These fuzzy little fruits are a truly enjoyable sweet treat that offers a unique fruity flavor. Many people enjoy them due to their sweetness and interesting texture. Kiwis can really spice up any bland or boring mealtime routine. This is especially true for bearded dragons. They love these sweet little fruits and their crunchy seeds and their refreshing coolness. But what sort of benefits does kiwi have for your bearded dragon?
So can bearded dragons eat kiwi? Should they be a staple part of their diet or something they should only have rarely? Let’s see about that.
The Benefits of Kiwi
Bearded dragons need a lot of vitamin C in their diets, but unfortunately, they can’t enjoy citrus fruits as their source. Kiwi fruit actually has high levels of vitamin C and E, which are both good for building up your immune system and fortifying it against disease and inflammation. So if you’re looking for a tasty and nutrient-dense way to give them that immunity boost without giving them citrus, which isn’t good for them, kiwi is your best bet.
It has a whopping 92 mg of Vitamin C for only 100 grams of fruit.
It is also a great source of folate, to encourage tissue repair and cell health. Zinc helps with injury recovery and Copper helps ensure healthy blood flow and wellness. You’ll also want to look for foods that are solid in their calcium to phosphorous ratio.
Phosphorous inhibits calcium absorption so you want to look for a one to one ratio or a two to one ratio of calcium to phosphorous. For kiwi, there is an even amount of calcium to phosphorous so you don’t have to worry about the phosphorous level being too high and depleting their calcium. If you are going to give it to your little one semi-regularly you’ll want to make sure you’re supplementing their calcium adequately.
If you’re going to prepare it for them you should only really give it to them monthly as it is still a fruit and should be limited. Preparing it correctly is important as well.
Preparing The Kiwi
You’ll want to ensure the kiwi is at peak ripeness so it isn’t too hard as harder pieces of fruit in larger pieces can be hard for your bearded dragon to ingest. You don’t want them to eat the peel either as it can cause choking or impaction. You also might want to wash the flesh just to make sure there isn’t anything toxic or harmful that has managed to get past the skin.
The crunch of the seeds is actually quite pleasurable for your beardie as they can thoroughly enjoy them due to them being small enough to eat.
What to Look Out For
While the calcium to phosphorous ratio is one to one, you’ll want to make sure not to feed your bearded dragon kiwi too often as it is a relatively low calcium food. They need a good amount of calcium to keep their bones healthy and strong, so you shouldn’t take up too much space in their bowl with foods that are lower on the calcium scale.
Other than that you should monitor kiwi consumption as it does have a number of oxalates that can cause issues for your beardie. Much like phosphorous, oxalates bind with calcium and make it impossible for it to be absorbed by your pet. If you’re limiting their intake anyway, oxalates shouldn’t really be much of a problem.
Other than those issues, the only other thing to be aware of is sugar. They love sugar, but it should definitely be limited as it can be bad for their health. They can eat plenty of vegetables and have a good amount of insects as a regular part of their diet, but certain fruits should be given in small quantities.
Sugar in abundance can cause weight gain and the problems that come with that like liver problems, kidney issues, and diabetes. Not to mention it can do a number on their teeth as their mouths are small and aren’t really able to be brushed clean. Problems like tooth decay and mouth rot can plague beardies who are given too much sugar.
To your beardie, fruit is like candy so it should be given as a treat or an occasional addition to spice up a food bowl. Beardies can be picky creatures, so a little bit of fruit can help motivate them to eat vegetables they might usually ignore. Check out more healthy options here.