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Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries?

by Lucy

Bearded dragons are omnivores, which means they eat plant and animal-based foods. They even enjoy the occasional fruit, and the inclusion of fruit in their diet is completely fine, as long as it is non-toxic and beneficial for them.

One fruit that you might want to feed your bearded dragon is blackberries. Blackberries are wonderfully delicious and would help to add some variety to your bearded dragon’s diet.

But can bearded dragons eat blackberries? Bearded dragons can eat blackberries, as long as they are fed them in moderation. Bearded dragons love fruit, and would eat as much as you gave them, but fruits like blackberries should only be given now and then as a treat.

Not all fruit is safe to feed to your bearded dragon, so it is always worth checking before adding something new to their diet. Keep reading to find out more on whether blackberries are safe to feed to your bearded dragon and the best way to introduce them into your beardie’s diet.

Are Blackberries Safe For Bearded Dragons?

Blackberries are safe for bearded dragons to eat, but they should not be fed blackberries every day. If fed in moderation, blackberries can be a delightful treat for your bearded dragon, and they can offer up some great nutrients and health benefits too.

There is a good amount of fiber, vitamin C, and some other essential nutrients found in blackberries, and these make them a safe and suitable treat for dragons, fed in small amounts every now and then.

The benefit of blackberries is that they have a good ratio between phosphorous and calcium, which allows for good absorption of calcium, something that is vital to a bearded dragon’s health.

Blackberries also have an impressive fiber content, which helps to digest food smoothly and prevent constipation. Along with this, blackberries are high in vitamin C, which builds up their immune system and benefits their overall growth.

These are all great benefits to have from a little fruit, but there are some reasons why you cannot give your bearded dragon blackberries every day. They are high in sugar and too many of some of the nutrients can be quite harmful to your dragon.

So, blackberries are a great addition to their diet, but only when fed in moderation, and only given a few at a time.

What Do Blackberries Contain?

When deciding on whether or not a fruit is safe for your bearded dragon to eat, you need to know what the fruit contains, and how much of each substance it has.

Looking at blackberries, below are the different substances and nutrients they contain, and how much of each it holds. Knowing these contents helps you understand why blackberries can be a great addition to your bearded dragon’s diet, but also why you should only feed it to them in moderation, and not offer blackberries to your dragon on a daily basis.

1. Sugar

Blackberries do contain quite a bit of sugar; it is one of the reasons why they taste so good! A little bit of sugar in your bearded dragon’s diet is okay, but any more than necessary can lead to obesity and blood pressure problems.

Bearded dragons require a low-sugar diet, and adding too much sugar into their diet through blackberries and other fruit can have quite a harmful effect and can lead to some serious health issues. Avoiding too many blackberries can help to keep their sugar intake down, and keep them on a balanced, suitable diet.

2. Oxalates

Blackberries contain oxalates, much like other berries do. Oxalate is a natural substance that is found in different plants and berries, and it isn’t necessarily a harmful substance, but too much can be detrimental to your bearded dragon’s health.

Oxalates work to absorb calcium, and too many oxalates can cause calcium depletion, which can be a serious issue for your dragon. Bearded dragons depend on calcium, to prevent metabolic bone disease (MBD) which can be caused by a lack of calcium. Too much oxalate in their diet could seriously contribute to the likelihood of this disease forming.

So, while blackberries contain oxalates, they are fine to feed to your bearded dragon in moderation.

3. Water

Blackberries contain a lot of water and are made up of nearly 88% water alone. This is great for keeping your bearded dragon hydrated, and a few blackberries every now and then can work wonders for their hydration.

However, too many blackberries, and too much water, can actually have a negative effect and even cause diarrhea and other intestinal problems. Too much water, and then diarrhea, can cause dehydration in a bearded dragon, which really goes against them having too much water in the first place!

4. Calcium And Phosphorous

Calcium and phosphorous go hand in hand when looking at blackberries and bearded dragons. You need to consider the calcium to blackberry ratio, and blackberries have a 1.3:1 calcium to phosphorous ratio, which is a good range to be in.

Phosphorous binds with calcium, and if a fruit or food contains too much phosphorus, it will bind with all of the calcium and your bearded dragon will not be able to absorb any.

Blackberries have a healthy calcium and phosphorus ratio, which means that they will still be able to absorb a good amount of calcium.

5. Fiber

Blackberries contain a good amount of fiber, which helps your bearded dragon’s digestive system run smoothly. Like with other things, too much fiber can also be a bad thing.

The right amount of fiber is an absolute necessity for your bearded dragon, but too much can lead to diarrhea, intestinal issues, and other health problems. 

For this reason, blackberries should be offered, but only in moderation. Many other fruit and vegetable options offer good fiber to your bearded dragon, so keep this in mind so that they do not land up having too much.

6. Antioxidants

Blackberries contain a great number of antioxidants. These can help to fight against inflammation and free radicals and are overall a great benefit to your bearded dragon’s health.

Antioxidants are always a great addition to your pet’s diet, and blackberries are a great source of this!

7. Vitamins

As a berry and a fruit, it is expected that blackberries would be high in a number of different vitamins. Blackberries contain a good amount of vitamin A, vitamin C, and vitamin K, so a few blackberries now and then can be really beneficial to your bearded dragon’s overall health.

All of these vitamins can help promote a healthy immune system, healthy growth, better vision, healthy organs, healthy tissues, strong bones, and more!

