When I first started keeping lizards, I noticed that they enjoyed eating certain types of fruits. I would offer them apples, bananas, and grapes just to see which ones they would enjoy.
However, later on I realized that just because a lizard likes eating something, doesn’t mean they should have it. So, can lizards even eat fruit?
The reality is, whether or not a lizard can eat fruit depends on the type of lizard. There are carnivorous, omnivorous, and herbivorous lizards, each requiring different diets.
Most lizards eat insects as the staple part of their diet and supplement this with vegetable matter. Many lizards will eat fruit, but that doesn’t always mean it’s healthy for them.
For example, bearded dragons are known to like fruit but have digestive systems that are not designed to be able to handle a lot of it. Seeds must always be removed as they can be toxic to a lizard.
Many new lizard owners who love their pets want to give their lizards fruit as part of a varied and balanced diet. As humans, we relate fruit with vitamins and health, and we often think if the lizard likes it then it will be s good addition to their diet. This is mainly because it’s only fruit, so what harm can it do?
It is best to find out beforehand whether or not you can feed your lizard fruit. Not all lizards can handle the same foods and some lizards may only be able to eat certain fruits.
Always do your research before feeding any new foods to your lizard, especially new fruits.
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Is Feeding Fruit to My Lizard Beneficial?
We already established that some lizards do eat fruit, while others are better off without it.
Let us dive a bit deeper to clear some things up and go back to the basics.
This can also refer to lizards that are insectivores, meaning they solely feast on bugs. These carnivorous lizards have bodies and digestive systems that are geared up specifically for processing and digesting insects and/or meat.
Carnivores have developed a more alkaline digestive system with different enzymes, bacteria, and microorganisms to deal with the meat and insects. They are mainly obligate carnivores, which means that they have to eat meat or insects to survive, simply because they can’t digest vegetable matter.
Most smaller lizards, like the Leopard Gecko, are insectivores, but larger lizards like the Gila monster, Komodo dragon, and larger monitor lizards are known to be carnivores.
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These lizard have a staple diet that consists of vegetable matter and fruits. They have a digestive system that is designed to deal with the vegetable matter, which has a lot of cellulose, which is the material that gives the plant its structure and strength.
To deal with the cellulose, you need specific enzymes, microorganisms, and bacteria to break the cellulose down. You will find them in the cecum or caecum, which is the part of the digestive system where your plant-eating lizard stores the food so the cellulose can get broken down. The cecum is part of the large intestine. A herbivore has a more acidic digestive system than a carnivore.
In carnivores, the cecum is a redundant appendage in their digestive system whereas in omnivores the cecum is well developed.
The entire iguana family are considered herbivorous.
These lizard are somewhat in the middle, meaning that you need to feed them the right balance of both insects and meat, as well as fruits and vegetables.
Tegus, crested geckos, skinks, bearded dragons, and uromastyx are known to be omnivores. However, the uromastyx feeds primarily on a vegetarian based diet, with the occasional insects.
Some of you might be surprised to learn that some lizards, such as leopard geckos, are carnivores or insectivores and can’t deal with fruit or vegetables very well. They are so small and have tiny digestive systems designed for insects, so don’t be tempted to give them a lot of fruit or smoothies as some people do.
Just stick to the dietary requirements, and you will have a healthy and happy pet. There are many great nutritious and supplemental treats available that are a much wiser choice. Do the right thing and feed your lizard what it needs and can digest. You don’t want to cause your beloved pet any harm and discomfort.
I hope this gives you some clarity as to why it is crucial to stick to the right diet when it comes to feeding your lizard.
If you have a herbivorous or omnivorous lizard, when it comes to fruit, most agree to feed your lizard a max of 10% to be on the safe side as it can cause diarrhea. If you have an almost fruit only lizard variety, this can differ.
Make sure that if your lizard is allowed fruit, to feed it fruits that are low in phosphorous. High calcium is okay though.
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Do NOT Feed Your Lizard Any of the Following Fruits and Vegetables:
- Orange, Lemon, Lime, Grapefruit (too much acid, they can cause irritation, vomiting, and diarrhea)
- Avocado (contains persin which is known to be toxic to some animals)
The following should also be avoided because they have a high water content, which can cause diarrhea. They also have a relatively low nutritional value.
- lettuces, like iceberg lettuce (keep that for your canary)
Note: Always remove the seeds as they can be toxic to your lizard or reptile.
Fruits That Are Safe for Your Lizard:
Again, remove the seeds as they can be toxic to your lizard.
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Can Lizards Eat Bananas?
Bananas are high in phosphorus, and this binds with the calcium that lizards need. Lack of calcium can cause MBD, which stands for Metabolic Bone Disease, which is a severe issue.
So, don’t go bananas with this fruit and try to avoid giving it to your lizard.
Can Lizards Eat Grapes?
Grapes are high in oxalates and make a sweet treat for your lizard. Make sure to get seedless grapes. When you prepare them, cut and mush them up a bit so your lizard can easily eat them.
Can Lizards Eat Strawberries?
Yes, some lizards can eat strawberries, such as the bearded dragon. Don’t go overboard, and feed it as part of a healthy and balanced diet.
Cut them up into manageable chunks and never feed them straight out of the fridge. Avoid giving your lizard any type of strawberry smoothies or any strawberry-flavored foods as a substitute. Lovely ripe room temperature fruit is always the best option.
As a Side Note, We Also Covered Which Pet Lizards Eat Fish In This Other Article
Can Baby Lizards Eat Fruit?
With delicate baby lizards, it is best to stick to the prescribed dietary requirement so they can grow and develop properly. You can easily upset their micro digestive systems with something for which they are not equipped.
When it comes to fruit, if your species dietary requirements allow it, go for something more neutral and in small quantities, depending on the type of lizard.
Can I feed my lizard herbs?
There are some types of herbs that are suitable as a treat for your lizard. One example is some basil leaf. Some Bearded dragon owners feed their dragons the occasional mint leaf once in a while.
What do baby lizards drink?
Baby lizards do not drink milk. They drink water. Hatchlings or baby lizards are eating the same as their parents as soon as they are born or hatched.
What do baby lizards eat?
From the moment they are born or hatched, baby lizards eat similar food to that what their parents eat. Depending on the type of lizard, this can be anything from all sorts of worms, insects, little snails, crickets, plants, eggs, or fruit.
Do lizards eat plants?
There are three types of lizards: carnivores (meat and insect eaters), omnivores (vegetable matter, fruit, meat, and insect eaters), and herbivores (vegetable matter and fruit eaters).
Omnivorous and herbivorous lizards live off a diet consisting of plants, vegetables, and fruit.
What plants are dangerous for lizards to eat?
- Horse Chestnut
- Jerusalem Cherry
- Lily of the valley
- Sweet Pea
- and any plant that starts the name with ‘poison.’
If you are not sure, do not let them nibble on houseplants either. Always do your research first.
What plants keep lizards away?
The following plants are said to repel lizards:
- Mint, Mentha Piperita, Peppermint
- Common Rue, Herb-of-grace, Ruta Graveolens
- Japanese Mint, Mentha Arvensis
- Pencil Tree, Euphorbia Tirucalli