Have you ever wondered if bearded dragons can eat pumpkin? It's packed with antioxidants and other nutrients, so you may wonder if it would benefit their health. And what about pumpkin seeds—can bearded dragons eat those? Let's find out.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pumpkin?
Bearded dragons can have pumpkin occasionally (every other week or so). You can also give them pumpkin baby food to treat constipation.
Pumpkin has some notable nutritional perks, including:
- Loads of beta carotene and alpha carotene, which the body converts to Vitamin A
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B6
Pumpkin also has antioxidants, which benefit the body in many ways.
Pro Tip: To serve pumpkin to your bearded dragon, chop the flesh into little cubes.
Due to its high water content (94%), pumpkin works well for bearded dragons who are constipated. Offer them a little pureed pumpkin to help get things moving. You can use a jar of baby food or even canned pumpkin, if it has no added ingredients.
Watermelon and pureed apple can also help with constipation. If you use a jar of applesauce, make sure there is no added sugar.
Just be careful not to give your dragon too much runny food; otherwise, the constipation may become diarrhea.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Pumpkin Every Day?
With all of these nutritional properties, why can’t bearded dragons eat pumpkin more often?
Vitamin A. Pumpkin is so rich in Vitamin A that it’s actually too intense for bearded dragons to have on the daily. Bearded dragons can develop Vitamin A toxicity if they eat too many foods rich in beta carotene, alpha carotene, and/or Vitamin A. This is more of a risk for dragons who take a multivitamin since that also boosts their Vitamin A intake.
Oxalates. In addition, pumpkin has a moderate amount of oxalates, which bind with calcium and prevent its absorption in the body. If bearded dragons have too many foods with a lot of oxalates, they can suffer from calcium depletion, which leads to metabolic bone disease.
Phosphorus. Finally, the calcium to phosphorus ratio in pumpkins is 1:2. This is problematic because too much phosphorus, like oxalates, causes calcium depletion over time. Bearded dragons should primarily eat foods with a calcium to phosphorus ratio from 1:1 to 2:1.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pumpkin Seeds?
Bearded dragons should not eat pumpkin seeds. They are difficult to chew and pose a choking hazard. They are also difficult for your dragon to digest, not to mention that a lot of pumpkin seeds you buy at the store will have added ingredients such as oil or spices that aren’t good for bearded dragons. So save those salty treats for your own snack time, and give your dragon something else.
What Fruits and Veggies Can Bearded Dragons Eat More Often Than Pumpkin?
Even though you can’t give your dragon pumpkin every day, you have plenty of other options. These include:
- Butternut squash - daily
- Yellow squash - a few times a week
- Spaghetti squash - daily
- Carrots - a few times a week
- Mango - a few times a week
- Apples - once a week
- Green beans - a few times a week
Let us know—does your bearded dragon enjoy pumpkin? Do you have any questions or feedback for us? Please email us at [email protected]