As omnivores, bearded dragons can enjoy a varied diet full of colorful fruits and vegetables, among other things. However, there are a few things that should be completely off-limits for this interesting reptile. You might be wondering if eggplant should be avoided when you’re preparing meals for your beardie. The short answer is that your bearded dragon can have a little bit of eggplant, but not much and not often. Here is all the information that you need to determine whether you should feed eggplant to your bearded dragon on occasion.
The Nutritional Benefits of Eggplant for Bearded Dragons
Eggplant does contain nutritional components that are healthy for bearded dragons, and these are worth considering when deciding whether to give any eggplant to your beardie as part of their overall diet. Here is a snapshot of the important nutrients and their benefits:
|Nutrient||Amount per 100 Grams||Benefits|
|Vitamin C||2.2 mg||Keeps the immune system strong|
|Vitamin K||3.5 µg||Prevents bruising and bleeding|
|Potassium||229 mg||Aids in proper muscle functionality|
|Magnesium||14 mg||Promotes healthy bone and joint development|
All these nutrients can also be found in other foods that your bearded dragon should be eating regularly, such as parsley, kale, and sweet potatoes. Therefore, your bearded dragon doesn’t need any eggplant at all to stay happy and healthy throughout their life. Still, if you do decide to offer eggplant to them, it can help supplement their nutritional intake.
The Toxicity Concerns of Feeding Eggplant to Bearded Dragons
There are a few risks to be aware of when feeding eggplant to your bearded dragon. For instance, eggplant contains a compound called solanine that is toxic to beardies and can cause allergic reactions and gastrointestinal distress. A bite or two of eggplant should not harbor enough solanine to be a danger to your beardie, though. It’s when you feed them too much eggplant or offer it too often that it could become a problem.
Also, eggplant seeds can be a choking hazard and cause a blockage in the intestinal tract. All the skin and seeds should be completely removed before any eggplant flesh is fed to your bearded dragon. This also helps reduce the acidity of eggplant, making it less likely to cause your beardie digestive upset.
Keep an eye out for signs of digestive distress and allergic reactions. If a problem arises, your beardie may have diarrhea or swelling of the abdomen. If such signs are noticed, call a reptile veterinarian right away, and avoid feeding eggplant to your beardie in the future.
Here’s How Often You Should Feed Eggplant to Your Bearded Dragon
Your bearded dragon should not be eating eggplant more than a couple of times a month. There are so many other nutritious foods that they can eat instead, and the dangers of eggplant aren’t worth the trouble of feeding it to your beardie more often. You must also be mindful about how much eggplant you give them in any one sitting. Your beardie doesn’t need any more than one or two cubes about the size of your thumbnail to munch on at snack or mealtime.
How to Prepare Eggplant Before Feeding It to Your Bearded Dragon
You’ll need to completely remove the skin of the eggplant before cutting into it. A potato peeler is a great tool to utilize for this work. Once the skin is removed, carefully cut the eggplant into large chunks, then remove all the seeds from the flesh. From there, you can cut the flesh into small bite-sized pieces, no bigger than about the size of your thumbnail.
You can then lightly steam or boil the eggplant (don’t add any oil or seasonings) to soften it a bit and make it easier for your bearded dragon to digest. Make sure the eggplant completely cools down before adding it to your pet’s meal or offering it as a snack. It’s a good idea to prepare eggplant for your pet when you’re preparing it for yourself, to avoid waste.
Eggplant is not a necessity in your bearded dragon’s diet, but it can make a tasty treat occasionally and help keep mealtime interesting. Just be aware of the risks of eggplant before deciding whether this is a food that you want your beardie to have. If you’re still unsure, talk to your veterinarian for professional guidance.