Bearded dragons can eat cabbage. Cabbage contains healthy nutrients that are beneficial to reptiles. As they grow older, bearded dragons will need more vegetables than proteins in their diet. Adding cabbage to your pet’s meals will provide this required balance.
Cabbage is a leafy vegetable that packs a ton of essential nutrients, and it’s very healthy for humans. Since bearded dragons also need lots of vegetables in their diet, you may wonder if cabbage qualifies as a healthy vegetable for your bearded dragon.
I will tell you how often bearded dragons can eat cabbage in the rest of this article. I’ll also explain the cabbage types and how beneficial each one is to your beardie. So, let’s talk about cabbage!
How Often Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cabbage?
If you add cabbage to your bearded dragon’s diet for the first time, knowing how much is safe enough for your pet is essential.
Bearded dragons can eat one or two leaves of cabbage every two weeks. When you introduce cabbage into your bearded dragon’s diet, start with one or two leaves and watch out for any reactions over the next two days. If your dragon shows no worrying signs, you can feed cabbage to your bearded dragon.
Still, as with any other vegetable, the growth stage of your dragon plays a role in how much cabbage you can feed your pet.
A baby dragons needs about 70% proteins and 30% vegetables. On the other hand, adult dragons need 30% proteins and 70% vegetables. So, ensure that you note this as you introduce cabbage into your dragon’s diet.
What Are the Benefits of Feeding Cabbage to Bearded Dragons?
Humans aren’t the only group that benefits from cabbage. Bearded dragons can also get some essential nutrients from this leafy vegetable. However, the benefits of cabbage to bearded dragons vary with the type of cabbage. The four common types of cabbage are; green cabbage, red cabbage, Napa (Chinese cabbage), and savoy.
The benefits of feeding cabbage to bearded dragons are that this vegetable provides plenty of essential vitamins and minerals for healthy growth. Cabbage is also low in fats and sugars and high in fiber for weight balance and easy digestion.
Let’s dive into what makes these vegetables different and what benefits can bearded dragons get from them.
Also known as white cabbage, green cabbage contains many nutrients beneficial to beardies. This vegetable is rich in Vitamin C, and it contains calcium and phosphorous, which provide healthy bones.
Green cabbages is also low in sugar and fats, making it suitable for adult bearded dragons that need a bit of weight control. In addition, this leafy vegetable contains fiber, a nutrient that aids digestion in bearded dragons.
On the flip side, green cabbage contains goitrogens. Goitrogens in green cabbage may affect the proper function of the thyroid glands when taken in large amounts.
Even though all cabbage types contain goitrogens, green cabbage has the highest goitrogens. So, if you want to let your bearded dragon eat green cabbage, do it sparingly. You can give your pet some green cabbage once every two weeks.
Red cabbage, also known as purple cabbage, is the best type of cabbage to give your bearded dragon. This vegetable offers way more benefits when compared to other cabbages. More so, it has the lowest amount of goitrogens. So, as long as you give your bearded dragon the right amount, have no worries.
The nutrients in red cabbage include fiber, which aids digestion, Vitamin K for healthy tissue, antioxidants for anti-inflammation, and Vitamin C to boost the beardie’s immune system. In addition, this vegetable has a calcium-to-phosphorous ratio of 1.5 to 1, which falls within the safe range for bearded dragons. Therefore, its safe for bearded dragons to eat red cabbage (purple cabbage).
Because of the several benefits of red cabbage, you can let your bearded dragons eat red cabbage more than twice a week. This red cabbage is delicious and crunchy. More so, chewing and digesting it is easy for your bearded dragon.
Napa cabbage is another type of cabbage, commonly referred to as Chinese cabbage. Of all the cabbage types, this one has the thinnest leaves. Yet, the cabbage leaves are the sweetest of them all.
Napa is rich in calcium, fiber, Vitamin A, and Vitamin K. The vegetable also contains a healthy proportion of calcium and phosphorus.
One downer, though, Napa contains a significant amount of goitrogens. So, if you are considering including Napa cabbage in your bearded dragon’s diet, let the feeding schedule be once every two weeks. Don’t let your bearded dragon eat napa cabbage more than twice per month.
Savoy cabbage looks like green cabbage, but it has a rougher and crispier texture. Another significant difference is that Savoy has more protein and fiber content but less vitamin K and C.
Savoy cabbage is not suitable for bearded dragons because it is highly goitrogenic. If you decide to give your bearded dragon savoy cabbage regularly, it may affect the proper functioning of the thyroid gland.
In addition, savoy cabbage has more phosphorous than calcium, making the calcium to phosphorous ratio below the healthy range. So far, you will agree that of all the four cabbages, Savoy offers fewer benefits.
Another downside of including savoy in a dragon’s diet is its acidity. Savoy has a high acidic content that can upset your pet’s stomach.
Even though some bearded dragon owners occasionally give savoy cabbage to their pets, you may want to play it safe and go for a healthier option – red cabbage.
Therefore, its better to avoid giving too much cabbage of this type to your bearded dragon. Better to let your bearded dragons eat cabbage of the other types such as green, napa and red cabbage.
How To Give Bearded Dragon Cabbage?
So far, you have learned about the different types of cabbage and the benefits that each one can give your bearded dragon. Still, it would be best if you also learned the proper way to feed your beardie.
To give cabbage to a bearded dragon:
- Use healthy cabbage. Bearded dragons eat raw cabbage. So, ensure that what you feed your pet is healthy and rot-free. Please avoid using any cabbage with wilted leaves because it will have lower fiber content.
- Wash the cabbage thoroughly. Remove the leaves you want to use from the cabbage and rinse them thoroughly to remove any dirt.
- Remove some leaves for your dragon. Depending on the growth stage, remove a few leaves from the cabbage ball.
- Break off any stalks. Some of the leaves you remove may still be attached to stalks. These cabbage stalks may be too tough for your dragon to chew. So, remove them by tearing them off or chopping them off with a knife.
- Cut the leaves into smaller bits. If the cabbage leaves are big, cut them into smaller bits for easier chewing. Your baby dragon will appreciate eating bite-sized leaves instead of large leaves that may be difficult to eat.
Bearded dragons can eat cabbage from their infancy to adulthood. Red cabbage offers the most benefits to bearded dragons because it contains essential nutrients like calcium, phosphorus, potassium, fiber, vitamin C, and vitamin K. Bearded dragons can eat red cabbage at least twice a week.
In addition, bearded dragons can eat green cabbage and napa cabbage once in two weeks. Meanwhile, because of the potential risks of savoy cabbage to bearded dragons, I don’t advise you to include it in your pet’s diet.
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