Bearded dragons love to eat many different kinds of fruit including blackberries but should we as owners be feeding our beloved pets these fruits as part of a healthy and balanced diet?
I have done in-depth research to find out if blackberries are toxic to bearded dragons or if they can be safely added as part of a varied diet.
So can bearded dragons eat blackberries? Yes, bearded dragons can safely eat blackberries as they aren’t toxic. They should be given sparingly as part of a healthy and balanced diet. You should also source store-bought blackberries for hygiene purposes.
Read on to find out...
- How often you should be feeding your bearded dragon blackberries
- The nutritional value of blackberries
- The effects of feeding blackberries too often
- How to prepare blackberries
- 5 other great nutritious foods that you can feed your bearded dragon instead of blackberries
Nutritional Information Of Blackberries
Let’s take a look at the nutritional value of blackberries to see if they are a good option for your bearded dragon. All our nutritional information is taken from the USDA (U.S. Department Of Agriculture)
Nutritional Information Of Blackberries Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.49||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||9.61||g|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries? (A Closer Look)
Some foods that may seem harmless can actually have a toxic effect on bearded dragons. This can lead them to feeling ill or in some cases the consequences can even be fatal.
The good news is that blackberries are considered safe to eat for bearded dragons so you can add this food to their diet knowing it’s totally safe to do so.
Let’s not take a look at both the benefits and potential downsides/concerns of feeding your bearded dragon blackberries.
Benefits Of Feeding Bearded Dragons Blackberries
Blackberries make a great addition to a salad as a top dressing to other staple veggies and greens.
Bearded dragons will usually love blackberries due to their sweet and juicy taste so you will rarely have any problems getting to eat any portion you add to their food bowl.
If you have problems getting your dragons to eat then we recommend you check out this great post that covers the 9 reasons that your bearded dragon isn’t eating!
Something important to look out for when deciding if certain fruits and foods, in general, are ok for your dragon to consume is the calcium to phosphorus ratio. Metabolic bone disease usually occurs by a poor diet that is high in phosphorus and low in calcium.
This is backed up by ‘VCA Hospitals’ who state this as a primary reason why bearded dragons contract metabolic bone disease in a recent article they posted on the subject.
A healthy calcium to phosphorus ratio is 1.1 or 2.1 in favour of calcium. As you can see from the table above blackberries safely fall into this range.
Having said this, just relying on veggies, greens and fruits to get your beardie their daily recommended intake of calcium is difficult if not impossible.
The School Of Veterinary Medicine says that to make sure your bearded dragon has enough calcium in its diet it’s essential that you supplement with a high-quality calcium supplement 3 times per week.
We strongly recommend you use Rep-Cal as this is easily the best on the market.
To find out the exact Rep-Cal calcium supplement we recommend checking out this post that shares all our top-rated supplements and vitamins and more.
If you simply want to learn more about why bearded dragons need calcium then we recommend you read this article that covers everything you need to know in an easy to follow format – Why Bearded Dragons Need Calcium
Blackberries are also high in water, so they are good for keeping your dragon hydrated. Although overuse can have the opposite effect as we will find out in the next section.
Concerns/Dangers Of Feeding Bearded Dragons Blackberries
Even though your dragon will probably love blackberries there are a lot of reasons to why they don’t make the best choice for a staple food.
The first reason is that as with most fruits they are high in sugar and they can easily ruin your bearded dragons teeth if consumed frequently.
If you want to find out more about your bearded dragons teeth then check out this post right here that covers everything you need to know as an owner.
The high sugar content can actually give your dragon a bad stomach and even cause diarrhoea which in turn will cause dehydration. This will usually happen if the portion is excessive or the blackberries are added too frequently in the diet.
Lastly, the overall nutritional value of blackberries and fruit, in general, is low compared to some other veggies and greens you could be feeding your beardie.
Bearded dragons have a small stomach so it doesn’t really make sense to feed them too much of anything that isn’t giving them high nutritional value compared to other foods.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries Everyday?
Unfortunately, due to the factors we have mentioned above it’s not recommended to feed blackberries to your bearded dragon on a daily basis.
You can safely feed blackberries to your bearded dragon around once a month. The portion size should be kept small and many experts such as VCA Hospitals recommend that you use fruits such as blackberries as salad toppers only.
The main rule of thumb to consider here is that veggies and greens and much more nutritious than fruit so only use fruits such as blackberries as a treat and to mix up the diet every now and then.
How to Prepare Blackberries For Your Bearded Dragon
It can be quite tempting to pick blackberries from a nearby bush when they are growing wild in the summer but for health reasons this isn’t always the best option.
You should only use store-bought blackberries and organic if possible to ensure the best quality.
PetMD recommends that any food you offer doesn’t contain any pesticides or herbicides.
We recommend that you always wash the fruit thoroughly to ensure it’s clean and safe for your beardie.
There’s no need to cook blackberries before you give them to your beardie because as with most fruits they are already soft and ready to eat and cooking would only lessen the nutritional value.
It’s also very important to finely chop blackberries or any fruit into a bowl that’s easy to feed from to increase its ease of consumption.
Some bowls are very difficult for bearded dragons to feed from and can lower the amount of food and nutrients they consume.
Here’s a post that shares our recommended food and water bowls to ensure your bearded dragon can feed on both insects, greens and fruits with ease.
5 Other Greats Foods to Feed Your Bearded Dragon Instead of Blackberries
Now we’ve established that you can feed your bearded dragon blackberries but they might not be the best food to feed them on a consistent basis it’s now time to find some other alternatives.
Let’s look at 5 other great foods that you can feed your bearded dragon instead of blackberries.
We have chosen to add to the list collard greens, dandelion greens, mustard greens, butternut squash and parsnips.
All these 5 selections are a combination of greens and veggies. The reason for this is that there aren’t really many fruits that should be consumed on a daily basis due to the high sugar levels and lack of other nutrients.
Collards, dandelions, mustard greens, butternut squash and parsnips are highly nutritious and offer great health benefits compared to fruits.
Our 5 selections are time tested with bearded dragons all over the world and you should find them very popular with your bearded dragon.
You should find it easy to get your beardie to finish any portion to add to their food bowl.
Check out the list below that covers the main nutritional benefits of these great staple foods for bearded dragons.
Nutritional Information Per 100g
|Name||Dandelions||Mustard Greens||Butternut Squash||Parsnips||Collards|
|Water||85.6 g||90.7 g||86.41 g||79.53 g||89.62 g|
|Energy||45 kcal||27 kcal||45 kcal||75 kcal||32 kcal|
|Protein||2.7 g||2.86 g||1 g||1.2 g||3.02|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.7 g||0.42 g||0.1 g||0.3 g||0.61 g|
|Carbohydrate||9.2||4.67 g||11.69 g||17.99 g||5.42 g|
|Fiber||3.5 g||3.2 g||2 g||4.9 g||4 g|
|Sugars||0.71 g||1.32 g||2.2 g||4.8 g||0.46 g|
|Calcium, Ca||187 mg||115 mg||48 mg||36 mg||232 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||66 mg||58 mg||33 mg||71 mg||25 mg|
What Percentage Of a Bearded Dragons Diet Should Be Protein & Greens?
The percentage of proteins versus greens a bearded dragon should have in its diet should actually change as they get older.
When a bearded dragon is a baby they are growing at a phenomenal rate so the % amount of protein they need in their diet is higher than when they are fully grown in adulthood.
Check out the chart below that shares percentage of protein versus greens a baby bearded dragons needs compared to an adult.
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