All bearded dragon owners love to give their beloved pets a treat and watermelons are often something that’s easy to grab and place in their salad bowl.
But can bearded dragons safely eat watermelon? Or should you be leaving this fruit in the grocery store?
Thankfully we have done all the research and considered the views of nutritionists and vets to bring you all the information before providing watermelon for your bearded dragon.
So can bearded dragons eat watermelon? Bearded dragons can eat watermelon according to advice from vets. Watermelon should only be offered to your bearded dragon from time to time as, like most fruits, it’s not nutritionally dense. You should also consider cutting it up into smaller pieces to make it easier to consume.
Read on to learn…The nutritional information for watermelon, the benefits and health concerns of feeding watermelon, how often you should be feeding your bearded dragon watermelon, how to prepare it and 5 other fruits that are considered to be nutritionally better for your beardie than watermelon.
Watermelons – Nutritional Information
Before feeding new foods to your beardie it’s always advised to learn as much about them as possible.
This way you can make an educated decision on how often to feed the food and the portion size to offer.
One of the fastest and easiest ways to gauge how good or bad a food is for your beardie is to look at the nutritional profile of the food.
We have sourced the nutritional information from the U.S Department Of Agriculture or the USDA for short.
Nutritional Information Of Watermelon Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.15||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||7.55||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
Are There Benefits to Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Watermelons?
As we established earlier in the post, watermelons are safe to feed to your bearded dragon.
VCA-Hospitals have also backed this up by adding melons to their list of safe fruits for bearded dragons in a recent post they did.
With this being said, watermelons don’t actually have many nutritional benefits for bearded dragons.
This is the same as most fruits, although they are sweet-tasting, they don’t offer much in the way of nutrition for your beardie when compared to veggies and greens.
One noticeable benefit of watermelons is that bearded dragons usually love them.
This can often be used to your advantage in certain situations such as getting a beardie to eat that has lost its appetite or encouraging a beardie to eat that doesn’t often eat its greens.
This can be done by adding small pieces of melon or other fruits to the top of the salad bowl with other greens and veggies with better nutrition underneath.
As beardies love melons they will usually eat the melon on top and without thinking munch through the more nutritious veggies and greens as well.
If your bearded dragon has a poor appetite or is refusing to eat al all then we recommend that you take a look at our 9 reasons why bearded dragons won’t eat post here.
Are There Any Risks/Concerns to Offering Your Bearded Dragon Watermelon?
Even though watermelon is considered safe to feed to bearded dragons there are a few things you need to be aware of in order to keep your beardie healthy.
Let’s take a closer look at the things you need to know before you feed watermelon to your dragon.
High In Sugar
The first thing to be aware of is that like most fruits the sugar content is considered high.
Just like humans, bearded dragons can suffer from gum and tooth problems and excessive amounts of sugar can cause plaque and a build-up of tartar.
Vetstreet says that because bearded dragons teeth are rooted directly to their jaw any problems they have with their teeth can cause issues with their bones ending with inflammation and pain.
Check out this recent post we’ve written to learn all about your bearded dragons teeth.
Too much sugar in one sitting can also cause digestion issues and even diarrhoea.
One of the most overlooked but crucial points of feeding foods high in sugar is that it will contribute to making your beardie overweight.
Remember, feeding watermelons or other fruits once in a while isn’t going to harm your dragon but feeding sugary food on a daily basis certainly isn’t recommended.
Low In Calcium
Something very important that you need to note is that watermelons are low in calcium.
Calcium is highly important to a bearded dragon’s health and providing them with a calcium dense diet helps to prevent serious and life-threatening illnesses.
In fact, Pet-MD state that a lack of calcium is the major contributor to reptiles suffering from metabolic bone disease.
Metabolic bone disease or MBD severely affects a reptiles bones and Pet-MD also say it can leave your reptile limping or even struggling to pick up its body, not wanting to eat and much more.
Unfortunately, watermelons and most fruits, in general, don’t have a great amount of calcium in them so it’s not good to fill up your beardie on something that isn’t going to contribute to their daily calcium intake.
In addition to a healthy and well-balanced diet, all the major vets and nutritionists including Vetstream recommend that you give your bearded dragon a high-quality calcium supplement.
If you aren’t giving your beardie a calcium supplement or you’re not sure if its the right one then check out this post here where we list our recommended calcium, multi-vitamin supplements and more.
Additionally, if you just want to learn more about why your bearded dragon needs calcium then we have written a post all about calcium for bearded dragon.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelons?
Asking how often your bearded dragon can eat watermelons is a great question and one that certainly deserves an answer.
As I’m sure you can gather by now, it’s not recommended to feed watermelons to your dragon daily.
The high sugar, low calcium (and poor phosphorus ratio) along with a lack of other key nutrients when compared to staple greens and veggies such as kale and watercress make it something that should only be fed on occasion.
We would recommend only feeding watermelons and most fruits for that matter around once a month and in small portions such as a salad topper.
If you stick to this recommendation then your dragon can still enjoy watermelons without it having a negative effect on their health.
How Do You Prepare Watermelons For Bearded Dragons?
The first thing you should always do is try and purchase organic ones.
I know there isn’t always an organic option but if there is it’s worth paying the little extra to make sure the fruit has no pesticides and herbicides.
Most fruit and veggies need to be washed but as watermelons are protected by there outside there’s actually no need to wash the inside.
I would always recommend taking out the pips though as even though they are edible they may not be digested easily.
The last thing you need to do is chop up the melon into small manageable pieces.
This will allow your dragon to eat the food much more easily and usually allows them to pick up other greens and veggies in the salad bowl at the same time.
Another 5 Fruits That Bearded Dragons Love
It’s unlikely that you will have any problems getting your dragon to eat fruit as it’s for the most part soft, sweet and juicy.
With this being said, there are some fruits that are considered a better option than others and if you can pick them up at your local grocery store will make a better treat.
VCA-Hospitals have created a list of their top fruits for beardies based on their nutrition and we have put the results in a table below complete with the nutritional information so you can decide which one’s are the best option.
You should always remember that veggies and greens are the staple foods for bearded dragons and fruit should only be given on occasion as a treat.
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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