Do bearded dragons eat strawberries? If you are thinking about getting a bearded dragon for your own reasons, you probably want to know more about what they eat. Well, you have come to the right place because that’s exactly what we will be talking about in this article. I’ll be showing you everything you need to know about the food needed for these lovely pets. We’ll cover pretty much everything that will help you figure out whether your pets should eat strawberries or not. So now, without any further waiting, let’s get started!
Bearded dragons love to eat strawberries. These healthy fruits promote health when offered in moderation. The minimal serving size should be based on the general weight and age of your bearded dragon.
Having Beardies as pets is ideal for anyone who cannot spare much time at home. These little guys are not too needy; they are peaceful, good with children, and love their own company. Since they are omnivores with a diet not much different from our own, feeding them is an easy task. If you ever run out of their feed, you can easily feed them something from your own kitchen.
Bearded dragons can eat strawberries and they are a great food for any lizard. However, you should make sure to pick the right kind of strawberries for them. You should be aware that feeding them too many strawberries can cause harm to their health.
When feeding strawberries to Beardies, do we have to remove their tops? What about their seeds? And if you have a strawberry plant at home, can their leaves be fed to Beardies? The answers to all these questions are given below in this article.
Strawberries for Bearded Dragons: Health benefits and Downsides
Before you introduce strawberries into your pet’s diet, wouldn’t you want to know if they are going to benefit their health or not?
The simplest way to find out how healthy these fruits are is to go through their nutritional contents, as we have in the table below:
|Vitamin B1 (Thiamin)
|Vitamin B2 (Riboflavin)
|Vitamin B3 (Niacin)
|Vitamin B4 (Choline)
|Vitamin B5 (Pantothenic acid)
|Vitamin B6 (Pyridoxine)
|Vitamin B9 (Folate)
|Vitamin C (Ascorbic acid)
Serving size: 100 grams
The table is a clear indication of the nutritional richness of strawberries. However, we must remember that the nutritional needs of Beardies are vastly different from our own. Let’s see how these nutrients can fulfill their needs.
- Strawberries are rich in Vitamin A, which promotes the reproductive and overall health of the Beardies.
- They’re also rich in Vitamin C, which boosts their immune system.
- They also contain minerals like potassium, which regulate their blood pressure, calcium, and magnesium, maintaining their bone and tissue health.
- They are rich in macronutrients like carbohydrates to provide them with energy and fibers to improve their digestive health.
While strawberries are healthy for Beardies in moderation, when fed too much or too often, they can also harm their health in the following ways:
- Strawberries have a higher amount of Phosphorus than Calcium. The Phosphorus inside your Beardie’s body binds with Calcium, preventing its absorption in their body. This can also lead to Metabolic Bone Disease in them.
- Strawberries also have a high content of natural sugar called “fructose,” which is not easy for reptiles like Beardies to digest and can cause various digestive issues.
If you don’t want your Beardie to struggle with these health issues, you must feed them fruits like strawberries in strict moderation.
How many strawberries should you feed your Beardie?
In the last section, we made it clear that while strawberries are nutritious, some of their nutrients can prove to be harmful to your little pet when fed in excess. Therefore, it is best if you do not include these fruits in your daily diet. But how often would you feed them these? And how many strawberries can they safely eat at once?
Many of the Beardie-owners have stated that they feed their pets one large strawberry every couple of weeks without consequences. If you have smaller strawberries, you can feed them once a week as well, but that’s it.
Can Bearded Dragons eat strawberry seeds?
Many pet owners are concerned about feeding their pets strawberries for fear of them choking on their seeds. Should you share their concern for your Beardie as well? No, because the very foundation of their concern is a misconception. And before we clarify it, let’s tell you about strawberries as fruits.
Strawberries and their seeds
Although we call strawberries “berries,” these fruits do not share the characteristics of the berries. In fact, they’re not even true fruits but accessory fruit. This means that they are not the flowers’ swollen ovaries, their plants like the other fruits, but the flowers themselves.
When the strawberry flower pollinates, it doesn’t swell, which is why the fertilized ovaries form separate, small dry fruits. The seeds you see on the surface are not really seeds but these individual fruits with seeds inside them.
And if you’re worried about these little seeds, you needn’t be. They are completely harmless and can be safely consumed by your Beardie.
