Often the summer calls for less fooding and high snacking. And what can be a better way to replace your unhealthy snacks with something fresh and juicy and refreshing at the same time. Yes. We are talking about our guilt-free summer food – watermelons. Even their thought is giving a fresh wave of breeze in the head – so cooling, hydrating, and refreshing.
So have you ever wondered – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelons? If so, the simple answer to this question is Yes! Absolutely! Your little Beardies can munch on this watery, juicy, and crispy delight in the sweaty season of summer.
But before you leave midway, don’t forget to read on further to know the terms and conditions, coming free with this juicy fruit! As red is not only the color of love, but it also alarms us in case of danger.
Now before coming to the disclaimers directly, let us first find out what are watermelons – what are the nutritional values that they hold for us, also their benefits and risks associated with them as well.
Watermelons are foods available in the fruit kingdom. They belong to a family called Cucurbitaceae. This is the same plant family as cucumbers and squashes. Watermelons are large fruits that are quite thick and usually round in texture. Their outer layer is green and the fruity flesh inside is generally red.
The red fruit is very juicy, watery and crispy. They can be found in many varieties like seedless and/or with seeds. They are popular in the summers. And make for a very healthy and exceptionally refreshing snack. Since they are really low in calories, they have innumerable health benefits.
Types Of Watermelons
There are more than 1000 varieties of watermelons available in the market. Some of the common ones are – Seedless Watermelons, Seeded Watermelons, Miniature Watermelons, Orange Or Yellow Watermelons.
Other varieties of watermelons are:
Bijou Watermelons, Captivation Watermelons, Kingman Watermelons, Citation Watermelons, Cut Above Watermelons, Harvest Moon Watermelons, Sweet Polly Watermelons, Traveller Watermelons, Triple Treat Watermelons, Allsweet Watermelons, Charleston Grey Watermelons, and more.
Nutritional Facts of Watermelons
Watermelons are highly loaded with essential vitamins and minerals. According to the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA), a serving of 100gms (3.5 oz) of watermelons contain the following nutrition value:
|Energy ( Calories)||127 KJ (30 Kcal)|
|Dietary Fibre||0.4 gm|
|Total Lipid Fat||0.15 gm|
|Saturated Fat||0 gm|
|Polyunsaturated Fats||0.1 gm|
|Monounsaturated Fats||0 gm|
Apart from the above, as per the USDA, other essential Vitamins present in 100gms (3.5 oz) of watermelons are:
|Vitamin A equivalent||28 mcg|
|Beta – Carotene||303 mcg|
|Vitamin C||8.1 mg|
|Thiamine ( Vit. B1)||0.033 mg|
|Riboflavin ( Vit. B2)||0.021 mg|
|Niacin (Vit. B3)||0.178 mg|
|Pantothenic Acid (Vit. B5)||0.221 mg|
|Vitamin B6||0.045 mg|
|Vitamin D ( D2+3)||0 mcg|
|Vitamin E||0.05 mg|
|Vitamin K||0.1 mcg|
According to the USDA, other essential Minerals present in 100gms (3.5 oz) of watermelons are:
Other constituents present in a 100gms (3.5 oz) serving of watermelon are:
|Other Constituents||Nutritional Value|
Apart from these, watermelons also contain copper and amino acid Citrulline.
Benefits of Watermelons
There are immense health benefits of eating watermelons. Watermelons help lower blood pressure levels. It also helps reduce insulin resistance. Watermelons help in reducing muscle soreness after exercise.
Watermelons contain essential nutrients and plant compounds. The water content present in watermelons helps you keep well hydrated and improves your digestive issues. Vitamin C helps in preventing the cells from damage from free radicals. Your body converts the carotenoids present in the watermelons to vitamin A.
Cucurbitacin E present in the watermelons is a plant compound with Antioxidants and has anti-inflammatory properties as well. Watermelons improve your heart health and also aids in preventing cancer.
Watermelons also aid in lowering inflammation and oxidative stress. It may also help in preventing macular degeneration.
