Yes, you can safely feed your bearded dragon peppers. We do suggest limiting pepper intake to only a few times per week. You also want to make sure that the peppers are either cooked or prepared with a particular type of oil.
We’ll cover some more specific details about what types of peppers can be eaten, how often you should feed them to your bearded dragon, and why it’s important for their health. For the complete list please click here.
Types Of Peppers You Can Feed A Bearded Dragon
There are many different types of peppers that you can feed your bearded dragon. Oftentimes people will assume that all peppers are poisonous but this is not true at all. Actually, the main ingredient found in most hot peppers is capsaicin which has known anti-inflammatory effects. Capsaicin also stimulates certain receptors on nerves that signal heat. This is likely what gives hot peppers their “spiciness”.
Here are some examples of types of peppers that you can feed your bearded dragon:
- Bell Peppers
- Red Peppers
- Green Peppers
- Poblano Peppers
- Chile Pequins
- Habanero Peppers (you will want to limit these)
How Often Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon Peppers?
You typically don’t want to feed your bearded dragon hot peppers too often. They’re certainly not necessary in their diet and can even be potentially harmful if fed too frequently. Just like for humans, eating foods with capsaicin could lead to stomach problems or heartburn. It’s best, for this reason, to keep intake minimal. Also, since hot peppers do have a high level of vitamin C, feeding them too often makes it harder for your bearded dragon to get other sources of vitamin C which can lead to serious health problems.
We recommend feeding your bearded dragon peppers 1-2 times per week at most. If you do feed them more often, make sure they are always cooked. We’ll go over why in the next section.
Why Should You Cook Your Peppers?
Bearded dragons can eat cooked and raw peppers without issues but it’s important to understand why we suggest cooking them. There is a compound called solanine found in hot peppers that can cause serious illness in humans and animals if eaten in large doses. Solanine is what causes unripened potatoes and tomatoes to be poisonous when consumed in high amounts but this chemical is also found in bell and hot chili peppers too.
Cooking peppers will break down most of the solanine and make them safe for consumption. However, this is only a partial reason to cook or prepare your hot peppers in oil. The other main reason is to make the vitamin C much easier for your bearded dragon to absorb and utilize.
Valuable Nutrients in Peppers
Bearded dragons can eat hot peppers without any problems but they do offer some benefits outside of the capsaicin content. Some types of peppers (such as bell and green) actually contain a decent amount of calcium too. This is important to have in their diet since bearded dragons are omnivores who should have a well-balanced intake of both plant and animal matter.
Paprika, which has been dried, ground into powder, then smoked comes from sweet peppers that are high in vitamin A. Again, it’s best not to feed your bearded dragon paprika very often but it does have its own health benefits when eaten appropriately.
Which Vegetables Bearded Dragons Can Eat?
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Bok Choy
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Broccoli
- Can Bearded Dragons Eat Brussel Sprouts
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Green Peppers?
Yes. Green peppers are another type of pepper that you can feed your bearded dragon without too many issues because they also do not contain as much capsaicin as their red and yellow counterparts.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Red Peppers?
Red bell peppers are a good source of Vitamin C which is one reason why we recommend feeding them to your beardie (as mentioned earlier). You should, however, avoid feeding them the seeds and white parts found inside the bell pepper where solanine tends to be heavily concentrated.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Yellow Peppers?
Like the red bell pepper, yellow peppers are also an excellent source of Vitamin C. They are also high in carotene which is another nutrient that bearded dragons need to have healthy skin and good vision.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Poblano Peppers?
Poblano peppers are one of our favorite types because they’re mild in flavor yet slightly spicy too. If fed cooked or raw, they are great for bearded dragons to eat.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Banana Peppers?
While you can feed your beardie banana peppers, they are very mild in flavor so it’s not necessary. If fed cooked or raw, they are high in Vitamin A, however. Do keep this in mind if you go ahead and feed them though.
Just remember that it is always smart to wash all fresh fruits & vegetables thoroughly before serving them up to your beardie. This will help ensure that there aren’t any pesticides left over on the food which may harm your dragon.
Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Other Kinds Of Peppers?
Yes, as long as you cook them first. We’ve already mentioned why but it’s important to remind people that just because many types of peppers do not have solanine doesn’t mean they’re completely safe for your pet dragon. A general rule of thumb with feeding a variety of different fruit and vegetables is to avoid ones with any part that is white, milky, or contains seeds unless cooked thoroughly.
Benefits of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Peppers
Aside from providing bearded dragons with vitamin C and some other beneficial nutrients, feeding them peppers is beneficial because it gives them something new to eat. Many bearded dragons can become picky eaters so introducing something new to their diet often helps keep things interesting for both you and your beardie.
Risks of Feeding My Bearded Dragon Peppers
While the risks of feeding your bearded dragon hot peppers are negligible, it is important to be mindful of a few things. If you feed them too much capsaicin or chili powder, they may become more lethargic and sluggish due to the spicy spices disrupting their blood flow a bit. Furthermore, while some types of peppers will not harm your dragon if eaten in small amounts, others contain solanine which can build up inside their body from eating too many large quantities over time.
Alternative Foods for Bearded Dragons
Instead of feeding your beardie hot peppers, you can opt to feed them sweet bell peppers instead. You can also opt to give them winter or summer squash (such as zucchini), eggplant, cucumber, pea pods, and other types of fruits & veggies on occasion too. As long as they are fed in moderation and cooked thoroughly first, these foods make great alternatives for anyone who doesn’t want to feed their pet dragon hot/spicy peppers.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Peppers? – The Conclusion
Yes, Dragons can eat peppers. Bearded dragons can eat red, yellow, poblano, and banana peppers (and other types of peppers too). We recommend feeding your pet dragon cooked or raw peppers but make sure they are washed thoroughly before serving them up. Peppers contain vitamin C and carotene which is beneficial for your beardie’s health and growth. Just make sure to avoid hot peppers like cayenne and jalapeno because while they will not harm your pet if eaten in small amounts, eating capsaicin over time may be harmful to their blood flow.