8. Minerals

Along with their vitamin content, blackberries also contain important minerals. These include manganese and zinc, and this helps to keep your bearded dragon’s metabolism and immune system in great shape.

The other minerals include phosphorus and calcium, and as mentioned above, are necessary for healthy bone growth, if found in the right ratio and healthy range for your bearded dragon.

A few blackberries can give your bearded dragon an extra dose of these minerals every now and then.

How Should I Feed Blackberries To A Bearded Dragon?

There are some tips to follow when feeding your bearded dragon some blackberries, to ensure it is a safe snack for them. Bearded dragons can generally eat blackberries whole, but some can be a little big or a little too firm, and this can make it a bit difficult for them to eat and mash-up in their mouth on their own.

You should pay even more attention to preparing blackberries properly if your bearded dragon is still a juvenile and is not fully grown just yet.

Here are a few things to do when feeding blackberries to your bearded dragon:

1. Cut Blackberries Up

While fully-grown bearded dragons might be able to eat whole blackberries, it is still a good idea to cut the blackberries up first. You could cut them in half or cut them into smaller pieces that will be easier for your bearded dragon to manage and eat. 

Especially for a juvenile bearded dragon, blackberries cut up smaller are better for them to eat, and much safer too, and will help to prevent choking or difficulty eating. Consider the size of the blackberry before deciding how small you need to cut it.

2. Wash The Blackberries

It is so important to wash the blackberries before feeding them to your bearded dragon. There could be pesticides or other substances on the blackberries that could be harmful to your bearded dragon’s health.

Wash the blackberries thoroughly under cool running water and pat dry before giving them to your bearded dragon to snack on (once you have cut them up small).

3. Remove Stem And Leaves

Make sure to remove any stems or leaves that might still be attached to the blackberries. This helps reduce choking and the presence of pesticides and other harmful substances and ensures that the blackberries are safe for your bearded dragon to eat.

4. Thaw Frozen Blackberries

If you have a stash of frozen blackberries in the freezer, you need to thaw them out before feeding them to your bearded dragon.

The safest way to do this is to leave the blackberries in the fridge overnight to thaw, and then leave them to come to room temperature before giving them to your bearded dragon.

Blackberries that have been frozen and then thawed can be softer than normal, and make more mess, so you might want to keep them on a paper towel or plate when leaving them to thaw and come to room temperature.

5. Clean Out Uneaten Blackberries

Once you have given your bearded dragon some blackberries and they have eaten their fill, you need to take out any uneaten blackberries and clean up what you can.

The warm environment in their enclosure can cause any uneaten blackberries to spoil quite quickly, which could be a health risk to your bearded dragon, and lead to bacteria growth that would make them quite sick.

Let them spend some time eating their delicious blackberries, and then clean them up straight away!

How Often Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon Blackberries?

Blackberries contain a great number of nutrients and vitamins, but they are also high in sugar and other substances that should only be fed to your bearded dragon in moderation.

Due to this, you should definitely not feed your bearded dragon blackberries every day, and it should only be offered on occasion or as a treat to them.

The general rule is to only feed your adult bearded dragon around 3-5 blackberries every 1-2 weeks. You could break this up to around 2 blackberries a week.

You could offer these blackberries as a cut-up treat to your bearded dragon, or slice up a blackberry and toss it in with their green salad to make it extra delicious that day.

Any more than this amount could cause health issues and intestinal problems for your bearded dragon, which are all better avoided.

Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Dried Blackberries?

It is best to avoid feeding your bearded dragon any dried blackberries. Dried fruit is often high in sugar compared to its fresh counterparts, and is best avoided. Too much sugar in your bearded dragon’s diet can be really unhealthy.

Feeding your bearded dragon dried blackberries, and the abundance of sugar that they hold, can cause obesity, liver disease, and diarrhea.

Can I Feed My Bearded Dragon Wild Blackberries?

Technically, it is fine to feed your bearded dragon wild blackberries, as they would still have some great nutritional benefits.

However, the problem with wild blackberries is that their nutritional content is often not as high, and they do not grow as large. There is also the risk that the wild blackberries have been exposed to urine, pests, and other unhealthy substances that could be detrimental to your bearded dragon.

It is best to avoid feeding your bearded dragon wild blackberries if you can, as they are a favorite among pests. If you really wanted to, it is advised to wash the wild blackberries thoroughly and check to see that they do not contain pests or other debris first before offering them to your bearded dragon.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberries?

Bearded dragons can eat blackberries, and blackberries can be a delicious and healthy snack for them when given in moderation.

You should only give your adult bearded dragon around 3-5 medium-sized blackberries every one to two weeks, to ensure they stick to a healthy and balanced diet.

While blackberries have some great nutrients, vitamins, and minerals, they are also high in sugar, which is not ideal for a bearded dragon’s diet, and too much fiber from blackberries can cause issues as well.

Offered in moderation, blackberries are a perfect treat for your little dragon!

Related Questions

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blackberry Leaves?

Bearded dragons can eat blackberry leaves, but there really is no need to feed them to your pet, as they are low in nutrients and do not add much to a bearded dragon’s diet.

The leaves of a blackberry plant might also be high in oxalates, which could prohibit their absorption of calcium, which is vital for a bearded dragon’s bones.

Do Blackberries Cause Diarrhea In Bearded Dragons?

Blackberries can cause diarrhea for a bearded dragon, as they have a high fiber and water content. These two are great for your bearded dragon’s health, but only when given in moderation, and too much of either can cause an upset stomach and diarrhea. 

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