Can this scrumptious, summertime fruit be fed to your beardie?
Beardies love fruit, and blackberries are no exception. But can bearded dragons eat blackberries?
Unfortunately, fruit is not something that bearded dragons can eat every day, and some fruits are safer than others.
What To Expect
In this article, we will find out if your beardie can eat blackberries and how safe blackberries are to your bearded friend. We will also take a look at the preparation of blackberries when feeding them to your bearded dragon.
Defining Qualities Of Feeding Blackberries To Your Beardie
As with other berries, blackberries contain a lot of excess sugar. It is important to have your beardie on a low-sugar diet to lower the risk of obesity, blood pressure problems, heart failure, or other health issues.
Blackberries contain some oxalates. Oxalates are a natural substance found in many plants. It is not bad in itself, but it can be harmful to your bearded dragon who relies on calcium for strong bones and their overall wellbeing. Oxalates bind with the calcium in your beardie’s body and prevent the calcium from being absorbed.
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
This ratio plays a huge part in determining how safe food is for your bearded friend. Just like oxalates work phosphorus against calcium and prevent calcium absorption in your beardie. Keep your bearded little friend on a balanced diet to proactively defend against Metabolic Bone Disease. Its diet should be rich in calcium and not so rich in oxalates, oxalic acid, or phosphorus.
Blackberries are made up of 88% water which can be good or bad, depending on how many blackberries your bearded dragon eats. A few yummy blackberries per occasion can provide an effective hydration boost to keep your bearded dragon hydrated, but too many can lead to diarrhea which can dehydrate your little bearded pet very quickly.
Like most fruits, blackberries have fiber which is essential to the smooth running of your beardie’s digestive system. Too much fiber can however cause diarrhea and intestinal issues.
Blackberries are a great source of vitamin C, A, and K. The occasional feeding of blackberries can boost your beardie’s immune system, growth, vision, organs, blood, and tissue.
Berries are known for their antioxidant content. These antioxidants can prevent inflammation and protect your bearded dragon’s cells.
Blackberries are also rich in manganese and zinc which are good for your beardie’s metabolism and immune system.
Preparing Blackberries For Your Bearded Dragon
Prepare blackberries by washing them thoroughly before serving them, and make sure all leaves and stems are removed. It is always better, if possible, to use organic or store-bought blackberries to feed your bearded dragon as they are the best quality for your pet.
Eating fresh blackberries can be a bit more difficult for your pet bearded dragon. They are a little bit firm and might be difficult for your beardie to mash up in its mouth. You can cut the blackberries in half or even smaller pieces if you like. Cutting the berries in very small pieces might be the best way for baby bearded dragons and juvenile dragons to prevent them from choking.
If you choose to use frozen blackberries, make sure it is sufficiently thawed and at room temperature but never give your bearded dragon too many blackberries.
What To Do After The Blackberry Feast?
Clean out all leftover berries when your beardie is done eating. Leftover berries can rot very quickly in the hot terrarium and can make your beardie sick if it eats the rotten blackberries.
To make sure picky eaters gobbles up their food, small blackberry pieces can be placed throughout their salad. Just remember that this can not be done too often because it can spoil your little pet and might end up only wanting greens with fruits.
How Often Can Your Beardie Eat Blackberries?
You can feed your bearded dragons a few blackberries every other week.
Due to the high sugar content and oxalates, you should keep the portions on the smaller end and less frequent. Particularly if you’re also feeding your beardie additional other fruits.
So keep the portions on the smaller end, use them for example as a salad topper, and it will be a nice occasional treat.
What About Wild Blackberries?
Your bearded dragon can eat wild-picked blackberries. Wild blackberries are very similar to the farmed variety. They do however contend with less favorable growing conditions, are much smaller, and have a lot fewer nutrients.
And Blackberry Leaves?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat blackberry leaves. It must be kept in mind that it can be very low in nutrients and don’t make a great staple for your beardie. They may also be high in oxalates and this instance should be avoided. Any leaves of plants that grow in the wild especially near roads should be washed carefully as they can contain dangerous toxins.
To your bearded dragon blackberries are a very yummy treat. If bearded dragons eat blackberries occasionally (a few every other week), it can be a great source of nutrients and can boost their vitamin C and fiber intake.
Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:
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