Cherries are sweet tasting and delicious and this can make it tempting to offer them to your bearded dragon as part of their diet.
But can bearded dragons safely eat cherries? Or should you be keeping them well away from your bearded dragon’s food bowl at all costs?
In this post, we will cover everything you need to know about cherries as a bearded dragon owner so you can be sure you are making the correct decision before adding them to your beardie’s diet.
So can bearded dragons eat cherries? Bearded dragons can eat cherries in small quantities and as a treat around once per month. Cherries are high in minerals such as potassium but are also low in key nutrients such as calcium as well as containing a lot of sugar. These factors mean that cherries should be fed in moderation only.
Cherries | Nutritional Information
We have provided the nutritional information for cherries in an easy to follow table so you can see the nutrients that cherries are abundant in as well as the ones they are lacking in.
Don’t worry if you aren’t sure what to look for and in what quantities as we will go through the key nutrients later in the post and you can always come back here to check them out if you wish.
Here is the nutritional data for cherries.
Nutritional Information For Cherries Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.2||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||16.01||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
|Vitamin A RAE||3||µg|
|vitamin A IU||64||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries? (more info)
Cherries are a fruit that is common in stores around the world and this means that many households will often have cherries lying around the home.
This can also mean that it’s tempting to offer your beardie some of those cherries as a treat or as a regular part of their diet.
The good news is that cherries are safe to feed to your bearded dragon.
With this being said, it’s important to know that cherries aren’t the most healthy food choice for your beardie and therefore need to be offered in moderation.
The fact that cherries are lacking in key nutrients is something you need to be aware of and be sure to prioritise foods that contain these nutrients.
As long as you only offer cherries every so often then your bearded dragon can enjoy them as a treat.
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries?
Baby bearded dragons can eat cherries in small quantities and in moderation, much in the same way that adults can.
Having said this, we wouldn’t actually recommend feeding cherries to baby bearded dragons or if you do then it really should be in very small quantities and rare occasions.
The reason for this is due to the fact that baby bearded dragons grow at an extremely fast pace and the only way they can fuel this growth is to eat food that is packed with key nutrients such as calcium and protein.
Offering your baby beardie cherries won’t really contribute to their growth and seen as baby bearded dragons only have small stomachs, every mouthful is vital.
For the first year of your bearded dragon’s life we recommend paying very close attention to the greens they are eating as well as the protein sources you are offering them.
As we mentioned earlier, baby bearded dragons can technically eat cherries in moderation but you are far better just offering them high-quality greens that support their growth.
One example of such greens are dandelion greens and you can check out our guide that shares how to prepare and serve dandelion greens right here…
You can also find out if bearded dragons can eat only insects and nothing else right here…
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherry Pits/Stones?
You should never allow your bearded dragon to eat cherry pits or stones as they are sometimes called.
There are 2 main reasons for this, the first is that cherry pits could easily choke your bearded dragon.
The second reason is that cherry pits along with a number of other seeds and stones from fruits contain a small amount of cyanide.
The amount of cyanide that 1 cherry pit contains isn’t likely to be a lethal dose but it could still cause your beardie to have some side effects.
The side effects of cyanide could include…
- Difficulty breathing
- And more…
Many experts have talked about the risks posed by cyanide to animals in the past and considering the 2 factors we have mentioned, you should never offer your bearded dragon cherry pits or other seeds from fruit such as apple seeds/pips.
Fresh Vs Dried Cherries | Which Is Best?
At this point, you may be wondering if it’s better to feed your beardie fresh cherries or dried cherries from a packet?
This is really a great question so we have researched both these types of cherries and put them in a comparison table aide by side.
Check out the nutritional values for fresh & dried cherries table here…
Nutritional Information | Fresh Cherries Vs Dried Cherries Per 100g
|Name||Fresh Cherries||Dried Cherries|
|Water||82.25 g||16.6 g|
|Energy||63 kcal||333 kcal|
|Protein||1.06 g||1.25 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.2 g||0.73 g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||16.01 g||80.45 g|
|Sugar||12.82 g||67.15 g|
|Fibre||2.1 g||2.5 g|
|Calcium, Ca||13 mg||38 mg|
|Iron||0.36 mg||0.68 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||21 mg||36 mg|
|Vitamin C||7 mg||19.3 mg|
|Potassium||222 mg||376 mg|
So what does this table tell us? Well, it actually tells us that dried cherries do offer some key nutrients in much higher doses and better balances than fresh cherries such as calcium and the ratio of calcium to phosphorus.
