Bearded dragons are fruit lovers. Some will always eat blackberries and every other fruit anytime they are available for them. However, it is not advisable to let them have fruits every day because some of these fruits’ nutrients make them unsafe.
But, are blackberries nutritionally safe for bearded dragons? If they are, how often should you feed them with blackberries?
Nutrition Benefits of BlackBerries for Bearded Dragons
The nutrients in blackberries and how they affect bearded dragons’ health include the following:
Naturally, berries have a lot of sugar content, and blackberry is not an exception. However, too much sugar in a diet is not healthy for bearded dragons as it leads to health issues like obesity, high blood pressure, heart failure, etc.
The antioxidants content in berries helps dragons cell against free radicals and inflammation.
Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
Just like with oxalates, phosphorus is another nutrient in blackberry that leads to calcium depletion. This is why it is crucial to know the calcium to phosphorus ratio of any diet you are feeding your bearded dragon.
If the quantity of calcium and phosphorus is equal, then your pet will not gain any calcium benefit from the diet. For blackberries, the ratio of calcium to phosphorus is 1.3:1, which is favorable for bearded dragons.
The quantity of water in blackberries is 87%, and this can either be favorable to dragons or detrimental to them, depending on how many grams of blackberry you feed them.
With the right quantity of blackberries, water quantity can help hydrate your dragons, and too much can lead to diarrhea.
Minerals like zinc and manganese in blackberries help them with metabolism and an improved immune system.
Blackberries contain three types of vitamins, A, C, and K. All these help bearded dragons to maintain a sound immune system, healthy bones, great vision, and an adequate supply of blood.
Another nutrient in blackberry is oxalates, and its function is to remove excess calcium from the body. When bearded dragons eat too much blackberry, it can lead to a health issue known as calcium depletion, characterized by weak dragon bones leading to paralysis.
Blackberries are also rich in fiber, which helps bearded dragons digest food easily and prevent diseases associated with digestion. However, too much consumption of blackberries can lead to intestine issues.
Is It Advisable to Feed Bearded Dragons with Blackberries?
Considering all the nutrient benefits of Blackberries and how they meet bearded dragons’ nutritional requirements, you should only feed them to your pets on a moderate level.
However, how frequently you feed your bearded dragons with blackberries depends on other things like the fruits or foods you are giving them alongside blackberries.
How to Prepare Blackberries for Your Bearded Dragons?
Another important factor that people overlook when feeding bearded dragons with fruits is preparation. For blackberries, take note of the following before giving your bearded dragons to eat:
- Provide them with only fresh blackberries or nothing else. The blackberries must be dry and mushy, if not, do not pick them for your bearded dragons.
- Just like other fruits and veggies, wash the berries as thoroughly as possible. For berries sprayed with pesticide beforehand, make sure to wash away every chemical before giving them to the dragons.
- For your bearded dragons to easily chew and digest blackberries, you can cut them into tiny pieces. This will also prevent choking.
- For frozen berries, thaw them before giving the dragons. The best temperature is room temperature.
After feeding your dragons with blackberries, make sure you clean after them, especially if it is an enclosure. This is important because berries can become rotten easily, and your bearded dragon can fall sick if they feed on rotten blackberries.
Only feed your bearded dragons with blackberries once in a while. This could be as a dessert after the main meal.