Can Bearded Dragons Eat Grapes? Yes, Bearded Dragons Can Eat Grapes in moderation. Bearded dragons are omnivores which means their diet consists of both insects and plant matter. Providing your bearded dragon with a balanced diet is essential for his long-term health and wellness, but that diet should consist of more than just commercial reptile pellets.
While commercial reptile pellets may provide the essential nutrients your bearded dragon needs in the right ratios, it’s not an ideal diet. A pelleted diet lacks the moisture your pet needs for hydration, and it can become boring for your pet to eat the same thing every day. But what else can you feed him?
If you’re looking for a healthy way to add some variety and extra nutrition to your bearded dragon’s diet, fresh produce is a great way to do it.
Are Grapes Safe for Bearded Dragons?
The short answer is yes. Grapes are safe for bearded dragons and, in fact, they are just one of many fruits your pet can enjoy. Some bearded dragons even seem to prefer fruits over vegetables, though it’s a good idea to include both in his weekly diet for nutritional balance.
While grapes are safe for bearded dragons, grape seeds are not.
Grape seeds are a choking hazard for bearded dragons and, for smaller beardies, they could cause gut impaction. If the seed fails to move through your pet’s digestive tract, it could cause an obstruction that prevents him from defecating and that can be a life-threatening problem.
As long as you aren’t feeding your bearded dragon seeded grapes or grape leaves, it doesn’t matter too much which variety you choose. Your beardie can safely enjoy red, purple, or green grapes as long as your vet says it’s healthy and you limit his intake to one or two per week.
You can even feed your bearded dragon grape leaves!
In fact, grape leaves are an excellent source of calcium which is essential for reptiles like bearded dragons. Grape leaves are also a rich source of protein, so you may want to feed them to your bearded dragon more often than you feed him fresh grapes.
How Often Can You Feed a Bearded Dragon Grapes?
While fresh grapes are safe for your beardie, you shouldn’t offer them too often. Variety is essential to create a balanced diet and certain foods should only be offered as an occasional treat.
The recommended ratio of insects to fresh foods in your beardie’s diet changes with age. Juvenile bearded dragons need the protein and fat from insects to fuel their growth and development, so no more than 30% of their diet should come from vegetables. Once they read adulthood, however, the ratio switches and 70% to 80% should come from veggies and other produce.
If you’re going to feed your bearded dragon grapes, you may want to wait until he reaches adulthood to make them a regular part of his diet. That being said, some beardies love the sweetness of grapes, so you can use small pieces to encourage a juvenile beardie to eat his veggies.
Risks of Feeding Too Many Grapes
Grapes should be an occasional treat for bearded dragons, not a daily menu item. While they’re rich in fiber, copper, and vitamin K, there are some potential risks to be aware of.
Here are some of those potential risks:
- Metabolic bone disease (MBD)
While it may sound strange that overhydration could be a problem, it can be for desert animals like your bearded dragon. Hydration is certainly important and most of your beardie’s moisture intake comes from fresh foods, but too much water can also be an issue. The most common sign of excessive hydration is runny stool. If your beardie experiences regular diarrhea, it can actually lead to dehydration.
Another potential issue with frequent consumption of grapes has to do with the mineral balance in your bearded dragon’s diet.
According to the experts at VCA, metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a common and serious problem I bearded dragons. Typically diagnosed in beardies under 2years of age, MBD is frequently caused by a diet high in phosphorus and low in calcium or vitamin D3.
So, where do grapes factor in?
Grapes are high in oxalates, a type of acid that binds to calcium in the body. This means that even if you’re feeding your beardie plenty of calcium-rich foods or using calcium supplements, feeding too many foods high in oxalates could prevent him from absorbing that calcium properly. Phosphorus can have a similar effect and while grapes are not particularly high in phosphorus, they do contain some.
The final problem with feeding your bearded dragon too many grapes has to do with the sugar content. Grapes are rich in natural sugar, but even natural sugar is high in calories and can cause issues. Excessive sugar intake could lead to dental problems as well as diabetes, fatty liver disease, and obesity.
How to Feed Your Bearded Dragon Grapes
If you’re going to feed your bearded dragon grapes, it’s important to do so safely. When choosing foods for your pet, make sure you take his size into account. Juvenile bearded dragons should be fed small crickets and mealworms while larger insects like super worms should be reserved for adult beardies.
The same concept applies to fresh foods like fruits and veggies. Just like you’d chop your bearded dragon’s veggies into appropriately sized pieces, you should do the same for grapes.
Cutting your beardie’s grapes into smaller pieces helps eliminate the possibility of choking. It also helps you double-check for seeds. Even if they’re advertised as seedless, some grapes will still have seeds. You don’t have to worry about removing the peel, it is perfectly safe for your bearded dragon to eat.
When it comes to feeding the grapes to your pet, you can use them in several ways. For young beardies, mixing small pieces of grapes in with other veggies can make them more appealing to him. You can also use them as special treats when training your beardie. For adult bearded dragons, if you’re worried about the sugar or calorie content, you can cut grapes in half and rub some of the juice onto the veggies so your pet can enjoy the flavor without the consequences.
Before feeding your bearded dragon any fresh produce, make sure it is thoroughly washed. To further avoid the risk of pesticides and other chemical contaminants, consider buying organic produce for your beardie.
As is true for any pet, a balanced diet is essential for the long-term health of your bearded dragon. It’s a good idea to get a juvenile beardie used to eating pellets from a young age but the majority of his diet should be made up of insects and fresh foods like veggies and fruits.
Remember, the proper ratio of insects to product will change as your bearded dragon ages, so keep in close contact with your veterinarian to make sure your pet is getting what he needs.
If you’re looking for a tasty way to add some variety to your bearded dragon’s diet, grapes are a good option. Just be sure to cut them into manageable pieces, remove any seeds, and limit your beardie’s intake to one or two grapes per week.
Double-certified Pet Food Nutrition Specialist & Expert Pet Writer
Kate Barrington holds a Bachelor’s degree in English and is the published author of several self-help books and nutrition guides. Also an avid dog lover and adoring owner of three cats, Kate’s love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. Kate holds a certificate in fitness nutrition and enjoys writing about health and wellness trends — she also enjoys crafting original recipes. In addition to her work as a ghostwriter and author, Kate is also a blogger for a number of organic and natural food companies as well as a columnist for several pet magazines.