Fruits, Vegetables, and Bearded Dragons

Fruits and Vegetables for Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits, vegetables, and greens. This page will tell you which foods are safe and heathiest for your beardie.

Fruit and Vegetable Basics

Owners are responsible for ensuring their bearded dragon's diet is healthy. Like people, beardies can be picky eaters so it is up to you to make sure their diet is nutritious.

Diet by Age

Adult bearded dragons will eat more fruit and veggies than younger beardies. This is because juvenile bearded dragons are growing and need a diet that is higher in protein and fat. The table show how the diet needs change by age.

Adult DragonsYoung Dragons80% Fruit, vegetables, and greens20% Fruit, vegetables, and greens20% Insects80% Insects

Preparing Fruits and Veggies

Fruits and vegetables should be prepared correctly before they are fed to your beardie. Foods that are too large can cause digestion issues and increase the risk for impaction. You should cut any fruits, vegetables, and greens so the food is smaller than the distance between the beardies eyes (length, width, and height).

Some veggies may need to be cooked to make them easier to digest. Any cooked foods need to be cooled to room temperature before feeding them to your bearded dragon.

How to Identify Healthy Fruits & Vegetables

Some people may assume all fruits and vegetables are healthy, however that's not always true with bearded dragons. Keep in mind that the bearded dragon's natural habitat is dry and desert regions in Australia. So despite the fact they are omnivores their bodies have adapted to a diet consisting of food found in those regions. Below are some quick nutrition guidelines to help you identify foods which should not be a regular part of your beardies diet.

Oxalates and Oxalic Acid

Oxalates are produced by plants to help regulate and remove excess calcium. When plants high in oxalates are consumed by bearded dragons the oxalic acid will bind to calcium in the digestive track and prevent it from being absorbed. In other words, foods high in oxalates will reduce the amount of calcium bearded dragons can absorb. Foods containing more than 10mg of oxalates are considered high and should not be a staple food for your bearded dragon. Not all plants/vegetables contain high oxalates, but some of the highest levels are found in spinach, eggplant, mushrooms, and rhubarb.

Below are some quick guidelines regarding oxalates (note: the oxalic measurement is per serving, on TheBeardedDragon all serving sizes are set to 100g):

  • Foods containing less than 2mg of oxalates are considered low and should not pose any health issues
  • Food containing 2-9mg of oxalates contain a moderate amount of oxalic acid and should not be fed more than once per day.
  • Foods containing 10-30mg of oxalates contain a high level of oxalic acid and should not be fed more than once per week.
  • Foods containing 30-100mg of oxalates contain very high levels of oxalic acid. These foods should be fed in very small portions no more than twice per month.
  • Foods containing over 100mg of oxalates per 100g serving should be avoided. If the food's portion size is tiny (e.g. 5-10g per serving) it can be fed to bearded dragons once per month.
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio

The calcium to phosphorus ratio is abbreviated Ca:P and indicates the ratio of calcium to phosphorus in one serving of food. Ideally you want foods with a Ca:P ratio higher than 1:1 (meaning each serving has more calcium than phosphorus). For example a Ca:P ratio of 2:1 is considered ideal as it has twice as much calcium than phosphorus. This is important because phosphorus binds to and prevents calcium from being absorbed. Foods with higher levels of phosphorus (e.g. apples) may create a calcium deficit due to the phosphorus binding to and blocking the calcium from other food sources. Below are some suggestions for foods with different ratios:

  • Ca:P ratio of 2:1 - these foods are perfect as they have twice as much calcium than phosphorus. Feed them daily to your beardie
  • Ca:P ratio of 1:1 - these foods have the same amount of calcium as phosphorus. They are safe to feed daily as long as other food sources provide the calcium they need.
  • Ca:P ratio of 0.5:1 - these foods have 2x as much phosphorus than calcium. If feeding these foods to your beardie, do so no more than twice a week and provide additional calcium from other foods or supplements.
  • Ca:P ratio of 0.3:1 - these foods have 3x more phosphorus than calcium and should be considered high risk. Feed no more than once per month and provide additional calcium from other foods or supplements.
  • Ca:P ratio less than 0.3:1 - these foods should be avoided and considered dangerous to feed to beardies. The effort required to safely correct the calcium deficit with additional supplementation exceeds any benefits the food may provide your bearded dragon.
Acidic Fruits and Vegetables

Foods that are considered acidic should be avoided. The high levels of acid can irritate the mouth and stomach lining in bearded dragons and lead to diarrhea and other discomfort. Use the tips below to determine which foods are acidic:

  • All citrus fruits should be avoided as they are all too acidic (lemons, oranges, grapefruits, etc.)
  • Foods with a PH value higher than 5.0 are safe to eat
  • Foods with a PH value of 4.5-5.0 can be tolerated if fed in moderation
  • Foods with a PH value of 4.25-4.5 may cause minor irritation and, if fed, should be in small quantities mixed with non-acidic foods
  • Foods with a PH value less than 4.25 should be avoided unless the food can easily be served in tiny portions with other food.
Sugar

Many popular fruits in grocery stores contain more sugar than anything bearded dragons find in the wild. Too much sugar can cause dental and mouth illnesses as well as obesity in bearded dragons. If the fruit contains more than 10g of sugar per 100g serving it should be fed as a treat and not a frequent part of their meal.

