Yes, bearded dragons can have apples (both red apples and green apples) but make sure they are peeled and cut into bite-sized pieces with no seeds or stems. Bearded dragons can also eat a bunch of other fruits but some may not always like them. Sometimes, you will need to get your beardie used to certain types of food by introducing it gently.
In this guide, you’ll learn:
- Can I feed my bearded dragon apples?
- How do I feed apples properly?
- How much can they have?
- Are other fruits ok?
- What about vegetables?
Bearded dragons are omnivores so they eat a variety of vegetables, fruits, and meat/protein such as insects. As babies and juveniles, they will need to eat more crickets and other feeder insects as a protein source for their growth but their diet needs to include more greens and vegetables as adult bearded dragons.
You should always get your fruits and vegetables from organic farms to make sure they are pesticide-free. Pesticides, even in small amounts can harm your beardie.
Applesauce or apple baby food is actually a good technique to help your beardie with its digestion! However, with fruits, always be careful to avoid the softer and sugary ones as these can ferment and cause teeth problems in beardies. Fruits are a good part of a bearded dragon’s diet but are usually better off reserved as treats and fed from time to time rather than regularly.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apple Seeds?
No, seeds will be very hard to digest and may cause gut impaction in bearded dragons which can be a fatal condition wherein their digestive tract is blocked. Always make sure your apples do not have the peel or any seeds in them left before feeding it to your beardie.
How Much Apple Can They Have?
Fruits like apples tend to be high in sugar and are best offered as treats similar to mealworms which are high in fat. It’s good to give them a few pieces once a week as a nutritious treat.
Reptiles don’t often encounter fruits in their natural habitat so fruits are best offered in moderation to them as pets.
Nutritional Benefits of Apples For Bearded Dragons
Apples have Vitamin A and Vitamin C which helps with vision, growth, and in fortifying your dragon’s immune system. It also has fiber and has a high water content which helps in good digestion and hydration. Apples also have carbohydrates, potassium, and iron which are beneficial nutrients for dragons.
Despite having high nutritional value, apples also have a lot of sugar and should not be part of your dragon’s regular, everyday, diet. It is best enjoyed as a treat once a week to prevent obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, and other health problems.
Nutrition for your bearded dragon is best obtained from calcium dust or Vitamin D3 supplements as these are the essential nutrients that your dragon needs to prevent the development of metabolic bone disease.
How Do I Feed Apple To My Bearded Dragon?
- Wash the apple thoroughly to get rid of any pesticides or harmful toxins that may be present.
- Peel the apples and chop them into small strips or bite sized pieces.
- Take out all the seeds or any stems.
- Feed them to your beardie as a treat.
If you’re introducing fruits like apples to your lizard for the first time, you can have them smell it first or maybe feed it along with some crickets to get it used to the taste. Some owners started by letting their beardies lick the apple juice from their fingers to get them used to the taste.
Other Fruits and Vegetables Your Bearded Dragon can eat/ Quick bearded dragon feeding guide
Bearded dragons can have a variety of fruits and vegetables in their diet. In fact, as adult bearded dragons, 80% of their diet should consist of leafy, fibrous, greens and other vegetables.
Bearded dragons can eat these fruits in moderation as treats. Make sure you wash these fruits properly, peel them, take out their seeds, and cut them into small bite-sized pieces for your dragon to enjoy.
It’s also best to only feed soft and really sweet fruits like kiwi, mango, and strawberries from time to time since the high sugar content can cause teeth problems for your dragon.
Citrus fruits like oranges, lemons, and grapefruit should not be fed to bearded dragons and most lizards because it can cause indigestion and diarrhea because of their high acidity. These fruits can also have high oxalic acid content which can disrupt the absorption of calcium from their diet.
Citrus fruits are also known to disrupt the dietary calcium ratio (Ca:P; calcium to phosphorus ratio) which is important for absorption of these nutrients into their bloodstream. Lizards, like bearded dragons, have unique metabolism and digestive systems. They need a gram of phosphorus for every gram of calcium for both nutrients to be absorbed efficiently. Calcium can bind with oxalic acid present in some fruits and vegetables like spinach and therefore make phosphorus less available in their diets as well.
✅ Vegetables that your dragon can enjoy as a regular part of their diet include:
- Acorn squash
- Bell pepper
- Bok choi
- Broccoli (in small amounts)
- Butternut squash
- Green beans
- Sweet potato
- Yellow squash
✅ Leafy greens that your dragon can have as a great part of their regular diet are:
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
❌ Avoid feeding these foods to your bearded dragon:
- Lettuce or any greens that have “lettuce” on their name – these are mostly water and will not be a nutritious part of your bearded dragon’s regular diet. Feed them more substantial greens like kale or collard greens.
- Spinach should be avoided since calcium binds to oxalates found in high content in spinach. Calcium is not readily absorbed by bearded dragons so feeding them spinach will lessen the available calcium for them to absorb. Bearded dragons need special UVB light to help them synthesize Vitamin D3 which in turn helps them absorb calcium from their diet.
- Wild-caught insects should never be fed to dragons since these can have parasites or trace amounts of toxins and pesticides that can make your beardie sick.
- Fireflies or any insect that glows are lethal to reptilian hearts. Bearded dragons can have difficulty breathing within 15 minutes to an hour of ingesting fireflies. They can also show head shaking and regurgitation. Their skin can turn black or darken. Reptiles can die within minutes of heart failure. The toxicity of fireflies to reptiles comes from a compound called lucibufagins which is a steroid produced by fireflies as a defense mechanism to make them unpalatable to predators. This chemical is a derivative or close cousin to the compound they produce which makes them glow.
- Avocados can also be toxic to bearded dragons because of their high oxalic acid content.
Can my Beardie have apples?
Yes, your beardie can have apples (peeled, seeded, and cut into small pieces) as a yummy treat.
How often can I feed my Beardie apples?
Once a week is good as a treat. Apples, like most fruits, have high sugar content which is bad for your dragon if included in their regular diet.
Is it safe to feed them apple peels?
No, apple peels are hard to chew and digest and run the risk of having chemicals, pesticides, and other harmful toxins that can harm your bearded dragon even in small amounts. It can also cause gut impaction. Apples should always be peeled, seeded, and cut into smaller pieces before feeding to your beardie.
Can bearded dragons have apple seeds?
No. Bearded dragons cannot digest apple seeds. Seeds are also a choking hazard and can cause a gut impaction which is a condition wherein their digestive tract is blocked. Impaction can turn severe, require surgery, and even be fatal for your dragon.
Apples can be eaten by bearded dragons as a treat from time to time. They should not be part of their regular diet since they are high in sugar and can rot their teeth or cause obesity. It’s important that apples are peeled, seeded, free from stems, and cut into bite sized pieces before being fed to your bearded dragon.
Introduction to bearded dragons:
Bearded dragons: facts and photos
Comprehensive list of plants that reptiles can eat:
Edible Plants List
An article tackling some feeding myths found online:
Fact Vs. Fiction on food for herbivorous reptiles
A nice list of vegetable and fruit names for omnivores:
Vegetable and Fruit Names: A Multi-Lingual Glossary for Herbivorous and Omnivorous Reptile Keepers
Explaining common myths and facts about bearded dragon care:
Myths and Facts about Bearded Dragon Care