Can Bearded Dragons Eat Apricots? (Will you regret it?)
If you care for your Beardie (Click here to see, from this guide, if you are making one of these common errors Beardie owners make with their pet) you may be curious if apricots are a good idea for him…
Can bearded dragons eat apricots? Yes, but it should be regarded as a treat. This is because it has poor calcium to phosphorus ratio and fruits, in general, should represent a small portion of their diet.
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Now that you know that Apricots are more of a treat, keep reading to learn why I say this, the known risks with apricots, some health benefits that you may never have heard of, and much more.
What is an apricot?
Before we delve into the detail of whether apricots are good or bad for your Beardie, let me establish with you exactly what is an Apricot. Yes, I get it, you have heard of apricots before, right? But, have you ever learned what their genus is, species name, and much more?
Specie Names & Family
According to Wikipedia, an Apricot is the name of the fruit and the tree that produces it. Also, according to other sources, it is also known as an “Armenian plum”. It is from the Genus (taxonomic rank, above the species level) called “Prunus”. This genus has many different species including the following:
- Prunus Armeniaca (the main species)
- Prunus Brigantina
- Prunus Mandshurica
- Prunus Mume
- Prunus Zhengheensis
- Prunus Sibirica
Some will say that the Apricot looks like a small peach. It has an orange/yellow colored exterior with sweet flesh inside. The flesh conceals one large seed for reproduction.
What nutritional content does an apricot have?
Source: Wikipedia (per 100g)
Are there any known health benefits with apricots?
Now that you know the nutritional content of Apricots, you may be wondering if there are any known health benefits of this fruit, whether that be for your Beardie directly, or in general, right? Let’s look into this now.
Low in fat & Calories
The first thing to notice about the table above is the low calories and fat that this apricot possesses. This is advantageous because your bearded dragon needs food, but must watch his weight.
Why? Well, let’s face it, he is not that active in your enclosure, right? So, he will not naturally burn that many calories. In the wild, that is a completely different story, he is always on the move in that environment, are you with me?
Good source of Vitamin A & C
If you look at the table above you will see that the apricot has a good source of vitamin A & C. You may have heard of vitamin C before, but what about Vitamin A, what is that for?
According to this site, Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin. It has some great antioxidant properties. Also, it is used for maintaining good eyesight, skin health, boosting your immune system, and will also help to fight aging in us humans.
Contains a good supply of potassium
Another known benefit of apricots is the potassium that it has. You may be wondering how this benefits us, right? Well, according to this site, it helps us send nerve signals around our bodies. For example, when you flex that muscle you have, a nerve signal is sent to your muscle to make it happen, potassium helps with daily actions like this.
So, you can see why it is important. As well as this, it helps with fluid balance. In works in tandem with sodium to maintain the ideal fluid balance. If you want an example, have you ever felt bloated before, or felt some water retention? Well, potassium helps with this, in combination with sodium.
Also, according to the same site, there was an analysis of 33 studies that concluded that a potassium-rich diet can significantly reduce your blood pressure and reduce the chances of a stroke.
Naturally high in water content
As you can see from the table above these apricots have high water content. To be honest, it is very high water content. One of the benefits of this is the hydration that it offers. This offers quite a few advantages such as your blood pressure, body temperature, joint health, and heart rate.
What about negatives, or known risks?
Now that you know the nutritional content and what health benefits apricots have in general. You may be curious to know what risks it has, is there any known issues that you should know about to keep your beardie safe?
Poor calcium to phosphorous ratio
Calcium is a necessity for your Beardie. But, phosphorous, on the other hand, needs to be monitored. This does not mean its bad, but there is a specific balance that needs to be maintained to keep your Beardies calcium absorption optimal.
Ideally, according to this site, it should be about 2:1, in favor of calcium. The reason for this is simple, the phosphorous reduces how much calcium can be absorbed by your Beardie. Hence, the reason why you need to maintain this ratio, are you with me?
Should your Beardie eat apricots?
Now that you know the benefits and risks of apricots you may still be searching for a more definitive answer if you should be feeding apricots to your Beardie. If that’s the case, keep reading while I explain.
Yes, you can feed your Bearded Dragon apricots. But, understand one thing, they are not regarded as a staple. Meaning, they should be seen as a treat, rather than part of his daily diet, are you with me?
Fruits should represent a small part of your Beardies Diet
Also, regarding fruits in general, they are needed and offer some key vitamins and minerals. But, they should represent a small part of your Beardies diet.
Ideally, an adult Beardie will consume approx 80% fruit/veg, and yes, that sounds a lot. But, out of that 80%, only 10% is expected to be fruit, are you with me? So, vegetables play a bigger role in their diet.
What about your Baby Bearded Dragon?
Now that you know that an Adult Beardie should consume 80% fruit & veg. you may assume that this is the case for your baby Beardie, right? Well, if that’s the case, keep reading because you may be surprised.
Yes, baby Beardies can consume apricots. But, The reality is baby Beardies will consume even less fruit than an adult Beardie. Why? Well, a baby Beardie will eat more insects than fruit/veg, as opposed to the adult.
And, within that small percentage of fruit/veg consumption, fruit should represent the smallest portion. So, my point is, apricots should only ever represent a small portion of their diet.
How do you prepare apricots for your Bearded Dragon?
So, by now you should understand how apricots should fit into your Beardies diet. But, if you want to give them to your Beardie, how do you prepare them for him? Keep reading to learn more.
Choosing the right apricots
When you are choosing apricots, you need to focus on fresh ones only. Yes, there are dried ones available. But, not only are they not as nutritious, you may find that he won’t like them either.
Before you can serve them up you need to prepare them correctly. To do this, you need to chop them up. An apricot is far too big to serve whole, and you should only be giving him small portions of it, in comparison to another veg item, etc, as discussed earlier.
So, a good guideline when chopping up any food for your Beardie is not cutting it too big. And, the way you can gauge this is not making any piece bigger than the distance between both of his eyes. This will avoid him choking, are you with me.
Now that you have some pieces cut up. You need to serve it up with other fruits and veg. As discussed earlier, there should be more veg than fruit. And the apricot pieces should only really be a small part of the overall serving, are you with me?
Checking on him
You may feel that you are done, right? Well, no, you need to check on him. The point of this is to see how he responded to it. For example, did he eat all of the pumpkins (Click here to see if this is good food for your Beardie) and leaves the apricot?
If he did, then it is an indication that he does not like it, and maybe you should not offer it to him again. The reality is, it’s a trial and error game sometimes, within reason.
In this section, I will answer some questions related to Bearded Dragon’s behaviors. If you have any other questions feel free to contact me.
Q: Do Bearded dragons lay eggs?
Yes, Bearded Dragons lay eggs (Click here to see where they lay them). They also go through a stage called “gravid”, which is similar to pregnancy before laying their eggs.