Blueberries and raspberries are some of the healthiest foods we can eat as humans. But are they just as good for bearded dragons?
Blueberries and raspberries are safe to feed to bearded dragons but should make up no more than 10% of your bearded dragons diet. Their high sugar content and blueberries’ high oxalates can cause health problems and calcium deficiency if fed too much.
Let’s discuss how to incorporate blueberries and other fruits into your Bearded Dragon’s diet.
In this guide, we’ll discuss:
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberries?
Blueberries are a high-sugar food, and while they contain healthy nutrients, you should use them in moderation in your Bearded Dragon’s diet. They are also a moderate to high source of oxalates which can interfere with your reptile’s uptake of calcium, another reason to keep blueberries to a minimum. This and the following health advice applies to all fruits that are safe for Beardies.
High sugar/oxalate diets come with some risks for Bearded Dragons:
- Tooth decay due to plaque and tartar buildup (from sugar)
- Imbalanced gut flora (from sugar)
- Obesity (from sugar)
- Dehydration (from sugar)
- Calcium deficiency (from oxalates, can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease)
Too much sugar can lead to obesity and lethargy, just the same as humans. If you notice that your pet has become obese and lethargic, cut back on fruits and other treats while increasing greens.
Sugar can also lead to dehydration, which is a common problem for Bearded Dragons.
If your Beardie is looking dehydrated, try misting their tank. In the wild, Bearded Dragons drink water droplets off of their surroundings rather than from pooled water. Spraying their enclosure gives them a water source they are more familiar with compared to a water dish.
Tooth decay is another common issue from a high sugar diet. Tooth decay is a more severe issue for reptiles than humans because their teeth are fused directly to their jaw, meaning they can develop infections quickly.
Bearded Dragons need a lot of calcium in their foods to maintain good bone health. Most fruits are moderate to high in oxalate content. Oxalates will bind to calcium and prevent your Beardie from being able to absorb the much-needed calcium.
A lack of calcium can cause Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
Phosphorus is another prevalent compound that binds to calcium and can prevent uptake. When considering your reptiles diet, you want to ensure that they have a lot of calcium-rich foods that are low in oxalates and phosphorus.
Vets recommend a 2:1 ratio of calcium to oxalate and phosphorus.
The easiest way to do this is including a lot of healthy greens (and a few unhealthy ones) and relatively few fruits. Some healthy greens that are good for Bearded Dragons include:
- collard greens,
- beet greens,
- mustard greens,
- turnip greens,
- alfalfa hay,
- bok choy,
- Swiss chard
Most (80-90%) of a Bearded Dragon’s plant-based foods should come from vegetables like those listed above. The other 10-20% can come from fruits, including blueberries.
Fruits should be a small part of your Beardie’s diet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raspberries?
These are also fine to feed to your Bearded Dragon in moderation. They make a great treat as most Dragons love the taste of raspberries. This makes raspberries especially useful as a bribe to get your Beardie eating their daily salad.
If you have a picky eater on your hands, some sliced up raspberry placed in the dish with their salad can help them find their salad bowl and begin eating their salad.
Because most Beardies love them, you need to be careful not to give them too many. If they get attached to raspberries, they may stop eating other more nutritious food.
You also want to be careful as these lizards can get quite excited when eating foods that they love. They might accidentally bite your fingers while going for the raspberries.
Adult Beardies can easily mush up soft raspberries in their mouth, so you won’t likely need to cut them up. For babies, you should still mush or cut the raspberries to avoid choking.
Preparing Fruits for You Bearded Dragon
Feed your Bearded Dragon fresh fruit that has been washed. Unwashed fruit will have harmful pesticides on the outside that will make your Beardie sick!
Frozen fruits are fine as long as they have been thawed and washed. However, frozen fruits can be harder to clean as they become mushier when thawed. It might be easier to stick to fresh fruit for your lizard friend.
If you have a picky eater on your hands, you can use a few thinly sliced pieces of fruit in their salad to entice them into eating. Just be sure to maintain a healthy ratio of fruits to vegetables.
If your Beardie doesn’t have an issue eating their salad, you can use a few small cut up pieces of fruit as a treat every couple of days.
Take out uneaten fruit within 30 minutes. Fruit rots quickly and should be promptly removed if they have not been eaten. The same goes for veggies.
Most Bearded Dragons enjoy blueberries. However, if you notice that they are continually left uneaten, discontinue feeding them to your pet.
These fruits have moderate amounts of oxalates, so feed them to your lizard in moderation only.
Most adults may be able to handle blueberries whole, but it is probably best to cut or mush them up first to ensure your reptile partner doesn’t choke while eating.
Like blueberries, these can be included in moderation. They have moderate levels of oxalates, which can interfere with calcium uptake and lead to calcium deficiency.
As a larger fruit, strawberries must be cut into smaller pieces for your bearded friend. Again, this will help prevent issues with swallowing that could lead to choking.
Store-bought or homegrown blackberries are ok to include as a treat. Never feed them wild picked blackberries, these can contain pesticides and toxins that can harm your reptile, sometimes even leading to death.
Make sure to wash and cut the blackberries. This is especially important for baby Beardies as the blackberries have a harder exterior than other berries, such as raspberries. Adults may be able to handle them whole, but it is not worth the choking hazard.
Some Other Beardie Safe Fruits
There are a lot of fruits that are safe for Beardies but here is a list of some of their favorites and most nutritious:
Common Fruits to Avoid
High acid fruits can upset your lizard’s stomach, so they should be avoided entirely. Citrus fruits are some of the most common highly acidic foods. Avoid these always.
Avocados are poisonous, even in small portions. These fruits are high in oxalates and can have a severe impact on your lizard’s bone and heart health. Never feed them to your Dragon.
Fruit should comprise the smallest proportion of your Bearded Dragon’s diet (10-20%), but they can and should be included.
You can use fresh or frozen fruit, just thaw frozen fruits first.
Make sure to wash the fruit for your Dragon, so they don’t get sick from pesticides.
Chop or mush fruits to small bite-sized pieces so that our Beardie doesn’t choke.
Fruits are high in sugars and oxalates, so always use them in moderation.