Watermelon also supports good skin and benefits your hair as well.
Risk Associated With Watermelons
No matter how densely nutritional a portion of food is, but with the good, comes some evil effects as well. The same is the case with watermelons!
This fruity delight may not go well with some people and may cause them oral allergies – like an itchy mouth and throat, swelling of lips, mouth and tongue, throat and ears.
The presence of Fructose in high amounts in watermelons can cause some unpleasant digestive issues as well. The symptoms might be bloating, gas, constipation, stomach cramps, diarrhoea.
People having symptoms of Irritable Bowel Syndrome (IBS) should avoid watermelons.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelons?
As we have already discussed, Yes! Your Bearded Dragons can snack on these red delights happily. Bearded Dragons love red coloured fruits. They love anything soft, sweet, red and with a soft texture.
But watermelons are not very nutrient-dense. This makes them less beneficial in comparison to the other fruits and leafy greens. Since the water, sugars, fruit acids and phosphorus is high in watermelons, it is better to serve them only as a treat, i.e. occasionally.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelons?
As we can see from the chart of nutritional value, watermelons do not appeal much. The unbalanced calcium to phosphorus ratio makes it less beneficial for your little Beardies.
Watermelons can only be fed in moderation and that too occasionally. Small pieces once a week as a salad topper is enough to make him feel loved.
Watermelons make for a nice treat only, but they do not qualify for a regular diet.
How to Serve Watermelons to your Bearded Dragons?
You must always serve an organic, fresh, ripe and seedless watermelon to your Beardies. Remove its rind, cut or slice finely and thinly in bite sized pieces and serve it on a shallow plate as a salad topper above the leafy greens and vegetables to encourage him in eating his other nutrient dense foods.
Why can’t Bearded Dragons eat watermelons daily?
Too much of anything might be poisonous. The same goes for watermelons. Therefore, feeding daily is out of the question. It is better to restrict a small piece of watermelon monthly, due to the following concerns.
- Large amounts of sugar may result in obesity and other health concerns like diabetes, tooth and gum decay, liver problems, and bone issues as well.
- Calcium depletion – since watermelons have a low amount of calcium and an unbalanced Calcium to Phosphorus ratio, it doesn’t qualify for a regular diet.
- Digestive issues – since watermelons are high in water content, small pieces may keep them well hydrated but large quantities daily may result in diarrhoea and dehydration.
Benefits of Watermelons for your Bearded Dragons?
Watermelons can indeed give a boost to your Beardie’s health.
- Vitamin C and Beta – Carotene helps strengthen a healthy and strong immune system, vision, growth, reproduction and skin health.
- Magnesium aids metabolism and prevents inflammation.
- Potassium regulates blood pressure levels.
- The biggest advantage of watermelons is that your Beardies love them. So even if they might not be rich in nutrition themselves, if you serve it as a salad topper they might entice your Beardie to have his leafy greens.
Risk associated with Watermelons for your Bearded Dragons
Though watermelons are all safe to eat, if overfed they can result in some serious health risks for your little Beardies.
- High sugar content present in watermelon, can result in obesity and serious health issues like the decay of tooth and gums, inappetence, plaque and build-up of tartar if eaten daily. Teeth are rooted to the jaws directly. Hence, tooth decays can result in issues with their bones, which might further result in pain and inflammation.
- Digestive issues such as obesity, diarrhoea and dehydration can take place if watermelons are overfed of your little Beardies.
- Disproportionate Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio can result in MBD. Your little Beardie needs a good amount of calcium to keep healthy and keep going. But Phosphorus present in watermelons combines with calcium and thus prevents it from being absorbed in your little Dragon’s bloodstream. If phosphorus is consumed in a large quantity, your Bearded Dragon can develop a life risking symptom- i.e. Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). If MBD is left untreated, it can paralyze and can even kill your little Dragons. Watermelons do contain calcium as well. But in proportion to Phosphorus, they are quite less. To prevent MBD, your little Beardie’s diet must contain calcium and phosphorus in a ratio of 1:1 or 2:1 to be on a safer side.
