Can Bearded Dragons Have Oranges?

Oranges are sweet, citrus fruit, an excellent fiber, potassium, and Vitamin C source. Like you, bearded dragons are also attracted to the bright color of this fruit. But can bearded dragons eat oranges? Are oranges good for bearded dragons? Etc.

In this article, the following of your questions will be answered:

The short answer is,

  • No, Bearded dragons can’t eat oranges.
  • Like all citrus fruits, oranges can be pretty dangerous for bearded dragons.

Although oranges are not toxic for bearded dragons, they should not eat them. Oranges don’t fit the dietary needs of bearded dragons. A 100-gram serving provides only 0.2 grams of fat and 1 gram of protein, which is quite low for bearded dragons. Oranges also have a high sugar content, which can cause many health issues in bearded dragons. They are also acidic and can cause digestive problems.

Oranges are a great snack and fruit for humans but bearded dragons can’t eat them. In general, all citrus fruits can be dangerous for bearded dragons, including oranges.

Here are the health concerns of oranges for bearded dragons:

All citrus fruits including oranges are quite high in oxalic acid. Oxalic acid or oxalates tend to bind with calcium and make calcium oxalate. So, calcium, which is very important for bearded dragons, will not be available in the bearded dragon’s body and he’ll suffer from calcium deficiency. This calcium deficiency can cause weaker bones, broken tissues, or even metabolic bone disease (MBD), which can be fatal.

As per some bearded dragon owners, calcium deficiency can be avoided by giving calcium and vitamin D3 supplements to bearded dragons. But in the case of oranges, oxalic acid is too high and your dragon will not be able to handle it, even with a supply of supplements.

Oranges are also high in sugar content, they have a lot of sugar. The natural diet of bearded dragons doesn’t have a lot of sugar. Frequently eating a high-sugar diet or treats can cause many health issues such as tooth decay, obesity, diabetes, fatty liver disease, and even heart failure. So, avoiding oranges is a wise option.

Oranges contain citric acid which may cause irritated stomach lining and heartburn in humans. Citric acid also has a similar effect on bearded dragons. It irritates the digestive system of beardies and can cause diarrhea. If your pet dragon has prolonged diarrhea, it will not be able to absorb any nutrients, resulting in deteriorated health.

Some Bearded dragon owners take the risk and feed their dragons oranges, every several months. But it is not recommended.

Many bearded dragon owners consider tomatoes as citrus fruit as well. They think that if bearded dragons can eat tomatoes, they can also eat other citrus fruits in moderation. Remember that, tomatoes are not part of the citrus fruit family, instead they are part of the nightshade family and are safe for your bearded dragon to eat in moderation.

Consider that your bearded dragon manages to eat a piece of ripe orange. What to do in this situation? Well, stay calm and relaxed, you don’t need to rush to the vet. A single piece of orange doesn’t harm your pet dragon. Bearded dragons are tough lizards and can handle an occasional slip-up. You need to do the following:

  • Be very careful what you will feed your pet dragon afterward for a few weeks to a month.
  • Avoid all types of food which is acidic.
  • Avoid a diet that is high in sugar content.
  • Don’t give him water in a bowl. This may cause diarrhea. Also, avoid fruits that are high in water content such as watermelons.
  • Feed your dragon an easy-to-digest diet. Avoid foods that can cause digestive problems.
  • In case, you notice any changes in the bearded dragon’s behavior after eating orange, you may call the vet.

Generally, mandarin oranges are considered safe for bearded dragons as they are low in acid as compared to regular oranges. However, the amount of acid in mandarin oranges is still high to harm your dragon’s digestive system and stomach. Mandarin oranges are also high in sugar as compared to regular oranges, which is also not recommended for bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons can’t eat Mandarin oranges due to their high acid and sugar content.

So, due to the increased sugar in mandarin oranges and high acid content, it is not wise to feed them to bearded dragons.

Orange peels have a lot of calcium but, like oranges, their peel is also not recommended for bearded dragons.

No, bearded dragons can’t eat orange peel.

Orange peel has orange oil and oxalic acid which are not good for bearded dragons. Oxalic acid tends to bind with calcium and stop its absorption in bearded dragon bloodstreams, causing calcium deficiency and eventually metabolic bone disease (MBD). Additionally, orange peel is also difficult to eat for bearded dragons, has choking hazards, and can also cause gut impaction.

Some feeder insects such as crickets and dubia roaches, love to eat oranges. But, is it safe to feed oranges to feeder insects? Or will it harm your pet dragon?

Feeder insects can have oranges twice a week and bearded dragons can it these insects safely.

As you know, oranges are a great source of calcium for insects, especially dubia roaches thrive on citrus fruits. They digest oranges in such a way that they break down the acid and save your bearded dragon from the high acid content of oranges. You can safely feed oranges to feeder insects once or twice a week, without making them acidic. Feeder excessive oranges to feeder insects is not recommended.

There are many fruits that your bearded dragons can eat safely in moderation such as: 

Oranges may not be good for bearded dragons but you can explore many fruits and vegetables in this blog which your bearded dragon can safely eat.

If you have any questions or want me to write something specific, feel free to contact me.

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