I’m a huge bearded dragon fan. I’ve been hooked since my first one and they’re some of my favorite reptiles. With that being said, one of my favorite bearded dragon facts is how varied their diet can be. There are tons of pre-made bearded dragon foods out there and many different DIY recipes for fresh foods you can feed them. But whether you’re a bearded dragon owner or are considering getting one, an often asked question is: can bearded dragons eat kiwi?
Yes, kiwis are delicious fruits that can add nutrients and variety to your bearded dragon’s diet. When fed in appropriate amounts, kiwi’s offer health benefits and a natural source of vitamins, fiber, and minerals. However, the outer skin is toxic to bearded dragons. The inner pulp is edible but the seeds should be removed before feeding.
Most of the fruits that bearded dragons can eat are tropical fruits. However, since kiwi belongs to the family of berries, it is a great treat for your pet as well as an excellent source of necessary nutrients. The fruits have fibers that can be helpful in removing the waste from your bearded dragon’s digestive tract and may also help to keep the intestinal lining healthy.
Today, we are going to tell you everything you must know before you introduce kiwi to your pet’s diet; nutritional value, health benefits, risks involved, and more.
Why feed kiwi to bearded dragons?
Counted among the most exotic fruits of the world, kiwis are as nutritious as they are delicious. They contain vitamin C in abundance, which is the key to strengthening our immune responses.
Other than this vitamin, there are many different vitamins, minerals, and macronutrients present in these fruits.
If you want to learn more about the nutritiousness of kiwis, take a look at the table given below:
The nutritional value of kiwis
|Vitamin A||87 IU|
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.027 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.025 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.341 mg|
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)||7.8 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.183 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.063 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||25 mcg|
|Vitamin C||92.7 mg|
|Vitamin E||1.46 mg|
|Vitamin K||40.3 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||34 mg|
|Iron, Fe||0.31 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||17 mg|
|Potassium, K||312 mg|
|Sodium, Na||3 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||34 mg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.14 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.098 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.13 mg|
|Selenium, Se||0.2 mcg|
|Dietary fibers||3 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
Health benefits of eating kiwi for your beardies
Since you’re planning to add kiwis to your pet’s diet, you must learn about what kiwis can offer to them. Following are some of the significant health benefits of these fruits for your pet reptiles:
- Kiwi has a moderate amount of carbohydrates, which is perfect for your pets. This is because carbs are the primary source of energy for these reptiles. And since the beardies do not have a lot of physical activity to engage in inside their tank (in captivity), they have no use of too many carbs.
- Kiwis contain 3% dietary fiber, which is also ideal for beardies; these fibers can regulate their bowel movements but are not too much to create digestive issues.
- Protein is the building block for the proper growth and development of your beardies. In addition, Kiwi’s protein content can benefit your pets a great deal.
- Kiwi is also rich in vitamins A and C, promoting their respiratory, immune, and reproductive health and improving their vision. Additionally, vitamin C also adds antioxidants in their body, which prevent their cells from oxidative damage and give their immunity a boost.
- You can find both calcium and phosphorus in kiwis. These minerals are crucial for strengthening the bones and muscles of your pets.
- Potassium, which maintains the fluid balance in their body and regulates their blood pressure levels, is also present in kiwis.
- Lastly, kiwis have low-fat content, which means that your beardies will not gain unnecessary weight from eating these fruits.
Problems associated with overfeeding kiwi to bearded dragons
In the last section, we learned about all the health benefits your beardies can reap from eating kiwis. However, if you want your pets to enjoy these fruits safely, you must stick to feeding them these treats in moderation.
Following are the things that can go wrong if you start overfeeding kiwis to your pet reptiles:
The risk of Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD)
As a pet parent to reptiles, you must know about Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). For those new to it, MBD is basically a calcium-deficiency disease that occurs due to the improper Ca:P ratio in your pet’s diet.
When you look at the nutritional table of kiwis, you will find that it contains the same amount of calcium and phosphorus (34 mg). This makes the Ca:P ratio of kiwis 1:1, which is acceptable for your pets. So why does eating kiwis lead to MBD in beardies? We’ll tell you.
