Bearded dragons are a fun and beautiful lizard that is usually quite on the easy side to care for. Just when you think you know everything about your bearded dragon, it throws you a curveball. When I first got my bearded dragon, I happened to notice him eat grapes. So I wondered aloud, “Can bearded dragons eat grapes?” The answer might surprise you.
Yes, grapes make an excellent tasty treat for bearded dragons. Grapes are jam-packed with nutrients, such as fiber, vitamin A and potassium. The sweet, juicy fruit can be eaten by your pet, and the thin skin isn’t a problem. Seedless grapes are best, otherwise, you will have to pick the seeds out.
In fact, rubbing the inner flesh of grapes onto other veggies is an effective way of making your beardies eat their greens.
Today, we are going to discuss everything you need to know about feeding grapes to your beardies; including the impact of grapes on their health and the pros and cons of feeding them.
Why feed grapes to beardies?
If you’ve owned a beardie for long enough, you must have realized that these little guys are a sucker for everything sweet. This is why grapes, being a sugary treat, will certainly be well-received by your pets.
But what about the effect of these fruits on your beardie’s health? Can they benefit them in any way? These questions are very essential for your pets since they have a small diet and should only eat foods that have a certain nutritional value to them.
In this section, we are going to explore why grapes should be added to your pet’s diet.
The nutritional value of grapes
Let’s begin by brushing up on our knowledge of the nutritional composition of grapes by taking a look at the table given below:
|Vitamin A||66 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thamin)||0.069 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.070 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.188 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||5.6 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.086 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||2 mcg|
|Vitamin E||0.19 mg|
|Vitamin K||14.6 mcg|
|Sodium, Na||1 mg|
|Potassium, K||191 mg|
|Calcium, Ca||10 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.127 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.36 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.071 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||7 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.07 mg|
|Total Fat||0.16 g|
|Dietary fibers||0.9 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Health benefits of eating grapes for beardies
Now that we are all caught up on the nutritional value of grapes, let’s see how your pet reptiles can benefit from eating these fruits:
- Vitamin A, a vitamin that is crucial in the reproductive health and performance of beardies, is present in grapes in abundance.
- Grapes are rich in Thiamin (Vitamin B1), which plays a key role in maintaining their nervous health.
- Grapes also contain Vitamin C, a vitamin that can strengthen their immune health and help them in fighting against different kinds of diseases and infections.
- Vitamin K can also be found in grapes, which is good news for your pets. This vitamin is indispensable in the blood coagulation processes in your pets. The deficiency of Vitamin K can make your beardies vulnerable to bleeding out even from a minor cut or injury.
- Grapes have a high level of Calcium and Magnesium, the two minerals that are vital for the development and strengthening of your beardie’s bones, tissues, and muscles.
- Potassium maintains the fluid balance in your pet’s body and regulates their blood pressure levels.
- Grapes are also rich in macronutrients like carbohydrates and fibers. While carbs are the primary source of energy for your pets, fibers can regulate their bowel movements and improve their digestive health.
- Grapes happen to be one of the rare fruits that contain tartaric acid, an organic acid that is an excellent source of antioxidants. These antioxidants can fight the free radicals in your pet’s body and reduce their oxidative stress and damage. Additionally, tartaric acid is also effective in preventing flatulence and supporting optimal absorption of nutrients in their intestines. Lastly, tartaric acid is known to have anti-inflammatory properties and can protect your pets from all kinds of inflammatory diseases.
Why should you limit your beardie’s grape intake?
So far, we’ve only talked about the positive aspects of feeding grapes to your beardies. But like everything, grapes have their pros and cons as well. While these fruits can be nutritious treats for them, when fed in excess, they can diminish their health as well.
Let’s walk you through the problems involved with feeding too many grapes to your pets:
Grapes contain a lot of water
This might seem a little confusing for you since water is always considered to be a good thing for both you and your pets. So, how could be the water content of grapes be problematic for your pets? We’ll tell you.
As many of you might already know, beardies are endemic to the deserts and savannahs of Australia. These reptiles are used to living in a dry environment and, therefore, do not need as much water as other pets.
That’s why when the beardies drink too much water, they can suffer from diarrhea. And diarrhea, in turn, uses up all the water in their body, making them dehydrated in the end.
