Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries? Facts and FAQs

Blackberries are a delicious fruit that natively grows in North America. They are not toxic to many animals, including many reptiles. As their name suggests, blackberries are dark/ black in color, a sweet, popular fruit that can be easily found in your neighboring grocery store fruit. If you love to eat blackberries, you must wonder, can bearded dragons eat blackberries? Are blackberries safe for bearded dragons? What are the benefits of blackberries for bearded dragons?
In this article, all your questions will be answered.

Blackberries and Bearded Dragons – FAQs

Raw blackberries per 100g serving contain the following nutrition, vitamins, and minerals for your bearded dragon:

  • Calories: 43Cal
  • Water Content: 88.15g
  • Sugars: 4.88g
  • Calcium: 29mg
  • Phosphorus: 22mg
  • Vitamin A: 214IU
  • Vitamin C: 21mg
  • Oxalates: 3mg
  • Ca:P Ratio:1.3:1

Like blueberries, blackberries also contain many antioxidants, vitamins, and minerals beneficial for bearded dragons. Blackberries are also low in goitrogens and oxalates, which are dangerous for beardies.

The short answer is:

  • Yes, bearded dragons can eat blackberries.
  • No, bearded dragons can’t eat blackberries all the time, every day, as a staple diet.

Blackberries are an occasional treat for bearded dragons and they love to gobble it. Eating too many blackberries can cause health issues, so feed them in moderation.

Beardies love to eat fruits and you can use fruits including blackberries as toppers to entice them to eat greens.

So, what are the health benefits of blackberries for bearded dragons? Blackberries are full of minerals and vitamins, even feeding a few blackberries to your bearded dragons can give fantastic health benefits to them.

Blackberries are full of Vitamins A, C, and K. Vitamins A and C strengthen the immune system, help with ocular health, and improve growth, vision, bones, tissues, and reproduction. Vitamin K is necessary for stronger tissues and blood clots.

Blackberries also contain Vitamin B6 and folate which improve the central nervous system, oversee red blood cell formation, and boost the metabolism.

Bearded dragons need a continuous calcium supply for their overall well-being. A deficiency of calcium can cause many severe health issues such as broken bones, tissues, or even metabolic bone disease (MBD).

On the other hand, greens or fruits containing high amounts of phosphorous are not recommended for bearded dragons. Phosphorous can be very dangerous for your dragon when fed in higher quantities as it binds with calcium and stops its absorption in bearded dragon’s bloodstreams. So, calcium and phosphorous are important to consider while selecting a food for a bearded dragon.

A healthy food should contain an equal or higher amount of calcium as compared to phosphorous.

Blackberries have a good calcium-to-phosphorous ratio (1.3:1), which means they contain more calcium than phosphorous and are healthy for bearded dragons.

Unlike in the desert, bearded dragons don’t have daily access to sunlight and they can’t get Vitamin D3 which also plays a big part in absorbing calcium. So, in a proper tank setup, UVB lights and heat bulbs are used. But still, your bearded dragon need a calcium supply and surely blackberries can fill this gap.

Blackberries are 88% water which means they provide essential hydration to your pet beardie when fed in moderation.

Blackberries contain dietary fibers that ensure the smooth running of the bearded dragon’s digestive system.

Like all berries, blackberries are also rich in antioxidants which can protect your bearded dragon’s cells from free radicals, prevent cell oxidation, and help prevent inflammation. Continuous consumption of antioxidants decreases the risk of heart disease, cancer, and other health conditions.

Blackberries also contain manganese and zinc, strengthening the pet dragon’s metabolism and immune system.

So, blackberries have many benefits for bearded dragons when consumed in moderation. They are naturally dense in nutrients and are a better alternative to other snack options.

So, bearded dragons can have blackberries and they are also beneficial for pet beardies. But the question arises in mind, how often bearded dragons have blackberries?

A healthy bearded dragon can eat a few (2-3) blackberries every other week.

