For bearded dragon owners, figuring out the best diet for their reptilian friends can be tricky. Blackberries seem like they could make a nice, sweet treat for beardies. But are these dark, juicy berries safe and healthy for bearded dragons to eat?

If you’re short on time, here’s a quick answer to your question: Yes, bearded dragons can eat blackberries in moderation as an occasional treat.

An Overview of the Bearded Dragon Diet

Bearded dragons are omnivorous lizards that thrive on a varied diet. Their nutritional needs change as they grow from babies to juveniles to adults. Here’s an overview of what bearded dragons eat during each life stage.

Mostly Veggies and Greens

The bulk of a bearded dragon’s diet should consist of leafy greens and vegetables. These provide essential vitamins, minerals and fiber. Some great options include:

  • Kale
  • Collard greens
  • Mustard greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Turnip greens
  • Endive
  • Escarole

Vegetables can include squash, bell peppers, carrots, sweet potatoes, and peas. Bearded dragons enjoy a variety – feeding them the same veggies daily can lead to poor nutrition. Dark, leafy greens are ideal as staples since they are loaded with calcium and vitamins A and D.

Some Bugs for Protein

While greens make up the largest portion of their diet, bearded dragons need animal protein too. Feeder insects like small crickets, mealworms, waxworms and dubia roaches are excellent sources of protein. Babies and juveniles need more bugs since they are growing rapidly.

Adults only need bugs 2-3 times per week. Here are some feeding guidelines for insects:

Babies: 3-5 feedings per day of tiny insects.
Juveniles: 2 feedings of insects per day.
Adults: 2-3 feedings of insects per week.

Avoid overfeeding insects, as too much protein can cause gout in bearded dragons. Vary the bugs too – crickets one day, dubia roaches the next. This provides a range of nutrients.

Fruits Only as Treats

While bearded dragons can eat some fruits, these should be limited. Fruits are high in sugar and phosphorous, which can be problematic in excess. Some fruits to offer sparingly as treats include:

  • Berries – raspberries, blackberries, blueberries
  • Banana
  • Mango
  • Apple
  • Melon

Fruits should comprise no more than 10% of a bearded dragon’s diet. They contain valuable vitamins and minerals, but their high sugar content makes them better for occasional snacks. Vary the fruits too – don’t just feed bananas daily.

The Nutritional Value of Blackberries for Bearded Dragons

High in vitamin C

Blackberries contain a phenomenal amount of vitamin C, with just one cup providing 50mg of this essential vitamin. Vitamin C promotes a healthy immune system and bone growth in reptiles like bearded dragons. It also aids collagen formation for healthy skin and scales.

The high vitamin C content makes blackberries an excellent supplemental fruit treat for our bearded buddies.

Decent amount of calcium

In addition to vitamin C, blackberries contain a moderate amount of calcium with 30mg per cup. Calcium is crucial for proper bone development in juvenile dragons and preventing metabolic bone disease. The calcium in blackberries combined with vitamin D3 from lighting helps bearded dragons properly absorb and utilize calcium.

While insects should be the primary calcium source, blackberries can provide extra calcium as the cherry on top.

Low fat and calories

Compared to other fruits, blackberries are low in fat and calories. One cup contains less than 1g of fat and only 62 calories. This makes them a healthier treat option over high fat, high calorie options like figs or mangos.

The lower calories mean you can feed more blackberries than other fruits before worrying about bearded dragons packing on extra weight. Still, fruits should be fed sparingly as treats.

In moderation, blackberries make a very nutritious supplemental treat for bearded dragons. They provide ample vitamin C for immune health, extra calcium for bone strength, and lower fat and calories compared to other fruits. Just be sure to feed them sparingly along with a balanced staple diet.

Potential Benefits of Blackberries for Bearded Dragons


Blackberries are packed with antioxidants like vitamin C, vitamin E, and anthocyanins that can provide great health benefits for bearded dragons. Antioxidants help protect cells from damage caused by free radicals and inflammation.

This may boost your dragon’s immune system and reduce their risk of certain diseases.

One study found that giving rats a diet rich in blackberries increased their antioxidant capacity and reduced markers of inflammation and oxidative stress.The same effects could be seen in bearded dragons who regularly eat blackberries.


Blackberries are also a great source of fiber, providing around 7 grams per cup. Fiber supports healthy digestion in bearded dragons and helps move food through their gut.

One type of fiber found in blackberries is insoluble fiber, which adds bulk to stool and prevents constipation. Regularly feeding your bearded dragon blackberries may help keep them regular.


Hydration is extremely important for bearded dragons, as they are prone to dehydration. Blackberries have a high water content, providing around 60% of their weight in fluid.

Eating fresh berries can provide your dragon with a good source of water separate from their drinking water. This helps ensure they are getting enough fluid. The juicy texture also encourages them to consume more water than if given veggies alone.

Risks and Precautions for Feeding Blackberries

Possible Choking Hazard

Blackberries contain small seeds that could present a choking risk to bearded dragons if not chewed properly. Their tiny mouth openings make it difficult to fully crush berries. Hence, chop the berries into tiny pieces or mash them well before feeding.

Bearded dragons under one year old face high choking risks. Their small bodies cannot handle large pieces of food. Hence, extra precautions are needed for the young hatchlings. Always monitor them when feeding blackberries.

High in Oxalates

Blackberries contain oxalates, compounds that bind to calcium in the digestive tract. High oxalate levels can lead to nutritional deficiencies in reptiles over time.

However, occasional blackberries in small portions are fine. As per Bearded Dragon Care 101, blackberries fed twice a month pose little risk.

Easy to Overfeed

Blackberries offer a sweet sugary treat that bearded dragons love. Hence, it becomes easy to overfeed them. Overfeeding blackberries can cause diarrhea, nutritional imbalances, weight gain and other issues.

Moderation is key. Only feed 1-2 small blackberries once or twice a month. Track portions to prevent overfeeding.

Also, substitute excessive blackberry treats with healthier staple foods like greens, vegetables and live prey. A balanced main diet prevents craving sugary berries.

How to Safely Feed Your Bearded Dragon Blackberries

Blackberries can make a tasty treat for bearded dragons. However, you need to take some precautions before offering these berries to avoid potential health issues.

Wash Thoroughly

It’s crucial to wash blackberries very well under cool running water. This removes any pesticides, chemicals, or other contaminants that may be present. Gently rub each berry and check for tiny bugs or eggs as well. Rinse several times to eliminate residues.

Chop into Bits

Whole blackberries can pose a choking hazard for beardies. Chop the berries into small, bite-sized pieces first. Ideal sizes are about 1/4-inch cubes. Very young dragons may need even tinier pieces.

Limit to 2-3 Times a Week

While nutritious, blackberries should be an occasional treat. Offer just a few pieces 2-3 times per week at most. Too much can lead to loose stool or diarrhea. Very sugary fruits can also cause weight gain long-term.

Watch for Signs of Any Reaction

Monitor your bearded dragon closely when first feeding blackberries. Stop immediately if you notice signs of an allergic reaction or sensitivity. Symptoms include redness around the mouth, swelling, lethargy, or refusal to eat. Most beardies tolerate berries well but reactions are possible.

Following these tips will allow your dragon to safely indulge in sweet, tasty blackberries! Just be sure to introduce new foods slowly and watch for any issues.


In moderation, blackberries can provide some nutritional benefits as part of a varied bearded dragon diet. But too many may pose risks. Feed just a few bites, 2-3 times per week at most. Chop them up to prevent choking.

And be sure to mix in plenty of greens and veggies too for a healthy, balanced diet.

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