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Are Cherries Good for Bearded Dragons?

Being a new reptile owner can often leave you confused about simple questions like, can bearded dragons eat cherries?

It’s a common mistake to assume what’s good for you is also good for your beardie!

While sometimes that is the case- and your beardie can safely share your favorite snack with you- other times it can lead to devastating consequences.

Keep reading to find out which category cherries fall under in your dragon’s diet.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries?

beardie and cherries: Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat cherries because it contains an array of nutrients beneficial to their health.

Even better, they are yummy and delicious. Cherries have a high proportion of vitamin C, water content, sugar content, phosphorus, calcium, and fruit acid, amongst other beneficial nutrients.

There’s also a good proportion of potassium, copper, manganese, and antioxidants.

Each of the enumerated nutrients is key to the health of your beardies.

Potassium is vital for muscle function and kidney functions; Copper is good for healthy blood cells. Manganese aids metabolism, antioxidants prevent inflammation, and boost the immune system.

Other vitamin nutrients contained in cherry include; Vitamin A, Vitamin B6, and Vitamin K.

Unfortunately, examining the nutrient table, you’ll find that there’s unhealthy calcium to Phosphorus ratio(1:1.6). Feeding cherries to your beardies on a regular basis would result in a variety of health issues. 

Are cherries good for your bearded dragons? Yes, as long as you make it an occasional treat. You can add cherries to your list of healthy foods for your beardie.

Nevertheless, do not forget that cherries do not contain the balanced diet needed your pet needs. This means it should be a food item you feed them on an occasional basis. 

When Are Cherries Bad for Bearded Dragons?

fresh cherries on a ceramic bowl

You’d be putting your beardie’s health at risk if you frequently feed them cherries. This is because cherries contain a high sugar level, fruity acids, and a disproportionate calcium content.

Calcium is a key nutrient required for your beardie. It is crucial for strong bones, and ultimately bodybuilding for your bearded dragon.

The ratio of calcium (an essential nutrient) to other beneficial nutrients is pretty low in cherries. The deficiency of calcium nutrients would cause metabolic bone disease.

This means your beardie would become increasingly weak, deformed, and unable to walk. The calcium to Phosphorus ratio of any food item you feed your beardie should be 1:1 or 2:1. 

Also, cherry contains fruit acids like oxalic acid, which can disrupt the digestive system of your beardie.

Frequently feeding them cherries affects digestive functions and increases the risk of dehydration caused by diarrhea.

Also, cherries contain a whopping 13g of sugar per cup. This sugar content is too high and unhealthy for your beardie. It is even more dangerous for adult beardies.

Excess sugar can cause health issues such as heart failure, obesity, tooth decay, liver and kidney damage.

Canned, Frozen, Fresh, or Dried Cherry: Which is Healthier? 

We have agreed that cherries are not outrightly bad for your beardie when fed in extreme moderation.

What if they’re not in season, though, and you really want to grab some for your pal? If you find frozen, dried, canned, or fresh cherry while shopping, which should you buy as an occasional treat for your beardie? 

fresh cherries on a white bowl: can bearded dragons eat cherries?

It’s best to buy only fresh cherries for your beardie. Dried cherries have less water compared to fresh ones.

It also has good calcium to phosphorus proportions as opposed to regular cherry.

Nevertheless, it has a higher level of sugar than usual, and this is bad for your beardie. The same goes for canned cherry.

There’s a high quantity of sugar and lots of chemical preservatives in canned foods that negatively affect your beardie.

As a rule of thumb, never feed your beardie canned foods. It is unhealthy. Frozen cherry is safe but not the best choice for your beardie.

Always ensure you thaw frozen food to room temperature before you feed them to your beardie.

Can bearded dragons eat dried cherries? Yes, they can eat canned, frozen, or dried cherry, but it is unhealthy. The same goes for glace cherries; the added sugar is unhealthy for your beardie. 

Should You Feed Cherries to Baby Dragons?

Generally, it would be best if you fed your beardies cherries infrequently. Baby beardies require lots of beneficial and essential nutrients because they are undergoing a lot of growth.

Sadly, cherries do not supply the key nutrients needed at this phase of growth. If you do decide to feed your baby beardie cherries, offer them in very minute quantities, and rarely.

Your baby beardie is better off feeding on nutritious greens. For a complete feeding guide, check our new e-book:

Bearded Dragons Feeding Guide
  • Hartley, Alina (Author)
  • English (Publication Language)
  • 132 Pages - 07/14/2021 (Publication Date) - Independently published (Publisher)

Do Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries?

Beardies have different personalities and preferences, and this is an important lesson beardie owners must note.

Although it is a fact that beardies like fruits (which includes cherry), you can expect a few of them not to eat cherries.

If you’re in doubt, keep in mind that veterinary advice asserts that beardies like strawberries, dates, raspberries, figs, and apricots.

Nevertheless, fruits must still be served in moderate amounts because they contain high levels of sugar and are low in other key nutrients.  