A few blackberries, every other week are sufficient to give nutrient boost to your pet dragon. Consuming blackberries often can cause health issues in bearded dragons, that’s why their consumption should be kept in moderation.

If your dragon is consuming fruit rich diet, you may limit the consumption of blackberries to once a month only.

With all the benefits of blackberries, you still need to limit their consumption as they also have some side effects or health concerns for bearded dragons. Let’s discuss them:

Like other berries, blackberries are also high in sugar content and bearded dragons thrive on a low sugar diet. If they frequently consume blackberries or sugar, it can cause obesity, heart problems, blood pressure issues, diabetes, or even heart failure.

Blackberries also contain oxalates which is a natural substance and can be found in many plants. Oxalates are not beneficial for bearded dragons as they can cause calcium deficiency in bearded dragons. Like phosphorous, oxalates also bind with calcium and stop its absorption in bearded dragon bloodstreams. The deficiency of calcium can cause many health issues including metabolic bone disease (MBD). To save your bearded dragon from MBD, you need to give him a well-balanced diet, calcium, and vitamin D3 supplements, a good tank setup including a good substrate, and heating, lighting, and humidity arrangements.

Although fibers are good for the digestive system, but too much dietary fiber may cause diarrhea.

Blackberries are 88% of water and are capable of fulfilling the water needs of your bearded dragon. Frequently consuming blackberries can cause over-hydration, which can lead to diarrhea and then dehydration, a vicious cycle.

So, How to prepare and feed blackberries to bearded dragons? Your bearded dragon can’t eat blackberries as whole as they are a little harder for beardie to mash up in their mouth. So, you need to prepare them before feeding them to bearded dragons:

  • Always choose organic blackberries as they are less in chemical fertilizers and dangerous herbicides.
  • Collect the berries that are fresh, less messy, and do not have any added sugars.
  • Don’t feed your dragon blackberry jams, compotes, or any other processed foods. They are not beneficial and have higher sugar content.
  • After getting blackberries, thoroughly wash them and remove any leaves or pieces of stem.
  • If you want to feed frozen blackberries, make sure they are sufficiently thawed at room temperature. Frozen blackberries are softer than fresh and they can make a bigger mess in the tank.
  • Frozen or fresh, but some berries can be large. You need to cut the berries into smaller pieces, the largest piece should not be greater than the distance between the bearded dragon’s eyes.
  • Cutting berries can be messy, so, you can also choose smaller berries for your pet dragon.
  • Blackberries can rot very quickly in the tank, so always make sure to remove leftovers from the tank.
  • Place the berries in a food bowl and serve it to your beloved dragon.

You can serve the berries as a snack, as a topper, or add them to a salad. Some bearded dragon owner uses blackberries to entice their dragon to eat greens. They mix berries with greens and serve it to their bearded dragons.

Bearded dragons eat blackberries in moderation, 2-3 every other week, and can have multiple benefits from them. But feeding too many blackberries can cause many health issues due to high sugar, oxalates, and water content, so you need to limit the consumption.

You can add blackberries to your dragon’s diet as a snack, a topper, or a salad. So, when next time, you enjoy this sweet fruit, also give some pieces to your pet dragon.

If you have any questions about blackberries or bearded dragons or want to read any specific topic, feel free to contact us.

Blackberries contain many dietary fibers which are beneficial for the bearded dragon’s digestive system but consuming too many fibers may cause diarrhea, constipation, or other health issues.

Although bearded dragons can eat frozen blackberries, but fresh blackberries are preferable.

Technically bearded dragons can eat blackberry leaves but they don’t offer much nutrients. So, stick to the ripe fruit only.

Yes, baby bearded dragons can eat blackberries in moderation. You need to choose smaller blackberries and cut them into smaller pieces.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat blackberry seeds. Feeding too many seeds can cause digestive upset.

Yes, bearded dragons love to eat this sweet fruit and you can use small pieces of blackberries as an occasional training treat.

Technically bearded dragons can eat wild berries but it is wise to avoid those as they contain pesticides, parasites, or other contaminants.

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