Are you facing a dilemma Can Bearded dragons eat Tomatoes? Well, you will soon be out of this problem as we will be discussing everything that you need to know about the dietary habits of this reptile creature.
Bearded dragon, one of the cutest reptiles that everyone wishes to own, have varied dietary requirements. Starting from insects, worms, fruits, and veggies, this beardie devours almost everything tasty that you can offer them. As a bearded dragon owner, you might find it difficult to choose the food items that are going to suit this cutie’s health. We have got to unpack a lot out here, so let’s begin!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat tomatoes but only in small quantities and not regularly. Tomatoes are healthy fruits and have several benefits and aid in enhancing the health condition of this lizard-like creature.
These are some of the most common fruits that are available in almost all households. So, you may be automatically inclined to offer tomatoes to this reptile.
You must remember that tomatoes pose particular risks to the health of bearded dragons. Feeding them tomatoes frequently will lead to a deterioration of their health conditions.
Tomatoes contain low calcium and phosphate levels; thus, these may not be too beneficial for bearded dragon’s health.
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A. Consequently, if dragons eat way too many tomatoes, it might lead to Vitamin A toxicity in their bodies. This excess percentage of Vitamin A may get accumulated in the organs of the bearded dragon.
That is why you need to be careful enough to feed your bearded dragon with tomatoes scarcely and as a treat. Though the importance of Vitamin A in enhancing eyesight, protein synthesis, and body growth can not be denied, excess of anything is bad.
A significant negative aspect of tomatoes is that the oxalates present in the tomatoes interfere with calcium absorption in the bearded dragons.
Calcium absorption in the bearded dragon’s body is extremely beneficial as it helps form eggs in the bodies of the female bearded dragons.
Tomatoes, therefore, have quite a lot of negative aspects, and for these very reasons, you need to abstain from providing the beardie with these red, juicy fruits frequently.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
Bearded dragons younger than one-year-old fall into the category of ‘babies.’ With each stage of growth of the bearded dragons, their dietary requirements get modified.
Usually, baby beardies require a proper diet that constitutes about 70% of protein derived from bugs, insects, and worms. The remaining 30% of the nutrients have to be obtained from the plant food items such as fruits and vegetables.
Interestingly enough, the baby bearded dragons tend to eat about 3 to 5 times per day. Quite a high frequency of having meals, you see? As they start maturing and grow older, they stop taking meals so frequently.
As soon as the cute baby dragons become one year old, they start having meals only once per day. The days they fast and don’t eat anything are interspersed at proper intervals in their dietary routine.
Regarding the suitability of tomatoes for your baby dragon, do note that tomatoes are not unsuitable for them. Still, you need to make sure to feed them this fruit only occasionally and just as a treat.
To be honest, the baby bearded dragons mainly require foods rich in protein and contain a good amount of nutrients. So, even if you decide not to feed the baby beardies with tomatoes, it will be completely alright.
However, if you wish to include tomato in a growing bearded dragon’s diet, do so by offering small pieces of tomato sparingly.
Fruits with several health benefits for a bearded dragon in the growing stage are papaya, mango, dates, apricots, and figs. Always remember that feeding the baby dragon fruits in significant amounts is not a good idea.
Even if you decide to make them eat these fruits, make sure you do it only occasionally and in small quantities.
While making the baby dragons feed figs, make sure that these are dried. This is because dried figs have high calcium content and contain a lot of antioxidants. Try to maintain the frequency of feeding the beardies dried figs only once in a couple of weeks.
Can An Adult Bearded Dragon Eat Tomatoes?
The dietary requirement of an adult bearded dragon is opposite to that of baby beardies. The adults need about 70% of nutrients from plant-based food items such as fruits and veggies, and the other 30% of nutrients from insects and bugs.
Out of this 70% nutrition from plant matter, leafy greens and vegetables need to constitute around 60% of the dragon’s diet. The rest, 10% of the diet, needs to be composed of fruits.
Try to maintain a feeding cycle of 3 days as the adult beardies will tend to eat less frequently. During this 3-day long feeding cycle, you can provide it with either food or only water. We will now show you a break-up of the foods that you can offer to these cute reptiles on the three respective days of the feeding cycle.
The first day of the dietary cycle needs to have a substantial portion of salad. The second day needs to have about 50% of the live insects that dragons need each week. A rough assumption of 25 insects can be made for each meal of the dragons.
However, it may vary depending upon the body size and length of the dragons. Live crickets are a good insect option for dragons. The third day is the day of fasting. Remember not to provide them with any food except water.
A proper amount of water is necessary to hasten the digestion process of this reptile. Water is also safe to feed as your beardie will be saved from overeating, and thus a properly balanced diet will be maintained.
