Every bearded dragon loves fruit and blueberries are no exception. But should your bearded dragon be eating blueberries? or are they strictly off the menu?
We have done all the research and provided you with everything you need to know as an owner so you can make an educated choice before feeding your bearded dragon blueberries.
So can bearded dragons eat blueberries? Bearded dragons are safe to eat blueberries. Like most fruit, blueberries are minerally poor for bearded dragons when compared to greens so it’s advised to feed them occasionally. Always proved them washed and organic if possible.
Read on to find out… if you can feed your bearded dragon frozen blueberries, the nutritional information for blueberries, how to prepare them, how often to feed them, all the benefits and concerns of feeding blueberries as well as 4 other fruits that may be a better option.
Blueberries – Nutritional Information
When feeding your bearded dragon, it’s not as simple as choosing foods that are known to be healthy for us humans as they need slightly different nutrition than us to be healthy and live a long life.
Bearded dragons are in need of high amounts of calcium in order to keep their bones working correctly.
Other nutrient levels such as protein, carbohydrates, fat, sugar and phosphorus should be taken into consideration to allow them a balanced and healthy diet.
It’s always recommended to take a look at the nutritional profile of a given food so you can decide whether it’s a good option to feed your beardie before you actually offer it to them.
Check out the nutritional info for blueberries provided by the USDA below.
Nutritional Information Of Blueberries Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.33||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||14.49||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberries? (A Closer Look)
As mentioned at the beginning of this post, bearded dragons can eat blueberries.
Now that we’ve established that blueberries are safe to put on your bearded dragons menu, we need to take a closer look into both the benefits and concerns of feeding blueberries to your beardie.
Take a look at the following sections that will cover both the benefits and concerns to consider adding blueberries to the menu.
Benefits Of Feeding Blueberries to Your Bearded Dragon
For bearded dragons most fruit is poor in a nutritional sense and blueberries are no different, however, they still have some benefits to note and a place in their diet if used appropriately.
The first thing to mention is that blueberries have a high water content so they can be good to increase the hydration of your beardie if they are suffering from dehydration.
You should never overfeed them but it’s worth noting that foods such as blueberries and other fruits can be used in moderation to increase hydration from time to time as well as ‘misting’ and other solution.
If you want to find out more about how to increase your bearded dragons hydration and more through misting then check out this great step-by-step post on misting right here.
Fruit such as blueberries can also be good for tempting your bearded dragon to eat if they’ve been off their food or if they simply don’t eat many greens.
You can use blueberries as a salad topper with other high nutrient based greens underneath.
As blueberries are sweet and pleasant on the pallet they will often encourage your beardie to eat and therefore eat the salad that sits underneath.
While most beardies will eat salad freely, some just need that extra push and using this method after a period of illness to increase the amount of food they consume can be a good idea.
If your beardie isn’t eating well then we highly recommend you check out our recent post here that shares the 9 reasons why your bearded dragon isn’t eating.
Concerns Of Feeding Your Bearded Dragons Blueberries
Even though there are some benefits to feeding your bearded dragon blueberries, there are also some concerns to overfeeding them as well as some nutritional factors you need to be aware of.
Let’s look at each of the factors in more detail in the subsections below.
Calcium & Phosphorus Ratio For Bearded Dragons
The first thing you need to be aware of is that blueberries are low in calcium and higher in phosphorus.
Bearded dragons need calcium to support healthy bones and eating lots of foods that are high in calcium is a great way to support this need.
This is backed up by Vetstream who say that dietary calcium is the main cause for metabolic bone disease.
Phosphorus also plays an important role in the health of your bearded dragon.
Phosphorus stop calcium from being absorbed in the body. Consuming too many foods that are higher in phosphorus than calcium can also bring on major health issues such as metabolic bone disease or MBD for short.
An ideal ratio for calcium to phosphorus is 2:1 in favour of calcium but as you can see there is double the amount of phosphorus than calcium in blueberries so this isn’t considered a healthy ratio.
This shouldn’t put you off feeding your bearded dragon blueberries but you just need to be aware that offering them in moderation is key in conjunction with other foods that have healthy calcium to phosphorus ratio.
If you want to know more about why your bearded dragon needs calcium in an easy to understand way then we recommend you check out our post that covers everything you need to know about calcium right here.
