Cucumbers are commonly used by humans in their culinary dishes as a source of vitamins, minerals and fiber.
They are usually preferred because of their low calorie level and high water content – bearded dragons eat different foods.
But can bearded dragons eat cucumber? A simple answer is YES. Cucumber gives you a means of hydrating and nourishing your bearded dragon since it contains some minerals and vitamins.
But since cucumbers are not very nutritious, they should not constitute the main diet for your bearded dragon.
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Cucumbers are among the vegetables approved for feeding bearded dragons. They contain some minerals and vitamins which will go a long way to nourish your beardie. The most important of these include vitamin C, vitamin K, potassium, magnesium and manganese.
Cucumber also provides a fiber diet to your pet which allows effective digestion. Plus it contains about 96 % water which helps in hydrating your bearded dragon. Notably, bearded dragons don’t have an appetite for water. But with cucumbers, you have a good chance of hydrating your beardie.
Another reason that makes cucumber suitable for bearded dragons is that it isn’t too acidic. The ratio of calcium to phosphorous in cucumber makes it less acidic, meaning it won’t harm your beardie.
When feeding your bearded dragon with cucumber, be sure to remove the skin to make it easy to chew and digest. It should also be sliced into small pieces since your beardie won’t be able chew large chunks.
Note that cucumbers are not very nutritious. Therefore, it’s advisable not to feed your bearded dragon with a lot of cucumber. You should rather use them to supplement other nutritious foods like dubia roaches, crickets, collard greens among others.
Related: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apples?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cucumbers peels?
Cucumber peels aren’t good for your bearded dragon. They’re too hard for them to chew even when sliced into small pieces.
Since beardies have a delicate digestive system, it’ll be very uncomfortable for them to digest cucumber peels.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cucumbers seeds?
Do not give you beardie cucumber seeds or any other seeds. They are usually associated with impacting the bowel which makes it difficult for them to defecate. Such complications can lead illness or even death.
How Often Should You Feed Bearded Dragons With Cucumber?
While cucumber contains some useful minerals and vitamins, it does not merit to be adopted as the bearded dragon’s main diet. That’s because it lacks some important nutrients such as calcium, vitamin A and so on.
Therefore, cucumbers should be fed only a few times in a month or once a week. Typically, it should be given as a means for hydrating your bearded dragon rather than a source of nutrients. There’re two reasons why it’s good for hydration.
First, it contains about 96% water. Secondly, bearded dragons are not very fond of drinking water. However, they’re able to effectively get the required water by eating cucumber.
Related: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
How to Prepare Cucumber for Bearded Dragons
1. Washing the Cucumber
Below is a guide for preparing cucumbers for your bearded dragon. This guide applies to all types of cucumbers and squash.
As with other raw fruits or vegetables, cucumbers should be washed thoroughly to remove dirt or any chemicals used in pest control.
2. Peeling the Cucumber
Place the cucumber on a board or hold it on your hand. Trim both sides using a kitchen knife. Then use a vegetable peeler to remove all the skin while ensuring minimal flesh wastage.
3. Cut into Half
Using a sharp knife, cut the cucumber into half along its length to expose the seeds.
4. Remove the Seeds
As earlier said, cucumber seeds aren’t good for bearded dragons. Scope out the seeds using a spoon. Make sure you don’t leave any seeds. Some cucumbers are seedless. So, you don’t have to worry when you come across seedless cucumbers.
5. Slicing the Cucumber
Slice the now seedless and peeled cucumber into thin slices and put them in shallow bowl.
For convenience, you can prepare several slices and store in the refrigerator for future use. Frozen slices should be defrosted before being given to bearded dragons.
Feeding your Bearded Dragon with Cucumber
Getting your bearded dragon to eat cucumber or other plant matter can sometimes be tricky. Some bearded dragons won’t start eating cucumbers right away.
So you might need to train your beardie to get used to cucumber. Below are tips to guide you on how to train our beardie to eat cucumber.
1. Introduce Cucumbers to Your Baby Dragon
A saying goes by, ‘You can’t teach an old dog new tricks’. Well, it’s advisable to introduce cucumber or any other vegetables at an early age so that your beardie gets used to it. Baby beardies are especially hard to give new food. But with a little patience and trick, it’s only a matter of time before they start eating cucumber.
Typically, the diet of a baby beardie should constitute 80% proteins and 20% plant matter. But the plant matter should be increased as the animal progresses to adulthood. The best way to introduce cucumber to your baby beardie is to give it early in the morning before it eats anything.
But you don’t want to starve the little thing. If it refuses to eat at all, you can give them their favourite food. The intention is to make it used to cucumbers. Eventually it’ll bear results.
2. Offer Cucumber and Insects
Treating cucumber slices with their favourite insects will gradually make your bearded dragon used to a plant diet. This trick works best in the morning when the beardie is hungry.
Introduce one or two wax worms or dubia roaches into the bowl containing cucumber slices. The bearded dragon will immediately pick on the insect and in the process there’s a chance of getting a bite on the cucumber slice.
You can repeat this trick several times until your beardie gets used to cucumber.
3. Mix Cucumber with Sweet Fruits
Fruits such as apples, strawberries and papaya can be mixed with the cucumber to entice the beardie with their sweet taste. Mix the cucumber with fruits that the beardie is used to. It will be drawn to the food by the smell of the fruits and immediately begin to bite.
Make sure the fruits and cucumber are sliced into small pieces and mixed thoroughly. This ensures that your beardie doesn’t miss a bite of the cucumber as it picks on the sweet fruits.
Related: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?
Bearded dragons will eat a range of foods including plant and animal matter. However, they’re also very selective on the type of food they eat. Giving wrong food can easily make them sick or even die.
That’s why it’s always good to spare some time to look at guides like this one to know the recommended food for your beardie.