Bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits. Unfortunately, not all fruits are safe for them. If you are a new beardie owner, you need to be very careful.
So, can bearded dragons eat cantaloupe?
Bearded dragons can eat cantaloupe in small amounts and on an occasional basis only. This is due to its disproportionate calcium-to-phosphorus ratio and high water content.
As you know, foods for bearded dragons should have good calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. The ideal proportion is 2:1. And the food should not be too watery.
To provide a better understanding of why cantaloupe is not a good staple food for bearded dragons, let’s consider the table below.
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Table of Contents
Nutritional Facts of Cantaloupe
Cantaloupe contains many nutrients that may or may not good for bearded dragons. The table below contains the most essential and important constituents of cantaloupe to talk about.
The table above speaks everything about cantaloupe. As you can see, there are many nutrients and constituents your bearded dragons can get from eating this fruit.
But is it healthy for beardies? Let’s examine the most essential nutrients included in the table and their possible effect on your beardies’ health.
As you can see, cantaloupe is a good source of energy. At this level, it may not cause any issue in bearded dragons in captivity. But I don’t recommend foods with super high in calories.
Bear in mind that bearded dragons in captivity do not need much energy because unlike in the wild, they do not usually engage in physical activities.
The carbohydrate content in cantaloupe is not too high. In my opinion, this is not harmful to beardies. Bearded dragons in captivity should not be offered foods that are high in carbohydrates.
Carbohydrates if not consumed by the body will be converted into sugar. And too much sugar stored in the body is not good, especially for bearded dragons.
The sugar content of cantaloupe is slightly high. I don’t recommend food with this sugar level content. Remember that sugars can have a bad effect on beardies’ health. In this case, the sugar content is one of the reasons why cantaloupes are ruled out as staple food for bearded dragons.
The vitamin A content in cantaloupe is high. It is true that beardies need vitamin A to stay healthy. However, too much of it definitely not good for them.
The vitamin A level in cantaloupe can be too much for bearded dragons. When ingested in large amounts, bearded dragons can suffer from vitamin A toxicity especially if you are giving vitamin A supplement along with this fruit.
Aside from cantaloupe, there are other fruits that also contain high vitamin A levels. Avoid those fruits if you want to keep your reptile safe from serious health conditions.
As you can see, cantaloupe is a good source of vitamin C. The level is not harmful to beardies. But too much vitamin C is not good for beardies. There are fruits that have high vitamin C content that you should avoid.
The example of fruits with high vitamin C is citrus. Citrus fruits have too much vitamin C or citric acid content that is detrimental to bearded dragons.
Cantaloupe has low calcium content. Bear in mind that beardies need calcium for their bone development.
The phosphorus level in cantaloupe is higher than calcium. This means that the ratio for calcium to phosphorus is disproportionate. As mentioned, foods that do not have the ideal calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 2:1 should not be part of the bearded dragons’ staple diet.
The higher level of phosphorus may, later on, dwindle the calcium in bearded dragons. When beardies are lack of calcium, they will most likely develop calcium-deficiency related health conditions.
The most common effect of calcium deficiency is a metabolic bone disease. This condition has several negative effects on beardies. It could cause issues such as appetite loss, lethargy, walking difficulty, etc.
One of the most important considerations when choosing food for bearded dragons is the calcium-to-phosphorus ratio. Due to this, bearded dragons can only eat cantaloupe in a small amount and on an occasional basis.
Potassium is high in cantaloupe. This is important for beardies to keep their muscles and nerves function properly. It also helps delivers the nutrients from one cell to another in the entire body.
One of the main reasons why cantaloupe is not a good part of the beardies’ staple diet is its water content. As you can see, water is the most constituent found in this fruit. It is too watery for bearded dragons.
Beardies’ digestive systems don’t like watery foods. In fact, foods that are high in water content can cause diarrhea and other digestive issues in bearded dragons.
If you are a new bearded dragon owner, you need to be careful in choosing your reptile’s foods. Most fruits are too watery. So be careful when feeding fruits.
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How to Prepare Cantaloupe for Bearded Dragons?
Now that you know everything about the nutrients in cantaloupe, the decision is yours. If you choose to feed your beardies with this fruit, make sure you do the following:
1. Peel the cantaloupe before feeding
The first thing you need to do is to peel the cantaloupe. This will eliminate the hard part of the fruit.
2. Slice cantaloupe in small bite-size pieces
Whenever you feed hard fruits, make sure that they are chopped into small bite-size pieces. The reason for this is that bearded dragons are not like humans – they don’t chew their food thoroughly.
This is the main reason why bearded dragons are prone to choking and impaction. So to avoid this from happening, chop the cantaloupe finely.
The quickest way to know if the size of the foods is okay for beardies to eat easily is by taking the distance between their eyes. The distance between their eyes is indicative of the size beardies can easily take by their mouth.
This tip is not only applicable for cantaloupe but to all similar fruits. Always remember to consider the size of foods. You don’t want your beardies to suffer from choking and other health issues related to it.
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Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cantaloupe
Bearded dragons can eat cantaloupes on an occasional basis and in small amounts. This is because cantaloupes contain a disproportionate ratio for calcium to phosphorus and high water content.
However, there are helpful nutrients your beardies can get from eating cantaloupe. But the danger outweighs the benefits. As long as possible, choose other healthier fruits instead.
Never under any circumstances put the safety of your beardies on the line. Always choose the safer route.
I hope that you get something from this post that will keep your reptile safe and healthy.
Thank you for reading.