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Bearded Dragon Diet | Bearded Dragon Fruit

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raspberries?

About 7 min reading time

We’re often asked whether bearded dragons can eat raspberries? The answer is yes, bearded dragons can eat raspberries and most absolutely love them. They should only be fed as a treat though, since they’re high in sugar and water content.

Are Raspberries Good For Bearded Dragons?

Raspberries are not harmful to bearded dragons, and they are a delicious treat now and then. Like all fruit they contain a fairly high level of sugar and fructose which can upset the delicate balance of the bearded dragon gut. For this reason, whilst fruits are recommended daily for humans, they’re not for bearded dragons.

It should also be noted, from the nutritional data below, that raspberries are reasonably high in oxalate content – which binds calcium in the gut and renders it unable to be absorbed into the bloodstream. A lack of calcium will lead to Metabolic Bone Disease, which is definitely not a good thing. Also noted, from the nutritional data, the amount of phosphorus in raspberries compared to the calcium is quite high too. This too has implications for calcium levels.

So raspberries aren’t especially good for bearded dragons, but they won’t do any harm in relatively small portions.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raspberries?

Bearded dragons can eat raspberries as an occasional treat. They offer very little nutritional value, but are a good source of water and do taste nice. Raspberries can be fed to bearded dragons as part of their salad, particularly if that helps entice your bearded dragon to eat the salad. One of our lovely girls used to thoroughly enjoy a little bit of raspberry in her salad – and unlike many stories we’ve heard, she actually then went on to eat the rest of the salad too.

The high level of oxalate and phosphorus content mean you should be careful not to overfeed raspberries to bearded dragons as there are health implications such as Metabolic Bone Disease from that too.

Also remember that high sugar content, so feed raspberries sparingly.

The short answer to can bearded dragons eat raspberries is yes they can, but not many and not often. But when they do eat them they’ll almost certainly love them.

Advantages Of Raspberries For Bearded Dragons

  • Bearded dragons love them
  • Contain lots of moisture for helping hydration
  • Readily available in supermarkets
  • Last well in the fridge
  • A nice treat

Disadvantages Of Raspberries For Bearded Dragons

  • Almost no nutritional value
  • Too much moisture and sugar for everyday feeding
  • Can be a bit pricey, especially out of season
  • Too much oxalate and phosphorus for regular use too

How Should I Feed Raspberries To A Bearded Dragon?

Frozen raspberries should always be thawed naturally before feeding to your bearded dragon. Don’t microwave them, they’ll turn to mush – and they shouldn’t be fed warm either. Let them sit on the side for a while. Don’t feed old raspberries to your bearded dragon either – they can ferment and cause problems with digestion.

Wash them first to remove any potential pesticide or other weird and nasty chemicals that may have been sprayed onto them.

In a Salad

Raspberries can be added to a mixed salad dish every couple of days if desired. If you’re feeding them semi-regularly like this we found the best way was to use just one raspberry and break it into much smaller pieces (fortunately this is really easy with raspberries) and spread it out across the salad bowl. This adds some lovely colour to the dish and will often entice an otherwise stubborn salad refuser to eat. If the pieces are relatively small and spread out across the rest of the salad, they’ll often eat the whole lot – which is a big advantage over some of the other fruits such as blueberries because they’ll often be eaten and the rest of the salad left behind.

Raspberries, being soft as they are and easily deformable, can even be spread sort of like a jam across individual leaves that you wish your bearded dragon to eat.

By Hand

As a very occasional treat you can also feed whole raspberries to your bearded dragon by hand. Make sure you keep your fingers well clear of their mouths otherwise you might end up getting bitten in their excitement. Most bearded dragons do like raspberries and some will lunge quite purposefully to get them. Bearded dragon bites are rare and almost always accidental like this.

You could also use small tongs if you prefer – although there is nothing quite as rewarding as feeding your bearded dragon by hand. Do be careful about doing this too often though as they can become extremely lazy and expect to be hand fed everything. One of ours expects that royal treatment. She’s usually disappointed!

How Many Raspberries Should I Feed A Bearded Dragon?

Raspberries should still be considered as a treat for bearded dragons and shouldn’t be fed every day. We would recommend 2 or 3 raspberries a week at most. These can be in the form of a whole one every 4 days or so as a treat, or they can be as a broken up one in a salad every couple of days.

With all fruit for bearded dragons, less is more. If you can break them into smaller pieces so they still get the taste and the treat without getting too much at once, your dragons intestines will thank you for it.

Nutritional Data For Raspberries For Bearded Dragons

Nutritional ItemContent
Water Content (%)85.8
Fat (%)0.65
Protein (%)1.2
Dietary Fibre (%)6.5
Carbohydrate (%)11.9
Calcium (mg/100g)25 (0.025%)
Potassium (mg/100g)151 (0.151%)
Phosphorous (mg/100g)29 (0.029%)
Vitamin A (ug/100g)2
Vitamin C (ug/100g)26.2
Oxalates (mg/100g)2.2 / 100g – 48mg / cup
Nutritional Data For Raspberries For Bearded Dragons [1][2]

Nutritional Data Footnote – we’ve quoted two figures for oxalates here because our source, Oxalate.org quotes 2. The first is from a study in 1964 and so is questionably out of date and the second from 2008 may be more accurate – but unfortunately uses mg / cup (do they not know you shouldn’t mix units in science!) and how many grams is a cup of raspberries? We’ve looked it up and 1 cup is around 120g – which equates to approximately 40mg / 100g – which is considerably higher than the 1964 figure. We’re inclined to believe the latter since it’s more modern.

Can I Grow My Own Raspberries?

Raspberries are really easy to grow in most temperate climates such as the UK, Europe or North America. They’ll grow into a bush but may be quite straggly in nature and so will want something to climb up such as canes or fences. Raspberries can be affected by the raspberry beetle which lays eggs on the plant and then the small white maggot eats the fruit from the inside.

Raspberries can be a little bit like blackberries too in that once established they may, if not kept under control, start to take over the garden. That’s OK if you want tonnes of raspberries each year, but might upset the neighbours. Just keep them under control and you’ll be fine.

The Royal Horticultural Society gives intricate and detailed instructions for growing your own raspberries, including some of the more significant pests and diseases that can cause problems.

Summary

In this post we looked at whether bearded dragons can eat raspberries. The answer, we discovered, is yes, bearded dragons can eat raspberries, as an occasional treat. We also looked at how to feed raspberries to your bearded dragon and discovered it was relatively easy to do this, either as part of a salad or by hand/tongs.

We learnt that growing your own raspberries is fairly easy, depending on your climate – and discovered the nutritional value of raspberries is really quite low. But as a nice, sweet treat for your bearded dragon every now and then, they’re a good option and most bearded dragons really do love them.

Frequency: OCCASIONAL TREAT.

For more information on other fruits that Bearded Dragons can eat, please see our larger overview post at ‘Which Fruits Can Bearded Dragons Eat?

References

1: US Department of Agriculture FoodData Central. Fetched on 17th September 2021 from https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/167755/nutrients

2: Oxalate (oxalic acid) content of 750+ foods, with numbers from university and government sources – sourced from https://oxalate.org/ on 17th September 2021.

Featured Image by Matthias Böckel from Pixabay

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