Strawberries are common worldwide, and most people use them as a treat. Besides being sweet, these fruits have high nutritional value, and most people add them to cakes and a variety of smoothies. If you have a bearded dragon, you might be wondering;
Can bearded dragons eat strawberries?
Yes, beardies can eat strawberries, and they are safe for the reptile. However, as with most fruits, they should be provided in moderation lest their benefits to your bearded dragon outweigh the drawbacks. Strawberries are safe to give to the beardie more than once a month.
The berries are soft, making them easy for the bearded dragon to eat. In addition, their seeds are pretty small, so there is no risk of choking or impaction. Some of the fruits whose seeds you need to remove beforehand include apples and mangoes because their seeds are rough and big, making it hard for a bearded dragon to chew.
Benefits of Strawberries To Bearded Dragons
Nutritional Value of Strawberries per 100 g
|Name||Amount per 100 g|
|Vitamin C||58.8 mg|
Here are the main benefits of adding strawberries to your bearded from time to time.
1. Minerals and Antioxidants
Strawberries have a decent amount of iron and magnesium. These minerals are vital in promoting and maintaining the proper health of the beardie’s blood, bones, and tissues.
Even though the mineral amounts are not as high as in green vegetables, they are still decent and will supplement what your pet gets from its staple diet.
The fruit also has antioxidants which play a great role in lowering cholesterol levels, preventing cancer, and reducing the risk of heart diseases.
These berries have a decent amount of fiber which helps with digestion. Constipation is common among bearded dragons, and one of the best remedies is providing your bearded dragon with suitable amounts of fiber which add bulk to the food.
The fruit has high water amounts to the tune of about 91%. It makes the fruit quite hydrating, which plays a role in giving the bearded dragon smooth skin, aiding digestion, maintaining proper eye shape, and supporting other day-to-day body functions.
Even though strawberries are hydrating, you should still provide your beardie with clean and safe drinking water.
4. Vitamin C
Strawberries have vitamin C, which helps the body in most of its regenerative functions. In addition, the vitamin aids with the growth, repair, and development of body tissues besides promoting immune function, iron absorption, and supporting bone growth.
Drawbacks of Strawberries To Bearded Dragons
Although strawberries are beneficial to bearded dragons, they have a few disadvantages that make them unsafe for daily consumption.
1. High Water Content
Foods with a lot of water are not suitable for bearded dragons frequently. The reptile’s digestive system cannot handle such, which leads to diarrhea. In turn, diarrhea leads to dehydration for the bearded dragon.
Bearded dragons are semi-desert animals. As such, they are adapted to durations of dehydration, but the diarrhea experience is not pleasant to the reptile. Prolonged dehydration can cause problems such as constipation, indigestion, sunken eyes, and droopy eyes.
2. Low Calcium: Phosphorus ratio
Phosphorus binds calcium which makes less calcium be absorbed into the reptile’s bloodstream. Experts recommend calcium to phosphorus ratio ranging between 1.5:1 and 2:1.
Calcium is one of the essential minerals in a beardie’s diet, and it promotes the beardie’s bone growth and development and the general wellness of its body functions.
Sadly, strawberries have more phosphorus than calcium which can be dangerous if the pet eats them daily. If you do not feed your beardie with calcium supplements and calcium-rich foods, a deficit might lead to metabolic bone disease or even kidney stones.
3. High Sugar Content
Sugars are not ideal for lizards. They can cause tooth decay, obesity, heart failure, and fatty liver disease when taken often.
Strawberries, like most fruits, have a decent amount of sugar. Your bearded dragon is likely to love them, but you should reduce the number of times you give them due to the potential harm of the high sugar amounts.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberry Seeds?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat strawberry seeds. Strawberry seeds are very tiny, making them safe for a bearded dragon. You do not need to remove them before feeding the pet with the fruit.
Do not worry even if you see some strawberry seeds in the reptile’s poop, do not worry. They are not harmful to your pet’s digestive system.
However, you need to look out for the number of seeds because too many of them can make your bearded dragon develop stomach problems.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Strawberry Leaves?
Yes, bearded dragons can eat strawberry leaves.
Strawberry leaves are rich in antioxidants, which help fight free radicals in the bearded dragon’s body. In addition, the leaves help in lowering blood pressure, maintaining an ideal weight, and boosting the immune system. In some cases, strawberry leaves are used as an effective means of combating diarrhea and defecation-related problems.
How Often Can A Bearded Dragon Eat Strawberries?
Strawberries are sweet, and your bearded dragon will want to eat more and more. Even though healthy, they have plenty of sugar and water, besides low calcium to phosphorus ratio. Therefore, strawberries are not suitable for the reptile’s staple diet.
Limit the strawberries to a small amount once or twice weekly. Such a feeding schedule will ensure that your pet gets the benefits of the fruit without suffering much from the potential harm. It also leaves room for you to give the pet more nutritious foods such as green vegetables.
Further, strawberries can be addictive to bearded dragons, hence why you need to moderate how often you give them. If you have a baby beardie, slowly introduce strawberries and only increase the amounts to this recommendation as it matures.
How Many Strawberries Can A Bearded Dragon Eat?
You should not give your bearded dragon more than one tiny strawberry once a week. Overfeeding the pet with these suit fruits puts it at the risk of calcium deficiency, obesity, tooth decay, metabolic bone disease, diarrhea, and problems associated with excess sugar intake.
Tips for Effectively Feeding A Bearded Dragon With Strawberries
As with any other bearded dragon food, Strawberries need to be prepared with care. Here are tips on ensuring that you prepare these fruits for the bearded dragon most suitably and safely.
The first step is choosing strawberries that are free of pesticides and herbicides. To be sure of this, go for organically-grown strawberries. Next, check to ensure that they are fresh, with none being moldy, rotten, or over-ripe. If a strawberry is not safe for human consumption, you should not give it to a beardie either.
After that, thoroughly clean the strawberries to remove any chemicals, preservatives, or dirt the fruits might be carrying. Even if you have organic strawberries, this is a mandatory step. Put the berries in clean, cold water and swirl them around to clean them. Repeat this several times till satisfied.
Once clean, cut the berries into small pieces. You do not need to remove the seeds because they are very small. Only give the bearded dragon the right amount of berries; if you provide more, your pet will eat them and end up overfeeding with strawberries. Such exposes it to the risk of various stomach and health problems.
You can give the strawberries to the beardie on their own or mix them with vegetables. The best vegetables to mix strawberries with are high in calcium content, low phosphorus vegetables such as turnip greens, mustard greens, and collard greens. They will help cancel out the low calcium to phosphorus ratio of strawberries.
Can A Bearded Dragon Eat Strawberry Jam?
No, Strawberry jam is not good for bearded dragons. As seen above, it has plenty of sugar that is harmful to the pet. Sugar can cause stomach upsets or even death in extreme cases. In addition, it has preservatives and additives which are toxic to a beardie.
Bearded dragons can eat strawberries, and they will love the sweet taste. However, you should limit the amounts to a maximum of one tiny berry once a week. As for baby bearded dragons, you can give them a smaller portion less frequently since their diet is more carnivorous.
Strawberry seeds and leaves are also safe for a bearded dragon. The leaves have various benefits, and the seeds are tiny; thus, there is no hazard of choking as with other seeds such as apple seeds.
We hope that this guide has been helpful in getting you to determine whether you should give bearded dragon strawberries, how much and often. If still unsure, contact your vet for further guidance.