Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges? 7 Tips

Can bearded dragons eat oranges? Well, previously we’ve seen that beardies feed on selected veggies, insects (bugs), fruits.Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?

Bearded dragon may eat the food, but some may be poisoning, serious illnesses or death. But, is it okay to feed your omnivorous bearded dragon with oranges – maybe some Mandarin oranges? 

Short answer is NO – bearded dragons don’t eat oranges – oranges contain excessive fruit acid and sugar that may irritate the digestive system of the bearded dragon causing dehydration and diarrhea. 

Also, oranges contain more phosphorous than calcium, giving a Ca:P ratio that is incorrect for bearded dragons. These beardies love supplement that have a ration of calcium: phosphorus ranging from 2:1 to 3:1.

 


Details: Can Bearded Dragons Eat oranges? 

Don’t feed bearded dragons (or other lizards) with oranges. Oranges have excessive fruit acid and sugar that’ll irritate the digestive system of your bearded dragon. Like other citrus fruits, oranges are very acidic. When ingested by beardies, they can cause severe diarrhea plus dehydration. 

Also, consumption of oranges interferes with the pet’s Ca:P ratio. Oranges contain large amounts of phosphorus compared to calcium. Notably, calcium is utilized in the absorption of phosphorus from the intestines into the bloodstream. 

The extra calcium required for phosphorus is obtained by the body from the bones. This is a known cause of bone degeneration in beardies which are fed on oranges. Read Also: Do Bearded Dragons Eat Onions?

Side-note: 

Feed Bearded dragons with very small portions of limited types of fruits – including grapes, pears, cherries, peaches, plums, raspberries, pineapples, apples, peeled bananas, watermelon, and papayas. 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Orange-Fed Insects?

Bearded dragons love eating small creatures like roaches, crickets and so on. Since roaches and crickets have an appetite for sugary foods, you can feed them with oranges to enrich their bodies with calcium.

Oranges are particularly very help in the thriving and reproduction of dubia roaches. If you feed your bearded dragon on these insects, you’ll be indirectly giving them the calcium in oranges. Just like in humans, calcium helps in maintaining bone health of your bearded dragon.

As for the citric acid, the insect’s digestive system breaks it down to levels which are just appropriate for your beardie to absorb. 


Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mandarin Oranges?

Mandarin oranges are types of oranges which contain less concentrations of citric acid.

However, they are still not far from being harmful to bearded dragons. The sugar content in these citrus fruits is likely to cause diarrhea.

These creatures require a high plant intake in their diet. Plant diet is broken down by beneficial micro-organisms in the beardie’s gut. However, optimum activity for these organisms is significantly hindered by the acidity in oranges.

Can Bearded Dragons Drink Orange Fruit Juice?

The sugar content and acidity remains the same whether you have the raw orange fruit or its juice. So, orange fruit juice should not be feed on bearded dragons since it can also cause diarrhea and dehydration.

Further, bearded dragons have poor drinking habits. They’re so accustomed to desert conditions that they rarely take drinks when in captivity.

So, you might not bring your bearded dragon to drink orange fruit juice. It takes time to teach bearded dragons to start drinking anything including water. But in case you manage, do not give it orange fruit juice. Read Also: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Citrus Fruits?

Oranges are in the class of citrus fruits and so are grapefruits and lemons. Fruits in this class contain different levels of citrus acid concentration. So none of these should be fed to bearded dragons.

The acidity and sugar levels in citrus fruits will readily cause diarrhea in bearded dragons and other lizards. In addition, citrus fruits contain high levels of oxalic acid especially on their peels.

It combines with calcium to form an insoluble compound (calcium oxalate). This causes a deficiency in calcium which in turn leads to bone degeneration.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges Peels?

Orange peels should not be fed on bearded dragons because they are also very acidic. They also contain oxalic acid which combines with dietary calcium to form calcium oxalate (CaC2O4). 

This leads to lower levels of calcium which necessary for phosphorous absorption. To compensate for the low calcium levels, the body system uses calcium from the bones which leads to bone degeneration. 


Can Bearded Dragons Eat Clementines?

Clementines are close relatives of oranges derived from the crossing of sweet orange and mandarin. Since they’re acidic, they should not be fed on bearded dragons.

Their acid content is much less than in oranges. Although clementines are a good source of calcium, phosphorous and fibre, their acidic content isn’t good for your beardie.

Like other citrus fruits, it has the potential to cause diarrhea. In addition, the sugar level and the Ca:P ratio isn’t good for your beardie.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tangerines?

Tangerines are close relatives to oranges, mandarins and clementines. Being a citrus fruit, tangerine also has excessive acidity and sweetness. That rules out its viability as food for bearded dragons.

Tangerines have loose and thick skin with orange flesh and are red colored. But these fruits have a slightly reduced sourness. But Tangerines are very acidic to be fed to bearded dragons like their staple food.

What Do Bearded Dragons Eat in the Wild?

Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards that’ll also eat wild vegetation such as leaves and some fruits. The beardies will feed on vertebrates like lizards plus invertebrates such as beetles and ants. 

Beardies will forage the wild vegetation and fruits plus flowers, plants and small-sized bugs. These pets can go for a long time with no food while conserving energy as they wait for a suitable pray including small bugs. 

The wild bugs and vegetation provide the bearded dragons with nutrients plus vitamins to supplement their regular diet. Thus, the captive beardies may need supplements to match such nutritional supply – but you can give them salads and bugs. 

Also, make the beardies work a bit to get their food while you’re equally providing diet change. Further, you may simulate wild feeding by providing videos – this also enhances their physical and mental health. 

Conclusion

Bearded dragons must never be fed with citric fruit because they’re highly acidic and have high sugar levels. As much as you want to give a calcium diet to your bearded dragon, you should avoid feeding them with oranges.

The sweetness and acidity of oranges and other citrus fruits isn’t good for the health of your beardie. Therefore, you should feed them with alternative foods like kale, carrots, collard greens and other leafy vegetables. 

Sources:

  1. Caring for Your Pet Bearded Dragon – NCSU CVM
  2. Tosney’s Bearded Dragon Care
  3. Bearded Dragon: Stats & Facts | Animal Planet

Jason

Hi, I am a reptiles enthusiats. I'll espaicilly cover guides and DIYs on different Lizard species, Chameleon, Gecko. So, hang in there as we express our reptile pets' love.

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