Can bearded dragons eat cucumbers? Will adding cucumber as staple part of their diet be beneficial for them? This juicy vegetable tastes amazing on salads and is a great source of water to keep your bearded dragon hydrated. But, is it safe for your dragons?
Like with every pet, deciding on what food to give them to make their diets balanced and well-rounded is important. This is one of the most important things you are required to do for your pets, and this is especially true for beardies. Keep reading to know what food are safe for them to eat and if cucumbers can be the next best thing you add to their diets.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cucumbers?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat the occasional cucumber treat. Cucumbers may have several vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for growing beardies, but you need to remember that cucumbers are still mostly just water. This means that if you feed cucumbers to your dragon every day, the chances of them getting diarrhea becomes higher.
So, if you plan to give cucumbers to your beardies, make sure to practice moderation and only give it to them in small doses.
What Benefits Can Bearded Dragons Get from Eating Cucumbers?
Despite being mostly water, cucumbers also have a few vitamins and minerals that are beneficial for your beardie. Among the several nutritional benefits they can get from cucumbers are:
- Water. Cucumbers are 96% water, making it a great source of hydration especially in hot days.
- Vitamin C. This fortifies your bearded dragon’s immune system, preserves their vision, encourages growth, and heightens their reproductive capabilities.
- Potassium. This prevents kidney problems, lowers water retention, and helps improve muscle function.
- Fiber. This is great in preventing constipation and helps your beardie digest their food faster and better.
- Magnesium. This promotes better brain and muscle health.
- Manganese. This prevents inflammation and helps with their metabolism.
- Low Acidity. Cucumbers are not every acidic, making them easier for your beardie’s stomach compared to other food.
However, if you are looking for another source of vitamins for your bearded friends, you can get some of the best multi-vitamin supplements for your beardies here.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Cucumbers?
This is subjective and varies depending on your bearded dragon. While eating cucumbers may be enjoyable and rewarding for some, not every dragon has or will develop a taste for it.
Cucumbers may have several benefits like helping with hydration and digestion, it still shouldn’t be added to their diets as a staple meal. Maybe just limit it to an every other week treat just to introduce some variety in their diet.
However, remember to observe how your beardie reacts to the taste of cucumbers. If you notice that your bearded pal doesn’t seem to have a taste for this vegetable, it is better not to push it. Other than observing their food preferences, you also have to make them comfortable in their enclosure. Here are a few things you need to get you started in making the best habitat for your bearded dragon.
Can Young Bearded Dragons Eat Cucumbers?
Short answer, no. More experienced owners and experts do not recommend feeding smaller younger dragons cucumbers. Since their diet is consist of 80% bugs and insects, introducing cucumbers to their diets at this time can affect their incredibly sensitive and developing digestive system.
However, both grown and juvenile bearded dragons cannot eat the cucumber seeds. You should remove these before giving cucumber to your grown dragons to avoid the risk of choking.
Most of their diet should consist of mostly bugs and insects. It is also recommended to add some high-calcium, dark, fresh, greens that they can eat throughout the day.
Pro-Tip: If you are looking for an insect that beardies absolutely love, check this out!
What Happens if Bearded Dragons Eat Too Much Cucumbers?
Cucumbers have a very high water content, feeding them too much of the vegetable is unnatural when compared to their diets in the wild. Since bearded dragons are desert-dwellers, eating food with a lot of water can have adverse effect on their bodies.
These lizards have a unique adaptation to water retention and living in a perpetual state of dehydration is common for these lizards. This means that going over their water limit can cause serious health issues for your dragon. And these are:
- Over hydration. This happens when they ingest too much water. Since cucumbers can be mixed in with their food, your beardie might not notice that they are ingesting too much water already.
- Diarrhea. As confusing as it is, getting too much hydration can cause a life-threatening level of dehydration. Recovering from diarrhea takes time and if your beardie ever has it, it is best to bring them to the vet as soon as possible.
How to Prepare Cucumbers for Bearded Dragons?
Cucumbers do not need a lot of preparation, but you need to prepare them as soon as possible. Here are some general steps for you to follow when preparing this treat for your beardie:
- First, wash the cucumbers well, scrub them if possible. This will ensure that you remove all the potentially harmful stuff like bacteria and pesticide that may be stuck on the flesh.
- Second, peel the cucumbers thoroughly. Bearded dragons cannot eat cucumber peels, they cannot chew them. If they ever the peels, you need to look out for any discomfort that blockage in their throats of inside may have caused.
- Third, cut off or scoop out the seeds with either a knife of a spoon. And, cut the flesh into small-bite sized pieces to make eating it easier for them.
Serve it alone or as a crunchy treat along with other greens in a salad, and your beardie should eat all of it up. However, do not forget that the limit for cucumbers is once every one or two weeks only.
When it comes to feeding your bearded dragons, being particular about what they eat isn’t as important as giving them a variety of food that, overall, is more balanced and is better for their diets. Other adding color to their meals, this will also ensure that your scaly pal gets the nutrition it needs. If you want to know more about other food they can eat, you can check this article out right here. However, if you think that you are ready to feed your dragons cucumbers, if you read and understood all of these, you should be good to go.