Can Bearded Dragons eat strawberry tops?
When you eat strawberries yourself, do you cut off the top (calyx) or eat it along with the fruit? Most of you probably cut it off. But while your Beardie these fruits, should you cut the top off or not? We would recommend you cut them off.
The strawberry tops have a lower sugar content than the fruit and are rich in Vitamin C and fiber. This means that these small parts are healthier for your Beardie than the entire fruit.
Then why are we asking you to cut them off?
While the calyx is nutritious, it is often sprayed with pesticides and insecticides to keep the insects away when grown commercially. And if these toxic chemicals find their way inside your Beardie’s body, they can be lethal to them. Therefore, it is best to be safe and remove them altogether.
However, if you want your pet to have the nutrition of the calyx, you can go for organic strawberries that have been cultivated without using any toxic chemicals. Organic strawberries are both safer and healthier for them.
What about the strawberry leaves?
Just like the strawberry calyx, the leaves of the strawberry plants are also rich in fibers. Moreover, they also contain antioxidants in abundance that can help your Beardie fight against several diseases. So, you can safely feed your pets these leaves after washing them properly.
However, just because the leaves are healthy doesn’t mean you can feed them as many as you want. As with the fruit, you should also feed them these in moderation.
Can Bearded Dragons eat freeze-dried strawberries?
If you wonder whether it is okay to feed your Beardie strawberries that have been freeze-dried, we’d ask you to stop right there. The freeze-dried strawberries are detrimental to your pet’s health because of their extremely high sugar content.
For instance, if a fresh strawberry contains about 5% of sugar, its sugar content hikes up to 70% if you let it freeze-dry. This means that the sugar in these fruits grows 14-fold in the process of freeze-drying.
And if we’ve asked you to practice moderation with the fresh strawberries, you can imagine just how dangerous the dried ones can be for them.
Moreover, it would be best if you always tried to ensure that 99% of your bearded dragon’s diet consists of fresh foods only.
Can baby Beardies eat strawberries?
The baby Beardies (that are younger than the age of 18 months) have a diet that’s quite different from their adults. Their diet consists of 15% insects with fruits and veggies, fulfilling the remaining 25%, unlike adults with a primarily plant-based diet. It is because these little guys need more animal-based protein while growing up.
It would be unwise to feed them any fruit at this stage because their digestive systems are not used to breaking down natural sugar and can face difficulties.
Strawberries for Bearded Dragons: Serving Ideas
When you are prepping strawberries for your Beardies, your first step should be to wash the fruit thoroughly with lukewarm water in case of regular, store-bought strawberries to get rid of any toxic chemicals.
Even if you’ve bought organic strawberries, you should still consider washing them once to remove any dirt or debris.
Next, you need to cut off the calyx (not in the organic strawberries).
You can now feed these fruits to your Beardie as they are. You can also chop them into smaller pieces for their convenience. And if you have a couple of other fruits at home, you can mix them all and serve your pets a fruit salad of sorts.
Can Beardies eat strawberry jams and juices?
If the Beardies can eat strawberries safely in moderation, their jams and juices should also be safe for them. However, feeding them store-bought jams and juices is a bad idea.
The manufacturers must have added chemical preservatives and refined sugar to give them a longer shelf life and better taste. All these chemicals and additives, along with the sugar, can have a disastrous impact on their health.
If you want to feed them jams and juices of strawberries, or any other fruit, safely, you should make them yourself, keeping their health in mind.
Conclusion: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberries?
In the wild, bearded dragons live on a wide range of natural food. They are omnivores and eat all sorts of worms, plants, berries, flowers, and even smaller reptiles!
These pet lizards are very fond of vegetables so you should provide them with lots of greens and veggies every day. However, there’s one fruit that bearded dragons consume very frequently. Strawberries belong to the Rosaceae family and they make delicious treats for both humans and reptiles alike.
Many pet owners have strawberries as their favorite fruit and wonder if they can share them with their pets. Well, if your pet is a Beardie by any chance, you certainly can.
Beardies can eat not only strawberries but also the leaves of their plants in moderation. However, it is safer for your pet to remove the calyx from the fruit before feeding it to them, to avoid the risk of them consuming toxic chemicals.