The relationship between bearded dragons and fruit is delicate, to say the least. Since you’re used to the fact that fruits are highly nutritious, it’s easy to feed your dragon excess fruit if you’re not aware of how safe the fruit is for your beardie.
To bearded dragons, fruits are simply treats and eating too much could cause them to fall ill. Depending on the severity of the issue, the bearded dragon might need an immediate visit to the veterinary clinic for treatment. So, it’s highly important to acknowledge the fruit you feed your beardie and how it impacts them negatively or positively.
Bearded dragons can eat cherries occasionally! This is because cherries are acidic and sugary fruits that could pose a great threat to your dragon if it eats too many of them due to your pet’s relatively small size. So, it’s important to feed your pet cherries minimally.
This discussion explains the benefits and detriments of feeding cherries to your dragon, including the best way to go about feeding it so that you don’t put your precious beardie in harm’s way. Let’s dive!
Is It Safe To Feed Cherries To My Bearded Dragon?
Bearded dragons can eat cherries under the proper care, and feeding the fruit to them is relatively safe. Cherries, just like other fruits, have certain sugar content, pH levels, and chemical constituents that are necessary to take into consideration before feeding any to your beardie. So, how ‘safe’ cherries are would depend on how much fruit you feed your dragon.
Cherries contain high levels of vitamins A, C, and K that collectively boost immunity and improve cellular metabolism. These vitamins are also highly connected with the nourishment of the nervous system, improving connectivity, and cellular communication.
They also contain antioxidants, polyphenols, and beta-carotene which are all organic chemicals that help to nourish, multiply, and protect the cells from dangerous conditions like radiation and incorrect nutrient absorption. Altogether, cherries are great fruit choices for beardies!
5 Benefits Of Feeding Cherries To Bearded Dragons
Cherries, small but mighty, are packed with tremendous benefits. From polyphenols to antioxidants, here are five benefits of feeding cherries to bearded dragons:
1. Cherries Are Good For The Heart
Cherries are rich in anthocyanins that regulate blood pressure and safeguard heart functions. Usually, the relationship between bearded dragons and heart disease is almost non-existent. Heart diseases are mostly a secondary result other than primary, and are tied down to prolonged bad diet or severe stress.
For instance, feeding your pet fatty foods can increase blood pressure and disturb the regular capacity of the heart. Thus, the heart begins to wear out and fail. By introducing cherries once in a while, your dragon has a better chance of combating blood pressure issues and heart disease.
2. Cherries Decrease Stress
Sweet cherries are proven to be saturated with melatonin, a sleep or rest hormone, that helps to relax the nerves and induce rest. They also contain serotonin that can significantly reduce stress and improve the mood of your beardies with the little amount they consume. If you have moved your dragon into a new environment and it’s showing signs of stress, perhaps you may feed it a few cherry treats to help it relax its nerves.
3. Cherries Can Reduce The Possibilities Of Gout
While a bearded dragon with heart disease may be hard to find, gout sadly is far more common. It is a direct result of the overproduction or underexcretion of uric acid in the dragon’s body. It can be a result of several problems from dietary and genetic malfunctions and can be so severe that it’s impossible to reverse.
The anti-inflammatory specialties of cherries help in regulating uric acid accumulation thereby reducing the chances of gout in beardies. Sometimes, cherry juice is prescribed to beardies with gout depending on the severity of the case – with additional medication and heavy supervision, of course.
4. Cherries Are Great For Building Immunity Against Inflammatory Diseases
Cherries are packed with polyphenols – organic reducing chemicals – that assist in decreasing inflammation and combating inflammatory diseases. It’s highly common for worms to be gut loaded with citrus polyphenol-rich fruits before feeding to beardies to improve their immune system. Although the method is mostly required for citrus fruits due to the high levels of acidity, other fruits like cherries can be fed directly to bearded dragons; a rewarding method to get polyphenols into your beardie’s system!
5. Cherries Help To Combat Oxidative Stress
Antioxidants are organic chemicals that rid the cells of free radicals, and cherries are loaded with them. These radical molecules are a result of cancer-causing effects like radioactive beams and certain toxic chemicals we encounter every day. If left unattended, free radicals can lead to the formation of cancers and tumors in bearded dragons. By introducing antioxidants to your dragon’s system, the chances of cancerous cells developing are relatively low.
The Dangers Of Feeding Cherries To Bearded Dragons
Cherries are deemed treats for bearded dragons for good reasons. If your beardie eats way more than it should, it could fall into serious problems that would require the veterinary doctor to treat it. It’s important to know these problems so that you understand the seriousness of feeding too many cherries to your beardie.
The Issue With Acid
Ulcers are directly linked to eating too many highly acidic foods, even for us. For bearded dragons, their tolerance to acidity is very, very low. Cherries are highly acidic fruits – you can tell by how tart they taste. Sweet cherries are less acidic compared to tart cherries, but they’re still dangerous for your bearded dragon to consume frequently. It could seriously upset their stomach and cause ulcers to form with time. Depending on how severe the ulcers are, they could be fatal.
The Sugar Problem
Cherries are high-sugar fruits that can cause problems for bearded dragons, even if they’re safe for you. Beardies get the majority and possibly all the sugar they need from vegetables, which are highly moderated. Feeding your pet dragon cherries frequently is just signing up for obesity, liver, and kidney problems, including heart crises directly linked to blood pressure. This is why it’s highly important to ensure your dragon does not eat more treats than it needs.
Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Cherries The Safest Way Possible
For your dragon to safely consume cherries, you must know the limits and attentively adhere to them. It entails how many cherries you should feed to your pet and how frequently.
Note that adult beardies have a better tolerance to acidic and sugary fruits than baby beardies would. So the rations will be different. Ensure that you cut up the cherry into smaller bits, big enough to fit between your dragon’s eyes so that it can swallow it without choking.
I suggest feeding your adult dragon nothing more – and truly nothing more – than two cherries a month. You can space this out into one cherry in two weeks. For baby beardies, you should feed them only one cherry a month.
The rations may seem like a mood damper, especially if your dragon enjoys cherries, but the problem with beardies is that they could be quite delicate little beings. A minor sickness such as the stomach flu, can cause a domino effect and cascade into something worse. So, it’s safer not to trigger a problem especially when you already know how to avoid it.
Should I Feed My Beardie Tart Cherries Or Sweet Cherries?
Tart cherries and sweet cherries have fairly the same nutritional value, but tart cherries are richer in vitamin A and beta-carotene than sweet cherries. They also contain the bulk of anthocyanins and antioxidants that helps to ward off inflammation and free radicals, including melatonin which aids rest.
The only issue is that tart cherries are much more acidic than sweet cherries. However, I would suggest you feed your beardie tart cherries for the benefits since they’d be eating the fruit moderately – the acidity wouldn’t be a problem to deal with.
Are Dried Or Canned Cherries Good For Bearded Dragons?
Processed cherries, canned or dried, are very bad for berries. They either contain preservatives that could be toxic for beardies, or are way too dry that it could lead to impaction if your pet eats them. Dried cherries are also known to contain twice the amount of acidity or sugar than fresh cherries due to the absence of water in them. I do not recommend feeding your dragon any cherry that isn’t fresh!