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Home > Bearded dragons > Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries? Vet-Approved Nutritional Science & Info

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If you’re a bearded dragon owner, you already know how imperative it is to provide them with a well-balanced diet. These reptiles require a particular feeding schedule and menu. Still, when you want to broaden the selection, you might explore different foods to try out.

If you have extra blackberries in your fridge, you may be wondering, “Can bearded dragons eat blackberries?” You’ll be happy to know that yes, you can offer blackberries to your bearded dragon. However, they should only ever be treats. Let’s find out why!

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What Are Blackberries?

Blackberries are delicious, deep purple berries that grow natively in North America. But they are most common in Oregon, which has the largest yield of blackberries per year. This tasty fruit is delicious raw, frozen, and canned and is in many dessert favorites.

Blackberries aren’t toxic to many animals, including bearded dragons. They provide nutritional benefits that can have excellent health perks for this lizard.

Among all the fruits that you can offer your bearded dragon, blackberries are considered among the very best. That said, all fruits should be considered treats for bearded dragons. Therefore, while they’re a great fruit choice, you should only offer blackberries to your pet in moderation.

Image Credit: Ajale, Pixabay

Nutritional Facts for Blackberries

Key Nutritional Information of Blackberries, per 100 Grams (3.5 oz.):
  • Water: 88.2 grams (g)
  • Carbohydrates: 9.61 g
  • Fat: 0.49 g
  • Protein: 1.39 g
  • Fiber: 5.3 g
  • Calcium: 29 milligrams (mg)
  • Phosphorus: 22 mg
  • Beta-carotene (converts to vitamin A): 128 micrograms (µg)

Like most berries1, blackberries contain many antioxidants, which are beneficial for your pet. They contain other vitamins and minerals that may also offer benefits to your bearded dragon. They are exceptionally low in oxalates and goitrogens, compounds that are undesirable for bearded dragons.

Health Benefits of Blackberries for Bearded Dragons

There are plenty of positives when your beardie eats a serving of blackberries.

Blackberries are full of:
  • Fiber — An increase in fiber in the diet will help the digestive tract break down food, passing it smoothly and gently. Too much fiber might cause diarrhea, so moderation is key.
  • Antioxidants — These offer protection from free radicals in the blood.
  • Vitamins — Beardies need a balance of all vitamins, but vitamin D is the most crucial one. There is no vitamin D in blackberries, but they have all the essential B vitamins, which help energy levels, metabolism, and brain health.
  • Minerals — Beardies benefit from a wide array of minerals, but the most important components are calcium and phosphorus. Blackberries contain both but they also have oxalates.
  • Water Content — Bearded dragons don’t require as much water as some other pets, but they do need the proper amount for their species. Fruits like blackberries have high water content, which helps with their overall intake.
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Potential Risks of Blackberries for Bearded Dragons

In a strict sense and when fed in moderation, blackberries are nearly perfect treats for bearded dragons. With a calcium-to-phosphorus ratio of 1.5:1, they offer one of the best ratios of these minerals from fruit sources. The primary concern of feeding blackberries to your bearded dragon is that excessive consumption might lead to an upset stomach, as their high fiber content might not agree with their digestive tract. This could lead to diarrhea.

Like all fruits, blackberries contain sugar. When compared to other fruits, though, their sugar levels are extremely low. The sugar in fruit may be a contributing factor to dental disease in bearded dragons, though the low amount of sugar in blackberries probably makes them a better choice than many other fruits.

Another potential risk of blackberries for bearded dragons is that they might be a considerable choking hazard if offered whole. However, this risk can be easily circumvented by chopping them into small pieces before mixing them into your pet’s salad.

All in all, when served in moderation, blackberries are very much risk free.

central bearded dragon side view
Image Credit: h1r0maty31official, Pixabay

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How to Feed Your Bearded Dragon Blackberries

Most bearded dragons can handle berry eating with ease. You can plop a few whole raspberries or blueberries in without much prep. But blackberries are bigger, firmer, and harder to chew than those fruits.

To make one easier to consume, you should thoroughly wash the berry and cut it into at least four smaller segments. Offer the pieces to your beardie and let them eat at their leisure. Once they finish, if there are any remnants left in the cage, remove them so they don’t rot.

Credit: pasja1000, Pixabay

Can Bearded Dragons Have Wild-Picked Blackberries?

While it might seem like natural food would be healthier, you shouldn’t feed wild-picked blackberries to your beardie. You never know what sort of chemicals or substances the berries have absorbed. If there is an unknown factor there, your beardie could get very sick or even die, so it’s best to avoid it altogether.

Other Healthy Fruits for Bearded Dragons

Bearded dragons really seem to enjoy eating fruit. It’s a terrific weekly addition to their regular diet. Beardies don’t just love blackberries, though.

Here are other bearded dragon favorites to consider:
  • Apple (without the seeds)
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Pears
  • Apricot (without the pit)
  • Kiwi
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple

You might notice after a few feedings that your bearded dragon has a preference for a fruit. There’s no harm in switching things up!divider- reptile paw

Final Thoughts

Beardies can enjoy blackberries as occasional snacks. They shouldn’t have this fruit any more than once a week. Blackberries contain oxalates that can cause calcium depletion if you overfeed them, so remember to portion correctly and offer sparingly.

Don’t limit your beardie to blackberries only. There are many bearded dragon-safe fruits that you can give to them. As long as you check the safety of each new fruit that you introduce, they will be golden!

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Featured Image Credit: Svetlbel, Pixabay

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