Kiwi is a popular and tasty fruit that many people enjoy, so many bearded dragon owners want to know if their pets can eat it as well!
This guide goes over if bearded dragons can eat kiwi, how much you can feed them, and the best way to prepare this food.
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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi?
Kiwi is a unique fruit packed with nutrition. Beyond its fuzzy brown exterior is sweet green flesh! Known for its concentration of antioxidants, vitamins, and nutrients, many consider kiwi to be a “superfood!”
But can bearded dragons eat kiwi?
Bearded dragons are omnivores and survive on a slew of foods in the wild. Their diet primarily consists of insects and leafy greens, but the animals are known to enjoy fruits and vegetables, too.
Your bearded dragon can eat kiwi fruit. It offers many health benefits that help keep your beardie in good shape. Plus, the sweet taste makes the fruit irresistible!
That said, kiwi should not be a frequent part of your bearded dragon’s standard weekly meal rotation. These reptiles can only enjoy kiwi in moderation. Having too much can lead to a few unwanted health problems (more on that later).
The best way to incorporate kiwi into your bearded dragon’s diet is to use it as a rare treat. Beardies love sweet fruit, so you must be wary about how much you provide. Remember that moderation is vital with kiwi, regardless of how much your beardie loves it.
Is Kiwi Good For Bearded Dragons?
Like most fruits, kiwi has its pros and cons.
Nutritionally, there’s a lot to love about kiwi! First off, it’s a low-calorie snack. Unlike other foods your bearded dragon may love, this one doesn’t pose much of a threat for causing your lizard to gain weight.
Bearded dragons that live in captivity are prone to obesity, so eating low-calorie foods like a kiwi is always a plus (as long as you keep an eye on the quantity). The average-sized kiwi fruit only has about 42 calories. But that’s not all.
Kiwi is also low in sugar and fat, two nutrients that often lead to weight gain.
A normal-sized kiwi only has about two grams of sugar! That’s impressive for a fruit so sweet. Eating too much sugar can negatively impact your beardie’s health and increase the risk of tooth decay. But if you feed your lizard kiwi correctly, those issues aren’t much of a concern.
You also don’t need to worry about increasing your beardie’s fat intake. Contrary to popular belief, there are fats in kiwi. However, most ripe kiwi fruit has less than half a gram of fat and zero saturated fats!
Kiwis also contain a good amount of fiber, magnesium, folate, and calcium.
Fiber helps with digestion and comes from the fruits cellulose. Folate regulates cell function and plays a part in tissue growth. Magnesium impacts hormone production and can promote healthy bone density. Finally, calcium is a critical mineral that helps with bone development and health.
These nutrients are all vital to your bearded dragon’s health, and kiwi is a fantastic source of them. Kiwis even have protein, about 8 grams. While not as good a protein source as insects, it’s enough protein to provide energy and keep your beardie moving.
One of the most compelling aspects of kiwi is the antioxidants. Antioxidants inhibit cellular oxidation, equipping the body with what it needs to fight off free radicals. In your bearded dragon, the antioxidants can have many health-improving benefits.
They help to boost the immune system, lowering your beardie’s chance of infection and illness. Antioxidants can also improve digestion and reduce inflammation.
That’s just a taste of what kiwis can do for your bearded dragon. These fruits are jam-packed with nutrients and can be a fantastic food in moderation.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Kiwi?
It’s best to only feed kiwi to your bearded dragon once or twice a month. That’s the consensus among veterinarians and seasoned reptile enthusiasts.
But with so many health benefits of kiwi, why can’t you feed it more?
With most fruits, sugar and fat content is the primary concern. But that’s not an issue with kiwi. The primary concern with bearded dragons eating kiwi is oxalic acid, also known as oxalates.
There’s a moderate amount of oxalates in kiwi. While not as excessive as other foods, you must be careful about how much oxalic acid your bearded dragon gets into their system.
One of the first things novice beardie owners learn about is the importance of calcium. Many reptiles, bearded dragons included, need to take calcium supplements and receive UV light exposure for Vitamin D. Calcium supplements ensure that your lizard gets enough of the mineral to support bone health. Meanwhile, Vitamin D is necessary to absorb and use it.
Without a healthy amount of calcium in your lizard’s system, it will begin to suffer from a condition known as metabolic bone disease. Simply put, this disease is one of the worst health problems that could plague your beardie! It’s painful, causing bone deformities that make it impossible to live a healthy life. The disease also makes reptiles more prone to fractures, making simple movements high-risk.
Metabolic bone disease is not something you want to deal with at any point in your lizard’s life! So, where does kiwi fit into any of this?
The oxalates in kiwi prevent calcium absorption. The oxalic acid also slowly depletes the calcium supply in your bearded dragon’s blood. It makes all the supplements and high-calcium foods you provide useless and substantially increases your lizard’s risks for metabolic bone disease.
That’s the worst thing about kiwi. Fortunately, the concentration of oxalic acid isn’t super high. That’s why you can provide it once or twice a month. As long as you provide a balanced diet and all the necessary supplements, letting your bearded dragon eat kiwi a couple of times a month is no big deal.
Never make it part of your beardie’s regular diet. Doing so will only cause health problems. Turn it into an occasional treat, and your bearded dragon will do just fine.
The Right Way To Feed Bearded Dragons Kiwi
Feeding kiwi fruit to bearded dragons is a cinch, but it all starts with a good fruit selection.
Start by getting ripe fruit. You can tell that kiwi isn’t ready to eat if it’s too firm. It should have a little give when you press on the fuzzy brown skin. Feeding firm unripened fruit can lead to compaction issues.
It’s best to go organic, too. While your lizard won’t eat the skin, it’s always a good idea to avoid anything that might have chemical treatments.
Wash your kiwi well and remove the brown peel. You can cut it away with a knife or scoop it out with a spoon. Don’t worry about the seeds. Bearded dragons have no problem passing them.
Cut up the fruit into small pieces that are easy to consume. Once you do that, it’s ready to eat!
Offer the kiwi by itself or include it as a sweet addition to a salad. It goes well with kale, carrots, collard greens, and more. Many bearded dragon owners love to use kiwi to encourage their reptiles to eat more leafy greens. The lizards can’t resist the fruit, so you should have no problem getting them to eat.
Bearded dragons can eat kiwi, but it’s not something you should feed them regularly. As long as you keep this fruit as an occasional treat, everything will be just fine!
Let us know if you have any questions about this guide. We’re always happy to help.