Can bearded dragons eat blackberries? This is one of the questions I asked myself back when I was started having a bearded dragon. I knew that beardies can eat a variety of fruits but I was not sure if blackberries are safe for them.
Through the long learning process and in-depth research, I can now easily tell which fruits are safe and unsafe for bearded dragons.
So, can bearded dragons eat blackberries at all?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat blackberries occasionally. Blackberries are some of the fruits that bearded dragons can eat. These fruits are a great part of the beardies’ balanced diet. However, they contain a moderate amount of oxalates and a high amount of water making these fruits not suitable for daily food choice.
As fruits, blackberries contain other nutrients that may or may not good for bearded dragons. To help us know more about blackberries, let’s take a look at the table below.
Nutritional Facts of Blackberries
As mentioned, there are a lot of nutrients that blackberries have. However, I only included the ones that are important to bearded dragons.
Nutritional content per 100g
As you can see from the table above, blackberries do not contain toxic constituents for bearded dragons. However, there are some that could potentially harmful if consumed regularly.
For instance, blackberries contain a high amount of water making it not suitable for bearded dragons as regular diet options. As you know, watery foods can harm reptiles because they could cause digestive issues like diarrhea.
This is also the main reason why most fruits should only be fed to beardies on an occasional basis to keep them safe from digestive problems.
If you want to feed your beardies blackberries, just make sure that you offer these fruits sparingly. Although blackberries have high water content, they are a great source of vitamins and minerals important for beardies’ health.
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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries? (A Deeper Look)
As mentioned, bearded dragons can eat a variety of fruits. But every bearded dragon owner knows that not all fruits are safe for beardies. The main reason is that fruits have high water content and a moderate amount of oxalates.
Water and oxalates are two substances that can be harmful in large amounts. Fortunately, blackberries are not harmful to bearded dragons in small amounts and on an occasional consumption.
Bearded dragons love blackberries making these fruits great addition to the salad. These fruits can definitely make the salad more colorful and enticing to eat.
If you have a picky bearded dragon, this is a great way to convince him/her to eat the food. Just cut the blackberries into small bite-pieces to allow the beardies to eat them without choking.
As a rule of thumb, the size of foods should not be larger than the distance of beardies’ eyes. Keep in mind that large chunks of foods could potentially cause choking and other digestive issues in bearded dragons.
Benefits of Feeding Blackberries to Bearded Dragons
There are many benefits beardies can have by eating blackberries. The first one is blackberries can improve beardies’ appetite. As mentioned, blackberries are a great addition to their salad.
Aside from making the salad more colorful, bearded dragons can accidentally eat the greens too when they go for the blackberries. Remember that beardies love blackberries. So when these fruits are mixed with other finely chopped greens, bearded dragons will have no choice but to eat the whole serving without picking their favorite part of the salad.
This is a great strategy to implement if you have a picky bearded dragon. All you need to do is to mix three to four types of greens with blackberries in them and stir them together. It works well with my beardies and it will with yours.
When choosing other fruits and greens for a beardie’s salad, make sure that you take the calcium to phosphorous ratio. Foods for bearded dragons have a specific requirement when it comes to calcium and phosphorous content.
The ideal ratio is 2:1 (calcium to phosphorous) or close to it. Fortunately, blackberries have acceptable calcium to phosphorous proportions. Fruits and greens with disproportionate ratio should be ruled out as foods for bearded dragons because they can potentially cause many health issues in bearded dragons.
That said, calcium and phosphorous are two of the most essential minerals for bearded dragons. The lack of calcium, for instance, can lead to calcium deficiency which will in turn cause serious conditions such as metabolic bone disease.
The high water content in blackberries is not entirely bad. In fact, it can help maintain a good level of hydration when fed in the right amount. It can only cause diarrhea or other digestive issues when fed excessively.
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What Are the Possible Dangers of Feeding Bearded Dragons Blackberries?
Blackberries are safe when fed to bearded dragons on an occasional basis. However, when become part of beardies’ staple food, this could cause several possible problems.
The first possible problem comes from the fact that bearded dragons contain a considerable amount of sugar. As you know, sugary foods are not suitable for bearded dragons.
Large sugar consumption can result in digestive problems including but not limited to diarrhea. The reason for this is that beardies’ digestive systems are incapable of producing enzymes that could breakdown sugar. As a result, sugar is hard to digest and can only cause harm than good to beardies.
So the keyword here is moderation. You cannot and should not feed bearded dragons blackberries in large amounts on a regular basis.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries Daily?
No, as mentioned, blackberries should not be part of beardies’ staple food. The water and sugar content alone is already problematic factors. Blackberries are only safe for bearded dragons when fed occasionally in small amounts.
The perfect way to offer blackberries to beardies is by making it the toppings of their salad. But it should be on an occasional basis only. Choose healthier greens and fruits instead. I will talk more about this later.
The Best Way to Prepare Blackberries for Beardies
The first thing you need to do is to make sure that you have clean blackberries. As a rule of thumb, you should not offer fruits that you randomly pick in the wild. This is because you are not sure if those fruits are safe from chemicals such as pesticides.
That said, I recommend that you only feed blackberries that you buy from the fruit store. If you can find organic blackberries, it will be a much better option.
But even the ones that you bought from the store, you still need to wash them thoroughly to make sure that they don’t have toxic chemicals in them. Pesticides are harmful to bearded dragons.
Lastly, because beardies are prone to choking and impaction, make sure that you chop blackberries into small bite-size pieces. This will help your reptile consume the salad without having difficulties.
Always consider the distance between bearded dragons’ eyes. Never feed foods that have larger chunks than the space between their eyes.
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Great Alternative Foods for Bearded Dragons
As I mentioned above, there are many healthier food alternatives for bearded dragons. So you don’t have to worry about blackberries being not suitable staple fruits for beardies.
These foods are great staple foods. This means that you can make every food in this list as a regular food source for your bearded dragons.
So, without further ado, let’s dive into the list.
Here are the safe staple foods for bearded dragons:
- Alfalfa plant
- Cactus pad/leaf (has high calcium content)
- Cactus pear/prickly pear (has high calcium content)
- Collard greens (has high calcium content)
- Dandelion greens (has high calcium and vitamin A content)
- Endive (has high calcium content)
- Escarole (has high calcium content)
- Mustard greens (high calcium and vitamin A)
- Phoenix worms
- Acorn squash (high in vitamin A)
- Butternut squash (high in vitamin A)
- Hubbard squash (high in vitamin A)
- Scallop squash (high in vitamin A)
- Spaghetti squash
- Summer squash
- Turnip greens (high in vitamin C)
All of these veggies, greens, and insects are great staple foods for bearded dragons. Also, these foods are the healthiest of all. You don’t have to worry about the safety of your bearded dragons. As long as you prepare these foods correctly, your reptile will be fine and healthy.
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Final Thoughts on Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries
Bearded dragons can eat blackberries on an occasional basis. This is because blackberries have high water content, moderate oxalates, and sugar. These constituents can be harmful to reptiles when consumed regularly in large amounts.
However, if moderated, blackberries can be a great addition to beardies’ salad. These fruits contain many healthy nutrients helpful for bearded dragons.
For bearded dragons’ staple foods, you can choose some from the list included in this post.
I hope this helps. Thank you for reading.
Can a bearded dragon eat blueberries?
Bearded dragons can eat blueberries on an occasional basis. although blueberries are safe foods, just like blackberries, these fruits contain nutrients that may not suitable for bearded dragons on regular consumption.