Fruits and Vegetables List

Below are complete lists of fruits and vegetables as well as their nutritional information.

Vegetables for Bearded Dragons

Below is a list of most common vegetables people feed or ask about feeding bearded dragons. Please review this list carefully as some vegetables are healthier than others and a few should be avoided. Nutritional information from the USDA was used to calculate the vitamin and mineral ratios.

Nutrition Notes
Nutrition details are for a 100g serving size
Ca:P is the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus
mg is milligrams (1g = 1,000 mg)
The outlined frequency specifies how often you can serve the food to your bearded dragon.
Arugula (raw)
Daily
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
3.1:1
160mg
52mg
7mg
2,373IU
Broccoli (raw)
Twice per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
0.7:1
47mg
66mg
2mg
623IU
Cabbage (raw)
Twice per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
1.5:1
40mg
26mg
2mg
98IU
Carrots (raw)
Twice per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
0.9:1
33mg
35mg
6mg
16,706IU
Celery (raw)
Twice per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
1.7:1
40mg
24mg
7mg
449IU
Cilantro
Daily
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
1.4:1
67mg
48mg
5mg
6,748IU
Collards (raw)
Daily
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
9.3:1
232mg
25mg
30mg
5,019IU
Cucumber (peeled)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
0.7:1
14mg
21mg
2mg
72IU
Green Bell Peppers (raw)
Once per month
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
0.5:1
10mg
20mg
117mg
370IU
Iceberg Lettuce
Daily
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
0.9:1
18mg
20mg
0mg
502IU
Kale (raw)
Twice per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
4.6:1
254mg
55mg
10mg
4,812IU
Mustard Greens (raw)
Daily
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
2:1
115mg
58mg
7mg
3,024IU
Parsley (fresh)
Once per month
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
2.4:1
138mg
58mg
166mg
8,424IU
Red Tomatoes (raw)
Once per month
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
0.4:1
10mg
24mg
26mg
833IU
Romain Lettuce
Daily
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
1.1:1
33mg
30mg
0mg
8,710IU
Spinach (raw)
Once per month
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
2:1
99mg
49mg
658mg
9,377IU
Turnip Greens (raw)
Daily
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
4.5:1
190mg
42mg
50mg
11,587IU
Zucchini (raw)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Oxalate
Vitamin A
0.4:1
16mg
38mg
2mg
200IU

Please contact us if you know of any vegetables we can add to the list above.

Fruits for Bearded Dragons

Fruits are often high in sugar or low in calcium so many fruits should be used as treats. The fruits below are the most common fruits owners ask about so review the nutritional information before feeding them to your bearded dragon. All nutritional values were supplied from USDA. Keep in mind the following guidelines for fruits:

  • Citrus fruits are unhealthy for bearded dragons and should be avoided.
  • Remove any pits or seeds that may be inside the fruit before feeding.
Nutrition Notes
Nutrition details are for a 100g serving size
Ca:P is the ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus
mg is milligrams (1g = 1,000 mg)
The outlined frequency specifies how often you can serve the food to your bearded dragon.
Apples (without skin)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.5:1
5mg
11mg
10.1g
38IU
Bananas (raw)
Never
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.2:1
5mg
22mg
12.23g
64IU
Blackberries (raw)
Twice per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
1.3:1
29mg
22mg
4.88g
214IU
Blueberries (raw)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.5:1
6mg
12mg
9.96g
54IU
Cantaloupe (raw)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.6:1
9mg
15mg
7.86g
3,382IU
Grapes (American)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
1.4:1
14mg
10mg
16.25g
100IU
Mangos (raw)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.8:1
11mg
14mg
13.66g
1,082IU
Peaches
Once per month
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.3:1
6mg
20mg
8.39g
326IU
Pears (raw)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.8:1
9mg
12mg
9.75g
25IU
Pineapple (raw)
Once per month
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
1.6:1
13mg
8mg
9.85g
58IU
Strawberries (raw)
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.7:1
16mg
24mg
4.89g
12IU
Watermelon
Once per week
Ca:P
Calcium
Phosphorus
Sugar
Vitamin A
0.6:1
7mg
11mg
6.2g
569IU

Please contact us if you know of any fruits we can add to the list above.

Related Pages

About this Article

Authored by:The Bearded Dragon
Updated:February 10, 2023
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