Due to bearded dragons seeing such a large increase in popularity over the last few years we have seen a drastic increase in the number of questions that people have who own a bearded dragon as a pet. With the popularity of the species only increasing with each passing month, we are only expecting the volume of questions to increase as time goes on. Due to often seeing the same questions asked over and over again, we have decided to start publishing dedicated articles for the more commonly asked questions.
Although we almost always see people reaching out and asking questions similar to “What do bearded dragons eat?” the question is very broad we prefer to focus on the more specific questions that we see. For today’s article, we have decided to focus on the question “Can bearded dragons eat tomatoes?” as we have seen more and more people reaching out and specifically asking if tomatoes are safe for their pet bearded dragon or not.
Although many people do add tomatoes to their bearded dragon diet, they should not be offered daily and in all honesty, we wouldn’t even offer tomatoes more than once a week at a maximum. Although a very small amount of tomato in their diet can be considered healthy eating due to their great nutritional profile, we would only use them occasionally due to the high acidic levels in tomatoes.
We will now be taking a more in-depth look at the specifics of a tomato and the positives and negatives of offering them to your pet bearded dragon to eat. One thing that we would like to point out before we go any further forward is that a large number of bearded dragons will eat whatever you put in front of them. Just because your pet bearded dragon will eat tomato, potentially in larger quantities, it does not mean that you should let it as there tends to be alternative food options available for it to eat as we will cover.
Are Tomatoes Bad For Bearded Dragons?
As we touched on, tomatoes have a high acidic level and some bearded dragons may not even eat them when compared to other popular fruits and veggies often fed to bearded dragons. Although this acid is usually fine in small amounts, if you let your bearded dragon eat tomatoes on a regular basis it can start to cause your pet issues. Although the amount of tomato that people let their pet bearded dragon eat will vary from owner to owner, it seems that a sixth of a regular size tomato chopped into much smaller pieces once per week is the normal serving size that we see people go with. Just make sure that the tomato is cut into small pieces prior to offering it to your pet bearded dragon to ensure that it can easily it them.
This is why we would always recommend that you only use tomato to supplement your bearded dragon’s food with the bulk of what they eat being made up of a suitable bearded dragon primary food mix and other fresh fruits and vegetables to supplement. This offers a balanced nutritional profile for your bearded dragon and ensures that it gets all the vitamins and minerals that it requires to lead a long and healthy life.
A Side Note On Baby Bearded Dragons And Tomato
We just quickly want to make a comment and say that we would never recommend tomatoes for a baby bearded dragon as it is potentially not safe. Due to their smaller size, it is easier for the potentially harmful acid levels to build up in them and potentially cause them long term issues. Baby and potentially juvenile bearded dragons should always be primarily fed a suitable food source that with none acidic fruits and veggies supplemented into their diet where possible too.
Great Vitamin And Mineral Content
On the flip side of the issues with their acidic content, tomatoes offer some excellent nutritional value with some vitamins and minerals that are not found in such a high abundance as other foods from the fruit and vegetables available. This is why some bearded dragon owners will still add tomatoes to their bearded dragon diet in small amounts to boost their intake of some nutrients.
When it comes to the vitamin side of things, a serving of tomato offers the following vitamins in solid amounts:-
- Vitamin A
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin D
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin K
- Vitamin B6
- Vitamin B12
- Pantothenic Acid
On the flip side of this, tomatoes also offer some solid mineral content too when added to your pet bearded dragons food. A serving of tomato offers decent levels of the following minerals:-
Tomatoes are very nutritionally dense but a large number of people who have bearded dragons will often choose other fresh fruit and vegetables for their pets due to the acidity issue that we pointed out earlier. Other popular options include papayas, peeled bananas, apples, raspberries, plums, peaches, pears, watermelon, pineapples, cherries, and grapes that all offer some solid nutrition that bearded dragons can eat. Just make sure that you keep the fruit-based treats to only around twenty percent of your bearded dragons total diet intake for optimal health.
Decent Fiber Source
Although there are definitely better sources of fiber out there, a regular tomato is around one percent fiber and with a bearded dragon, every little helps. Unfortunately, bearded dragons tend to be prone to issues with constipation and impaction with the latter potentially being lethal. Although keeping plenty of fiber in your bearded dragons diet is not a guarantee that it will prevent these issues, it is believed to help minimize the risk. On top of this, fiber is also essential in any bearded dragons diet as it helps keep your bearded dragon regular and promotes healthy digestion too.
Jam-Packed With Water
Although this tends not to be an issue with the average bearded dragon’s diet until they are in their later years, some bearded dragons will randomly go off their water and not drink anywhere near the required amounts. Although this is not as common as some of the other issues that bearded dragons can suffer from, the suggested fruits and vegetables above as well as tomatoes are a great way to get your bearded dragon to eat its water intake instead.
Now, to be clear, we are not suggesting that you remove your bearded dragons water source and only give it high water content foods but this is a great way to help sneak some water into your bearded dragon if you think that it may be dehydrated. Most bearded dragons will just focus on the food and wolf their treat down without giving it a second thought. As many fruits are over eighty percent water and many vegetables being over seventy percent water, this is a great little trick that you can keep in your back pocket in case you ever need it.
How Should You Prepare Tomatoes For Your Bearded Dragon
Although we did touch on this earlier, if you do decide to allow your bearded dragon to eat tomatoes then the preparation is extremely easy when compared to some other fruits and veggies that bearded dragons eat. You simply cut the tomato into sixths and then take one of the sections and dice it up into very small pieces that your tomatoes will easily be able to eat. Depending on where you sourced the tomatoes, you might want to give it a quick wash with cold water to minimize the chances of any pesticides still being on it but other than that, you are pretty much done.
Some people remove the seeds from the tomato prior to allowing their bearded dragon to eat it and other people have their own way to do it too. At the end of the day, the main thing that you have to remember is to make sure that you cut it small enough to make it as easy as possible for your bearded dragon to eat. Again, as we have mentioned a few times throughout the article, we would not recommend that you allow bearded dragons to eat tomatoes more than once a week at most.
What Do Bearded Dragons Eat Other Than Tomatoes?
We did touch on some alternatives that your pet can eat earlier in the article but papayas, peeled bananas, apples, raspberries, plums, peaches, pears, watermelon, pineapples, cherries, and grapes tend to be popular options. That said, although watermelon and pineapples are popular options, they can have similar issues to tomatoes due to their acidity levels being slightly higher than other fruits.