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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?

Most pet owners love to share human food with their pets, and Bearded Dragon owners are no different. All emotions apart, doing this can be dangerous and may even lead to fatalities. Orange is one such fruit that the pet owner may love, but it is not good for the Bearded Dragon.

Here, we explain why your favorite oranges can be so dangerous for your Bearded Dragon.

Is it safe to feed Bearded Dragons with oranges?

Absolutely not! Many Bearded Dragon owners love to feed fruits to their Bearded Dragons because they seem to like it, but this can be quite dangerous and can have harmful consequences. Bearded dragons should stay away from oranges. Despite their nutritional value, oranges, like all citrus fruits, can be pretty dangerous for Bearded Dragons. 

Are oranges good for Bearded Dragons?

oranges

Oranges are not good for Bearded Dragons. They contain more fruit acid than most other fruits. This can cause irritation to a Bearded Dragon´s digestive system, resulting in diarrhea and dehydration.

Suppose the Bearded Dragon is suffering from diarrhea all the time. In that case, its digestive system will not be able to absorb the nutrients like vitamins and calcium, and phosphorus from the food properly anymore, leading to dangerous consequences and even lead to fatality. Bearded dragons suffering from constant diarrhea can lead to dehydration.

High Phosphorus Content

Oranges have much more phosphorus content than calcium, which is harmful for the Bearded Dragon. The consumption of oranges interferes with the Bearded Dragon’s calcium to phosphorus ratio. It should be noted that calcium is utilized in the absorption of phosphorus from the intestines into the bloodstream. The body then obtains the extra calcium required for phosphorus from the bones, which leads to bone degeneration in bearded dragons.

High Oxalic Acid Content

Oranges, like other citrus fruits, have a lot of oxalic acids. Oxalic acid binds with calcium to create calcium oxalate, which essentially takes calcium away from the body leading to Metabolic bone disease (MBD). Bearded Dragons suffering from MBD, have soft bones, limb deformities, and paralysis and can end up with a fatality. Oxalic acid is present in small amounts in other fruits and veggies, which can be balanced with calcium supplements, but it is way too much in oranges.

High Sugar Content

Normally, Bearded Dragons shouldn’t have a lot of fruit in their diet due to the sugar content. Oranges are extremely sweet, and if Bearded Dragons eat too many, they can suffer from fatty liver disease, diabetes, obesity, and heart failure. 

High Citric Acid Content

As citrus fruits, oranges contain citric acid, which can irritate the stomach lining and their digestive tract and cause diarrhea, which then causes severe dehydration. If a Bearded Dragon has prolonged diarrhea, it will be unable to absorb any nutrients properly, and in the long term, it’s health will slowly but surely deteriorate. 

Nutritional Value of Oranges

The below table shows the nutritional value of Oranges as declared by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).

Nutritional Information Of Oranges Per 100g

Name Amount Unit
Water 87.14 g
Energy 46 Kcal
Protein 0.7 g
Total lipid (fat) 0.21 g
Carbohydrate, by difference 11.54 g
Fiber 2.4 g
Sugars 9.14 g
Calcium, Ca 43 mg
Phosphorus, P 12 mg
Sodium, Na 0 mg
Vitamin C 45 mg
Iron, Fe 0.09 mg
Vitamin D (D2+3) 0 µg
Vitamin B6 0.051 mg
Vitamin A 11 µg
Vitamin E 0.18 mg
Vitamin K 0 Μg

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Can bearded dragons eat orange peels? 

Bearded dragons should not be given oranges nor orange peels. Most peels of fruits, including those of oranges, are contaminated with pesticides, which could lead to serious health problems and can even lead to death in bearded dragons.

Can bearded dragons drink orange juice? 

Bearded dragons should never drink orange juice. The high quantity of fruit acid and sugar present on oranges is not suitable for dragons. Further, it is advised bearded dragons should not drink much of the orange juice as it could lead to excessive water intake. High water intake can lead to diarrhea in bearded dragons.

Can Bearded Dragons be fed navel oranges or mandarin oranges?

Navel oranges or mandarin oranges should not be fed to Bearded Dragons though they contain less citric acid concentrations. These oranges are not high in fruit acid as normal oranges, but they are still too much for a Bearded Dragon’s digestive system. And hence consuming mandarin or navel oranges might lead to diarrhea and dehydration as well. 

Many people believe that mandarin oranges and navel oranges are okay for Bearded Dragons as they are the same as normal oranges. Mandarin and navel oranges are generally smaller and sweeter than normal oranges and are also flatter in taste. But do not feed them to your bearded dragon. There are so many other fruits and veggies you can feed your dragon.

Are Bearded Dragons omnivores?

Many people wonder why Bearded Dragons love eating oranges and other fruits if they are harmful. The majority of Bearded Dragon owners are aware of the fact that Bearded Dragon are omnivores.

If the Bearded Dragon stays in the wild, this is absolutely no problem. If they find fruit, they will eat, or if they hunt something different, they will eat that.

However, in captivity, most bearded dragons are simply overfed with nutrient-rich food. They eat way more than they should eat while they are in the wild. That is why a lot of Bearded Dragons refuse to eat greens.

What will happen if you feed oranges to Bearded Dragons?

Sometimes owners feed oranges to their Bearded Dragons apart from other fruits. Most Bearded Dragons love eating oranges and eat a lot of it in a short period. Consuming fruits with lots of sugar, fruit acid, and water can irritate a Bearded Dragon’s digestive system leading to diarrhea.

These reptiles require a high plant intake in their diet rather than fruits. Plant diet is broken down by useful microorganisms in the Bearded Dragon’s gut. However, optimum activity for these organisms is significantly hindered by the acidity in oranges.

Bottom line

One must not feed oranges or any citrus fruits of any kind to Bearded Dragons because they’re highly acidic and have high sugar levels. It is as important as giving a calcium-rich diet to the Bearded Dragon. One should refrain from feeding them with oranges. The sweetness and acidity of oranges and other citrus fruits are detrimental to their health. Therefore, one should feed them with alternative foods like kale, carrots, collard greens, and other leafy vegetables.

⚠️ This article is a transcribe of articles from other sources. Please consult a vet before deciding the diet of your pet. This is just for a basic idea & should not be followed to decide your pet’s diet.
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