Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries? Facts and FAQs

Cherries are sweet-tart flavored fruit equally liked by all. If you are eating cherries and your bearded dragon wants a bite from you, you will wonder, can bearded dragons eat cherries? Are cherries safe for bearded dragons? How many cherries can bearded dragons eat? Are there any side effects of cherries on bearded dragons?

In this article, all your questions will be answered.

The short answer is:

  • Yes, bearded dragons can eat cherries in moderation.
  • No, bearded dragons can’t eat cherries daily as a staple diet.

Bearded dragons can eat cherries occasionally as a snack, treat, or topping. Cherries can’t take a large portion of the bearded dragon’s diet as they are not as healthy as other options. So, limiting the consumption of cherries for bearded dragons is recommended or your dragon will face health issues.

Mostly all fruits can’t be fed as a staple diet to bearded dragons. Every fruit has some benefits and some side effects so moderation is the key to getting the benefits and avoiding the side effects.

A 100-gram (3.5 oz.) serving of raw cherries contains the following nutrients:

  • Water: 82.2 grams
  • Carbohydrates: 16.2 grams
  • Fat: 0.19 grams
  • Protein: 1.04 grams
  • Fiber: 2.1 grams
  • Calcium: 12 milligrams
  • Phosphorus: 23 milligrams

So, cherries don’t offer much nutrients to bearded dragons. They also contain less calcium than phosphorous. However, they have low oxalates and goitrogen levels which is good for bearded dragons.

Cherries offer several minerals and nutrients to bearded dragons which are beneficial for their health. Let’s have a look at them:

It strengthens the kidney and properly aids muscle function.

It helps bearded dragons to maintain healthy blood cells and blow flow.

It strengthens bearded dragons’ metabolism.

They strengthen the immune system and prevent inflammation. Antioxidants also reduce the effects of free radicals.

All these nutrients and minerals that bearded dragons get from eating cherries make them a fine occasional treat or snack.

A healthy bearded dragon can eat cherries every few weeks or once a month.

Depending on the diet of bearded dragons, you can feed them cherries every few weeks. If your bearded dragon is already on fruit fruit-rich diet, you may reduce the frequency of feeding cherries to once a month.

Cherries are beneficial for bearded dragons, So, why bearded dragons should not eat cherries every day? Frequently feeding cherries to bearded dragons can cause many health issues due to the following reasons:

Cherries are very high in sugar content, a cup of cherries contains 13 grams of sugar. The bearded dragon’s natural diet doesn’t contain high sugar. And if they eat food that is in high sugar, they will face health issues such as obesity, heart issues, blood pressure issues, tooth decay, liver damage, kidney problems, diabetes, or even heart failure.

So, frequently feeding cherries or high sugar to your bearded dragon is not recommended. Cherries are only beneficial when fed in moderation.

While analyzing any food for bearded dragons, their amount of calcium and phosphorous plays an important role. The calcium-to-phosphorous ratio for any food should be 1:1 or 1:2 for bearded dragons. Food that contains less calcium than phosphorous is considered dangerous for beardies. The reason is that bearded dragons need a continuous calcium supply for their better growth, health, and overall well-being, while phosphorous tends to bind with calcium and stops its absorption in bearded dragon’s bloodstreams. So, feeding a phosphorous-high diet to bearded dragons will cause calcium deficiency which will lead to poor health, broken or weak bones, broken tissues, or even Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).

Cherries are not rich in calcium supply and their calcium-to-phosphorous ratio is 1:1.91 (12mg of calcium and 23 mg of phosphorous in 100g serving), which is also poor, which means they contain more phosphorous than calcium. So, feeding cherries to bearded dragons for longer periods will cause calcium deficiency and your bearded dragon will suffer from severe health conditions which can be fatal. Again, cherries are beneficial for bearded dragons but only in moderation.

Cherries are 88% water and frequently consuming them over hydrates your bearded dragon which can cause diarrhea. This diarrhea can cause dehydration – a vicious cycle.

So, bearded dragons can eat raw cherries in moderation. But what about other forms of cherries i.e. dried cherries, canned cherries, or frozen cherries? 

These cherries have added sugar in them. Cherries have already high sugar content, added sugar makes them worse for bearded dragons. So, if you have dried cherries, eat them alone, don’t share them with your pet beardie.

Never feed anything that is canned or processed to your bearded dragon. Canned or processed food or fruits contain many preservatives, chemicals, and added sugar in them which can be very dangerous for your pet dragon. Always feed fresh, raw, organic cherries to your dragon.

After fresh raw cherries, frozen cherries are the second safe option for bearded dragons. Make sure there is no added sugar in them. Always thaw them at room temperature before feeding them to bearded dragons.

Frozen cherries are also softer and messy. So, be prepared to clean the tank after your dragon has consumed its meal.

So, how to prepare cherries to feed them to a bearded dragon? Actually, preparing cherries is quite easy. Follow these simple steps and let your dragon have a bite:

  • Get fresh, organic, raw cherries.
  • Select the smaller cherries as they have fewer oxalates.
  • Wash them thoroughly to clean dust and other chemicals.
  • Remove the stem and pit to prevent gut impaction.
  • Slice the cherries into smaller pieces. The largest piece should not be bigger than the distance between the eyes of your bearded dragon.
  • Place the cherries into a meal bowl or add it to greens and make a salad.
  • Serve it to your bearded dragon.

Your bearded dragon can safely eat cherries in moderation. Before feeding cherries, check the other things that your dragon has eaten in the past few weeks. If your dragon’s diet is fruit-rich or sugar-rich, it is wise to avoid cherries. Also, don’t offer cherries as a whole. Due to their small size, you may consider that your dragon can eat them but always prepare cherries before feeding them to your pet bearded dragon.

If you have any questions about bearded dragons or want me to write on some specific topic, feel free to contact us.

No, bearded dragons can’t eat cherry stones or pits as they pose a choking hazard and can cause gut impaction.

The raw flesh of fresh cherry is safe for bearded dragons in moderation. Cherry leaves and stems contain cyanide-producing compounds which is harmful for pet dragons.

No, bearded dragons can’t eat cherry leaves or stems or branches as they contain cyanide-producing compounds which is dangerous for bearded dragons.

Blueberries, blackberries, or raspberries are good alternatives to cherries.

Yes, bearded dragons can eat both sweet and sour cherries.

Technically, bearded dragons can eat wild cherries but it is not recommended as wild cherries have higher pesticides and other containments which can be harmful to your bearded dragon.

No, baby bearded dragons should not eat cherries in any form. Cherries are a rare occasional treat for grown bearded dragons. Baby bearded dragons will not be able to handle the high sugar content of cherries.

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