Reptiles are carnivorous animals that feed primarily on meat. They also consume insects, eggs, plants, and other foods. Some species even eat fruits and vegetables.
Like with any pet, it is essential that you feed your bearded dragon the right types of food.
If you want to keep your bearded dragon healthy, make sure they eat only appropriate foods. Otherwise, your pet lizard can become ill.
Staying on top of what your bearded dragon can and cannot eat can be tough. After all, they are not the most common of pets.
But if you do your research, you should have no problem finding out exactly which foods are safe for them.
This guide is an excellent resource. For instance, you can find out why you should never feed your dragon cherries below.
What Are The Nutritional Benefits Of Cherries?
Cherries contain a lot of vitamins and minerals. These include vitamin A, C, K, calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium. In addition, they provide fiber, antioxidants, and phytonutrients.
Antioxidants are really useful for humans because they help reduce inflammation in our bodies.
Meanwhile, vitamin A helps boost immunity and fight infections. Calcium keeps bones strong, while potassium helps regulate blood pressure.
Fiber is important for digestion and keeping your digestive system running smoothly. Magnesium aids in muscle function and energy. Vitamin C boosts immune systems, fights infection, and promotes wound healing.
As you can see, there are lots of reasons why humans eat cherries aside from their sweet taste. They are extremely healthy fruits. However, this does not mean that they will also be beneficial for bearded dragons.
Should I Give My Bearded Dragon A Cherry?
Cherries are delicious! Unfortunately, they’re also practically poisonous to reptiles.
As a result, we do not recommend providing them in any shape or form. Even if you think your reptile will enjoy them, there is a good chance they won’t like them at all.
Why Are Cherries Bad For Bearded Dragons?
The main reason cherries are bad for bearded dragons is that they contain high amounts of sugar.
The amount of sugar in cherries is so high that it could potentially kill your pet. Of course, to do this, they would have to eat a lot of cherries.
Regardless, while a little sugar in your bearded dragon’s diet is acceptable, too much can be harmful to them.
Sugar can have a negative impact on the digestive system of your bearded dragon. In fact, it has been known to cause diarrhea.
Additionally, too much sugar can lead to kidney problems. Therefore, you should avoid feeding your bearded dragon cherries.
This diarrhea can lead to other problems, namely dehydration. Your bearded dragon may lose too much water through its mouth and skin.
Though your lizard will not drink water too often, you may notice them drinking frequently if they are dehydrated.
Another reason why cherries can have a negative impact on your pet lizard is that they are rich in acid. Acidic foods can damage their stomachs.
If your bearded dragon eats too many acidic foods, it may develop ulcers in its stomach. These ulcers can eventually lead to internal bleeding. Ultimately, this could be fatal.
Furthermore, cherries contain oxalic acid. Oxalic acid is toxic to lizards. It can irritate their gills and kidneys. This can lead to death.
In conclusion, we don’t recommend giving your bearded dragon cherries very often. Instead, focus on offering them nutritious snacks such as vegetables.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Fruits?
Though it may surprise you, yes, they can consume certain fruits. You just need to make sure you know how to properly prepare these fruits.
Firstly, fruits should only be given to a bearded dragon in small quantities. This means no more than one or two tablespoons per week, though ideally, this is the amount they should be given in a month.
Remember that most fruits have high sugar content. So, if you give your bearded dragon too much fruit, it will most likely get sick. Fruit should be used as an occasional treat for your pet lizard.
Secondly, you should always feed your bearded dragon fruits that are ripe. Ripe fruits are soft and juicy.
While some fruits are best when unripe, others are better off being eaten when they are ripe. Your bearded dragon is unlikely to eat fruits that are not at the peak of ripeness.
Next, you must also correctly prepare the fruit. For example, you should never give your bearded dragon whole fruits. Instead, you should cut up the fruit into bite-sized pieces.
Otherwise, the lizard could choke on them. Be sure to remove seeds and pits to make fruits easier to digest.
Also, don’t feed your bearded dragon dried fruits. They’re usually very hard and dry. That makes them difficult to swallow.
There are certain fruits that you should never give to your bearded dragon. These are primarily citrus fruits. Citrus fruits are high in vitamin C.
However, they also contain citric acid which can cause stomach upset. Therefore, you must avoid citrus fruits such as oranges, lemons, limes, grapefruit, tangerines, etc.
On the other hand, certain fruits that are perfectly fine for your dragon when occasionally eaten in small amounts.
These include apples, pears, bananas, strawberries, kiwis, grapes, plums, peaches, apricots, cherries, melons, mangos, and papayas.
If there are gaps in your bearded dragon’s diet, such as a calcium deficiency, then you can supplement with occasional fruity treats.
But remember, do so sparingly. Another way of doing this is through supplements, which can simply be added to food to boost its nutritional value.
What Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
If you are not sure about what you should be feeding your dragon, fear not. We’ve got you covered! Below, we’ll go over a few different options that you can choose from.
A large part of their diet is made up of insects. Insects are a great source of protein.
In fact, they provide around 80% of the average bearded dragon’s daily caloric intake. Insects are also rich in vitamins and minerals. Many insects are also low in fat.
You can offer your bearded dragon crickets or mealworms as a snack. Crickets are easy to obtain and relatively inexpensive. Mealworms are easy to care for and require less space than crickets. Both are good sources of protein.
You can also feed your bearded dragon cockroaches. Cockroaches are generally considered a pest species. But, they are actually beneficial to reptiles because they are full of nutrients.
They are also easy to find and cheap. Another option would be offering your bearded dragon earthworms. You must avoid feeding them fireflies. This is because fireflies are toxic to reptiles.
The next biggest part of their diet should be formed from vegetables. Vegetables are important because they provide essential minerals and vitamins.
You can offer your bearded dragon lettuce leaves, spinach, butternut squash, broccoli, carrots, peas, beans, green beans, cucumbers, cabbage, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, and kale.
These vegetables should make up approximately 20% of your lizard’s diet. As with fruits, some vegetables should only be provided from time to time.
For instance, spinach and broccoli are best used as occasional foods. Spinach can lead to metabolic bone disease (MBD) if fed too often. You should also never feed your dragon onions, as these can be harmful.
Another big part of their diet consists of fruits. Fruits are an excellent source of vitamins and minerals. Some fruits are more nutritious than others. For more information on this, check out the previous section.
Finally, these dragons can also consume some meat, such as chicken. Meat is another good source of protein. It is also a good way to add variety to their diets.
If you have any concerns about giving your bearded dragon meat, it is always recommended to consult your veterinarian first.
For example, you may want to ask whether they can eat raw meat. While some dragon owners insist on feeding their pets raw meat, other owners claim that this is unsafe.
This is because raw meat contains bacteria that could cause illness. This is why humans eat meat when it is cooked.
Frequently Asked Questions
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Canned Cherries?
The same rules apply to canned cherries as fresh ones. This is because these cherries still contain a high sugar level.
Consequently, it is not recommended that you give them to your pet reptile. If you are insistent on serving them, use canned cherries sparingly.
What Do Baby Bearded Dragons Eat?
Baby bearded dragons eat much like baby lizards. Their diets consist of live food items such as worms, grasshoppers, crickets, and other insects. These animals are usually offered as snacks.
Baby beardies will also consume vegetables. The size of the animal will determine how frequently it eats. However, most baby dragons eat three times a day.
Cherries are a popular fruit among humans because they taste great. Unfortunately, many people don’t realize that they aren’t good for their reptiles.
When it comes to keeping your bearded dragon, it is essential that you find out what the best foods to give them are.
Hopefully, this guide has educated you and helped you to make the right dietary choices.