Bearded dragons are omnivores, so they enjoy plants, insects, vegetables, and many fruits, but can bearded dragons eat cantaloupe? If you are a pet lover, you may think about whether you should give your bearded dragon this delicious fruit. Let’s go to the facts that are essential to know about combining your pet’s diet with the delicious fruit cantaloupe.
Cantaloupe is a refreshing famous summer fruit. Everyone enjoys and loves this fruit, but can you give it to your pet as well? If you are wondering this then you came to the perfect place. Yes, the bearded dragon can eat the cantaloupe but only occasionally, it can not be a part of their regular diet.
Related: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli?
How to select a good Cantaloupe?
When inside the grocery store to buy a Cantaloupe, look for one that is firm, heavy, and symmetrical without soft spots.How often do you feed a bearded dragon with cantaloupes?
Although cantaloupe is not a healthy item for a bearded dragon, some pet owners still feed their bearded dragon with this fruit. Here are some important points to remember before feeding cantaloupes to beardies:
• Wash this fruit with warm water to remove insects or bacteria on the skin and peel off the whole green skin, which is acidic and also contains a high range of phosphorus which results in calcium to phosphorus imbalance ratio.
• Cut the peeled cantaloupe into smaller cubes; the size should be small and also served in small quantities so that your bearded dragon can eat them easily.
• Keep the pieces of cantaloupe in open air or in a warm environment, to remove excess water then serve it to the bearded dragon.
• You can feed an adult bearded dragon with 100gms -500gms of cantaloupe (small pieces) per month.
• Never give cantaloupe, as the main diet meal, to the bearded dragon.
Can I feed my bearded dragon with cantaloupe stems and leaves?
If you are thinking that you should feed your dragon with cantaloupe leaves, stems, or flowers, I suggest you not feed it. The stem and leaves of the cantaloupe have many cons that make these things unessential food for the bearded dragon, but some animals can eat them.
Firstly, these leaves and stems contain a lot of water, which can result in watery poop or diarrhea.
Secondly, there may be hair linings on the stems and leaves, which irritate the GIT and mouth during the swallowing, and this generates a persistent disturbance after feeding.
Thirdly, cantaloupe stems and leaves possess alkaloids and, if consumed in higher quantities, it may cause complications with digestion and enzymatic reaction, and cause hormonal imbalance.
Also, leaves and stems from the wild cantaloupe tend to be poisonous or dangerous and can harm your pet bearded dragon. Succulent stems and leaves contain high pH; thus, they can lead to indigestion issues and throat problems when swallowed.
Can a baby bearded dragon eat cantaloupe?
Cantaloupe is not a healthy diet. The baby bearded dragons are very small in size, so their digestive system is also weak as compared to that of an adult. It may harm your baby bearded dragon that’s why it is not recommended for your baby pet.
Benefits of feeding cantaloupe to bearded Dragon
Vitamins are crucial for the health of your bearded dragons. One of the vitamins required for bearded dragons is vitamin A but in low amounts.
Overdosing vitamin A may lead to “Vitamin A toxicity”. That’s why it is advised that you give food rich in Beta Carotene as the body of the bearded dragon will extract Vitamin A from the beta carotene and also dispose of what this does not require.
Feeding cantaloupe to your dragon will assist them to get Vitamin A they need. Feed cantaloupe only as a treat
Cantaloupe has high water contents just like many other fruits in this melon family. Keeping your bearded dragon hydrated is very important for its health especially during skin shedding.
However, making Cantaloupe the regular food in your bearded dragon’s diet can lead to diarrhea because of the excess water. Stick to serving cantaloupe only as the treat.
When pet bearded dragons are young, they require much insect diet to fulfill their high protein content requirement. Feeding your dragon enough fibers will maintain its health, fruits like cantaloupe or kale are the best sources of fiber.
Risks of feeding cantaloupe to Bearded Dragons
Metabolic Bone Disease
Metabolic bone diseases can be fatal and lead to death. It is caused due to low calcium content in the body of a bearded dragon.
This is the good news that you can give calcium to the bearded dragon with its food and through supplements by dusting the dragon’s food.
But we can give bearded dragons calcium-rich food items such as figs. There are foodstuffs that can cause more harm than benefits to bearded dragon’s calcium needs if given every day like ginger, spinach, and now cantaloupe.
When calcium combines with phosphorus, It reacts and generates calcium phosphate that is useless for the bearded dragons as it removes calcium in the body of the dragon.
That’s why it is very crucial to reduce or avoid the intensity of feeding food items that have a high content of phosphorus as compared to calcium in the bearded dragons. The recommended range of Calcium to Phosphorus is 1:1 or 2:2 respectively.
Another mineral to prevent is oxalate, like phosphorus oxalate will lessen calcium content in bearded dragons body by making calcium oxalates.
Some safe fruits for bearded dragons
All fruits can be occasional treats for bearded dragons because of the high sugar, oxalate, and water content in them.
However, the following are some best nutritious fruits for bearded dragons.
• Apple (without peel)
• Cherries (without pits)
• Figs (these particularly with high calcium levels)
Cantaloupe is a beneficial fruit and also deserves appreciation just like some other fruits such as grapes, oranges, etc. It is rich in vitamin C and vitamin A. You can only use Cantaloupe occasionally to feed the bearded dragon, probably two smaller slices in a week. If it is given regularly, it results in issues like Calcium to Phosphorus imbalance, Metabolic Bone Disease due to calcium deficiency, and other more risks, as we have discussed above.
If your bearded dragon requires calcium boosts, some of the best veggies options having high calcium contents are here:
• Dandelion leaves
• Mustard greens
• Cactus leaves