If you want a pet that has an exotic appearance but is calm and docile in temperament, Bearded Dragons are just what you are looking for. Their mellow nature has made them the most popular as an exotic pet in most areas of North America. Another advantage of having them as pets is that they are easy to feed, and easier to treat. It might come as a surprise to many, but you can easily find things in your kitchen to feed them as treats. But what about raisins?
Can Bearded Dragons eat raisins? Yes, bearded dragons can eat raisins but as a treat and in strict moderation. Raisins are dried versions of grapes with the same nutrients, only different consistency. And since they can eat grapes safely, raisins are safe for them as well. But before you go stuffing your Beardie’s mouth with them, it’s important to understand that raisins have a high amount of sugar. By giving a young dragon too many raisins with high sugar content, you may raise the chances of your dragon getting diarrhea.
In this article, we are going to cover all aspects of feeding raisins to Beardies: the nutritional values of raisins, its health benefits and risks for your pets, its moderation in their diet, feeding ideas, and more.
The Nutritional Composition Of Raisins
Before we begin to talk about feeding raisins to Beardies, it is only logical to first a little about these dry fruits themselves. In order to help you do that, we have curated a table below which depicts the nutritional composition of raisins. Check it out:
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)||0.105 mg|
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)||0.126 mg|
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)||0.765 mg|
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)||0.096 mg|
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)||0.016 mg|
|Vitamin B9 (Folates)||5 mcg|
|Vitamin C||2.4 mg|
|Vitamin E||0.11 mg|
|Vitamin K||3.6 mcg|
|Calcium, Ca||50 mg|
|Iron, Fe||1.87 mg|
|Magnesium, Mg||7 mg|
|Copper, Cu||0.317 gm|
|Phosphorus, P||101 mg|
|Manganese, Mn||0.230 mg|
|Selenium, Se||00.6 mcg|
|Zinc, Zn||0.21 mg|
|Sodium, Na||11 mg|
|Potassium, K||749 mg|
|Dietary fibers||3.7 g|
Serving size: 100 grams
The table above is a clear indication of the nutritional richness of raisins. Now, we can move ahead to talk about Beardies eating these fruits.
Will Beardies Eat Raisins?
Before you make a new addition to your pet’s diet, the first question that should come to your mind is: will my pet eat it? After all, it all comes down to what they are and aren’t willing to eat. Because since we’re talking about their treats, the whole point of it is for them to like it.
But if your pet is a Beardie, you have nothing to worry about. These reptiles have a flexible diet and are not much of a picky eater either. While in the wild, they feed mostly on insects. But in captivity, they respond positively to a primarily plant-based diet as well.
As far as their treats are concerned, these little guys seem to be crazy about everything sweet. So, if you ever serve them sweet treats like raisins, they are never going to say “no”.
Are Raisins Safe For Beardies?
So, now we know for sure that Beardies will eat raisins if we serve it to them. But are raisins safe for them? Yes, they are.
Many veterinary experts have claimed that raisins don’t contain any compound or chemical that can be toxic to Beardies. Thus, as long as you are feeding raisins to your pets in moderation, you have no reason to worry about their health.
Can Raisins Benefit Your Beardies?
Most of us do not expect our treats to benefit us; they solely feed the purpose of pleasing our taste buds. However, small creatures like the Beardies have a small appetite within which all their nutritional needs should fit.
They can’t afford to eat something purely for pleasure (at least, they ideally shouldn’t). Therefore, it is best to look for healthy treats to feed your Beardies. But can raisins be one of these? Yes, by all means.
Raisins have a number of health benefits for these little guys. These dry fruits contain tartaric acid, which has surprising anti-inflammatory properties. They’re also rich in Vitamins B-complex and C, and all of these together strengthen their immune system, promote their reproductive as well as their overall health.
They contain Potassium in abundance, which can help the Beardies in their muscle function and fluid balance regulation.
Other minerals, such as Calcium and Magnesium, support their bone and tissue health. Raisins are also rich in dietary fibers, that are useful for maintaining the digestive health of the Beardies and are even known to help their impaction issues.
With all their health benefits, you shouldn’t think twice before adding raisins to your pet’s diet.
Are There Any Risks Involved With Feeding Raisins To Beardies?
While raisins provide so many health benefits to your little friends, there are only two problems that they can potentially cause to the Beardies when fed in excess. Let’s take a look at these two:
A high sugar content
As you might have noticed in the table above, raisins have quite a high sugar content (with about 60 grams of sugar in every 100 grams of raisins).
While it doesn’t affect Beardies much when fed occasionally, if they start eating raisins too frequently, it can have some dire consequences for them.
There are three most common health problems in Beardies that are triggered when they consume too much sugar.
The first ones are diarrhea or upset stomach; these occur when your Beardies start having difficulty in digesting all the sugar they have consumed. While this one is a short-term issue, the other two are chronic: tooth decay and obesity.
Improper Ca:P ratio
All Beardies need the Ca:P ratio in their diet to range between 1:1 and 2:1. This is because Phosphorus has a tendency of binding with Calcium once inside their body, preventing them from using any of it. And since Beardies need Calcium, they should always be fed foods that have more Calcium than Phosphorus.
In raisins, the amount of Phosphorus is 101 mg, double the amount of Calcium (50 mg), making their Ca:P ratio 1:2. This is the exact opposite of what’s healthy for your Beardies and, thus, improper.
So, if you feed your pets too many raisins, they will start suffering from a deficiency of Calcium, which will eventually lead to Metabolic Bone Disease in them. If you think your Beardie might be suffering from this disease, here are some common symptoms you should look out for:
- Frequent muscle tremors
- Twitching, particularly in toes and fingers
- Receding jaw
- Fragile bones
- Hardened knots in bones
- Difficulty in movement
Now you know why we ask you time and again to practice strict moderation while feeding your Beardies raisins, or any other fruit with high sugar content.
How Often Should You Feed Your Beardie Raisins?
As we discussed in the previous section, because of their high sugar content and improper Ca:P ratio, raisins are not safe for your Beardies to eat daily, or on a regular basis. We would recommend you to feed them these treats only once in a couple of months. And even then, the number of raisins should not be more than 3-4 pieces.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Raisins?
If you have a baby Beardie at home, you should never think of feeding them raisins. These babies (below the age of 18 months) need a primarily animal-based diet because they need more protein for their healthy growth and development.
Therefore, during this period, you should make sure that 75% of their diet is made of live insects, along with leafy greens occasionally.
Because these little Beardies have a delicate digestive system that is not used to digesting sugar, eating raisins would upset their stomach in almost no time. The same is true for all the other fruits.
How To Feed Raisins To Bearded Dragons?
Feeding raisins to Beardies is an easy job; there is not much to do. You needn’t wash or cut them, nor do they come with seeds that you have to remove for your Beardies. In fact, you can feed them these straight out of the packet.
All you need to be careful about is the quality of the raisins. If possible, you should always purchase organic raisins, because these have minimal added chemicals or preservatives.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Beardies eat grapes? Yes, they can. In fact, grapes are safer for them than raisins.
Can I feed strawberries to my Beardie? Yes, you can give your Beardies strawberries, but only as an occasional treat, for they have a lower nutritional value than other fruits.
Conclusion: Can Bearded Dragons Eat raisins?
One of the many benefits of owning a Beardies is that these little guys are omnivores just like us. Therefore, you can keep their diet diverse and nutritious by feeding them things from your own kitchen.
However, as people say, too much of anything can be bad. While some fruits or veggies can be great for their health in moderation, when fed too much, these can also prove to be detrimental to their health. Raisins are one of the foods that belong to this list.