The problem is dried cherries though, is that they contain excessive amounts of sugar.
With all things considered, we would still opt for feeding fresh cherries to your bearded dragon as a treat rather than the dried option as the sugar levels are just too high.
Are There Any Benefits to Feeding My Bearded Dragon Cherries?
Cherries do contain moderate amounts of various vitamins and minerals but unfortunately, not many of them are considered key nutrients for bearded dragons.
Cherries do, however, offer high amounts of potassium with 222mg per 100g.
Potassium is considered a very important nutrient and helps with various functions throughout the body including the nervous system.
Apart from these high potassium levels, cherries don’t really offer high numbers of any nutrient that is helpful to bearded dragons in any way.
Are There Any Concerns When Feeding My Bearded Dragon Cherries?
Cherries are low in some vital nutrients that bearded dragons require high levels of to be considered healthy.
In addition to this, cherries also contain unbalanced levels of some nutrients that can harm your bearded dragon if they are overfed.
Let’s take a look at what these nutrients are so you can better understand why cherries should only be fed occasionally…
Cherries Are High In Sugar
Cherries, like a lot of fruits, are quite high in sugar and looking at the table we provided earlier you can see that they contain 12.82g of sugar per 100g which is considered high.
So why is sugar a problem for bearded dragons?
There are 3 main reasons why an excess of sugar can be a problem for bearded dragons…
- Tooth Decay
Too much sugar in one sitting can easily upset your beardies stomach as it can be hard for them to digest and this can cause stomach upsets and diarrhoea.
Overfeeding fruits such as cherries that are high in sugar can cause this to happen so it’s important to ensure that you only offer small amounts (more on how much you should offer your bearded dragon later)
Bearded dragons that consume too much sugar will eventually become obese in the same way as humans do.
This can be a gradual process that is hard to spot at first so it’s important to monitor their sugar intake and keep treats such as fruit to a minimum.
The third reason why bearded dragons need to consume low amounts of sugar is that they can suffer from gum and tooth problems as a result.
This can be much more of a problem for bearded dragons than it is for other animals because a bearded dragon’s teeth are rooted directly into their jaw as opposed to being rooted into ligaments and sockets.
This means that if they suffer from bad oral health, any inflammation or infection is likely to be far more painful and serious and as a result, your beardie would have to see a vet for treatment.
The bottom line is that your bearded dragon solid only consumes foods that are high in sugar as a treat and not as part of their daily diet.
Cherries Are Low In Calcium
One of the most important nutrients your bearded dragon can consume is calcium.
Calcium helps with a number of vital functions for beardies including…
- Muscle Function
- Bone Growth & Maintenance
- Muscle Metabolism
If your bearded dragon doesn’t get the required amount of calcium they need consistently over a period of time then can suffer from serious health issues including metabolic bone disease or (MDB)
Cherries, unfortunately, don’t contain enough calcium to make them a good, healthy food choice to offer to your bearded dragon on a regular basis.
In fact, cherries only contain 13mg of calcium per 100g, which is very low when compared to greens such as mustard greens that offer 115mg per 100g.
You can find out if you should be feeding your bearded dragon mustard greens on a regular basis or not? By heading over to our new guide that shares all you need to know about mustard greens as an owner…
Low amounts of calcium is common in fruits so it’s not just cherries that should be fed in moderation but you also need to be cautious when offering fruit on the whole.
It’s actually recommended that fruit only makes up around 5% of your beardies total diet.
Cherries Have an Unbalanced Calcium & Phosphorus Ratio
Something that’s often overlooked but is very important is the calcium to phosphorus ratio in the foods you feed to your beardie.
Basically put, the foods you offer should contain at least as much calcium as phosphorus and ideally around a 2:1 ratio in favour of calcium.
This is because phosphorus stops calcium from being absorbed in the body.
