When young bearded dragons prefer a carnivorous diet with a few veggies, greens, and fruits. But as they mature they change to a more herbivorous diet. In this post, we take a look at whether bearded dragons should eat grapes or not.
Can bearded dragons eat Grapes?
Bearded dragons can eat grapes sparingly with the peels or without. However, bearded dragons should not eat grapes seeds to avoid impaction. Bearded dragons should eat grapes sparingly due to high oxalates levels and poor calcium-phosphorus ratio that affects calcium absorption.
The diet of bearded dragons should contain about 10-20% fruit of the plant material, and about 80-20 % veggies and flowers should make the rest percentage of plant material.
Are grapes toxic to bearded dragons?
When fed sparingly as part of a balanced diet, grapes are not toxic to bearded dragons. However, when fed in excess, grapes can be toxic to bearded dragons since the high levels of oxalates and poor calcium and phosphorus content will impair the absorption of calcium.
A mineral that bearded dragons need for proper growth and development.
Nutritional Value of Grapes
The table below shows the nutritional value of grapes about 100g of servings.
Benefits of feeding Grapes to Bearded Dragons
Keeping your bearded dragon hydrated is very important to maintain its health.
Moreso, a bearded dragon needs to be well hydrated when it is in its shedding season.
That said, there are some bearded dragons that find it hard to drink from the bowl, consequently, for such dragons, the remaining means of hydration is via misting or feeding them food with high water content.
Grapes like most fruits have a high water content making them a good option to ensure your dragon is well hydrated.
Generally, a bearded dragon weighing about 300 grams should drink about 10ml of water. This water includes water they drink directly, from misting and from foods.
10ml of water is equivalent to two tablespoons, remember providing too much water to your bearded dragon can lead to diarrhea.
Fiber is also very crucial, especially to herbivorous reptiles. Given that when bearded dragons grow older their diet normally consists of more plant materials as compared to insects.
Fiber becomes a crucial part of their diet to aid in digestion and gut movement.
Grapes contain a small percentage of fiber that can be beneficial to both baby and adult bearded dragons. Given that baby, bearded dragons are more carnivorous and become herbivorous when they grow.
Carnivorous need very little fiber, while herbivorous need a substantial amount of fiber to digest their herbivory diet.
Protein and carbohydrates
Proteins and carbohydrates are very important towards the health of bearded dragons especially when they are young.
Young bearded dragons need exercise and so do adult bearded dragons. One way to keep your bearded dragons exercised is to take them for a swim.
Exercises consume energy and proteins and carbohydrates are a good source of energy.
Though in small amounts grapes contain proteins, however, they have a high concentration of carbs.
Vitamins and minerals
Vitamins are very crucial for the maintenance of a healthy bearded dragon. Deficiency of some vitamins can lead to detrimental conditions and at the same time when fed in excess some vitamins can also lead to adverse effects.
Vitamins such as Vitamin A can be very dangerous when fed in excess leading to vitamin A toxicity.
Therefore, it is better when they are offered as beta carotene as a bearded dragon body can convert beta carotene to vitamin A, excess beta carotene will be excreted whereas excess vitamin A will be stored in the liver.
The table above shows a list of vitamins and minerals that grapes provide to bearded dragons.
Risks of feeding Grapes to bearded dragons
Calcium phosphorus ratio
Calcium is very important in the growth and development of bearded dragons’ bones.
Calcium deficiency for instance can lead to metabolic bone disease, which can lead to death if not treated.
Fortunately, calcium can be provided via supplementation and through feeds.
Of concern is the fact that food containing oxalates and phosphorus should be fed with a lot of care.
These two minerals hinder the absorption of calcium in bearded dragons’ bodies. When calcium reacts with oxalates it forms calcium oxalates and calcium phosphates when it reacts with phosphorus.
Therefore any food high in phosphorus or oxalates should be fed with care or avoided altogether if possible such foods that should be avoided at all costs include avocado, spinach, rhubarb, iceberg lettuce, and celery.
The recommended ratio of calcium to phosphorus is either 1:1 or 2:1. However, veggies that do not have such a ratio can be fed sparingly.
Like most fruits grapes have very high sugar content. Bearded dragon’s diet should be closely monitored for sugar content.
The high sugar content can be dangerous especially for bearded dragons in captivity that do not exercise as much as their wild relatives.
Hence feeding too much sugar will make your bearded dragon obese. Additionally, too much sugar in your bearded dragon’s diet will also cause teeth problems.
Therefore limit the frequency with which you feed sugar to your bearded dragon.
How do I feed my bearded dragon grapes?
- The first step is to make sure you get organic grapes
- Wash them thoroughly
- You can either peel the grapes or not
- Remove grape seeds as they may cause impaction
- Offer your bearded dragon grapes mixed with other friuts or veggies
- Remove any uneaten grapes within 10-15 minutes
Frequently Asked Questions
Can bearded dragons eat grape skin? Bearded dragons can also eat grape skin without any health issues. You can choose to feed grapes to bearded dragons with or without skin either way the health of the bearded dragons will not be affected. There are tons of bearded dragons who feed grapes with skin to their bearded dragon without any health effect.
Can bearded dragons eat grape leaves? A bearded dragon can eat both grapes and grape leaves. Grape leaves are loaded with more calcium compared to phosphorus as opposed to grapes. Grape leaves are also loaded with proteins, minerals, and vitamins beneficial to bearded dragons.
Can Bearded dragons eat cotton candy grapes? Bearded dragons should not eat cotton candy grapes. They contain way too high sugar and calories, feeding cotton candy grapes to your bearded dragons may result in obesity and teeth problems.
How often can bearded dragons eat grapes? Bearded dragons should eat grapes as often as once or twice a month. Grapes have high phosphorus compared to calcium. When they are fed often they will impair calcium absorption. Additionally, Grapes have a high sugar content that may cause obesity and teeth problems if fed very often.
How many grapes can a bearded dragon eat? An adult bearded dragon can eat as many as two-three grapes while a young bearded dragon can eat one grape. Fruits are poor in minerals and should only be fed sparingly and in small portions.
While grapes are great for bearded dragons, they should only be offered in moderation. As a rue of thumb fruits should make a small percentage of the bearded dragon diet. Too many fruits may interfere with bearded dragons’ calcium absorption.
Keep fruits diet at minimal, and only offer them as a treat, bearded dragons are very sharp when it comes to smell and color so do not be fooled when your dragon shows a preference for brightly colored fruits.