Yes, bearded dragons can ABSOLUTELY eat papaya. They are omnivores, which means they eat both plant and animal matter. Bearded dragons are unique for a reptile in that they will eat fruit of some sort, whereas other reptiles may not be able to process it.
Bearded dragons love the taste of papaya. It’s tangy yet somewhat sweet. They will actually prefer fresh fruit over feeder insects if given the choice.
Some of the downsides to feeding your bearded dragon papaya is that it has a high level of sugar, which if eaten too often, can result in obesity. It also has a relatively short shelf life–meaning it goes bad pretty quickly. If you go through these fast enough and your bearded dragon eats enough, this shouldn’t be an issue though.
Papayas also come with their own little hazards as well, such as the rind. The rind of the papaya fruit is pretty tough. It doesn’t offer much nutrition to your bearded dragon at all, but it’s incredibly hard to digest, which means it is not something your bearded dragon’s body can use. This absolutely must be removed when you feed the papaya to your beardie. Check out fruit list for bearded dragons.
Valuable Nutrients in Papaya
All that being said, there are some great benefits to feeding your bearded dragon papaya. As already mentioned, it’s a naturally sweet fruit so they will love eating it. It also contains Vitamin C which is important for bearded dragons since they are an omnivore species. They need this vitamin because reptiles can’t produce their own Vitamin C as humans can, and they must get it through their diet.
Another nice benefit to feeding your bearded dragon papaya is that the roughage in it helps them digest their food better. The rind of the papaya also provides roughage to help with digestion as well as maintaining their intestinal tract health–in other words helping prevent any blockages or issues related to digestion.
The major point here is that even though there are some benefits to feeding your bearded dragon papaya, it’s still not something you should overdo. If you feed them too much fruit they will develop nutritional deficiencies that can lead to obesity or just not being as healthy as they could be otherwise.
Risks of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Papaya
The biggest risk of feeding your bearded dragon papaya is that they will develop nutritional deficiencies. This means they won’t be able to process all the nutrients and minerals in their food as well as an omnivore should and they could become unhealthy.
Another issue with too much papaya consumption is obesity. A dragon that’s obese can develop other health problems such as fatty liver disease which is something you never want to see your beardie develop.
So What Other Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?
Aside from papayas, there are a few other fruits bearded dragons can eat, but not many.
So can bearded dragons eat bananas? Yes, they can, however, this is only if the dragon has lots of other fruit in their diet to balance it out. Bananas are very high in sugar and your bearded dragon should not be eating them every day–only as an occasional treat. If you feed your bearded dragon too many fruits like bananas or papaya, they will develop nutritional deficiencies much more quickly than dragons who don’t get fed these often.
Bearded Dragons Should Only Eat Fruit Every Other Day
The key thing with growing beardies is making sure they get good plant matter (in addition to all the insects you must feed them) so that their digestive system works properly and they’re able to process everything properly. This means that it’s crucial that you don’t feed them fruits every day. One or two fruits a week is plenty for most bearded dragons, but if you want to give them more, make sure it’s in addition to plant matter–not instead of the plant matter.
Alternative Foods for Bearded Dragons
One big issue with feeding fruit to a bearded dragon is that it can go bad quickly. It goes without saying that the absolute best snack you could give your bearded dragon is going to be insects. This way, you know they’re getting what they need and not just eating something that tastes good because it’s sweet or full of flavor.
Insects are a better option for a number of reasons–not only do they satisfy the dietary needs of your bearded dragon but also keep them moving about and healthy in general. Giving them worms or crickets will not only help their diet but also provide them with natural prey items so they don’t get bored when you bring out their food every day.
Besides, there are other foods such as kale, collards, spinach, cucumber and even carrots that a bearded dragon can eat–just make sure you wash them all carefully before giving them to your pet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Papaya? – The Conclusion
So in short: can bearded dragons eat papaya? Yes, they can, but it’s not the best thing for their diet and is better served as an occasional treat rather than a daily (or even weekly) snack. Just like with most things when it comes to feeding your beardie there is an “everything in moderation” approach–feeding too much fruit will lead to nutritional deficiencies and obesity which can be deadly for your beardie. Papayas are really only good if they’re mixed in with other (better) fruits and vegetables and insects and worms provide tasty nutrients and minerals your beardie will love.