Dates are nutritious for bearded dragons. Dietary fiber, potassium, and magnesium are essential for their health.
However, bearded dragons should not eat dates because they are high in sugar. Dates also contain oxalates, which inhibit calcium absorption.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dates?
In small amounts, dates can be an occasional treat for bearded dragons. Here are some things to keep in mind:
- Nutrition – Dates provide some fiber, minerals and natural sugar. However, they lack protein and calcium so should be paired with leafy greens.
- High in sugar – Dates are high in natural sugars, which provides no nutritional benefit and can contribute to weight gain, obesity or GI issues in beardies. Limit intake to no more than 1-2 dates per week.
- Choking/Impaction risk -The pits inside dates can pose a choking hazard and risk of impaction for beardies. Remove the pit before feeding.
- Preparation – Thoroughly wash the dates and remove the pits before feeding to your bearded dragon. Chop into smaller pieces to reduce choking risk.
- Feeding amount – Start with 1/4 to 1/2 of a single date and gradually increase based on your beardie’s tolerance and reaction. Monitor their weight closely.
- Pair with calcium – Serve alongside vegetables high in calcium, like collard greens, to provide a balanced meal.
- Monitor digestion – Watch your bearded dragon’s stool and appetite after initial date feedings in case it causes GI upset. Avoid if so.
- Variety needed – Like all foods, dates should supplement, not replace, the variety of insects and vegetables that beardies require in a balanced diet.
In summary, small amounts of pitted and chopped dates can be given as an occasional treat for bearded dragons. But start slowly, monitor your beardie’s weight, pair with leafy greens and watch digestion closely when first introducing dates. They should not replace higher protein, nutrient-dense foods in your dragon’s regular diet.
Bearded dragons can eat fruit in moderation. Vitamins, minerals, and fiber from fruits keep their systems running smoothly.
Fruit contains antioxidants that fight free radicals that damage tissue cells. Due to its high water content, fruit also hydrates people.
Vegetables and greens should supplement your dragon’s fruit diet. Variety and nutrients come from these foods.
Because of their ideal Ca:P ratio (2.7:1), bearded dragons love dandelion flowers and leaves. Just make sure you get them from a clean field without sprays before giving them to your dragon.
Nutritional Content of Dates
Dates are high in fiber, potassium, and magnesium, making them a healthy snack. They also have antioxidants to fight free radicals.
Though their Calcium:Phosphorus ratio is too low to be essential to a bearded dragon’s diet, they are a good source of calcium and phosphorus.
Bearded dragons love dried fruit, but it should be given sparingly. Choking and stomach upset may result from large pieces.
Fruits, vegetables, and insects should make up a bearded dragon’s diet. Prickly pear leaf, hibiscus flower, bell peppers, and acorn squash are bearded dragons’ most nutritious vegetables.
Health Benefits and Risks of Dates
Dates are nutritious, but bearded dragons should only eat them occasionally. Avoid sugar and preservatives by cutting them into bite-size pieces.
They contain vitamins and minerals, but they are high in sugar, so they are best eaten occasionally.
Apricots and prunes are sweet and full of Vitamins A and C.
Apples, strawberries, and bananas are tasty bearded dragon treats. To avoid choking, cut them small. Phosphorus in these foods binds calcium in the body.
Other Alternatives to Dates
Dried fruits can be a treat for your bearded dragon, but they should be given in moderation to avoid obesity and digestive issues. Dates, apricots, and other dried fruits are rich in vitamins A and B6, potassium, magnesium, and natural sweeteners without the calories of candy or ice cream.
Your bearded dragon can also eat apples, pears, bananas (with skins), grapes, star fruit, and raisins. Include apple slices in his/her meal, as apples are essential to a healthy diet.
Conclusion on Eating Dates
Dates are a tasty treat for bearded dragons because they provide natural sugar, fiber, and nutrients. Due to their potassium, magnesium, and vitamin A content, beardie dates should only be given occasionally to avoid calcium or oxalate deficiencies. So if you want to give your beardie a sweet treat occasionally, try blueberries or cantaloupe, which require preparation before feeding.