Seeded grapes can pose a choking hazard
Grapes have seeds that are far too small for us to even notice, which is why we don’t think of these seeds separately. However, when it comes to your little pets, even the smallest seeds could be problematic.
If your beardies eat seeded grapes, the seeds present in them get lodged into their digestive tract, restricting their bowel movements. This is why we recommend you purchase seedless grapes for them.
Grapes contain too much sugar
As you might have noticed in the table above, 100 grams of grapes contain about 15 grams of sugar, which means that these fruits contain 15% natural sugar. This, in addition to the fruit acid present in grapes, is a deadly combination for your beardies.
If they eat too many grapes, it could take a toll on both their digestive and oral health. Moreover, too much sugar can also lead to serious health problems like Diabetes and Fatty Liver Disease.
The risk of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
All the reptile owners can agree that Metabolic Bone Disease is their worst nightmare. This disease takes place in case of an imbalance between Phosphorus and Calcium in your pet’s diet.
Phosphorus interferes with the absorption of Calcium in their body, which ultimately leads to MBD. Besides Phosphorus, oxalic acid has the same effect on beardies.
Some of the common MBD symptoms in beardies are:
- An arched spine
- Swollen or bowed legs
- Bumps appearing on their leg and tail bones
- Softening or rubber jaw
Unfortunately, grapes contain a high level of both Phosphorus and Oxalic acid, which makes these fruits unsafe for your beardies when overfed.
Before you decide how often to feed grapes to your beardies, it is essential to consider their medical history. If your pets have a history of Diabetes or Metabolic Bone Disease, you should only feed them grapes once a month. However, if they’ve had no such problems, they can enjoy grapes once a week without any trouble.
Should grapes be peeled before feeding them to beardies?
When we eat grapes, we don’t give a second thought to their peel, since it is too thin and doesn’t taste unpalatable. But can these peels be problematic to your beardies? No, peeled grapes are as safe for the beardies as they are for us. Therefore, the next time you feed your pets grapes, don’t bother yourself with removing their peel.
Can beardies eat grape leaves?
Unlike the fruits of the grape plants, their leaves are both safer and healthier for your pets. These leaves have a high level of Calcium and relatively lower Phosphorus content, which is ideal for beardies.
Moreover, they’re also rich in protein, which works as an added bonus for them. So, you can certainly feed grape leaves to your pets as long as you wash them carefully beforehand.
What about purple grapes? Are they edible for beardies?
Because of their different colors, most people seem to think that green and purple grapes are two distinct grape species. However, in truth, all grapes have more or less the same properties and characteristics, regardless of their color. The difference in their color can be attributed to the mutation in their regulatory genes and polyphenols.
In other words, all grape varieties, be it green, black, red, purple, orange, or yellow, have a similar nutritional value and are safe for the consumption of your pet beardie.
Frequently asked questions
Can bearded dragons eat raisins? Although raisins do not contain anything that can be outright lethal to your beardies, we’d still recommend you not to feed these to them. Since raisins are the dried form of grapes, they have a high sugar concentration that can lead to a number of health problems in your pets in the long run.
Can I feed avocado to my beardie? No, you should never feed avocado to your beardies, even as a rare treat. Avocados have a high amount of Oxalic acid that can interrupt your pet’s nutrient absorption. Moreover, these fruits also have a high-fat content, which can easily make the beardies overweight.
Apart from grapes, which other fruits can I feed my beardie?
All of us know that the staple food of bearded dragons includes insects, mealworms, kale, and so on. But do you know that some fruits are also added to their diet? Beardies are known for being a lover of variety and can eat a large number of fruits safely in moderation.
Following are some of the favorite fruits of bearded dragons:
Conclusion: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Grapes?
To summarize, grapes are delicious and nutritious fruits that can be enjoyed by bearded dragons!
I’ve covered everything you could possibly want to know about bearded dragons and grapes, from the conditions they need to thrive in, their nutritional requirements, what they are and how to care for them.
That brings our article to a close. I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this guide on can bearded dragons eat grapes? (I know I ate a bunch researching it, and I’m still trying to recover.)
It was fun researching and sharing the information with you. If you liked this article, please share it with others. Also, we’d be happy to read your opinions and thoughts! I genuinely wish the best for you and your bearded dragon!