Cabbage is known to be a healthy vegetable and is commonly found in homes all over the world but can bearded dragons eat cabbage as part of their diet? Or should you be keeping this veggie well away from your bearded dragon?
In this post, we will answer that very question so you can be confident before offering your bearded dragon cabbage in their diet.
We will also pick out the most common varieties of cabbage, put them side by side and see which ones, if any, are the best and are worthy of being added to your beardies salad bowl.
So can bearded dragons eat cabbage? Bearded dragons can eat cabbage as part of their regular diet. Most varieties of cabbage contain a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio and as well as other key nutrients. Cabbage is also low in fat and sugar and also offers moderate amounts of fibre to promote healthy digestion.
Cabbage | Nutritional Data
We have shared the nutritional information for cabbage as this will help you to see what nutrients cabbage is abundant in as well as the nutrients it’s lacking in.
As there are many different varieties of cabbage, we have shared the information for common cabbage varieties as a whole as this will give the broadest and fairest results. The information is direct from the US Department of Agriculture.
We have added individual nutritional data for 5 of the most common varieties of cabbage and put them side-by-side so you can see which ones are the healthiest for your beaded dragon later on in the post.
Check out the average nutritional data for cabbage here…
Nutritional Information For Cabbage Per 100g
|Total lipid (fat)||0.1||g|
|Carbohydrate, by difference||5.8||g|
|Vitamin D (D2+3)||0||µg|
|Vitamin A RAE||5||µg|
|vitamin A IU||98||µg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cabbage? (More Info)
It’s always wise to check if your bearded dragon can eat new foods before you actually offer the foods first.
This is due to the fact that foods that are healthy for us humans can actually cause health problems and issues for beardies.
The good news is that cabbage is safe for bearded dragons and many veterinary experts back this up by adding cabbage to their list of safe foods for bearded dragons.
Some experts also advise that cabbage can be offered regularly in your beardie’s diet.
This will largely depend on the variety of the cabbage (we will breakdown 5 of the most common varieties and which ones are the best shortly)
Overall, the majority of cabbage offers positive health benefits for your dragon and can be safely added to their salad bowl.
Note: If you want to find out if your beardie can eat different varieties of cabbage such as red, green, savoy and more, then go right to the bottom of this post (to the FAQ section) as we have answered all these questions for you there…
Check out this video of bearded dragons eating cabbage below…
Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Cabbage?
Cabbage is safe for baby bearded dragons to eat as well as adults. The nutrients cabbage offers are useful to baby beardies and it can be added to their diet in moderation.
Depending on the variety of cabbage you offer your baby beardie, it can be quite high in calcium (namely bok choy cabbage)
Calcium is important for all bearded dragons especially supporting the bone growth of young bearded dragons that are growing at a rapid rate.
It’s important to remember that baby and juvenile beardies should eat a diet that is primarily insect and protein-based with a smaller amount of high-quality greens and veggies and then their plant-based diet should increase as they get into adulthood.
A good ratio is 80% insect-based and 20% plant-based to promote growth when they are young and then moving to a 60% insect-based and 40% plant-based diet when they are adults.
Mustard greens are often recommended for baby bearded dragons due to high calcium levels, you can find out if mustard greens really are healthy for your baby beardie or not here…
Which Type Of Cabbage Is Healthiest For My Bearded Dragon?
Now that we’ve established that cabbage is a safe and in most cases a healthy option for bearded dragons to eat, now it’s important to take a look at some of the most common varieties of cabbage and see which ones are the best choice to offer to your beardie.
To make this easier we have put them side-by-side in a handy chart with their most relevant nutritional info.
Common Cabbage Varieties For Bearded Dragons
|Name||Green (Kimchi)||Red||White (Bok Choy)||Savoy||Napa|
|Water||94.3 g||90.39 g||95.32 g||91 g||94.39 g|
|Energy||15 kcal||31 kcal||13 kcal||27 kcal||16 kcal|
|Protein||1.1 g||1.43 g||1.5 g||2 g||1.2 g|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.5 g||0.16 g||0.2 g||0.1 g||0.2 g|
|Carbohydrate||2.4 g||7.37 g||2.18 g||6.1 g||3.23 g|
|Fiber||1.6 g||2.1 g||1 g||3.1 g||1.2 g|
|Sugars||1.06 g||3.83 g||1.18 g||2.27 g||1.41 g|
|Calcium, Ca||33 mg||45 mg||105 mg||35 mg||77 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||24 mg||30 mg||37 mg||42 mg||29 mg|
So what does this table tell us? It tells us that all 5 cabbage varieties that we studied can be safely added to your dragon’s diet as long as they are offering in balanced quantities.
