Wondering what to give your bearded dragon as a treat? You come across some acorn squash in your kitchen pantry, but is this something your beardie can consume?
Bearded dragons can eat a lot of things, that’s for sure. But what about some unusual treats like types of squashes – Can bearded dragons eat acorn squash? This is just one of many treats your beardie is able to consume, but not in large amounts, of course.
Stay with us all, and we’ll tell you all about acorn squash, how you should serve it to your bearded pet dragon, in what quantities, as well as many other interesting facts you might not have known about this tasty treat!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Acorn Squash? Acorn Squash – Approved!
Acorn squash is a type of fruit that is grown all over the world. This is a very popular treat in North America. It’s usually dark green, but it can also be white. The flavor is sweet, with a hint of saltiness.
Your beardie is a well-known omnivore, so it will have no problem munching on this sometimes. But what does the term “sometimes” cover in the case of feeding your bearded dragon acorn squash?
To be honest, you shouldn’t rely too much on this treat because it’s not the focus of their diet. However, you are allowed to give your beardie a teaspoon of acorn squash two times a week – tops!
Before you bring out acorn squash to your beardie’s food bowl, you should check its nutritional value.
Acorn squash is also high in essentials like magnesium (22%), iron (11%), and potassium (26%).
Raw or Cooked?
Always feed your bearded dragon raw squash, mainly because raw squash holds more nutritional value than cooked. Also, small-sized pets like your beardie are not allowed to consume cooked foods in general – it doesn’t get on well with their tummy.
How To Properly Feed Your Bearded Dragon Some Acorn Squash?
After you pick up an acorn squash, the first thing you should do is wash it well. Make sure that you wash all of the dirt that might be on the surface from storing it.
Take a knife and peel the acorn squash. Don’t leave any skin because this can be toxic to your pet. Next, cut the acorn squash into two halves and take out the seeds – your beardie is not allowed to consume them.
After you’re finishing with peeling and taking out the seeds, you can grab your knife again and cut one portion of the acorn squash into tiny pieces. This will make it easier for your beardie to chew it.
You shouldn’t serve any large slices of acorn squash because it can lead to choking.
Finally, take a teaspoon and measure one teaspoon of acorn squash. This is the recommended quantity for your pet. Put it into your beardie’s food bowl and watch it devour it in seconds!
As for the rest of the acorn, you can use it for cooking purposes and enjoy a treat for yourself.
Here are a couple of serving tips to make your beardie’s meal even more delicious:
- Acorn squash is even better when served alongside some veggies (apples for example)
- You can serve acorn squash with leafy greens as well
Why Should My Beardie Eat Acorn Squash?
Acorn squash is beneficial to your beardie for numerous reasons, and to convince you to include this treat in its diet, here are just some health benefits of feeding your pet acorn squash.
- No bad cholesterol levels: Although the table above shows high levels of calories in acorn squash, it’s actually not that bad if consumed moderately. Acorn squash doesn’t contain bad cholesterol or saturated fats. You can call that terrific!
- Gluten-free: Gluten doesn’t play such a significant role in your beardie’s diet, but if you have the chance to include something gluten-free, the better!
- Vitamin A: Since your bearded dragon spends a lot of time under its UV light, that can affect its vision. Acorn squash is rich in vitamin A that is good for protecting good sight. It’s also good for the development of red blood cells.
- Vitamin C: Besides vitamin A, vitamin C is this fruit’s best attribute because it contains an outstanding 37% of the recommended daily value. This vitamin contributes to the repairment and body tissues and the development of collagen.
- Potassium: The potassium contained in acorn squash helps regulate the blood pressure in your beardie’s organism and protects it from possible heart diseases.
- Good for the skin: Consuming acorn squash makes your bearded dragon’s skin healthier, and it certainly needs it from all the time it spends under UV lighting.
- Preventing diarrhea: Suppose you don’t go overboard with feeding your bearded dragon acorn squash; it can promote regular digestion and help your pet deal with bloating problems. On the other hand, if you give it too much – you can cause diarrhea problems.
- Stronger bones: The calcium contained in acorn squash is excellent for building strong bones. If your bearded pet dragon is lazier than usual, including some acorn squash, it will make sure its bones won’t “become rusty.”
All of these components in acorns will surely boost your pet beardie’s immune system. However, if you don’t pay attention to the quantity and intervals at which you feed this to your pet, none of this will count.
You would want to avoid making your bearded dragon overweight because losing those extra pounds can be a challenge. Here’s how to make sure that your beardie is not in danger of becoming obese:
- Make sure that you are not feeding your bearded dragon too many feeder insects (the average amount of insects per feeding is 20 insects, so don’t let that number pass 30)
- Make sure that your bearded dragon hunts good food (if you allow your dragon to gather food of its own, make sure that it doesn’t go for something toxic or too caloric)
- Make sure that you include salads in every other meal (salads and greens, in general, should be included in as many meals as possible – they are a source of essential vitamins)
- Make sure that your bearded dragon doesn’t eat too many times a day (make up a dietary plan that doesn’t include more than 3 meals a day)
- Make sure that your beardie gets its exercise (don’t let your beardie lay around all day in its cage, take it out from the cage and let it explore your backyard, for example)
Is My Acorn Squash Bad?
If you plan on feeding your beardie acorn squash, you should know exactly how long can it stay in your kitchen and when it’s time to throw it away.
Here’s the shelf life of acorn squash in different states:
|Raw and whole:||2 months in the kitchen pantry|
|Cooked and peeled:||3 days in the fridge|
|Mashed or frozen:||1 day in the fridge|
If you fear that your acorn squash is past its prime, there are a couple of ways you can check this.
- Slicing the squash – after you cut the squash into two pieces and notice slimy gray seeds in the middle, it’s time to get rid of it
- Look for soft spots inside – your acorn squash isn’t supposed to be too soft on the inside
- Take a look at the stem – if your acorn is bad, the stem will appear limp
- The shell should be firm – both the inside and outside of the acorn squash need to have some level of firmness – if the shell is squishy, it’s not good
An interesting way to check if your fruits and vegetables are still good is to put them in water. The same applies to acorn squash – it should float once you place it in water. If it sinks, it’s past its expiration date.
Toxic Squash Syndrome
Toxic squash syndrome is actually very common with this fruit, and it is usually the result of improper harvesting of pesticide infection.
Although you might not know by the look if your squash is toxic, the first bite will reveal it. The symptoms of squash syndrome include:
So, if you notice that your beardie is starting to bloat or show signs of nausea, get that acorn squash and throw it away immediately!
This is very close to food poisoning in animals, so what do you do?
If your pet hasn’t consumed a considerable amount of acorn squash, it’s not in grave danger. Still, you should take a closer look at your beardie. Throw in some water or grass to help your pet get it out of the organism as fast as possible.
If you noticed the toxic squash syndrome a little too late, it would be best to reach out to your vet. In rare cases, it can affect your beardie’s health tremendously and disrupt his digestive system. The vet will probably prescribe some medication or update your current diet.
Instances like this occur all the time, and it doesn’t have to be anyone’s fault. Your duty is just to act fast and take care of your pet.
Bearded Dragons – Food List
Acorn squash is just one of many nourishments on your beardie’s food list. Here’s a short overview of what your pet bearded dragon is allowed to consume.
|Bell pepper||Zucchini||Parsley||Asparagus||Endive||Bok choy|
Naturally, there are some foods you should AVOID, and they include: