Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges? 4 Risks | Full Guide

Bearded Dragons

can bearded dragons eat oranges
27 May, 2024

Oranges are citrus fruits that are prosperous in sugar and acid. But can bearded dragons eat oranges? So it is generally not recommended to include oranges in your bearded dragon’s diet. The reason is that oranges have the possibility of causing severe calcium deficiency in your dragon. 

Because oranges include oxalic acid, it forms calcium oxalate when incorporated with calcium. Calcium oxalate decreases the percentage of calcium in a bearded dragon’s body, leading to numerous complications like MBD (metabolic bone diseases).

Other difficulties that can occur if you include oranges in your bearded dragon’s diet include tooth decay, obesity, diarrhoea, and dehydration. The critical part of a bearded dragon’s diet generally comprises greens and insects, and fruits usually contain only ten to twenty percent of their diet. Thus it is not advised that bearded dragons eat oranges regularly.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?

Although oranges contain nutritional value, they can be dangerous for bearded dragons. It is generally not recommended to include oranges in your bearded dragon’s diet because they are very high in sugar and incredibly acidic fruit. However, if you own a headed dragon, you should consider the dangers of giving your bearded dragon oranges rather than other alternatives.

Instead, you can include other kinds of fruits like watermelon, mango, and pineapple but not regularly. Bearded dragons are omnivores, which lets them eat anything you serve. So as the owner of a bearded dragon, you should keep in mind to include only healthy and nutritious food in their diet.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges

Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?

The reasons why bearded dragons can’t eat oranges are:

Oranges Contain Oxalic Acid

Oranges have quite a ton of oxalic acid. Oxalic acid combines with calcium to build calcium oxalate, which prevents calcium absorption into the body. As a result, MBD (Metabolic bone disease) often results from too much oxalic acid. Because of high oxalate levels, beardies also suffer from limb deformities, soft bones, and paralysis. In severe cases, the disease can be disastrous. 

In tiny amounts, oxalic acid is not usually a problem as long as your bearded dragon takes calcium supplements and is on a balanced and healthy diet. But there is very much oxalic acid in oranges to make them safe for your bearded dragon to eat.  

Oranges Have High Sugar Content

Generally, bearded dragons should not eat much fruit in their diet, primarily because of the sugar content. Oranges are delightful, and if bearded dragons consume too many, they can suffer from fatty liver, obesity, diabetes, and heart failure. 

Oranges Contain Citric Acid

Oranges being a citrus food, contain citric acid. In humans, this acid can disturb the stomach lining and result in heartburn. It can have a related effect on bearded dragons, disturbing their digestive tract and resulting in diarrhea, which then causes dehydration. 

Being desert animals, bearded dragons need to be dehydrated, but not this way of severe dehydration. If a bearded dragon has extended diarrhea, it will ultimately fail to absorb nutrients appropriately. In the long term, this affects the beardie’s health to gradually but surely deteriorate. 

4 Risks of Feeding Oranges to Bearded Dragons

1: Can Lead to Sugar and Obesity in Bearded Dragons

The initial thing you need to be familiar with is that too much sugar in your bearded dragon’s diet can easily make them overweight. Like humans, an increased sugar diet will produce excess fat and lead to other health difficulties in bearded dragons. 

Therefore, it is good to feed your bearded dragon sparingly any fruit to make ninety to ninety-five percent of their plant-based diet on vegetables and fruits.

2: Can Lead to Tooth Loss

Foods with high sugar are acidic, leading to tooth problems for bearded dragons. As a result, they can develop tartar and plaque build-ups, making it much more serious to their health than they are to humans. It is because bearded dragons’ teeth are remedied directly to their jaw, which can cause infection or inflammation of their bones.

3: Upset Stomach and Diarrhea

Too much sugar content and acidic fruit in a brief period can easily result in your bearded dragon having an uneasy stomach. It can result in them having a decreased appetite and diarrhea as well, which can result in making them dehydrated. 

4: Can Result in Low Calcium Levels

All fruit usually is low in calcium, no matter which fruit you include in your bearded dragon’s diet. The fact is that calcium is so significant to a bearded dragon’s health that you should intend to feed them high quantities of calcium in their diet. 

Bearded dragons only have tiny stomachs, and they get full quickly. Suppose you include low-calcium foods in their diet and are commonly nutritionally poor. In that case, this can result in health difficulties such as MBD (metabolic bone disease).

Risks of Feeding Oranges to Bearded Dragons


So can bearded dragons eat oranges? Although bearded dragons can consume a wide variety of food, oranges should not be a part of bearded dragons’ diet. Consuming oranges can lead to a lot of health difficulties for your dragon. 

If you want to have some fruit in your bearded dragon’s diet, there are more suitable options for your bearded dragon’s diet, which include strawberries, figs, apricots, dates, raspberries, etc. Always remember that your bearded dragon can eat various food, and there are many safe options that you can feed him. 

So it is your responsibility to make your bearded dragon’s diet chart by reading about the advantages and disadvantages of every food.


Can baby bearded dragons eat oranges?

Oranges being a citrus fruit, is not safe for your pet because oranges contain high sugar and fruit acid, which is not safe for your dragon.

Can bearded dragons eat the orange peel?

Bearded dragons can not eat oranges, not even their peels. Most peels are infected with pesticides which can cause serious health difficulties and even death.

Can bearded dragons eat Mandarin oranges?

No, bearded dragons can not eat mandarin oranges. However, mandarin oranges have less acid than regular oranges but are still harmful to your dragon’s digestive system.

Can bearded dragons eat orange juice?

Bearded dragons can not drink orange juice, and this is because oranges comprise too much sugar and fruit acid. Also, oranges contain a lot of water which can lead to diarrhea in your dragon.

Can bearded dragons eat feeder insects that eat oranges?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat feeder insects, and feeder insects have a tolerance for oranges.

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