If your beardie consumes the odd food that is higher in phosphorus then this isn’t going to make a huge difference to their health but if they are constantly eating foods with a higher ratio of phosphorus to calcium then this can cause serious health problems.
Cherries like most fruits have an unbalanced ratio with 13mg of calcium and 21mg of phosphorus per 100g.
As you can see, there is much more phosphorus than calcium in cherries so this is another reason why you only want to offer them as a treat.
Do Bearded Dragons Like Cherries?
You may be wondering if your bearded dragon would even like cherries if you were to offer them as a treat?
The answer to this is, all bearded dragons have different personalities and taste much the same as we do.
While some will love a certain food others will turn their noses up and refuse to eat it.
With all things considered, bearded dragons seem to love fruit on the whole and cherries are no exception so it’s likely that your beardie will devour cherries if they are offered.
Here’s a video of a bearded dragon eating cherries like they are going out of fashion…
Note: For best viewing on mobile you can enable full-screen mode on the video controls.
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries?
Now that we’ve established that cherries shouldn’t be a regular part of your beardies diet, now it’s time to share exactly how often we recommend you can feed cherries to your bearded dragon.
The answer to this question will totally depend on how many other fruits you are offering to your beardie on a daily or weekly basis.
For example, the more you are feeding your bearded dragon other sugary fruits that are low in calcium, the less you should offer cherries as you are just adding more of the same.
With this being said, as a general rule of thumb, we recommend feeding cherries to your bearded dragon around once per month as a treat.
Remember that keeping fruit to no more than 5% of your beardies diet should ensure that you don’t add too much sugar and other unbalanced nutrients in their diet.
How Many Cherries Should My Bearded Dragon Eat?
As well as only feeding cherries and other highly sugary foods to your beardie on occasion, it’s also important to only offer them in small quantities too.
Even though there is no hard and fast rule, we would recommend offering no more around 3 pitted cherries as this really is all your beardie needs as a treat.
One of the best ways to feed cherries is to add them as a salad topper on top of other nutritious greens.
How Should I Prepare & Serve Cherries to My Bearded Dragon?
It’s important to know how to prepare and serve all the foods you feed to your bearded dragon.
For this reason, we’ve put together a quick and simple guide to preparing and serving cherries to your beardie.
Check out the quick and easy to follow guide below…
Organic – Whenever we do a preparing and serving guide we always preach to purchase organic fruit and greens (and for good reason)
Bearded dragons can become ill if they consume pesticides so even though the organic option is more expensive, it’s a much better option for your beardie if available.
Wash – As with all food you feed to your beardie, it’s important to give it a thorough wash first.
Pitted – Even though we have talked about this previously, next you need to ensure that you pit the cherries prior to feeding them to your beardie as the pits are extremely harmful.
Time to Serve – There really isn’t much to preparing fruit such as cherries so they will be ready to serve in no time at all.
As we mentioned earlier, only offer a small number of cherries and consider using them as a salad topper to encourage your bearded dragon to eat other healthy and nutritious greens.
5 Fruits You Can Feed Your Bearded Dragon Instead Of Cherries
We have put together a list of 5 fruits that you can offer your bearded dragon as a treat and a small percentage of their diet.
These fruits have been compiled from vets and animal nutrition experts as their favourite fruits for bearded dragons.
It’s important to remember that even though these fruits are recommended by experts that they should still be only fed to your beardie in moderation as they are still high in sugar and low in other key nutrients (this is the same for all fruits)
Here are the 5 alternative fruits recommended by experts…
You can also check out each of these fruits side by side in the table below…
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|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Glace Cherries? Bearded dragons shouldn’t eat glace cherries due to the high amounts of sugar they contain. Excess levels of sugar in a bearded dragon’s diet can cause serious health issues so it’s important to avoid foods such as glace cherries.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Dried Cherries? Bearded dragons shouldn’t be fed dried cherries. This is due to the high amounts of sugar that dried cherries contain. Bearded dragons should consume a low sugar diet to be considered healthy and dried cherries don’t fall into this category.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Canned Cherries? Bearded dragons shouldn’t be fed canned cherries as part of their diet. Canned cherries are nutritionally poor when compared to fresh cherries and are also likely to contain preservatives and added sweeteners.
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