As the name suggests, watermelon is made up of mostly water. Actually, watermelons are 80-90% water.
And since bearded dragons can safely drink water, they can eat watermelon, right? Well, let’s not just assume. You must know that too much water can lead to digestive issues in bearded dragons.
This brings us back to the question: is watermelon safe for bearded dragons? If so, do bearded dragons benefit from it?
As brief as this read is, it’s packed with all the answers, explains the benefits and risks of watermelon, and everything related to this.
Keep reading to get all the juice.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon?
Bearded dragons can eat watermelon. However, every owner should know more than this one line. Watermelon is not a natural food for bearded dragons in the wild.
And as you probably know, a good pet setup should be similar to their natural habitat.
Therefore, while bearded dragons can eat watermelon, you shouldn’t make it a part of their daily diet. It should be fed as a treat, in small portions.
As I said, watermelon is mainly water, so feeding too much may compromise your pet’s digestive system.
But this doesn’t mean it’s all bad news. Watermelon contains nutrients that are good for optimal beardie health. Besides, its high water content helps hydrate your pet, especially those with trouble drinking water.
What Part of Watermelon Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
As you know, watermelon consists of roughly four parts. The skin, the white part between the skin and the flesh, the dark pink flesh, and the seeds. The white part between the peel and the juicy flesh is the rind.
So, can bearded dragons eat all these parts of a watermelon?
No! Not all parts of watermelon are safe for bearded dragons to eat. The only safe part is the juicy flesh that humans eat. The rind, seeds, and skin are all dangerous.
Seeds can either choke your pet or cause impaction if swallowed. The rind is too fibrous, while the skin is too hard to chew and may also cause impaction if ingested.
Now that you know, remove all the seeds, rind, and peel before feeding watermelon to bearded dragons. Some seedless watermelons may contain a few seeds, so never assume. Be thorough to avoid health complications for your pet.
How Many Watermelons Can a Beardie Eat?
We’ve already established that bearded dragons cannot eat watermelon every day. The rule of thumb is to feed only once a month. But how much should you feed it?
A small piece, roughly the size of a teaspoon. It is as serious as that, so don’t leave a whole piece for your pet to nibble through.
As for baby and juvenile bearded dragons, avoid feeding them watermelons completely.
Bearded dragons are more carnivores at this age, so they rely more on insects than plant-based food. And if adult beardies should only eat a small piece once a month, young bearded dragons should not have any at all.
After all, it’s a treat, not the main course.
Do Watermelons Offer Nutritional Benefits to Beardies?
Yes, watermelon offers some nutritional value to bearded dragons. However, it’s not one of the nutrient-dense fruits. As I said, this fruit contains at least 80% water, so the other nutrients take only 20% or less.
Benefits of Watermelons for Bearded Dragons
To start with, the water content in watermelon hydrates your bearded dragon. As a result, it’s a good summer treat for your pet. Your pet would enjoy it more on a hot day as it leaves them refreshed.
If only you would feed it more often, it would be a great water substitute, particularly for beardies with difficulty drinking water. Nevertheless, it still acts as a hydrating fruit for your pet.
Apart from water, watermelon contains minerals like potassium, calcium, phosphorous, and magnesium. Potassium regulates blood pressure, magnesium plays an important role in metabolism and prevents inflammation, and calcium helps in bone development.
In addition, watermelon has vitamin C and beta carotene, which work together to improve your bearded dragon’s vision and strengthen its immune system. They also help with growth and reproduction.
So, if fed in moderation, watermelon can slightly boost your pet’s health. I’m saying slightly because you can’t rely entirely on watermelon for a healthy bearded dragon. You should feed it other nutrient-dense fruits for better results.
The Danger of Watermelon to Bearded Dragons
There are reasons you’re restricted from feeding your bearded dragon watermelon every day. While these risks may be mild if you increase the frequency by three extra days, they can be extreme if you make watermelon a daily diet.
Some of the health risks associated with too much watermelon include:
Digestive problems: the amount of water in watermelon is only beneficial in limited amounts. The excessive water in the watermelon may cause digestive issues, specifically diarrhea. Progressive diarrhea may lead to dehydration.
Calcium deficiency: As previously mentioned, watermelon contains calcium and phosphorous. Although these two minerals are beneficial in small amounts, too much phosphorous can lead to calcium deficiency. This is because phosphorous inhibits the absorption of calcium in large amounts.
The amount of phosphorous in watermelon is more than calcium. As a result, there will be too much calcium in a dragon’s body as none is absorbed into the body.
This results in calcium deficiency, the root cause of metabolic bone diseases. These diseases affect the skeleton structure and weaken a bearded dragon’s bones.
Sugar-related health problems: Watermelon is sweet, and like most humans, your pet can’t get enough of this sugary fruit. Whether in humans or animals, too much sugar is an enemy to optimal health. It can lead to obesity, diabetes, or serious liver problems.
Excess sugar may also cause tooth and gum decay, which may result in inflammation in the end.
How to Feed Watermelon to Bearded Dragons
Now that you know bearded dragons can eat watermelon, the benefits and the risks, use this guide to feed your pet safely.
Start by choosing a ripe watermelon. If you can, go for organic seedless watermelons, as they reduce the risk of contamination and choking.
Take your time picking the right fruit, and be careful not to pick an overly ripe one. These have a weird taste and may be rotten. Again, don’t go for an unripened fruit, as they are more fibrous and may be challenging to eat.
The next thing is to clean the whole fruit. Use clean, running water and a fruit brush to wash thoroughly. You don’t want any dirt or chemicals contaminating the fruit. I know you’re not feeding the peel, but any chemicals or dirt on the outside can easily contaminate the fruit when cutting.
Once clean, cut the fruit in half to access the inside the same way you do when preparing it for yourself. Cut the fresh, juicy flesh you intend to feed your pet while leaving the grind and peel.
Remove all the seeds in the flesh with your clean hands. Slice the flesh into smaller pieces while checking for the seeds. Even if you picked a seedless watermelon, check for the seeds, as it’s not uncommon to find a few stray ones.
When you’re sure the flesh is safe to be eaten, reduce it to smaller sizes so your pet has an easier time chewing. Remember to maintain the required teaspoon size. The whole fruit should be the size of a teaspoon, then reduce it to manageable slices.
Finally, put it in a clean bowl and serve it to your pet.
If your pet is having watermelon for the first time, it’s wise to start with an even smaller piece and observe their reaction afterward. The next 24 hours should tell you if your pet’s digestive system agrees with the fruit.
Stop feeding immediately, and consult your nearest veterinarian if you notice any changes.
Bearded dragons can eat watermelon, but not as often as we do. It is advisable to feed a small piece once a month to avoid health problems like diarrhea or calcium deficiency.
The fruit offers several nutritional benefits, but there are other, safer fruits packed with tons of nutrients.
Remember and follow the set guidelines, particularly feeding sparingly. If you do that, your pet will enjoy the nutritional benefits without any health risks.