When I decided to get a bearded dragon as a pet, I wondered what do they eat and can they eat cabbage? I asked a friend who has a pet dragon and also did some research of my own to find out if cabbage is safe for them to eat.
Can Bearded Dragons eat cabbage?
Yes, Bearded Dragons can eat cabbage! Cabbages are high in fiber and mineral content, low in fat and sugar and contain powerful antioxidants. The most important thing is that you must always wash the cabbage before feeding it to your dragon and only give them fresh and raw cabbage.
Bearded Dragons are exotic animals that require a specific diet so it is necessary to provide them with the proper foods to keep them healthy. It is also important that they have a varied diet to receive proper nutrition. Bearded Dragons are omnivorous which means they eat both plants and animals (insects). However, adult dragons tend to eat more of a plant-based diet while baby dragons require a high protein-based diet since they are constantly growing so they eat mostly insects. Although dragons can eat cabbage, it should not be served as a staple vegetable. It’s best to mix the cabbage with other veggies.
It is important to note that dragons be fed cabbage only in moderation and occasionally to avoid health problems. There are a variety of cabbages that bearded dragons can eat as long as they are regulated. Many first-time dragon pet owners make the mistake of feeding their dragons too much cabbage or the wrong kind of cabbage. This can lead to some serious health problems like diarrhea, hypothyroidism or even bone disease. You want to become familiar with the types of cabbage before feeding them to your dragon.
So what Cabbage types Bearded Dragons Can Eat?
Red Cabbage (Purple Cabbage)
Bearded dragons can eat red cabbage also known as purple cabbage. If you want to lower the fat intake of your dragon, red cabbage is a good choice. Although all cabbages are already low in fat, red cabbage is lower in fat content than green cabbages. On the down side, red cabbage tends to have a higher sugar content compared to other cabbages so it’s best to feed your dragon red cabbage within the first 10 days after bringing it home. While your dragon may like the taste of red cabbage, unfortunately, it has very little nutritional value so it’s best to give only small amounts of red cabbage and sparingly. You can shred the cabbage and mix it with other veggies to give your dragon a wholesome meal.
Savoy cabbage is a hearty type of green cabbage that has vitamins and minerals beneficial to your dragon’s health. Savoy cabbage has a high calcium phosphorus ratio and is high in fiber. This type of cabbage is best served chopped or shredded and mixed with other veggies. Remember, just serving cabbage alone does not count as a meal!
White cabbage is a type of green cabbage that has been blanched. Do not feed your dragon white cabbage! White cabbage prevents dragons from absorbing calcium that is essential to their diet and eating this type of cabbage can cause your dragon pain and lead to metabolic bone disease. If your dragon happens to accidentally nibble on some white cabbage, don’t worry, it will be ok, but never feed them white cabbage intentionally or as part of a meal.
Napa Cabbage (Chinese Cabbage)
Yes they can eat Napa Cabbage or also known as chinese Cabbage, Napa Cabbage contains all the good stuff like most other cabbages but too feeding your dragon too much of it can lead to bloating so you want to give this cabbage in moderation.
How To Prepare Cabbage for your Bearded Dragon
It is important that the cabbage you serve is fresh. Do not feed your beardie wilted or old cabbage.
Here are 4 easy steps on how to prepare cabbage for your dragon:
- Find cabbage that is fresh ,organic is best if it is available. It is recommended to store cabbage in your refrigerator 3-6 days prior to feeding your dragon. This time allows for the cabbage to get rid of excess water and lower the amount of phosphorus to make it easier for you dragon to digest.
- Make sure to wash the cabbage properly. Remove the outer leaves and base stalk to prevent loss of nutrients from the cabbage.
- Finely chop the cabbage into small pieces and mix with other vegetables.
Choosing the best veggies and greens to feed your dragon
Although bearded dragons will eat just about anything, it is best to consider the right types of greens and veggies to feed your bearded dragon. Mixing any of the following with cabbage makes for a healthy meal. Recommended are dark, leafy greens like collard, mustard, dandelion and turnip greens, arugula and swiss chard. They can also eat parsley, basil, alfalfa, fennel, and watercress. So, why not make a cabbage super salad adding some of these veggies? Here are some suggestions:
Bell peppers Radicchio Sweet Potato Green Beans
Celery Asparagus Carrots Broccoli
Acorn, yellow & butternut squash Zucchini Snow Peas Cucumber
Artichoke hearts Bok Choy Green Peas Okra
The best way to prepare vegetables is to cut them into small pieces or shred them and mix with a small amount of cabbage. It’s also a good idea to keep a fresh supply of greens or cabbage leaves in their tank at all times so they can snack on them throughout the day. Just remember to remove them when they become too old or wilted.
How do I know if my bearded dragon likes cabbage?
You won’t know until you give them some cabbage to try. For example, you can start by giving them a small amount mixed with other veggies. Don’t be afraid to experiment with different cabbage-veggie combos, your dragon will most likely enjoy it!
Can Bearded Dragons eat Cabbage Leaves?
Yes, cabbage leaves can be fed to your dragon as long as they have been thoroughly washed and served raw. Just be on the lookout for bugs since they like to hide between the leaves!
How much cabbage is too much?
Giving small amounts of cabbage is best, just enough to boost up a salad. Remember, serving cabbage alone is not a substantial meal.
Can baby bearded dragons eat cabbage?
Yes, they can eat cabbage, but only in moderation and only mixed with other vegetables. It’s important to remember that Baby dragons require more protein based meals than veggies,however a small piece of cabbage added to a salad now and then will be just fine.
Can I feed my dragon cabbage worms that I have picked up myself?
No, it is not a good idea! You should never feed your dragon wild or caught insects since they will most likely carry a parasite or be dusted with toxic chemicals. Cabbage worms are no exception.
Overall, there is so much varied information available on what types of cabbage you can feed a bearded dragon that it can be overwhelming and confusing. Over time, you will get to know your dragon’s personality, its likes and dislikes so you will learn which cabbage they like best. Most important is feeding them a healthy and well-balanced diet. Bearded dragons are fascinating creatures and keeping a dragon healthy means feeding it healthy food! These cabbage nutrition tips will help you to select the best cabbage to feed your bearded dragon so it can live a long and healthy life.