As well as getting the good amounts of calcium from their diet, the experts at VCA-Hospitals recommend that using a high-quality calcium supplement 2-3 times per week is essential to keep your beardie healthy and free from illnesses such as MBD.
We have taken the time to research the top calcium and multi-vitamin supplements and put them in a handy list for you here.
The Risk Of Too Much Sugar
Too much sugar is also a concern for bearded dragons just like it is for us humans.
Blueberries like most fruits are high in sugar and if fed too often can cause a plaque build-up and tartar on your bearded dragons teeth.
This, in turn, can cause inflammation and pain for your beardie. Vetstreet says this can be more serious for your bearded dragon than humans because their teeth are fused directly to the jaw so they can develop infections easily.
Sugar can also cause your bearded dragon to become overweight and lethargic.
Overall high sugar foods should be kept to a minimum and only provided as a treat.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Blueberries?
There’s actually a lot of confusion to whether bearded dragons can eat frozen blueberries because they are rumoured to contain pesticides and preservatives.
We have researched this and found that frozen blueberries don’t actually contain preservatives as the freezing process itself preserves the food so there’s no need to add preservatives.
We gained this evidence from Health.com who say that the freezing process also locks in more nutrients than eating fresh blueberries or fruit and veg in general.
When it comes to pesticides, anything you purchase that isn’t organic will most likely contain some level of pesticides.
With this being said, nwwilfoods.com followed up on a study by the USDA and found that 52 different pesticides were found fresh blueberries compared to 21 different pesticides on frozen blueberries.
Using this study frozen blueberries actually have fewer pesticides on them than the fresh ones so will make a better choice.
Having looked at the facts here, I think the bottom line always purchases organic when possible for all your fruit and veg.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberries Daily?
By now I’m sure you can gather that blueberries don’t make a great staple food choice for bearded dragons and therefore shouldn’t be eaten daily.
This is largely due to the factors we mentioned above, mainly low calcium and high sugar levels.
So just how often should you offer your beardie blueberries? We would recommend offering your bearded dragon blueberries around once a month as a treat.
You should also offer them in small portions and preferably as a salad topper for other highly nutritious veggies and greens.
If you stick to this frequency and portion size then there’s no reason why blueberries can’t make a nice treat for your bearded dragon.
How Do You Prepare Blueberries For Your Bearded Dragon?
In a recent article that Pet-MD wrote, they recommend always feeding your bearded dragon with food that is pesticide and herbicide-free.
For this reason, we always recommend purchasing all your fruit, veggies and greens organic whenever possible.
Having said this, we understand that it isn’t always possible so ensure you purchase the best quality and freshest food you can always help to provide better food to your beardie.
Thoroughly washing the blueberries is something else that is highly important prior to adding them to the salad bowl as this will help to rid the fruit of any residues on the surface.
Even though blueberries are generally small, they are better offered halved. This will release the juices inside and tempt your beardie to eat the salad on offer.
Remember to only offer them in small portions or as a salad topper for other healthy staple greens and veggies.
5 Recommended Fruits to Feed Your Bearded Dragon
While we always recommend that the majority of your bearded dragons pant diet comes from high calcium-based veggies and greens, it’s also good to know some good fruits to feed them on occasion.
We’ve picked the brains of the experts at VCA-Hospitals and they recommend 4 fruits above all others.
To make it easy for you we have taken the time to list them below and also include the nutritional information for each of them.
Remember that veggies and greens are always the best options but if you are wanting to give your dragon a little treat then these 5 options should be your go-to options according to VCA-Hospitals.
Nutritional Information Per 100g (Fruit)
|Water||79.11 g||20.53 g||86.35 g||85.75 g||90.95 g|
|Energy||74 kc||282 kcal||48 kcal||52 kcal||32 kcal|
|Protein||0.75 g||2.45 g||1.4 g||1.2 g||0.67|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.3 g||0.39 g||0.39 g||0.65 g||0.3 g|
|Carbohydrate||19.18||75.03 g||11.12 g||11.94 g||7.58 g|
|Fiber||2.9 g||8 g||2 g||6.5 g||2 g|
|Sugars||16.26 g||63.35 g||9.24 g||4.42 g||4.89 g|
|Calcium, Ca||35 mg||39 mg||13 mg||25 mg||16 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||14 mg||62 mg||23 mg||29 mg||24 mg|
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