Papaya is one of the most nutritious and common fruits in tropical regions. It is served as a snack food. If you have bearded dragons, you might be wondering whether or not papaya is a good fruit for beardies.
So, can bearded dragons eat papaya?
Unfortunately, papaya has a disproportionate for calcium to phosphorous ratio. It is also acidic, sweet, and watery that may not so good for bearded dragons. However, beardies can eat papaya on an occasional basis.
When choosing the best fruit or food for bearded dragons, it is very important to take into consideration the acid, calcium, phosphorous, water, protein, fat, sugar, and fiber content. These things can detriment the health of your beardies if consumed without proper cautionary measures.
More importantly, pay attention to the calcium to phosphorous ratio. The ideal is 2:1 when feeding bearded dragons.
Let’s dive deeper and see what bearded dragons can get from eating papaya.
Nutritional Facts of Papaya Fruit
Like other fruits, papaya is loaded with vitamins and minerals. But are they healthy for bearded dragons?
The table below shows everything that papaya fruit contains.
Nutritional value per 100 g (3.5 oz)
|Energy||179 kJ (43 kcal)|
|Dietary fiber||1.7 g|
|Vitamin A equiv.||47 μg 6%|
|beta-Carotene||274 μg 3%|
|lutein zeaxanthin||89 μg|
|Thiamine (B1)||0.023 mg 2%|
|Riboflavin (B2)||0.027 mg 2%|
|Niacin (B3)||0.357 mg 2%|
|Pantothenic acid (B5)||0.191 mg 4%|
|Folate (B9)||38 μg 10%|
|Vitamin C||62 mg 75%|
|Vitamin E||0.3 mg 2%|
|Vitamin K||2.6 μg 2%|
|Calcium||20 mg 2%|
|Iron||0.25 mg 2%|
|Magnesium||21 mg 6%|
|Manganese||0.04 mg 2%|
|Phosphorus||10 mg 1%|
|Potassium||182 mg 4%|
|Sodium||0.08 mg 1%|
|Zinc||0.08 mg 1%|
As you can see, aside from the disproportionate ratio for calcium to phosphorous, water content is relatively high in papaya. As you know, watery foods could potentially cause diarrhea in bearded dragons. So you need to be careful when choosing fruits.
Normally I don’t recommend giving bearded dragons with too many fruits because they are normally watery. If you want to give your beardy papaya fruit as a treat, it will be fine though. But make sure that it is not more than that.
If papaya is not so good for bearded dragons, don’t worry because there are other foods that bring no harm to your reptile pets.
In this section, I will give you a list of safe food choices you can offer to your bearded dragons.
The Safe Foods for Bearded Dragons
There is no doubt that bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits and vegetables. However, not all fruits, vegetables, and greens are safe for bearded dragons.
In fact, some foods are harmful to them. If you are a bearded dragon owner, you need to pay attention to their diet.
The following are some of the foods you can give to your beardies. The list below is divided into several sections according to the type of foods.
Greens for Staple Food
- Collard greens
- Dandelion greens
- Mustard greens
- Turnip greens
Vegetables for Staple Food
- Acorn squash
- Butternut squash
- Green beans
- Snap peas
- Sweet potato
- Yellow squash
Greens for Occasional Consumption
- Bok choy
- Carrot tops
- Celery leaves
- Swiss chard
Vegetables for Occasional Consumption
- Bell peppers
- Celery stalks
- Green peas
Important note: Some greens are only good for rare consumption. Examples of those are beet greens, spinach, and tomatoes. The reason being is that beet greens and spinach contain oxalic acid which prevents calcium absorption. When feeding as a staple food, beardies may suffer from metabolic bone disease.
You should not feed your bearded dragons with avocados, rhubarb, and lettuce. These are some of the dangerous foods for beardies. Avocados and rhubarb are both toxic to bearded dragons.
Lettuce, on the other hand, has no nutritional value for bearded dragons. It only contains water which in turn could potentially cause diarrhea when consumed in large amounts.
However, lettuce can help beardies when suffering from constipation or dehydration. The water content will help replenish the lost water in the reptile’s body.
Finally, tomatoes are acidic and therefore not so good for bearded dragons. However, tomatoes can be offered to beardies in small amounts or as a treat.
Fruits for Staple Consumption
- Prickly pear
Some bearded dragon owners feed their reptiles with papaya on a regular basis. But as I’ve mentioned at the beginning of this post, I don’t recommend papaya as staple fruit for beardies.
Fruits for Occasional Consumption
- Peeled Apple
- Honeydew melon
Important reminder: Fruits to avoid feeding to bearded dragons are grapefruit, lemons, limes, oranges, tangerines, and other citric fruits.
Citric fruits are high in citric acid something that is not good for the beardies’ digestive system.
Insects for Staple Consumption
- Roaches especially dubia roaches
Insects for Occasional Consumption
- Butter worms
- Mealworms (for adult beardies)
- Phoenix worms
- Wax worms
Important reminder: Do not feed your bearded dragons with fireflies, boxelder bugs, and other wild-caught insects. Fireflies and boxelder bugs are toxic to bearded dragons. And other wild-caught insects could also be harmful to reptiles. So exercise extra caution.
Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Papaya
Papaya is not toxic to bearded dragons. However, it has a high water content that could potentially digestive issues to bearded dragons. The ratio for calcium to phosphorous is disproportionate too making it not so good for bearded dragons.
But bearded dragons can still eat papaya fruits for an occasional basis.
I hope you learned something from this post. To learn more about bearded dragons, visit my guide page.
Thank you for reading.
Can bearded dragons eat carrots?
As mentioned in the list above, bearded dragons can eat carrots. However, because it is high in vitamin A, you should be careful feeding to your beardies. Bearded dragons can suffer from vitamin A toxicity if consumed in large amounts.