In today’s post, we take a deep look into whether it is safe to offer pumpkins to the dragons and the benefits this vegetable has to offer, plus how often it should be fed.
Table of Contents
Can bearded dragons eat Pumpkin?
Bearded dragons can eat both the pumpkin gut, pumpkin leaves, and flowers. Pumpkin gut has some worming properties that can help with deworming beardies’. However, since pumpkin gut is nutritionally poor especially its mineral content it should be offered moderately. Pumpkin seeds should not be fed due to high protein.
Bearded dragons can also eat pumpkin baby food that has not been prepared using spices or herbs especially when it has other vegetables such as squash. The best pumpkin baby food for beardies’ is one that has just been boiled.
Is Pumpkin safe for Bearded Dragon?
Pumpkin is safe and beneficial to bearded dragons especially if you want to deworm your bearded dragon. However, like most vegetables feed it moderately to avoid causing health issues due to lack of proper nutrition.
Nutritional value of pumpkin for Beardies’
Below is a table showing the nutritional value of 100g servings of pumpkin as found on USDA.
|Vitamin A||288 µg|
|Carotene, beta||2096 µg|
Lets take a look at the risks of feeding pumpkin to bearded dragon.
Risks of feeding pumpkin to Bearded dragon
Calcium Phosphorus ratio
|calculation||15 divide by 30|
Calcium is a very important mineral in the diet of a bearded dragon. Most important, young bearded dragons need a lot of calcium in their diet to facilitate strong and proper bone development.
Lack of proper calcium in the diet of bearded dragons can easily lead to a very fatal disease called metabolic bone disease.
Alternatively, too much calcium in the body of bearded dragons combined with vitamin D3 can also lead to excessive absorption of calcium which may result in calcification.
This means that calcium will be deposited in the soft tissues of bearded dragons including the heart.
Calcium deficiency can result from the following scenarios; Too much phosphorus, oxalate and lack of enough Vitamin D3 and finally lack of enough calcium supplement.
Our concern, in this case, is the first two. Too much phosphorus reacts with calcium to form calcium phosphate which prevents calcium from being absorbed into the body of bearded dragons.
Additionally to many oxalates also reacts with calcium to form calcium oxalates that prevent calcium from being absorbed into the body of bearded dragons.
As a result, it is advisable to avoid foods that are high in oxalates such as avocado and spinach. Plus care should also be taken feeding foods high in phosphorus especially if they are not offering any nutritional benefit.
The recommended ratio of calcium to phosphorus is either 1:1 or 2:1. In this case, as shown in the mini table above the ratio of calcium to phosphorus is 1:2 making it very dangerous to bearded dragons especially if offered on a daily basis.
Are there benefits of feeding pumpkin to bearded dragons
While it is not recommended to offer pumpkin to your bearded dragon especially when we have other veggies which are more beneficial to bearded dragons such as figs, kales, carrots tops, strawberries, cantaloupe compared to pumpkins.
If one of your family members or you offers pumpkin to your bearded dragon. You should not be alarmed, if offered once a month your bearded dragon will be ok. Benefits include.
Bearded dragons need to stay hydrated, hydration is very important towards the health of bearded dragons more so if they are shedding.
We have written a detailed article here that explains about signs of dehydration to watch out for from your bearded dragon.
One of the best ways to ensure your bearded dragon is hydrated is to offer it food that is rich in water. Some bearded dragons refuse to drink from the watering bowl.
Therefore, sprinkling food with water or feeding water-rich food remains as a viable way to hydrate your dragon.
Given that pumpkin has high water content makes it a good option to hydrate your dragon. But bearing in mind insects such as hornworm has a high water content also should deter you from feeding pumpkin as much as possible.
Fiber is very important in the diet of bearded dragons especially young bearded dragons since most of their diet is made of insects and fewer veggies and greens.
As compared to adult bearded dragons whose diet contains more veggies and greens compared to insects.
An insect is made of a hard exoskeleton that can be hard to digest, with enough fiber. Bearded dragons will be able to digest the insects consequently preventing the bearded from becoming constipated and possibly impacted.
other benefits of offering pumpkin to bearded dragons include vitamins and minerals such as selenium.
If you decide to feed pumpkin to bearded dragons here is how to do it.
There is anecdotal evidence that shows that pumpkin has some deworming properties. This can be attributed to the fact that the seeds of pumpkin have been proven to help with the deworming process.
Therefore, there have been cases of bearded dragon owners who give their beardies pumpkin to help with the deworming process.
However, you should seek to use medicine that have been made specifically for this purpose.
How to feed pumpkin to bearded dragon
- Buy a fresh organic pumpkin
- Clean it thoroughly
- Peel it and cut it into small pieces
- Put it in a bowl with other veggies
- You can dust it with supplements
Frequently Asked Questions
Can I feed my bearded dragon pumpkin? Pumpkin is nutritionally poor and the calcium-phosphorus ratio is way above the recommended value. Therefore, despite the fact that offering it occasionally will not harm your bearded dragon you should just avoid it altogether.
can bearded dragons eat pumpkin seeds? You should not feed bearded dragons pumpkin seeds. The bearded dragon will not be able to digest pumpkin seeds which may result in impaction.
Nutritional value of pumpkin leaves
|Vitamin C||0.7 mg|
can bearded dragons eat pumpkin puree? We do not recommend feeding pumpkin puree to a bearded dragon, just stick to raw pumpkin gut and leaves if you have to feed your bearded dragon pumpkin.
While most people will label pumpkin as a safe food for bearded dragons if offered occasionally. When you consider the harm it may cause plus the fact that there are tons of other foods much better than pumpkin. You can just avoid pumpkin altogether. However, if you have to feed pumpkin to your dragon go for the leaves.