I have several friends who have pet bearded dragons.
About half of them tell me that their beloved pets cannot have cantaloupe, while the other half say the fruit makes an excellent treat.
My curiosity got the best of me, so I decided to do some research and find out what the experts have to say about feeding your bearded dragon cantaloupe.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cantaloupe?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat cantaloupe, but in moderation. Cantaloupe melons make a great treat for your beardie, but they should not eat it on a regular basis. Experts recommend a small piece of cantaloupe once or twice a week for healthy, adult bearded dragons.
While the experts say dragons can eat small amounts of cantaloupe, there are some other factors you should consider before feeding it to your pet. Things like preference, age, and diet are very important to think about before you give your dragon this fruit.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Cantaloupe?
Well, this actually depends on your dragon. Each bearded dragon is special and unique in its own way! I have a friend with a beardie named Toothless who licks the air in excitement and runs to his dad when he smells cantaloupe!
But I have another friend with a dragon named Lilly who will not touch it. You will have to experiment with your pet to create a balanced diet of things they love to eat.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Cantaloupe?
After doing a lot of research, I personally would not recommend giving a baby beardie cantaloupe. Baby dragons are still developing, and without a properly balanced diet, cantaloupe can prevent their bodies from absorbing important nutrients that they need to grow big and strong.
Cantaloupe is high in Potassium and Phosphorous, which make it hard for your dragon to digest and absorb Calcium–the most important mineral for bearded dragons. If your dragon does not eat enough Calcium, its body will take Calcium from the bones.
You do not want this to happen, especially to a baby dragon who is still growing! But your baby dragon still needs to eat plant matter (fruits and veggies) every day.
It is important to introduce small amounts of plant matter to your beardie when it is young, because its diet needs to change as it gets older.
Experts suggest the following diet requirements at each stage of your bearded dragons’ life:
- Baby (hatchling to 5 months): about 60%-80% insects and 20%-40% plant matter.
- Juvenile (5 months to 18 months): about 50% insects and 50% plant matter.
- Adult (over 18 months): about 25%-30% insects and 70%-75% plant matter.
Are Cantaloupe Melons Good for Bearded Dragons?
Small amounts of cantaloupe can be great for your dragon’s health, but too much can be deadly! Cantaloupe contains high levels of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, and water, which gives your pet essential nutrients and hydration.
However, cantaloupe also contains high levels of Potassium and Phosphorous, which make it hard for your beardie to digest the Calcium it needs to stay healthy. If your dragon does not get enough Calcium in its diet it could develop Metabolic Bone Disease.
Experts recommend using a 2 to 1 ratio; for every gram of Potassium and/or Phosphorous in your dragons’ diet, you should add 2 grams of Calcium. As long as your dragon is eating a healthy, balanced diet, cantaloupe makes an excellent treat!
It is easy to figure out what vitamins, minerals, and nutrients your beardie is getting with every meal! Most packaging labels come with a list of the nutritional value of the product, but those that don’t can easily be found on the web.
If your bearded dragon’s favourite foods do not have enough Calcium to meet the 2 to 1 ratio, there is no need to panic and take away his/her favourite treats! Almost all pet stores (in store and online) have Calcium and multivitamin supplements that you can sprinkle over your beardie’s food to make sure your pet is getting the nutrients they need!
There are also additional supplements you can give your dragon if they start getting sick! For more information on supplements, you can visit this link.
How Do I Feed My Bearded Dragon Cantaloupe
Feeding your bearded dragon cantaloupe and other melons is simple! Like all fruits, cantaloupe and other melons need to be cut into small, bite-size pieces or your beardie will not be able to eat them.
You should remove the skin from the cantaloupe if you did not buy it pre-cut. Fortunately, many grocery stores sell bowls of pre-cut, seedless fruits without the skin!
All you have to do is cut the fruit into bite-size pieces!
You should always use a small dish to feed your dragon. You should remove his/her dish from the enclosure and prepare the meal out of your dragon’s view.
If your beardie sees you getting its food ready, it could get excited and hurt itself trying to get to the food. You should place your dragon’s fruits, vegetables, supplements, and non-live insects in the dish, making sure everything is cut into bite-size pieces. When it is time for your dragon to eat, place the dish in the enclosure and watch them eat.
If your bearded dragon seems to have a hard time eating its fruits and veggies, you may need to cut smaller pieces for their next meal. You should also keep track of how long it takes your dragon to eat.
If they do not finish all their food within 10 to 15 minutes, you might need to give them less food next time!
Can bearded dragons eat honeydew? YES! Honeydew is actually much better for your dragon than cantaloupe because it does not have as much potassium and phosphorous.
But honeydew can still be bad for your pet if they eat too much of it. Like cantaloupe, your beardie should only have honeydew once or twice a week as a treat, and you should still follow the 2 to 1 ratio.
Honeydew (and other melons) should be fed to your dragon the same way as cantaloupe; make sure the skin is removed, cut the fruit into bite-size pieces, and place it in their dish for feeding time.
Can bearded dragons eat melons? Again YES! Beardies can eat several different types of melons, but like all fruit they should only be given melons as a treat. Melons contain a lot of sugar and water, which can be very bad for your dragon’s tummy if they eat too much.
What kinds of melons can bearded dragons eat? Experts say that bearded dragons can eat cantaloupe, honeydew, and watermelon (without seeds).
These fruits should only be given to your dragon as a treat on an occasional basis. You should also cut the melon into small pieces and try to remove the skin, so it is easier for your dragon to eat and digest. Melons are high in sugar and water, so if your beardie eats too much they can get sick!