Petkeen is reader-supported. When you buy through links on our site, we may earn an affiliate commision. Learn More

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries? What You Need to Know!

Ashley Bates

If you’re a bearded dragon owner, you already know how imperative it is to provide a well-balanced diet daily. These reptiles require a very particular feeding schedule and menu. So, when you want to broaden the selections, you might try to explore different beardie-safe fruits to try out.

If you have some extra blackberries in your fridge, you may be wondering, “Can bearded dragons eat blackberries?” And you’ll be happy to know—yes, you can offer blackberries to your beardie. However, you have to be careful. Let’s find out why.

divider-bearded dragon

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, canned, and in lots of dessert favorites.

Blackberries aren’t toxic to many animals—including bearded dragons. They provide lots of nutritional benefits that can have excellent health perks for this lizard when offered in the right portions.

blackberries-pixabay
Credit: Ajale, Pixabay

Nutritional Facts for Blackberries

In one serving of blackberries, there are:
  • Calories: 62
  • Carbohydrates: 14 g
  • Fat: >1g
  • Fiber: 8 g
  • Sugar: 7 g
Vitamins
  • Vitamin C
  • Vitamin K
  • Vitamin E
  • Vitamins B9, B5, B3, B2, and B1
Minerals
  • Manganese
  • Copper
  • Zinc
  • Potassium
  • Iron
  • Calcium
  • Phosphorous

Health Benefits of Blackberries for Bearded Dragons

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

Blackberries are chock-full of:
  • Fiber—an increase of 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—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, which we will discuss further in the article.
  • Water Content—bearded dragons don’t require as much water as some pets, but they do need proper amounts for the species. Fruits like blackberries have high water content, which helps with their overall intake.
divider- reptile paw

Potential Risks of Blackberries for Bearded Dragons

Even though blackberries contain oxalates, which can block calcium absorption, blackberries fall within a safe range. As long as you don’t overdo it, they will only benefit from eating this fruit. Of course, adding too many foods into the diet containing oxalates could cause an issue later.

So, be mindful and get your beardie on a feeding schedule with appropriate nutrition. Follow guidelines applicable to their age and life stage.

Too many blackberries might also irritate the digestive tract, which might cause diarrhea.

central bearded dragon side view
Image Credit: h1r0maty31official, Pixabay

What Are Oxalates?

Oxalates are a naturally-occurring compound found in many fruits. While they pose no real harm to humans, it can be a huge issue for certain reptiles in captivity. Like other lizards, beardies need a calcium boost to prevent developing disease.

Metabolic bone disease is caused by the lack of calcium and phosphorus in your beardies body. Your beardie can suffer from this condition as a result of a poor diet.

Protecting Your Beardie from Metabolic Bone Disease

Metabolic bone disease is a prevalent problem for bearded dragons, unfortunately. Oxalates in the diet steal calcium from the bones, which causes deformities and eventual paralyzing of the legs.

Other contributing factors to this disease are lack of vitamin D, which stems from poor diet and lighting.

Symptoms of metabolic bone disease include:
  • Decreased appetite
  • Limping
  • Paralyzed hind legs
  • Skeletal abnormalities

Stay ahead of any issues with regular vet checkups.

divider-bearded dragon

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 other picks.

To make it easier to consume, you should thoroughly wash the berry and piece 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 in the enclosure.

blackberries-pixabay
Credit: pasja1000, Pixabay

Can Bearded Dragons Have Wild-Picked Blackberries?

While it might seem like natural food would be healthier, you shouldn’t feed your beardie wild-picked blackberries. 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 some bearded dragon favorites to consider:
  • Apple
  • Mango
  • Peaches
  • Grapes
  • Blueberries
  • Plums
  • Cherries
  • Kiwi
  • Raspberries
  • Pineapple
  • Bananas

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

Bearded Dragons and Blackberries: Final Thoughts

Beardies can enjoy blackberries as an occasional snack. 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 a ton of bearded dragon-safe fruits you can give to them. As long as you check the safety of each new fruit you introduce, everything else is golden.


Featured image credit: Svetlbel, Pixabay

Ashley Bates

Ashley Bates is a freelance dog writer and pet enthusiast who is currently studying the art of animal therapy. A mother to four human children— and 23 furry and feathery kids, too – Ashley volunteers at local shelters, advocates for animal well-being, and rescues every creature she finds. Her mission is to create awareness, education, and entertainment about pets to prevent homelessness. Her specialties are cats and dogs.