-Known Foods to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
You may be aware of most of the common greens and veggies that are recommended for bearded dragons but it’s also good to be able to provide a variety of foods and nutrients.
This keeps meals times interesting and also provides different nutrients that some of the staple foods may not offer.
We have decided to look at the recommendations of reptile experts and add 5 of their top secondary food picks to a list for you.
The list contains the most relevant nutritional info so you can see which foods you would like to add to your dragon’s diet.
Nutritional Information Per 100g (Secondary Foods)
|Name||Bell Peppers||Butternut Squash||Green Beans||Sweet Potato||Turnip|
|Water||92.21||86,41 g||90.32 g||80.13 g||91.87 g|
|Energy||726 Kcal||45 kcal||31 kcal||76 kcal||28 kcal|
|Protein||0.99 g||1 g||1.83 g||1.37 g||0.9 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.3 g||0.1 g||0.22 g||0.14 g||0.1 g|
|Carbohydrate||6.03 g||11.69 g||6.97 g||17.72 g||6.43 g|
|Fiber||2.1 g||2 g||2.7 g||2.5 g||1.8 g|
|Sugars||4.2 g||2.2 g||3.26 g||5.74 g||3.8 g|
|Calcium, Ca||7 mg||48 mg||37 mg||27 mg||30 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||26 mg||33 mg||38 mg||32 mg||27 mg|
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