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.
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.
Nutritional Facts for Blackberries
Health Benefits of Blackberries for Bearded Dragons
There are plenty of positives when your beardie eats a helping of blackberries.
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.
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.
Stay ahead of any issues with regular vet checkups.
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.
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.
You might notice after a few feedings that your bearded dragon has a preference. There’s no harm in switching things up.
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