Technically, tomatoes are fruits with enormous amounts of minerals and vitamins. Ripe tomatoes are preference fruits to many animals, but can bearded dragons eat tomatoes?
There are times when all your beardie’s food gets depleted, and you don’t have the money to buy the food straight away. This is when a lot of questions cross our mind trying to think of the alternative food to give our friend.
Things like tomatoes or other vegetables that are readily available at our homes are the first to come to the mind. Of course, you don’t want to give what your beardie can’t eat. So, that is how one becomes more eager to know about these alternative foods.
We’ll learn deeply about the impacts of tomatoes to bearded dragons and other useful information.
Are Tomatoes Good or Bad for Bearded Dragons?
Let me start by asking an obvious question. Have you heard any animal that was killed or harmed by tomatoes? I believe there is none, so tomatoes will neither destroy your bearded dragons as long as you use it correctly, and it’s free from the destructive chemicals.
Like I mentioned above, tomatoes are an excellent source of minerals and vitamins and other essential plant compounds. Eating tomatoes or its based products is associated with heart and skin health as well as cancer prevention.
The bottom line of tomatoes is how they contain tremendous nutrients necessary for different functions in the body. For instance, tomatoes are quite abundant in insoluble fiber in the form of cellulose, lignin, and hemicellulose.
It also contains vitamin K1, vitamin C, folate and potassium, energy, and sugar. Other plant compounds present in tomatoes are beta carotene, lycopene, chlorogenic acid, and naringenin.
Lycopene antioxidant has multiple health benefits, including cancer prevention and many other roles. Tomatoes that are deep red have more lycopene. Beta-carotene is the one activated to vitamin A in the body.
With all this useful information about tomatoes, I can confidently conclude that tomatoes are neither terrible nor toxic to bearded dragons so long as it’s not a persistent food.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
Bearded dragons are omnivores, and therefore they can feed on a variety of animals and plant products. There are multiple choices for feeding bearded dragons. Well, balanced-diet is paramount to all animals and even humans for good health and productive life.
Despite having many animal and plant products that are edible to bearded dragons, several foods are harmful to these lizards. But now we are much interested in whether bearded dragons can eat tomatoes.
I guess by this far; you already know that bearded dragons can eat tomatoes. However, it is recommended to feed them occasionally the same way you feed other fruits to your dragon. Tomatoes have a vast amount of vitamin A in the form of beta-carotene.
Bearded dragons need vitamin A but only in small amounts. A high level of vitamin A can result in vitamin A toxicity. The beardies can retain this vitamin within the organs and body, so too much of it is toxic and will make the lizard sick.
Nonetheless, vitamin A is essential for good vision, skin development, protein synthesis, and it aids in growth together with reproductive health.
Also, tomatoes are acidic, and if fed to the beardies frequently can be harmful to them. For instance, oxalic acid interferes with the absorption of calcium. As we know, calcium is vital in egg formation by female beardies, and it helps in bone development.
How Much Tomatoes Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
As long as the beardie loves the food, it will consume as much as it can when allowed to eat. Bearded dragons cannot control their intake of tomatoes or any other food, so it is upon you to provide it in limited quantities.
Eating tomatoes in the limit, of course, will not harm, but an excess amount of it is toxic. When feeding, put a few pieces of sliced tomatoes in the feeder and then give it to your pet. The most preferred way of offering tomatoes to the beardies is presenting it as part of the diet.
Typically, a bearded dragon’s diet should contain the smallest portion of fruits, and by that, I mean it should be around 10% only. So, try and limit the number of tomatoes you give as excessive can result in stomach upset.
I suggest you give tomatoes to your lizard approximately 1-2 times at most in a month as a great.
As part of precaution, any time you are feeding fruits and vegetables to the beardies, make sure to wash them thoroughly with clean water to remove the toxic chemicals and pesticides.
Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon with Tomato Stem and Leaves?
Perhaps, you might think that because tomatoes are not dangerous to bearded dragons, you can as well feed tomato leaves and stems. However, this is the worst mistake you will have made.
