On a warm summer day it’s hard to beat the tropical sweetness of fresh pineapple. Juicy and tart, this fruit is rich in disease-fighting nutrients. You might want to share this natural goodness with your bearded dragon. Can bearded dragons eat pineapple?
Can Bearded Dragons Have Pineapple?
Pineapple is an undeniably healthy and refreshing fruit for us people and our bearded dragons, although we can eat it on a daily basis while bearded dragons can safely eat pineapple once or twice a month. Here are some of the perks pineapple has to offer your bearded dragon in the recommended amount:
A boosted immune system. Pineapple is bursting with antioxidants and Vitamin C, creating a powerful force against disease and inflammation.
Smooth digestion. Is your dragon, ahem, stopped up? If constipation is an issue for your beardie, a little pineapple can go a long way in getting things moving again. This is because it’s a great source of fiber. Too much fiber can wreak havoc on the digestive system, of course, but just the right amount can make your dragon’s belly pretty glad.
Energy and metabolism. Your dragon can’t chase down insects and enjoy playtime with you if he doesn’t have enough energy or a healthy metabolism. The carbohydrates, manganese, and 86% water content in pineapples provide energy and help regulate metabolism to keep your dragon going.
Healthy heart, cells, brain, blood, and nerves. Pineapple contains copper, potassium, folate, Vitamin B6, and magnesium, all of which work together to ensure your dragon’s most vital organs and systems are functioning the way they’re supposed to.
In addition to these great perks, your dragon will be happy to hear that pineapple has a safe calcium to phosphorus ratio. Although pineapple only contains trace amounts of calcium, it also contains the same amount of phosphorus, making the ratio 1:1.
This ratio is important to consider because phosphorus prevents calcium absorption, and calcium is needed to keep your beardie healthy. If a bearded dragon eats too many foods that are high in phosphorus, she can develop metabolic bone disease, or MBD. This is much less of a risk with foods that have a 1:1 to 2:1 calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Pineapple All the Time?
With all these benefits, you’d think bearded dragons should be able to to eat pineapple more frequently. So why can’t bearded dragons have pineapple weekly or even daily?
Oxalates. The biggest issue with this tropical fruit is oxalates. Pineapple has a moderate amount of oxalates, also called oxalic acid. This is problematic for bearded dragons because oxalates, like phosphorus, prevent calcium absorption. Since pineapple is not calcium-rich, your dragon could develop MBD if he eats pineapple every day or even every week. It’s best to limit it to once or twice a month, to be safe.
Sugar. This is the main reason bearded dragons can’t have fruit every day, whether it’s pineapple or some other fruit. Pineapple has sugar, and even though it’s a much healthier sugar than refined sugar, it’s just not good for bearded dragons in high amounts. Too much sugar will cause all kinds of problems, ranging from obesity to liver disease to tooth decay and even death.
Acid. Another issue with pineapple being fed regularly? It’s highly acidic. This can irritate bearded dragons’ stomach lining and cause diarrhea. If you are feeding your bearded dragon pineapple for the first time, keep an eye on things to make sure even a little bit doesn’t hurt her digestion due to the acid.
Pineapple for Your Bearded Dragon When Other Fruits Are On the Menu
Chances are, as you do your research like any diligent Dragon Keeper, you will notice there are several fruits that you can give your dragon once or twice a month, just like pineapples. These include bananas, kiwi, cantaloupe, and watermelon. In the case of these particular fruits (and many you will find with restrictions), this is due to phosphorus or oxalic acid content.
You might wonder, then, if you could technically be giving kiwi one week, watermelon the next week, cantaloupe the next week, and bananas after that, followed by pineapple. Technically, you’d be providing each fruit only once a month. However, you would be providing phosphorus- or oxalate-rich food four or five times in that one month, putting your dragon at risk. The important thing here to remember is balance.
If you want to offer some pineapple for your bearded dragon, ask yourself, what else has he eaten today? What did he eat last week? The week before? The answer will help you determine if it's safe to feed him pineapple.
Pro Tip: Keeping track of your feedings or closely following a feeding schedule is quite beneficial in giving your dragon the proper foods in the proper amounts to help him have a happy life.
How Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pineapple?
When you’ve determined it’s safe to give your bearded dragon some pineapple, follow these simple steps to serve it:
- Remove the tough skin and leaves to prevent choking and gut impaction. (Slicing the pineapple into circular pieces and then cutting off the skin is an easy way to do this, rather than attempting to slice off the skin first.)
- Cut out the core as well.
- Slice the pineapple fruit into very small pieces.
- If you’d like, you can serve pineapple with a few pieces of kiwi, banana, or mango for a delicious fruit salad. Beardies love to gobble up pineapple by itself too, so if you feel your bearded dragon really deserves the special treatment, try that and just watch how excited he gets!
Have fun feeding your bearded dragon this sumptuous treat! Just remember to stay aware of what else is on your beardie’s feeding schedule and offer pineapple accordingly to keep your pet happy and healthy.
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