Who wouldn’t want to add a few fruits to their pet’s diet – even if that pet happens to be a bearded dragon. We can all agree that whole-grain foods do wonders for their health!
What about what fruits bearded dragons can consume – what are the limitations in quantity, and are there any fruits in particular that you need to look out for? Let’s take those juicy apricots, for example:
Can bearded dragons eat apricots?
Sure they can, but still, you can’t go on feeding this to your bearded pet friend every single day – you have to take a break sometimes.
Stick to this article and find out how many apricots your bearded dragon can eat on a daily basis and why it is good that you include this fruit in their dietary plan!
A Slice Of Apricot A Day
Great news – you can freely chop up some apricot for your bearded dragon. Apricots find their place on a long list of fruits you should include in their diet.
These delicious treats are high in vitamin C, low in calories, and, most notably, high in water. Let’s zoom in on the nutritional value of one fresh apricot. What do we have here?
What is so great about this table of contents is that apricots contain only 0.1 grams of fat, which is excellent! This makes it less dangerous for consumption.
You’re not supposed to feed your tiny pets some hazardous fruits that are overfilled with fats.
Another thing worth mentioning – go for freshly picked/bought apricots instead of dried fruits.
Dried fruits are usually higher in sugar, and small-sized pets will have problems digesting them. It’s not that they can’t – they can and they will – but this opens the door to many stomach problems.
And nobody wants unnecessary tummy issues.
Nonetheless, apricots are full of health advantages, and they are definitely worth mentioning.
Apricots are high in antioxidants – and you know your pet needs them!
Antioxidants are also known as essential vitamins like A, C, and E, and luckily apricots have them all. These vitamins protect your pet from developing chronic illnesses like reptile diabetes.
Antioxidants are also beneficial in maintaining liver health – they protect against possible inflammation of your pet’s internal organs.
Consuming apricots regularly promotes eye health.
If you stick to a specific apricot diet from time to time, you won’t have to worry about your bearded dragon battling poor eyesight. The components in apricots like vitamin E protect their eyes from radical damage.
Another thing worth mentioning is skincare.
You’re aware that your bearded dragon spends a considerable amount of time under lighting. These rays are definitely not sunshine rays, and you need something that will help protect their skin from radiation.
What better way to do that than to include a slice of apricot-rich in vitamin C that minimizes the damage of environmental and radiation pollutants.
Fresh apricots are easy to digest.
Being high in soluble fiber, apricots are extremely easy to digest, so problems with the digestive tract will rarely occur. This contributes to easier consumption as well.
Apricots will prevent your bearded dragon from bloating.
High levels of potassium contained in apricots regulate blood and cholesterol levels. Preventing the excess of bad cholesterol, your bearded dragon will less likely end up being bloated after a couple of meals.
Lastly, and most importantly – hydration!
There is nothing better than a fresh, juicy apricot to keep your pet hydrated on a hot summer day. Of course, you should make the most of their hydrating powers whenever you can.
Fresh fluids and juice of apricots are a delight to your pet’s immune system.
Before going down to the market and buying yourself a basket full of fresh apricots, you should be aware of the following facts – how to feed my pet apricots?
Here’s a quick guide you might need:
- Clean the apricot in water and remove any stickers it has
- Peel the apricot carefully (fruits peels are toxic to your pet)
- Chop up the apricot into smaller pieces (that would make it easier for your pet to eat them)
- Serve them to your pet either with the main meal or as a tasty treat afterward
What’s excellent about apricots is that they can go along with almost everything. You can serve them in a bowl with commercial food, with other fruits, or just as a treat – you choose.
Now that you know the nutritional value of apricots, what is the correct feeding ratio?
Simple: Your dragon should not consume more than 5 slices of apricots per week.
No matter how good and tempting this fruit may be to your pet, you must keep the consumption moderate. Even the healthiest of fruits and vegetables can cause harm.
The Best Time For Apricots
The apricot season is from May to September. So, these fruits are at your disposal during the entire summer.
You should know how and when to make the most of this juicy treat.
The best time for feeding apricots to your bearded dragon would be sometime between July and August. Why? Because that’s when the temperature is the highest, and your pet needs some healthy refreshments.