The table also tells us that ‘bok choy’ cabbage is the overall best option for bearded dragons due to the nutrients it offers and ‘savoy cabbage’ comes in last.
We have rated each cabbage from best to worst in the table below…
- Bok Choy
The nutrient profile of all the cabbage varieties in the table are very similar except the levels of calcium and phosphorus they offer and as calcium is so important to the overall health of beardies, its the nutrient that we have paid most attention to.
For this reason, bok choy cabbage is easily the best option to feed to your beardie as it provides high amounts of calcium with 105mg per 100g.
In second place, is napa cabbage which offers a decent amount of calcium to your dragon per serving and is overall a good option.
Both green cabbage and red cabbage doesn’t contain as much calcium as the previous two. They are both very similar to each other and there really isn’t much difference in the nutrients they offer your bearded dragon.
Red cabbage does contain a little for fibre but you can offer either without worrying about which one is best for your beardie.
Savoy cabbage comes in last and for good reason. It actually constraints more phosphorus than calcium which isn’t a good thing for bearded dragons as phosphorus stops calcium from being absorbed (more of this later)
Savoy cabbage can be offered in small quantities but on the whole, we would recommend serving your dragon one of the other varieties of cabbage as their calcium to phosphorus ratio is much better.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raw Cabbage?
One of the questions that most owners want to know is if cabbage can be served to their bearded dragon raw?
The answer to this question is yes, cabbage can be served to your beardie raw and is actually the recommended way to serve the majority of greens and veggies to your beardie.
The reasons for this is due to the fact that raw greens and vegetables hold much more of their nutrients when they aren’t cooked.
Key nutrients such as calcium can decrease during the cooking process so as long as the food is easy enough for your dragon to eat then we would always recommend serving it raw.
(Later in the post we will talk about exactly how to prepare and serve cabbage for your bearded dragon)
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked Cabbage?
Technically, bearded dragons can eat cooked cabbage although, for the reasons we have mentioned above, we don’t recommend this.
Cooking adds an extra step that’s not necessary and as we mentioned earlier can decrease the nutrient content of the cabbage.
A good example of this is that napa cabbage contains far less calcium when cooked than it does when raw, here are the stats…
- Raw napa cabbage – 77mg of calcium per 100g
- Cooked napa cabbage – 29mg of calcium per 100g
If you are cooking cabbage for the family and are thinking of keeping some aside for your dragon then we would suggest separating them a portion before you cook it if possible.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cabbage Leaves?
Some owners are keen to know if their beardie can eat cabbage leaves? And the answer to this question is yes, bearded dragons can safely eat cabbage leaves.
Some varieties of cabbage will have different types of leaves than others and this can result in then holding more dirt and soil than others.
For this reason, it’s always recommended that you thoroughly wash any cabbage leaves that you offer your dragon to ensure they are clean and dirt free.
Spinach is another food that is considered healthy to us humans and is often fed to bearded dragons in large quantities.
But should you actually be offering this food to them at all? Or Is spinach strictly off the menu? You can find out in the new guide we have just released…
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cabbage Stalks?
When it comes to the core of the cabbage or the stalk as its sometimes referred to, we don’t recommend that you offer this to your bearded dragon.
The stalk is really tough and not easy for a beardie to chew on and break down.
The stalk of the cabbage can also cause some digestive issues and its really just not worth serving this part of the cabbage to your bearded dragon when there is more than enough goodness in the main part of the cabbage.
Lastly, there is also a chance that the hand stalk could cause choking in your beardie too, although we have never experienced this because we don’t feed the stalk, the chance that this could happen is something you need to be aware of and is yet another reason why you should stick to the main part of the cabbage.
Are There Any Benefits to Feeding Your Bearded Dragon Cabbage?
As the foods you offer your bearded dragon play a big part in their overall health and well being, it’s important to know what nutritional benefit each food offers your dragon so you can decide if it’s a good choice to add to the salad bowl or not.
Below is a breakdown of the nutritional benefits that cabbage offers…
Moderate Amounts Of Calcium
Most cabbage varieties offer moderate amounts of calcium with the exception of bok choy which contains high levels of calcium with 105mg per 100g.
This means you can add cabbage, especially bok choy alongside other greens that are high in calcium to provide a good and balanced diet for your dragon.
As you are probably aware, calcium is extremely important to the health of bearded dragons of all ages and offering them calcium-rich foods is essential.