- Choking due to large pieces of watermelons and their seeds can be a risky affair.
- High quantity of Vitamin A may lead to toxicity.
- Low calcium calls for an additional calcium supplement. Calcium is an integral nutrient of your little Beardie’s diet. Lack of calcium may result in MBD. MBD affects your Beardie’s bones and can result in symptoms like lack of sleep and appetite, paralysis, and much more.
Hence, don’t fill your Beardie’s tummy with something that is not needed. Sometimes a little is more than enough.
Precautions While Serving Watermelons To Bearded Dragons
While watermelons are safe for your little Beardie, still you must take some necessary precautions while feeding him.
Always wash the outer skin of watermelons thoroughly as it may have particles of dirt and debris. Try to go for organic watermelons to avoid the risks of pesticides and herbicides. Before serving the watermelons to your little Beardies, be careful to remove their seeds as it can cause your Beardie a gut impaction and can also block his digestive tract.
And chop the watermelon as fine as possible to avoid choking. Apart from the soft red part, Beardioes can have the white part and rind as well, but they might be a bit hard to chew for them.
And most importantly, before trying or adding any new food to your Beardie’s diet, always consult his Vet for the guidelines and guidance, if any. If you get a green signal, introduce the food as a treat. Check onto your Beardie while he is having his food. If he is reluctant to have it, do not force him to consume it. Monitor his activities for 24 hours after the introduction of any new food.
In case of any adverse reaction or symptom, consult your Dragon’s Vet asap.
Can Watermelons be harmful to your Bearded Dragons?
Yes. If overfed, or fed too often watermelons may pose a threat to your Beardies. Since watermelons are very rich in water content but are a poor source of fibre and also contain a decent amount of sugars, they may result in various health issues including obesity, tooth decay, diarrhoea and dehydration.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon Rind?
Yes! Since the watermelon rind has more additional nutritional value than the red fruit, your Beardies can be given the rind. But many Beardies don’t like its taste, and if they were given a choice they might preferably switch.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Watermelon Juice?
No. Your little Beardie cannot drink watermelon juice. Since the store bought fruit juices are high in sugars and additional preservatives, they can lead to obesity and other health issues to your little Beardie. Thus, it is not a good idea to serve them market juices.
But, if you decide to give your little Dragon some natural fruit juice then you may dilute it with some water first. Or you may also squeeze the juice out of the watermelon flesh directly and pour it onto your Beardie’s salad- to entice him to eat his nutritional vegetables.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon Seeds?
No. Avoid giving watermelon seeds to your Beardies. Since they are small and slippery, they might choke your Beardie. Though the white seeds are easy to consume, it is better to completely avoid them. Seeds are also rough in texture, so if eaten they can cause some digestive issues to your little Beardie.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Watermelon Jelly?
No. Your little Beardies cannot consume watermelon jelly ever. Since jellies contain a high amount of sugars and preservatives, they might result in some alarming risks for your Bearded Dragons. Your little Beardies may find the jellies difficult to digest, which in turn might affect your little Dragon’s digestive system with severe symptoms of poisoning, gut impaction and other health issues. Hence, it is better to keep these processed foods away from your Dragons.
So we may now conclude that your little Beardies can have watermelons but in moderation. Fruits are delicious and fun. But only if they are given as a treat. Do not overdo them in your little Beardie’s diet ever. Especially in the case of watermelons.
Though watermelons themselves might not be of great benefit to your Beardies, it surely comes as an advantage if you serve them with other nutritional vegetables and leafy greens. It is always advised to serve the fruit in its natural form and not processed form ever.
In a state of confusion, it is always recommended to consult your Beardie’s Vet. As there is a difference between the captive and the wild Bearded Dragons, your Dragon’s Vet may guide you the best for your little Beardie’s diet.
- Read More: Can Your Dragons Eat Green Beans?