Avoid feeding your beardies tomatoes. Though there are several benefits of tomatoes, it is unlikely that bearded dragons need to absorb the nutritional value of tomatoes quite frequently.
You can add small pieces of fresh tomatoes just as a topper of the salad for the bearded dragons. Make sure to provide tomatoes in the salad only once a month and not more than that.
Other fruits that you may consider feeding your bearded dragon in small amounts are kale, figs, and green matter.
Tomatoes- Nutritional Value
|Nutrients Present In Tomatoes||Content- Amount/Percentage|
|Vitamin A||833 IU|
|Vitamin C||13.7 mg per 100 g of tomato|
|Phosphorus||24 mg per 100 g of tomato|
|Calcium||10 mg per 100 g of tomato|
|Sugar||2.63 g per 100 g of tomato|
|Calcium To Phosphorus Ratio||1:2.4|
|Vitamin K||7.9 mcg per 100 g of tomato|
As can be viewed from the above table, tomato fruit is rich in Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and Vitamin K. Among all these, Vitamin C is present in the highest percentage in raw tomatoes.
Bearded dragons require Vitamin C to develop a robust immune system, maintain proper skin and bone health. Deficiency of Vitamin C may lead to scurvy and other dental and oral diseases in the beardies.
Vitamin A in the tomatoes is also beneficial to the beardie’s health as it helps maintain eye health and other organ health conditions.
If you are reluctant to feed tomatoes to the dragon, make sure that you provide it with Vitamin A Supplements. They can safely eat these and are integral in preventing Vitamin A toxicity in the body.
Tomatoes have Vitamin K in low proportions. However, it is essential in maintaining the bone health of the dragons and quick healing of wounds and injuries.
Calcium & Phosphorus Content
Though tomatoes are not very rich in calcium, you can make up for the low calcium level by providing the bearded dragons with calcium supplements. What is problematic is that tomatoes have a relatively higher percentage of phosphorus.
As a result, even if calcium supplements are used to cope with its low percentage, it won’t be possible as the calcium to phosphorus ratio will be disrupted.
The ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1 has to be maintained.
However, that won’t be possible by making the bearded dragons eat tomatoes as the ratio turns to somewhere around 1:5.8 if we consider the nutritional content of tomatoes. It is a terrible Ca:P ratio and may lead to metabolic bone disease in your beardie.
Low Oxalic Acid Content
Tomatoes contain low oxalic acid or oxalates. This compound binds with calcium and prevents the absorption of calcium in the dragon’s body. To deal with this problem, you have to feed your beardie with calcium supplements.
Low Level Of Sugar
Tomatoes contain low sugar content, and this is certainly a positive aspect of this fruit. However, you still need to ensure if you are feeding it tomatoes only occasionally. Feeding your dragon tomatoes regularly is going to be quite detrimental to its health.
Potential Health Issues Of Overfeeding Tomatoes To Bearded Dragons
Since phosphorus is present in considerable proportions in tomatoes compared to the calcium content, phosphorus overload occurs in the dragon’s body and suffers from metabolic bone disease.
Digestive Issues/Gastro-Related Problems
If the bearded dragons eat tomatoes in massive amounts, they may suffer from digestive problems due to acidic reactions in their bodies. This is one of the most negative aspects of tomatoes.
Vitamin A Poisoning/Toxicity
Tomatoes are rich in Vitamin A. However, an overdose of Vitamin A in the body of the beardies may lead to Vitamin A poisoning. The symptoms include weight gain, body swelling, dehydration, and lethargy.
How To Serve Tomatoes To The Bearded Dragons?
Bearded dragons can eat tomatoes, but you can only offer them a quarter of tomato once a month. Wash the tomato properly so that no chemical or toxin stays on the tomato plant.
Get rid of the seeds and the inner pulp from the core of the tomato. Cut out a quarter of the tomato fruit and then cut this part into smaller pieces and feed your beardie.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
What vegetables can bearded dragons eat?
Bearded dragons can eat squash, apple, mango, bell peppers, green beans, cabbage, and kale.
What foods are bad for bearded dragons?
Mushrooms, garlic, leeks, eggplants, and iceberg lettuce are bad for bearded dragons.
Can bearded dragons eat leaves and stems from tomato plants?
No, bearded dragons cannot eat tomato leaves and stems s it won’t be good for them to chew or nibble on the tomato leaves. The tomato plant belongs to the toxic family of nightshade. As a result, leaves, stems, and almost every other part of the plant except the fruit contain harmful alkaloids that won’t let your bearded dragon stay healthy.