Although kiwis have a proper Ca:P ratio, they also contain oxalates. Oxalates are organic compounds present in several green fruits and vegetables that tend to bind with calcium in your pet’s body, much like phosphorus. The presence of oxalates in kiwis is the reason why eating too many of these fruits can potentially lead to Metabolic Bone Disease in your pets.
Too much sugar
When you think of the sweetest fruits, kiwi is not the first name that pops up in your mind. This is because the sugar content of these fruits (9%) is lower than that of litchis (15%), pomegranates (14%), bananas (12%), mangoes (14%), and so on.
However, while 9% sugar might not be such a big deal for us, it is still a lot of sugar for your beardies, especially when fed in excess. Excess sugar can be detrimental to your pet’s oral health, just as it can be to yours.
Moreover, since their teeth are fixed into their jawbones, any issues with their teeth can also affect their jaw. Over time, the sugar deposit in your pet’s body could also lead to more severe problems like Fatty Liver Disease and Diabetes.
Plenty of water
Kiwis are made up of 80% water and 20% dry matter. And while water is good for the hydration of your beardies, too much of it can be problematic for them.
Beardies are used to living in arid and semi-arid regions, which is why they’ve evolved to survive on a small amount of water. However, since their digestive system is not used to watery treats like kiwi, they can also suffer from diarrhea if they eat too many fruits.
Can bearded dragons eat kiwi skin?
Did you know that the skin of a fruit is where its nutrients are most concentrated? It is true for most fruits, including kiwis. However, despite the nutritional value, the outer skin of kiwi can offer to your pets, I’d still recommend you not to feed it to them.
Kiwi skin is rough and somewhat hairy and will not be easy for your pets to chew, swallow and digest. And if the skin is not broken down properly before it reaches their digestive tracts, it can also cause impaction.
There’s also the threat of pesticides being sprayed on the surface of these fruits. These toxic chemicals get absorbed in the skin many times and wouldn’t come off even after a thorough wash.
Therefore, instead of feeding your beardies kiwi skin and putting their health at risk, it is best to avoid feeding it to them altogether.
What about kiwi seeds? Are they safe for beardies to eat?
The black seeds present inside the flesh of kiwis are usually too small and soft to create a problem for your beardies. However, when the fruits have overripened in some cases, their seeds might grow larger or tougher, posing a choking threat for your pets.
To avoid such a possibility, most beardie owners prefer to remove the seeds beforehand as a safety precaution, and so should you.
Dried kiwi for beardies: safe or not?
As we’ve discussed earlier, you should not feed sugar-rich foods to your beardies. In fact, kiwis’ sugar content is one reason it is fed as an occasional treat for them.
Now, dried kiwi is the dehydrated version of kiwi with a much higher sugar content than fresh kiwis. This means that these are even more dangerous for your pet’s health than the latter. Therefore, feeding dried kiwi to beardies is a bad idea.
How to prepare kiwi for bearded dragons?
The task of preparing kiwis for your beardies is much easier than it sounds. Although you don’t need assistance with it, the following tricks and tips might come in handy in the process:
- Try to purchase organic kiwis for your beardies if possible since these are safe from any herbicide, pesticide, or fertilizer that can be detrimental to your pet’s health.
- Always feed unpeeled kiwis to your pets. And since the peels are not going to be ingested by beardies, washing them is an unnecessary step you can avoid if you want to.
- Feeding unchopped kiwi to the beardies is a bad idea. They might choke on it and shouldn’t be eating the whole fruit at once anyways.
- The best way of slicing kiwis for your beardie is to cut them into four equal parts. You can then feed two pieces to each beardie.
- Instead of feeding kiwis to your beardies separately, I’d recommend you add a few leafy greens and serve them a salad to balance out the sugar.
Just keep these pointers in mind, and you’re good to go.
Conclusion: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi?
A quick answer to this question is yes. Dragons love fresh fruits and vegetables and will eat their greens including kale, broccoli, collards, or spinach. Kiwi fruit is a good source of natural vitamin C which will help keep your dragon happy and healthy.
And that brings us to the end of our article! We hope you enjoyed it and were able to gather insight into whether can bearded dragons eat kiwi.
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