So, if you have a bearded pet dragon and you are going through unbearable summer heat – this might be the right fruit for your pet.
The good news is that apricots are also available during the winter. Many farms and country folks grow these fruits. It’s up to you to find a reliable supplier – one that keeps them 100% organic.
Let’s say that you came across a crate of apricots on your way to the market today. You are looking to buy some so that you and your pet can have a slice now and then. What do you look for in these fruits?
The first thing that will tell you if the apricot is good or bad is its feel – it must be soft. Your apricot shouldn’t be rock hard or too squishy. That would mean that it’s almost rotten.
If the apricots that you bought are too firm, it must be that they haven’t been ripened. Save yourself the trouble of revisiting the market and leave your apricots in a dry and warm place for some time – they’ll soften up and be ready to eat.
Apricots that contain sulfites will appear brownish at first glance – you should avoid these.
You want to feed your pet some fresh and natural food, so look for apricots that have a yellowish and clean orange shade to them.
The lifetime of apricots largely depends on where they’re stored, so let’s get right to it.
Whole apricots can last 1-2 days on your kitchen counter, 10 days in your refrigerator, and almost 5 months in the freezer.
If you cut your apricot and fed one piece of it to your bearded dragon, the shelf-life changes. Now, the sliced apricot can last for a couple of hours more on your kitchen counter and 2 days most in your fridge.
We don’t recommend putting sliced apricots in the freezer unless you’re looking for apricot ice cubes.
The bottom line is: If you have fed your bearded dragon one slice of apricot today, you should feed him the other the next day. Don’t let it sit on your counter for 5 days.
How to tell if the apricots have exceeded their expiration date?
The first signs are in their shape – if your apricot is oddly shaped and has lumps all over it – it’s probably not edible.
The next thing you should look for is bruises. Older apricots might look like they have bruises all over them. Although some people say that these are good for making jam or something – we say “don’t risk it.”
Feeding your bearded dragon rotten can result in severe gastrointestinal issues, internal inflammation, bowel problems, vomiting, and even death. So, be extra careful!
Dried And Canned Food – Not For Pets
You shouldn’t mess with two things when feeding your pet – dried and canned food.
We’ve already mentioned feeding your bearded dragon dried apricots, for example. So, what’s the deal with dried apricots and dried fruits in general?
Dried apricots, for instance, contain much more sugar than freshly picked ones. This is not a good idea at all. Some of them even have added sugars to their already existing composition.
Because of this, they are often referred to as “candied food” – coated, baked, and covered in sugar.
Before you include this in your pet’s diet, our advice would be to check the label first. The percentage of sugars contained might surprise you and distract you from that idea.
On that note, dried fruit that is not stored correctly in markets may even contain some toxic compounds, fungi, and bacteria. If you decide to go through with dried fruits, at least make sure that you’re serving the minimal amount.
Canned food is also not the ideal choice for your pet.
For starters, it just tastes different. And how could it not when it has been stored in a can for who knows how long. Basically, the more it stays in there, the more the taste vanishes.
What’s more, it is filled with chemicals that are potentially toxic to your pet. In most cases, the longevity of foods inside containers contributes to a chemical BPA developing in it. Bisphenol A is responsible for food poisoning, cardiovascular issues, and even diabetes. Watch out!
Does any type of canned food pose a risk of botulism? This is a bacterial disease that arises from the can rusting and molding. It can cause severe damage to the liver.
Imagine giving your pet canned food that has been affected by bulging and rusting of the can. If you fail to notice it, it can be deadly.
The variety is also not great.
Most canned foods have pretty much the same content. They are all a mixture of apples, bananas, apricots, and potatoes. So, basically, you’re not presented with a lot.
And lastly, we have exposure to tin, and this is an important one.
You are aware of the expiration date that is written on the tin of the can. Well, the closer that date gets, the worse the taste of food will be.
The rule with canned food is that, once you open it, you should consume it entirely. Closing the tin and leaving it for another day would be a grave mistake – especially for your pet.
Canned food that stays open for more than two days should not be consumed under any circumstances – otherwise, your pet can end up with severe stomach issues.