Tomato leaves and stems are extremely toxic as they are exceedingly rich in alkaloids such as solanine and tomatine that negatively affect the beardie’s physiology.
Tomatoes are among the nightshade plants, and these plants are widely known to have large quantities of solanine. The leaves from tomatoes and the stem have solanine, and it is an extremely poisonous compound.
Although the whole plant of tomato has tomatine, this compound is highly concentrated in the leaves and stem.
Tomatine is slightly toxic, but when consumed in large doses, it can result in the liver, gastrointestinal, and heart problems.
So, always exclude leaves, stems, and flowers when feeding your lizard on tomatoes.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Tomato Hornworms?
This is indeed a significant question, and I’m confidently telling you that there is no problem feeding tomato worms to bearded dragons. They are quite high in protein, calcium, and moisture.
Unlike many feeders, hornworms’ chitin exterior is not hard, and bearded dragons can easily digest it. Tomato hornworms are one of the best feeders that are extremely rich in calcium
These worms have 85% moisture, and this makes them a perfect choice for hydrating the beardies.
Despite hornworms being so nutritious and great choice food for bearded dragons, always avoid wild tomato hornworms because they can be poisonous. As we have seen, tomato leaves and stems are high in solanine, and this is a staple food for these worms.
Through feeding, hornworms absorb most of the solanine from the leaves, and when fed by the beardies, they can poison them. Wild hornworms also tend to feed on other solanaceous plants like tobacco.
Always purchase commercial hornworms, they are available on amazon. Commercial hornworms are fed on non-toxic foods and are safe for the beardies.
How to Feed Tomatoes to Bearded Dragon
There are different fruits and vegetables safe for feeding bearded dragons, and they can differ in their manner of preparation.
Here is the best way to prepare tomatoes when planning to include them in the beardie’s salad. It is a simple process that takes only a short time.
- Thoroughly wash the tomatoes with clean running water to remove any harmful chemicals and pesticides.
- Always feed raw tomatoes to your bearded dragons and not cooked ones. Through cooking, tomatoes lose their nutritional value as most of the nutrients are lost.
- Chop up the tomatoes into smaller sizes that are manageable by the dragons. Chopping not only provides an easy feeding time but also allows the tasty juice of tomatoes to flow onto other vegetables and fruits that the beardie might reject.
- A quarter of tomato is enough for a bearded dragon. Feeding too much tomato is not necessary; in fact, they don’t supply much nutrients as the body requires. Include other fruits in the diet, don’t fill your beardie solely on tomatoes.
- Use tomatoes merely as a salad topper. This encourages the beardie to meander over to the food bowl and have a nibble.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Tomatoes?
Baby bearded dragons are rapidly growing, and they require a diet that is rich in proteins to support their growth. On the other hand, veggies and fruits make a small portion of the diet. All the vegetables and fruits fed to the babies have a high amount of calcium and other nutrients the beardie needs.
Yes, baby bearded dragons can eat tomatoes, but it should be fed as a treat. Their stomach is so small that it cannot accommodate much food. So, if you feed them with tomatoes regularly, they will take the place of the foods that are denser in nutrients.
Also, excess tomatoes can be toxic to babies, just like in adults. You can use kales to feed the babies and juveniles as they are pretty high in calcium.
Likewise, you should not feed tomato leaves, tubers, stem, and flowers to your baby bearded dragon. Solanine and tomatine are poisonous, and small amounts of these alkaloids are enough to poison the babies.
Solanine and tomatine interfere with the gastrointestinal and neurological functions and can destroy your pet. Feeding tomato fruits to the babies is allowed but never feed them with the leaves, stems, or flowers.
I hope the article has been helpful to you, and the question about whether bearded dragons can eat tomatoes is well answered.
Tomatoes are excellent sources of vitamin A that is important for good vision and bone development. They are also rich in lycopene, which plays significant roles in the body.
Too much of tomatoes can be toxic to bearded dragons because of their acidity and can cause stomach upset. Note that too much of something is poisonous. Therefore, feed tomatoes as a treat to your bearded dragon.