Bearded dragons are awesomely unique animals, with some rather odd eating habits. But, can bearded dragons eat tomatoes? Carrying on reading to find out!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat tomatoes. However, they should only be fed in appropriate amounts. Experts recommend only feeding your bearded dragon tomatoes once a month.
Tomatoes are high in vitamin A but low in toxins such as oxalic acid. These are safe for bearded dragons but only occasionally. Although tomatoes can be a part of a healthy and balanced diet, the low levels of calcium and high levels of phosphorus mean they should not be ingested often.
Experts at VCA-Hospitals have listed tomatoes as a safe food for bearded dragons. Nonetheless, even though they are deemed safe, it doesn’t mean all tomatoes are suitable for beardies. VCA-Hospital experts recommend that a bearded dragon’s plant-based diet should only contain 10% of fruits. Compared to almost all vegetables, most fruits are nutritionally poor. So fruits should be given out as a treat, rather than as a replacement for some leafy greens.
This is because they do not offer all the crucial nutrients to keep them healthy. In spite of this, a bearded dragon could see benefits from tomatoes as they are rich in Vitamin A. This vitamin is important for vision, reproduction, and a healthy immune system. You must be careful though as too much vitamin A can cause a bearded dragon to fall ill.
Another benefit of tomatoes is their low sugar content. Tomatoes only have 2.63g of sugar per 100g compared to most other fruits which have 10.1g per 100g. Too much sugar can cause obesity, tooth/gum problems, and digestion problems in bearded dragons.
How Often Can a Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
It is not recommended to feed bearded dragons tomatoes on a regular basis. As we’ve already mentioned, the poor amounts of calcium and phosphorus in tomatoes are not sufficient to keep a bearded dragon healthy. Experts suggest that bearded dragons should only be fed tomatoes around once a month.
Small amounts, such as these, will provide great health benefits from vitamin A and can also provide an enjoyable sweet taste.
Why Tomatoes Can Be Bad For Bearded Dragons
Even though tomatoes have healthy amounts of Vitamin A, there are a few reasons why tomatoes can be bad for your bearded dragon.
The Phosphorus-Calcium ratio of tomatoes is deemed unhealthy for bearded dragons. Calcium is vital to any reptile and a key element of a bearded dragon’s diet. However, Phosphorus is damaging to bearded dragons as it sticks to calcium deposits, therefore stopping the calcium from being absorbed in the body. It is recommended that the perfect ratio of calcium to phosphorus is 2:1. Tomatoes offer a fraction of this with only 5mg of calcium to 29mg of phosphorus.
Tomato leaves and stems can also be harmful to a bearded dragon. As they are part of the nightshade family, the leaves and stems contain alkaloids which are highly poisonous. Avoid feeding these parts at all costs.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherry Tomatoes?
Tomatoes should always be cut up into small chunks before being fed to a bearded dragon. Luckily, cherry tomatoes are already small and easy to prepare. Nevertheless, it is important that you thoroughly clean the tomatoes to be sure any chemicals are removed.
You should also cut the green parts from the top of the cherry tomato too as these can harm your bearded dragon. Even though cherry tomatoes are small, you should still cut them into smaller pieces for easier consumption.
What Vegetables Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
It is vital bearded dragons are provided with a variety of foods and nutrients. This keeps these wonderful reptiles healthy and their meals more interesting.
Tomatoes should only be a small portion of a bearded dragon’s diet and it is recommended they are used as a salad topper with rich nutrient greens. We have listed vegetables that are suitable for bearded dragons below to help you understand what is best to feed them.
Vegetables To Feed Your Bearded Dragon:
- Acorn squash
- Artichoke Heart
- Raw Asparagus
- Raw Bell Peppers
- Bok choy
- Butternut squash
- Raw cabbage
- Collard greens
- Peeled cucumber
- Cooked lentils
- Mustard greens
- Raw okra
- Spaghetti squash
- Turnip greens
- Raw zucchini
- Yellow squash
These are the most common vegetables that a bearded dragon can eat every day. Provide your beardie with a solid balanced diet and they’ll be as happy a child on Christmas!
Today we’ve answered the question “Can bearded dragons eat tomatoes”, and you now know how to properly feed your beardie tomatoes!
Alongside various vegetables and fruits, tomatoes do have some great benefits to offer. Just always be sure that your beardie is fed the correct amount around once a month.
Has your bearded dragon ever stopped eating for no apparent reason? If you’d like to find out why bearded dragons stop eating, check out this article.