Bearded dragons, also referred to as beardies, are reptiles that can be distinguished by the spines on their chins and necks. Depending on their mood, these spines may puff out when they are upset, thus the “beard” in their names.
While they are considered omnivores (animals who consume both plant and meat), bearded dragons tend to eat more plants than meat, thereby becoming more herbivorous as they grow up.
On the other hand, strawberries contain a lot of nutritional benefits for humans, which can be consumed as snacks occasionally. With this in mind, can bearded dragons eat strawberries?
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberries?
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Have Strawberries?
Strawberries should only be served as treats once a week, or on a less frequent basis, since they have nutritional properties that are higher than the recommended daily meal for your bearded dragons.
For instance, the high sugar content of strawberries may lead your beardies to crave more of the fruit and reject the essential vegetables that they need for a balanced diet.
Expert Tip: Strawberries also have a higher phosphorus ratio than that of calcium, which may lead to metabolic bone diseases (MBD) due to the lack of calcium needed for your beardie’s bones and teeth.
You may also want to cut the strawberries into smaller pieces before feeding them to your dragons since their seeds are too small and may cause a choking hazard. Another alternative that some dragon owners do is placing small pieces of strawberries in salads to encourage their beardies to consume more greens and vegetables.
This may be an efficient trick, however, feeding strawberries should only be a reward system to train your dragons to eat a balanced diet rather than putting it to their daily meals.
Why Can’t Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberries All The Time?
Strawberries contain a lot of nutritional benefits to your dragon when given the appropriate amount. These include:
To prevent cancer by protecting the cells that may be damaged caused by harmful free radicals in the body.
To provide energy, keeping them boosted throughout the day.
To strengthen their bones and teeth.
To aid in a smooth digestion process, leaving them feeling full for longer periods of time
High water content
45% to 68% to prevent dehydration and improve kidney function.
Moderate sugar levels
To prevent a rapid increase of blood sugar levels if taken in moderation.
To help regulate blood pressure and proper function of the muscles and nerves.
To strengthen the immune system necessary for growth, development, and repair their bodily tissues
Nevertheless, too much of something can be dangerous to your dragon’s health. Listed below are the reasons why strawberries can be harmful for regular consumption:
Higher phosphorus content to calcium ratio
It is common knowledge that bearded dragons should consume a higher amount of calcium than phosphorus on a daily basis. However, a cup of strawberries contains only 23 grams of calcium and 36 grams of phosphorus.
The difference may not be a lot, but calcium supplementation is vital for your beardie’s health since it helps with strengthening their bones and teeth and other bodily functions.
If the appropriate calcium to phosphorus ratio is disrupted for long periods of time, your dragons may develop and suffer from illnesses such as metabolic bone diseases since phosphorus functions to prevent too much calcium from being absorbed into the bloodstream.
If this happens, your beardies may become paralyzed since it affects their bone structure and development in a painful manner. Hence, it is important that phosphorus should only be consumed in small amounts, particularly to the ratio of 1:1 to 2:1.
May cause choking
Some strawberries are bigger in size and can be difficult to swallow, especially in smaller, younger dragons. It is recommended to cut big strawberries into smaller pieces before feeding them to your dragons for lesser chances of choking to occur.
Problems with digestion
Like any other fruit, strawberries also contain high amounts of water and sugar content. If consumed too much in one sitting on a regular basis, your beardies may develop obesity, dehydration, digestion problems, diarrhea, and tooth decay.
It may appear that higher water content means hydrating your dragons, however, too much strawberry consumption may lead to diarrhea caused by overhydration, which eventually dehydrates your pet. Although they are known to handle prolonged dehydration for survival, it is not usually from diarrhea caused by overhydration.
This may also be a painful experience for your beardie since it can also develop into more serious issues in the long run. On the other hand, since sugar has addictive properties, your dragons may crave and beg for more strawberries even after eating the recommended amount.
Expert Tip: To prevent obesity, tooth decay, diabetes, and other serious health issues in your beardies, it is highly suggested that you limit your dragon’s strawberry consumption, which can also train them to eat in moderation.
How Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberries?
Under your supervision, your beardies may take small bites out of a whole strawberry. However, you may also leave small pieces of chopped-up strawberry bits and place them on your dragon’s food bowl as a treat or along with other fruits and vegetables.
Some important points to remember when feeding strawberries to your bearded dragons:
- Strawberry seeds are considerably small and may be fed to your dragons in moderation.
- Strawberry leaves may be given in moderation to encourage your beardies to eat more greens.
- Strawberry tops are also safe to nibble under your supervision, however, it does not taste good compared to the fruit itself.
- Dried strawberries, strawberry juices, strawberry jam, and preserves are not good for your dragon’s health due to their higher sugar content.
- Frozen strawberries are also not recommended due to their choking hazard.
Lastly, to prevent any bugs or chemicals from the pesticides sprays, always wash your strawberries thoroughly before feeding them to your dragons since this may cause harm and even kill your pets.
Your beardies may safely eat strawberries as long as it is in moderation and under your supervision. Nevertheless, it is important to remember that strawberries should only be treated as snacks to be served occasionally, rather than on a daily basis.
This prevents your dragons from craving more of the strawberry’s sweetness and trains them to eat a balanced diet. Eating in moderation also helps your pet to stay away from metabolic diseases that may occur during overfeeding.
Lastly, for any concerns regarding your dragon’s diet, comment down below or contact your vet for your pet’s specific dietary plans.