The diet of the bearded dragon in the wild consists mainly of insects, small rodents and even other lizards, if they are small enough. That being said, they are omnivores and so will also eat leaves and fruits.
Typically, they are not fussy eaters; so what about fruit at home? Can bearded dragons eat grapes?
Beardies can eat grapes but this should not form a huge part of their diet. Grapes and some other fruits should be used as a treat for your pet since they are high in sugar and water, which is not good for your bearded dragon, nor is it of any nutritional value.
With that in mind, let’s explore this a little further and find out some of the pros and cons of feeding grapes to your bearded dragon.
Are Grapes Safe For Bearded Dragons?
One of the main concerns for pet owners when introducing new food to their pet’s diet is whether the food will be safe for them to consume. The good news is that grapes are perfectly safe for bearded dragons. But that does not mean to say that they should eat them all the time.
Grapes should be given to your pet as an occasional treat. This is not because they are massively unhealthy, quite the contrary but because they do contain a lot of sugar and water. Too much sugar can be detrimental to your bearded dragon’s health.
However, grapes are of nutritional benefit in other ways. They contain high levels of calcium and fiber, both of which are imperative for your pet.
Reptiles need a good calcium intake, you are probably familiar with the many calcium powders and supplements that can be given to these types of animals. Grapes are a natural way to boost their intake.
However, there is a dark juxtaposition where calcium is concerned, which we will look at in more detail later.
Treating your bearded dragon to a couple of grapes every now and then is acceptable. But you should make sure that the fruits are not too large.
This is because they could be hard to swallow and in the worst cases, could end up lodged in your pet’s throat, causing him to choke.
The best way to avoid this is to cut the grapes into smaller pieces, either into halves or quarters.
If you are giving the grapes to a juvenile beardie, then this is even more important as they are not as big and more likely to have problems with large pieces of food.
Reasons To Avoid Grapes
While grapes are OK for your bearded dragon from time to time, feeding these juicy fruits to your pet too frequently can cause health problems.
Grapes contain a compound known as oxalate; it sounds scientific but we will keep it simple. Oxalates can be detrimental to any living thing that eats them, although in moderation, they are safe.
In bearded dragons, however, you need to be particularly careful because oxalates are known to bind calcium. In short, this takes away from your pet’s calcium reserves which he so desperately needs to stay healthy.
It’s something of a paradox since these fruits do contain calcium but just make sure that you don’t go over the top with grapes and your pet should not experience any issues.
Many varieties of grapes contain seeds and these can also serve as a choking hazard, particularly for smaller bearded dragons. But what is even worse is that these seeds can cause impaction; this is where the digestive system becomes blocked and your pet cannot poop. If left untreated, this can be fatal.
On the odd occasion that you do give your pet grapes, be sure to remove all seeds. You should check the grapes even if they are advertised as being seedless just to be extra cautious.
Grapes are also full of water, which you might not think is a bad thing, until you learn that bearded dragons don’t need a lot of water. In their natural, dry habitat, they will go very long periods of time without water.
In captivity, they will need to have a water supply but feeding them vast quantities of watery foods could result in them having diarrhea.
How Often To Feed Grapes
We have talked a lot about only giving grapes to your bearded dragon for a treat, but how often should you do this?
In the main, the frequency of eating grapes will depend on the overall health of your pet. If your bearded dragon has any health problems that could be exacerbated by eating grapes, then you should avoid feeding them to him at all.
Conversely, if your bearded dragon is fit and healthy, a couple of grapes every week will work as a delicious treat and will not cause him any harm. Just remember to prepare them correctly.
What Fruits And Vegetables To Avoid
Many pet owners will mistake fruit and veggies for being healthy but for bearded dragons, the plant part of their diet should mainly be made up from leafy greens.
These are much healthier. While it is acceptable to provide fruit for your pet as a treat, there are some that should be avoided at all costs owing to the health risks they pose to your pet.
Avocados are one of the fruits that are considered to be detrimental to your bearded dragon. While they may be great for humans, they can be fatal if eaten in large quantities owing to the high levels of a particular type of acid.
Rhubarb should also be avoided, as they are toxic to beardies. If your pet should ever eat some of this accidentally, you will need to have them seen by a vet as soon as possible.
Beets are a tempting option for your bearded dragon but much like grapes, they contain a chemical that will prevent the lizard from absorbing calcium. If this is allowed to continue over time, your bearded dragon may develop metabolic bone disease.
Bearded dragons tend not to be fussy eaters and in the wild, they have a varied diet made up from both meat and plants.
As a bearded dragon owner, you are probably used to offering your pet crickets and other live insects. But from time to time, you may want to give them a little treat.
Grapes are a good option for a treat but it is important to keep in mind that they should never be eaten in excess. They contain a lot of things that could pose a health risk to your pet if he overeats them.
Keep it to one or two grapes each week for already healthy beardies and there shouldn’t be any problems.