Sharing some human food with pets is something that most people simply love. There is no dog owner in the world who has not shared some food with their dog. However, sometimes doing this can even be dangerous. What about bearded dragons and oranges here? Can and should bearded dragons eat oranges?
Bearded dragons should never eat any oranges. Oranges contain too much sugar and fruit acid which can irritate a bearded dragon´s digestive system and lead to diarrhea and dehydration.
The following article will explain why oranges and even most other fruits are so dangerous for bearded dragons and I will tell you what happened to my bearded dragon when I fed him to many pieces of orange.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Oranges?
So, as I said, bearded dragons should never eat oranges. In fact, bearded dragons should not even eat most other fruits. I know that a lot of bearded dragon owners love to feed fruits to their bearded dragons, because their beardies seem to like it, but this can actually end pretty badly.
Most fruits contain a lot of water, they are high in sugar and fruit acid, but oranges contain even more fruit acid than most other fruits.
Those things combined will irritate your bearded dragons digestive system and soon your bearded dragon will have diarrhea each and every day. As you probably know, if your bearded dragon is suffering from diarrhea all the time, its digestive system is not able to absorb the nutrients of the food properly anymore.
So even if you continue to feed your bearded dragon, your bearded dragon might not get enough of the nutrients it needs so badly. For example, vitamins and calcium and phosphor.
Further, constant diarrhea can lead to dehydration in bearded dragons. Normally, bearded dragons are used to being dehydrated.
I mean, they come from the dry woodlands of Australia and usually, the water they take in with their food is absolutely enough for them. However, dehydration caused by diarrhea is something different and can lead to serious health problems.
It is not only the sugar and the fruit acid that can cause diarrhea in bearded dragons. Oranges also contain a lot of water and too much watery food can quickly lead to diarrhea in bearded dragons.
So, as you see, you definitely should not feed oranges to your bearded dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Mandarin Oranges Or Navel Oranges?
Mandarin oranges and navel oranges should not be fed to bearded dragons either. They might not be as high in fruit acid as normal oranges, but it is still too much for a bearded dragon´s digestive system and they can lead to diarrhea and dehydration as well.
I have noticed that a lot of people in forums say that mandarin oranges and navel oranges are okay, but actually they are the same as normal oranges. Do not feed them to your bearded dragon, there are so many other things you can feed your beardie.
Bearded Dragons Are Omnivores
So you might ask yourself why your bearded dragon loves eating oranges and and other fruits if they are so bad for a bearded dragon.
The majority of bearded dragon owners does not know that bearded dragons are actually omnivores. This means that they eat just about everything they are able to catch or reach.
In the wild, this is absolutely no problem. If they find a fruit, they will eat a little bit from that fruit and on the next day they need to find or hunt something different or they do not find anything at all.
So even if bearded dragons eat things they should not eat in the wild, they won´t be able to eat it every day in most cases and their digestive system can deal with that once in a while.
However, in captivation, most bearded dragons are simply overfed. They eat way more than they should eat and they eat way too much of the same things. That´s why a lot of bearded dragons refuse to eat greens.
Some bearded dragons even refuse to eat anything other than mealworms. That´s because they are overfed and ate too much of the same food for a long period of time. They can actuall get addicted to mealworms and other food that is high in fat.
I have written an entire article on bearded dragons and mealworms, if you still feed mealworms, I highly recommend to read it. Click here to read my article on beardies and mealworms.
This Happened To My Bearded Dragon When I Fed It Oranges
So let´s get to my story.
When I was a beginner when it came to bearded dragons, I also liked to feed my bearded dragons a lot of fruits. Today, I actually do not feed any fruits at all and my bearded dragons are absolutely fine.
Still, back in the day I thought it was fun to share some of my “human” food with my bearded dragon. As most bearded dragons, my beardie loved the oranges and ate a lot of it in a short period of time.
So as I told you above, fruits with lots of sugar, fruit acid and water can irritate a beardie´s digestive system and this was exactly what happened. My bearded dragon had diarrhea for several days and even though I went to my reptile vet, it did not stop.
I sent my vet a stool sample of my bearded dragon and it turned out that my bearded dragon suffered from oxyures.
Oxyures are parasites that live in a bearded dragon´s digestive system. They are normal in bearded dragons, but if a bearded dragon carries too many oxyures, it can lead to constant diarrhea and even to impaction in the end.
My vet told me that the number of oxyures in my bearded dragon was able to rise quickly, because my bearded dragon had to defecate so often since it had diarrhea.
Oxyures only need one host to develop completely, their eggs are excreted with a bearded dragon´s feces and by being near its feces or crawling through its feces, a bearded dragon can reinfect itself over and over again.
Even if you remove the feces quickly, there can still be eggs in your beardie tank.
The picture below is showing a bearded dragon´s feces infested with those parasites.
Isn´t that crazy? All this only because I fed my bearded dragon oranges. Well, that´s how I learned that I shouldn´t feed my bearded dragon fruits and that I should always have a quarantine tank.
Frequently Asked Questions
There are a couple of further questions a lot of people have when it comes to this topic. Here are the most common questions.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Orange Peels?
Bearded dragons should not eat oranges nor orange peels. Most peels and fruit skins are contaminated with pesticides which can lead to serious health problems and even death in bearded dragons.
Can Bearded Dragons Drink Orange Juice?
Bearded dragons should never drink orange juice. Oranges contain way too much fruit acid and sugar. Further, bearded dragons do not need to drink much and the taste of the orange juice could lead to an excessive water intake. A high water intake can lead to diarrhea in bearded dragons.
While not every bearded dragon will suffer like my bearded dragon did back in the day when it ate oranges, I think I made very clear why bearded dragons should not eat oranges and most other fruits.
So can bearded dragons eat oranges? Absolutely not!
Any questions? Leave a message in the comment section below!