Questions such as can bearded dragons have blueberries? Or can bearded dragons eat oranges? Have the same answer.

The fact that these fruits didn’t make the list of beardie’s favorite fruits doesn’t mean they can’t be consumed. Beardies generally like fruits.

Take a look at this cute beardie enjoying cherries:

Should I Feed Bearded Dragons Cherry Pits/Stones?

cherries pits and stones

Cherry pits or stones should not be fed to beardies. First, there’s an increased risk of choking your beardie.

Secondly, cherry pits contain cyanide and can be unhealthy for your beardie.

Biological experts assert that the risk posed by cyanide to animals is worth our worry. Cherry pits/stones indeed contain small amounts of cyanide.

Nevertheless, you’re increasing the risk of exposing your beardie to chronic health conditions.

This health problem is usually introduced by mild and recurrent symptoms such as headaches, nausea, weakness, and difficulty in breathing, amongst other symptoms.

We strongly recommend that you do not feed your beardies cherry pits or stones. Cherry leaves also contain cyanide and should not be fed to beardies. 

How Frequent Should You Serve Cherries to Bearded Dragons?

Adult dragons should be fed cherry a few times and in small quantities. Not more than three (3) pitted cherries are good enough treat for your beardie.

You’re better off feeding your beardies cherries as added salad topper alongside nutritious greens. 

How frequently you should feed your beardies cherries is dependent on how many other fruits you’re feeding them daily/weekly.

Fruits should make up less than 5% of your beardies diet, and feeding cherries once a month as a treat is good enough for your beardie.

Generally, fruits have a high level of sugar, and lower quantities of the most important nutrients beardies require.

Rainer Cherry Vs Black Cherry

Rainier Cherry and Black cherry are almost the same as typical cherries. They are just a different species with slightly different textures and contain varying amounts of nutrients.

Neither of them is more preferred for your beardie. If you choose to feed your beardie either of them, ensure you only feed them these fruits once a month. Also, add them as salad toppings alongside greens.

Every month, you should watch your beardie’s consumption of fruits because they contain a high quantity of sugar and insufficient essential nutrients your beardie needs.

How Do I Feed My Bearded Dragon Cherry?

beardie on top of a glass table

As a rule of thumb, always feed your beardie with organic food items. This reduces the risk of being exposed to harmful pesticides used during the growth of these fruits.

After procuring organic fruits, thoroughly wash them. The essence of washing is to get rid of external contaminants around the outer part of the fruit.

Now that you have a washed cherry, get rid of cherry pits or stones. Afterward, help your beardie by dicing the cherry into smaller bits (say half or quarter). It’s pretty simple. You’re set to serve cherries to your beardie.

FAQs

Can bearded dragons eat canned, frozen, or dried cherry?

Never feed your beardies canned foods. Ensure you thaw frozen cherry before you serve it to them. Dried Cherry has better calcium to phosphorus ratio but still has high sugar.

Would my beardie eat cherry?

Most likely, yes. Although every beardie has its personality and preference. They still all generally like fruits.

Are cherry pits or stones good for my beardie?

cherries pits and stones

No. They put your beardie at risk of chronic health conditions. Cherry pits or stones contain small amounts of cyanide that are dangerous to the health of all animals.

Conclusion

Cherries are good for your beardie as long as it’s part of your beardie’s diet once a month. Generally, all fruits should make up less than 5% of your beardie’s diet.

References

  • “Bearded Dragons – Feeding.” 2021. Vca_corporate. 2021. https://vcahospitals.com/know-your-pet/bearded-dragons-feeding.
  • Dushensky, George. 2020. “Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cherries?” Dragon’s Diet. July 11, 2020. https://dragonsdiet.com/blogs/dragon-care/can-bearded-dragons-eat-cherries#:~:text=make%20the%20cut%3F-,Can%20bearded%20dragons%20eat%20cherries%3F,t%20be%20eaten%20too%20often.
  • Eisler, Ronald. 1991. “Cyanide Hazards to Fish, Wildlife, and Invertebrates: A Synoptic Review.” https://www.pwrc.usgs.gov/eisler/CHR_23_Cyanide.pdf.
  • “FoodData Central.” 2021. Usda.gov. 2021. https://fdc.nal.usda.gov/fdc-app.html#/food-details/171719/nutrients.
bearded dragon on a rock

Can bearded dragons eat cherries? We’d love to hear your thoughts on this topic below!

Alina Hartley
Alina Hartley

Alina Hartley is a small-town girl with a ginormous love of bearded dragons. It all started with Winchester, a baby bearded who was abandoned at the shelter by his former owners because of a birth defect that caused one front leg to be shorter than the other. Alina originally went to the shelter looking for a guinea pig, but one look at Winchester and it was love at first sight. From that day on, Alina has dedicated her life to learning everything she can about bearded dragons. She loves helping new beardie parents start their incredible journey with these magnificent reptiles.
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