Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pickles? All You Need to Know!

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pickles

Can bearded dragons eat pickles, especially without experiencing health problems afterward? 

No, Bearded dragons cannot eat pickles or fermented cucumbers because of the high acidity and sodium content that the reptiles’ bodies cannot tolerate. Overeating may cause them to suffer from gastrointestinal irritations or severe ailments like kidney problems.  

It’s a crucial concern for pet masters of beardies like you. Thus, I scoured for more information about how this processed food could affect bearded dragons’ health and collected details about whether it’s safe to include this food option in their meals. 

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Pickles?

Bearded dragons cannot eat pickles because it contains too much sodium, acid, spices, and artificial preservatives. The reptiles’ digestive tract cannot break down preservatives efficiently and may cause gastrointestinal irritation. The ingredients may also accumulate in the dragons’ bodies and result in severe ailments like kidney and liver disease.

What Ingredients in Pickles Can Harm Bearded Dragons?

Some ingredients in pickles that may harm beardies are:

1. Sodium or Salt

Preserved cucumbers contain unhealthy sodium levels that may cause salt toxicosis to your beardie. The reptile may experience symptoms like vomiting, weakness, muscle tremors, and digestive tract inflammation. 

Moreover, too much salt may accumulate in your pet’s body and cause kidney and liver ailments.

2. Vinegar

Vinegar and other acidic food items are unhealthy for beardies as these may irritate their gastrointestinal tract. You can’t even feed acidic fruits to your scaly pet, like citrus fruits and pineapples. This type of food may lead to diarrhea, severe dehydration, and further complications. 

3. Spices

Many fermented cucumbers contain different spices like onion and garlic. These spices are toxic for beardies because of their excessive acid and phosphorous content.   

As mentioned above, too much acid may upset your pet’s stomach and cause complications. On the other hand, phosphorous reduces the calcium absorption rate in the dragon’s body. 

Remember that these reptiles, especially babies,  require enough calcium to grow. Decreased calcium absorption may thus result in ailments related to calcium deficiency, like Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). 

MBD is a common ailment among young beardies and makes their bones weak, thin, soft, and easy to break. Reptiles with MBD may thus experience movement difficulties and are noticeably weaker than usual.

4. Artificial Preservatives

Preserved cucumbers also have different artificial preservatives that may contain excessive sodium and sugar. As mentioned above, excessive sodium is toxic for beardies and may result in life-threatening ailments.  

Moreover, consuming too much sugar may cause your pet to suffer from fatty liver disease, obesity, diabetes, and heart disease.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Washed Pickles?

The reptile cannot eat and should not be fed washed pickles.

Remember that ingredients and preservatives seep into the cucumber during fermentation to produce pickles. These ingredients are thus impossible to remove by washing the processed cucumber. 

So, your beardie will still consume the same unhealthy ingredients, whether you wash this food or not. And it can be more harmful to your bearded dragons too. 

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Why is Pickle not an Ideal Food for Bearded Dragons?

Pickles are not recommended for bearded dragons because they are highly acidic. Besides, beardies are tiny animals that cannot tolerate excessive amounts of acidic food, and you risk making them fall ill and facing harmful effects by feeding them pickles. 

What are the side effects of pickles on bearded dragons? 

You risk triggering side effects by feeding your bearded dragon pickles. Some side effects they will experience include:

  • An upset stomach that even leads to their throwing up
  • Breathing difficulties due to congestion or throat inflammation.
  • The inability to breathe correctly makes your bearded dragon feel uncomfortable and distressful
  • A swollen face or neck
  • The risk of your beardy chocking and stopping breathing after consuming whole pickles

Consult your vet immediately if you notice your beardy experiencing any of these side effects 

Is There a Safe Amount of Pickles to Feed Bearded Dragons?

No, in my view, there isn’t any safe amount of pickle you can feed bearded dragons. There is no specific need to feed pickles to your dragon, as feeding pickles will not benefit your beardies in any way. 

If you want to feed your beardie pickles, then at the most, feed them a tiny amount only once a month.   

Is it Safe for Baby Dragons to Eat Pickles? 

Yes, they can eat pickles, but I do not recommend them at all.

You unnecessarily create a health risk for your baby dragons by feeding them pickles. Baby dragons already have fragile bodies and cannot tolerate the acidic and toxic ingredients in pickles. 

If you attempt to feed them pickles, it will only lead to severe side effects. Instead, it is better to focus on the usual baby bearded dragon diet, which should be 10% to 20% fresh plants and 80% to 90% bugs. However, avoid plants and bugs harmful to reptiles, like spices, citrus fruits, and poisonous insects.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fresh or Unfermented Cucumbers?

Cucumbers are great for beardies as they contain essential nutrients like fiber, vitamin C, vitamin K, magnesium, manganese, and potassium.  

However, only serve it in their meal every two weeks as cucumbers contain too much water. Bearded dragons naturally live in hot environments, so it’s normal for their body to stay quite dehydrated. Consuming food with too much water could thus cause diarrhea as the reptile’s body tries to eliminate the excess fluid.  

Moreover, cucumber is technically a fruit, and fruits should only make up to 10% of your pet’s plant diet. Feed them more vegetables like Chives, kale, cabbage, green beans, and parsley. 

In addition, always peel cucumbers and remove their seeds before serving them to your scaly friend to avoid choking.

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So, Can bearded dragons eat pickles without experiencing health problems? 

No, beardies cannot eat preserved cucumbers, which will only harm their health. 

I recommend you altogether avoid serving your pet this food to prevent health risks. And remember to contact the vet for professional advice if your beardie accidentally consumes some pickles. 



I'm Jennifer Mecham, worked for 7 years in an animal shelter in New York. I created this blog to educate people about these amazing creatures and to show them that reptiles can make great pets. Join me on this journey as we explore the world of reptiles.

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