Can bearded dragons eat eggplant?
No, eggplants are not ideal for bearded dragons, even if you can feed them in moderation. While this fruit contains vital nutrients, it also contains harmful alkaloids and acids. It’s thus better to be careful and avoid this food option than risk your scaly pet’s health.
However, you may still wonder if it’s possible to include small bits of this plant in your lizard’s meal without making them sick. I thus searched through tons of information about how eggplants affect bearded dragons. I then put the details in this post to help you decide about feeding eggplant to your beardy.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Eggplant in Their Meals Regularly?
Eggplant is generally unsuitable for bearded dragons, as this plant has contents toxic for lizards.
The leaves are highly alkaloid levels, while the fruit is highly acidic. Both can irritate a lizard’s digestive tract when consumed and may cause health problems like diarrhea and dehydration.
Moreover, the plant is high in phosphorous but low in calcium. This improper calcium-to-phosphorous ratio can hinder calcium absorption. This can lead to lizard growth or skeletal problems like metabolic bone disease (MBD).
However, some masters of bearded dragons say that their pets consume this food without getting sick. They only observe a few crucial steps, which you may also follow to keep your beardy happy with each meal.
What Nutrients do Eggplants Contain?
While this food is generally unsuitable for lizards in large amounts, it also contains essential nutrients. Here are the nutrients you can get from every 100 grams of this fruit:
- Protein — 0.98g
- Energy — 25 Calories
- Carbohydrates — 5.8g and 3.5g of it is sugar
- Fat — 0.18g
- Water — 92.3g
- Calcium — 9mg
- Phosphorous — 24mg
- Potassium — 229mg
- Magnesium — 14mg
- Folate — 22µg
- Vitamin C — 2.2mg
- Vitamin K — 3.5µg
- Fiber — 3g
As you can see, this food option carries some nutrients that your reptile needs, like protein, potassium, magnesium, folate, and Vitamin C.
However, it also contains improper amounts of compounds that could harm the lizard. For example, it has too much water content that may cause diarrhea. The fruit also has a significantly higher level of phosphorous than its calcium content, making it unsuitable for your beardies’ growth and bone health.
It’s thus crucial to feed small servings to your pet once every few weeks or completely avoid including it in any meal. Instead, focus on serving vegetables great for bearded dragons, like kale, green beans, and squash.
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How to Serve Eggplants to Bearded Dragons?
Serving this meal option to your lizard introduces taste variety to their diet and may improve their appetite. However, as mentioned above, you should proceed with caution to keep your scaly friend from getting sick. Here are the points you must remember when serving this plant:
1. Serve small bits only once every few weeks or every month. Moreover, serve the food as simple toppings on your beardy’s main dish. For example, you can prepare a serving of kale or green beans and use a small amount of sliced eggplant as garnishing.
2. Choose fresh fruits from organic farms. You’ll know it’s fresh if its firm, has shiny skin, and has a healthy green stem. Don’t serve plants from local groceries, as they might carry harmful pesticides and fertilizers.
3. Serve the flesh without seeds and skin, and slice it into small pieces. It’s also better to serve the fruit raw to your dragon instead of cooked.
4. Never use spices and seasonings, like salt, as these could harm the reptile’s health. Most seasonings could trigger dehydration and diarrhea, and spices quickly irritate the reptiles’ stomach lining.
5. Consider serving eggplant with powdered food supplements like calcium and vitamin B3 to keep your pet healthy. While the fruit has some essential nutrients, it cannot supply all the compounds that your dragon needs.
How to Know if a Bearded Dragon is Fine with Eating Eggplants?
Remember that individual beardies may react differently to each food item and the nutrients in each meal.
For example, some lizards are fine with eating eggplant, while others aren’t. So, carefully observe how your scaly friend reacts when you serve the plant in their meal. It helps you decide whether to continue serving them this option or not.
You would know your pet loves the food if they consume it without showing signs of discomfort, like vomiting, nausea, and loose stool. Immediately take them to the vet if they show unusual symptoms, and stop serving the fruit.
Moreover, only force your scaly friend to eat if they’ve rejected the food once. Focus on serving healthy meals they love.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Eggplants?
It’s better not to feed eggplants to baby beardies, as this fruit could cause suffering from severe health issues.
Firstly, their body is still too small to tolerate the acid and alkaloid content of the fruit. It can thus cause severe gastrointestinal problems to little reptiles.
Secondly, it doesn’t have a proper calcium-to-phosphorous ratio. So the fruit can hinder the growth and development of young lizards.
And lastly, remember that baby dragons’ diet should be 80% to 90% protein and only 10% to 20% plants. Veggies should make up most of the plants in their meal, and only 20% should be fruit. Therefore, it’s better to find safe and healthy options to serve fruit.
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So, the next time you ask, can bearded dragons eat eggplant? Always remember that this plant is generally unsuitable for reptiles.
It can cause severe health problems and has improper nutritional content for your scaly friend. It’s thus better to completely avoid serving this food option, even if you find safe ways to incorporate it into your pet’s diet.
However, remember the preparation tips above if you still want to serve this food to your beardy. And immediately consult the vet if your lizard gets sick after consuming the fruit.