Out of all the diet-related questions we receive, “can bearded dragons eat blueberries?” is definitely one of the most common. Since we love eating these tasty fruits, it’s only natural to wonder if beardies can as well!
This guide will answer this question, and provide some guidance on how you can safely include blueberries in their diet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberries?
As a bearded dragon owner, you know that your pet beardie needs an omnivorous diet that consists of insects, fruits, vegetables and leafy greens. These lizards (like humans) need a certain amount of variety in their diet, so you’ll want to change up what you put in their food bowl throughout the week.
Many bearded dragon owners want to know if bearded dragons can eat blueberries, and the answer to this question is yes. Blueberries can be a tasty and healthy part of a bearded dragon’s diet if given in moderation.
Expert Tip: They’re also quite a convenient and easy treat since most owners already have some in their home, and they don’t require much preparation (more on that later).
The Health Benefits Blueberries Can Provide
These tiny but powerful berries are part of the same healthful genus as cranberries, huckleberries and bilberries, and they are known to offer a myriad of health benefits for your bearded dragons. Many health professionals recommend adding blueberries as a part of a healthy diet, and veterinarians are also strong advocates for serving these fruits to beardies as well.
Feeding blueberries to your bearded dragon (in moderation) can add important antioxidants, Vitamin C, potassium, Vitamin K1 and manganese to their diet. Blueberries, high in water, are good for hydration, and your beardie will get a healthy source of energy from the natural carbohydrates.
Expert Tip: Not only that, but the variety will serve as a source of enrichment that can keep your beardie happy and engaged. As you know, a happy bearded dragon is often a healthy one!
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Blueberry Leaves?
It’s perfectly fine to let your bearded dragon have a few blueberry leaves, but we don’t recommend giving them too many.
It’s definitely not something to be paranoid about since a bunch of blueberries (especially freshly picked ones) will have the occasional leaf mixed in. If that’s the case don’t worry about it.
If you want to add a few of the leaves to your beardie’s bowl intentionally, it won’t cause any harm. However, we don’t recommend making this a regular thing. Whereas blueberry leaves can have potential health benefits for humans, there still needs to be more research before the veterinary community is sure if a regular amount of leaves is suitable for a bearded dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Frozen Blueberries?
The safety of feeding frozen blueberries to bearded dragons has become a topic of lively debate.
Some experts seem to feel that frozen blueberries are loaded with pesticides and even preservatives. Others claim that fresh blueberries actually contain higher pesticide levels than frozen ones. It’s also thought that frozen blueberries retain more vitamins and antioxidants than their fresh counterparts.
Since there isn’t hard data to suggest choosing one over the other, we recommend doing a bit of research on the subject to form your own opinion. Then, after careful consideration, you can make a knowledgeable decision. The best way forward is to ask your trusted reptile veterinarian what they think.
In general though, we believe that it is totally fine to give your beardie the occasional frozen blueberry.
How Often Should Your Beardie Eat Them?
Because blueberries are known to promote skin and heart health, increase metabolism, help with good vision and build a healthy immune system, it may seem like a good idea to make these berries a consistent part of your beardie’s diet.
While all of the above points are true, there is a negative side to blueberry over-consumption.
Blueberries are quite high in sugar, and too much sugar in your beardie’s diet can lead to long-term issues such as obesity, diabetes, digestive issues (although problems like impaction are rare) tooth decay and heart problems.
The high phosphorus to calcium ratio of blueberries is another reason why these berries should be saved as a treat. Bearded dragons require lots of calcium in order to combat health issues such as metabolic bone disease. The high phosphorus to calcium ratio of blueberries means that the phosphorus is binding with the calcium before the calcium can benefit the dragon.
With the above in mind, we suggest feeding blueberries to your bearded dragon no more than once per week. Four or five blueberries at a time is a good rule of thumb, and they are best served mixed in with your dragon’s greens or vegetables.
How To Feed Blueberries To Your Beardie
Preparing blueberries for your bearded dragon doesn’t have to be a complicated process. In fact, all you need to do is to think of how you would want them prepared for yourself!
This means choosing only the best berries, giving them a thorough wash and presenting them in a palatable way. Read on to see the steps to follow.
1. Be Sure The Blueberries Are Healthy
The first step to preparing blueberries for your beardie is to choose only the very best berries possible. You’ll want to avoid any berries that are not a lovely shade of dark blue.
Reddish berries or green berries are not ripe, and they will taste sour to your beardie and may even give them a stomach ache!
Berries that are too dark or too soft should also be avoided as should any moldy or squashed berries. If you wouldn’t eat it, chances are that your beardie shouldn’t either.
Expert Tip: We recommend looking for organic blueberries for your bearded dragon because organic produce is typically not treated with pesticides. This is a quick and effective way to ensure that you’re giving your beardie high-quality fruits.
2. Give Them A Wash
Washing the blueberries is another critical step. Both organic and non-organic berries can have residue on them that needs to be washed off before they can be given to your bearded dragon.
Non-organic blueberries are often treated with pesticides, and organic berries can contain traces of manure and dirt.
Place your blueberries in a strainer and wash them under cold, running water. Gently shake the strainer, and rinse them one more time. To make sure that the berries are dry before you put them in the fridge, this helps to keep mold from forming, place them on a paper towel or kitchen towel to dry.
3. Cut Them In Half
Eating a whole blueberry is not a problem for humans, but a bearded dragon can choke on a whole berry. We recommend cutting the blueberries in half before giving them to your beardie.
This only takes a few seconds since you’re not going to be giving your lizard very many, so there’s really no excuse for skipping this step.
4. Place The Blueberries In Their Bowl
After all the above steps have been followed, you can now try giving the berries to your dragon. Sometimes your dragon will eat all of the blueberries and leave the rest of the meal untouched, or your dragon may decide to play with them a little but.
This is why it’s a good idea to mix the blueberries in with the other food.
Use a sturdy, shallow bowl that can’t be easily tipped over. A shallow bowl will make it easier for your dragon to eat all the way to the bottom of the bowl.
Expert Tip: Blueberries go bad quickly, so make sure to remove any uneaten berries right away. Rotten berries can smell and may even attract bugs.
Try Them Out!
Now that you know the answer to the question “can bearded dragons eat blueberries?” it’s time for you to start including these fruits in their diet. Beardies love these tasty berries and will always appreciate the variety that they can bring.
Trust us, you’ll see their eyes light up when you drop a couple of these into their bowl!
If you have any blueberry-related questions that we didn’t answer in this guide, feel free to send them over to us. We’re always happy to help.