Lemons are round-shaped edible fruits born from a small tree of the Rutaceae family.
These fruits originated from North Africa and Spain around 1200 CE. Later on, the crusaders from Palestine distributed it throughout Europe. By 1494, lemons had been heavily grown in the Azores and mainly exported to England.
Today, the fruit is used for many purposes, from juices, ingredients, and aroma.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Lemons?
Yes. Bearded dragons can consume lemons but in moderation. From lemon juice, lemon curd, lemon sprinkled over their meals and as an ingredient- all these forms of lemons are completely safe for your bearded dragon. However, the fruit contains citric acid which can trigger ulcers to your pet if fed in excess.
If you’ve been curious about whether you can offer some lemons to your bearded dragon, then this post has all the answers you need.
Being a citrus fruit, Lemons contain high amounts of oxalic acid, making them unhealthy to your beardie. The acidity might trigger ulcers which can be deadly in the long run.
These fruits are also quite bitter for your pet to chew. However, serving just a few little pieces of this fruit once in a while wouldn’t do any harm to your darling.
Harm/Importance of Lemons to Bearded Dragons
Generally, these fruits can be harmful to bearded dragons at any age; thus, they should be avoided as much as possible.
Since lemon is a citrus fruit, it is highly concentrated with sugar, thus posing a risk of excess fats and later obesity if not well moderated. Even worse, these fruits can cause excessive diarrhea and dehydration to your darling.
They can effortlessly disorganize your pet’s digestive system and cause other severe issues such as calcium deficiency, teeth decay, and malnourishment, among others.
All in all, lemons still possess some benefits to your bearded dragon. The fruits serve as an awesome titbit for your beardie because of their sugary nature. Their acidity form also aids in reducing the possibility of arthritis as your pet ages.
When served and distributed moderately, these fruits have a few nutritional benefits to your pet. These include:
- They contain fibers that are responsible for balancing the digestion of starch and sugar.
- They are also filled with some vitamins and minerals such as, Potassium responsible for reducing high blood pressure levels, Vitamin C essential for your pet’s skin health and immune system, and Vitamin B6 which aids in turning consumed food into energy.
- Lemons have carbohydrates that majorly contain simple sugars; the former is broken down to generate the required energy for your buddy.
How many lemons should I feed?
Although the number of lemon pieces offered to bearded dragons varies from age, size, any underlying conditions, or reaction to the fruit, lemons should not be fed more than twice a month.
When it comes to age, young beardies shouldn’t be served lemons at all as their digestive system hasn’t fully developed to handle these fruits. Offering them lemons poses a risk to their digestive system or even death.
If your dog has any underlying issues such as malnourishment, arthritis among others, it’d be advisable to avoid giving them lemons as it will only worsen the condition.
Again, as you introduce lemons to your bearded friend, kindly note how he reacts to them. Some dragons are allergic to these treats or dislike them; thus, you should consider other healthy treats in place of lemons.
Generally, lemons should be served as an occasional treat and not a whole for your sweetie.
Why Are Lemons Good/Bad For Your Bearded Dragon?
Lemons have more disadvantages than benefits to your bearded dragon; thus, we urge you to avoid offering them regularly as you’ll be highly risking his health.
Firstly, these fruits contain too much bitter water that can cause severe issues such as diarrhea, dehydration, parasites or even malnourishment.
The oxalic acid in lemons might cause stomach upset and heartburn to your beardie. Also, the high amounts of sugar trigger the risk of excess fats and obesity to your pet if fed in excess.
The disadvantages we’ve mentioned above don’t generally mean that lemons don’t have any positive impact on your pet’s health if consumed.
This fruit contains fiber, which helps maintain the proper digestion of sugar and starch. They also have carbohydrates which are broken down to generate some energy for this darling.
Some various minerals and vitamins are advantageous to bearded dragons, including vitamin B6 (for changing food into required energy), potassium (good for lowering high blood pressure levels to normal), and vitamin C (responsible for maintaining healthy skin and immunity).
How to Feed Lemons to Bearded Dragons?
Most importantly, note that lemons are better fed as a once-in-a-while treat than a whole meal. This is because of the risks related to excess feeding of lemons to bearded dragons, as we mentioned earlier.
Leaving a whole lemon for your darling isn’t advisable as it may trigger gut blockage and choke. It would be best if you peeled it first, then cut it into tiny chewable pieces. We recommend accompanying these pieces with other meals to balance the diet.
There are other ways to offer lemons to bearded dragons other than just the sliced pieces- from lemonade, lemon curd, lemon juice, sprinkling it on his meals, among others.
What are the alternatives for lemons for bearded dragons?
Having known that lemons don’t have much nutritional importance to your bearded friend, you might be wondering what else you can serve him to satisfy his craving for the latter. Other healthy fruits such as bananas, apples, strawberries, grapes, among others, make an excellent treat for your beardie.
What if my bearded dragon ate lemons while I was away?
If your beardie takes lemons without your knowledge, it’d be advisable to quickly rush him to the vet for checking and further treatment. The vet may require to pump his stomach to get rid of all the lemon content inside. If any illness arises, kindly take him back for further diagnosis.
Can I offer lemon peel to my bearded dragon?
Lemon peels are even worse than the lemon itself; furthermore, why would you consider feeding them to your pet anyway? These peels are so bitter and contain more acidity than the mother lemon; thus, we humbly urge you not to provide them to your sweetie at any cost.
Having gone through this post, you are now a step ahead of other bearded dragon parents out there. Despite your baby’s liking for lemons, offering them in excess will only tamper with their general health.