If you want to know more about why bearded dragons need calcium then head over to our guide that explains everything you need to know about calcium as a beardie as an owner…
Healthy Calcium to Phosphorus Ratio
Just like calcium plays an important role in the health of your beardie, so does the balance of calcium to phosphorus in their diet too.
Too much phosphorus in a bearded dragons diet can result in the calcium they consume not being absorbed and therefore being rendered useless.
A good for calcium to phosphorus in your dragon’s diet is around the 1:1 or 2:1 mark in favour of calcium.
Offering the odd food from time to time that is high in phosphorus won’t make much difference but if you offer foods that are low in calcium and high in phosphorus consistently then this could be a problem.
In fact, a lack of dietary calcium is thought to be the number one source of MBD (metabolic bone disease) in bearded dragons.
Signs of MBD can include…
- Failure to grow
- Bone Fractures
- And more…
The good news is that the majority of cabbages have a great calcium to phosphorus ratio and can be added to your beardies diet without worry.
The only variety we have studied in this post that offers a poor balance is ‘savoy’ cabbage which provides 35mg of calcium and 42mg of phosphorus per 100g, which isn’t in the ideal ratio that’s recommended.
Offering savoy cabbage every now and then is fine but because of this imbalance, you don’t want to make this a staple part of your dragon’s diet.
Low In Fat
Cabbage is typically low in fat no matter which variety you offer your bearded dragon.
Beardies like the majority of animals do need a certain level of fat, however, they get most of the fat they need through high-quality insects.
Offering a diet that is too high in fat can cause some health issues and cabbage certainly won’t contribute to that at all as it generally only contains around 0.01g of fat per 100g.
Fairly Low In Sugar
The levels of sugar in cabbage will differ slightly depending on which variety you offer your dragon, however, all varieties are daily low in sugar and contain moderate amounts of sugar at the most.
Out of the varieties we have studied, red cabbage contains the most sugar at nearly 4g per 100 but even this is daily low.
It’s important to offer your dragon a low sugar diet as it can cause some health problems in the long term such as obesity, diarrhoea and tooth decay.
Moderate Amounts Of Fibre
Cabbage, on the whole, doesn’t offer huge amounts of fibre but it does provide your bearded dragon with acceptable levels that will contribute to and aid their digestion.
Its actually ironic that savoy cabbage, which is the one that we recommend offering your bearded dragon the least out of the ones we have studied in this post actually provides the most fibre.
Decent levels of fibre are important as it regulates bowel movements and increases the size and weight of stools as well as helps to maintain healthy bowels overall.
As well as the benefits mentioned, cabbage also contains average amounts of potassium, vitamin C and vitamin K.
All of these minerals help to contribute to the overall health and well being of your bearded dragon and vitamins such as vitamin K are especially important for wound healing and bone health.
Are There Any Concerns When Feeding My Bearded Dragons Cabbage?
When it comes to cabbage, there aren’t really any concerns you need to look out for when offering it to your bearded dragon other than the calcium to phosphorus ratio of savoy cabbage as we mentioned earlier.
As with all cabbage, it needs to be offered in the correct quantities and amounts for it to be considered a healthy addition to your bearded dragon’s diet.
Overall cabbage is a healthy food for bearded dragons to eat and there aren’t really any obvious downsides to eating cabbage in the correct quantities.
Let’s not take a look at how much and how often your bearded dragon can eat cabbage…
How Often Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon Cabbage?
Now that we’ve established that cabbage is safe for bearded dragons to eat, let’s now take a look at how often they can eat cabbage.
For most varieties of cabbage, we would recommend offering it to your beardie around once per week as a general rule of thumb.
Bok choy, on the other hand, can be offered more frequently as this is considered extremely healthy for beardies due to its high levels of calcium.
Many experts recommend offering bok choy as part of your beardies daily diet.
Savoy cabbage though is something we would recommend only offering around once a month due to it’s poor calcium to phosphorus levels.
We hope you appreciate that it’s really difficult to give a ‘blanket statement’ regarding how often bearded dragons should eat cabbage as there are so many varieties and each variety is essentially its own separate food with separate rules.
Again, as a general rule of thumb for cabbage, the higher it’s claim levels and the better its calcium to phosphorus ratio, the more often it can be added to your dragon’s diet.
How Much Cabbage Should I Feed My Bearded Dragon?
The amount of cabbage you offer your bearded dragons would again be dictated by the variety of cabbage and how healthy it is (namely how much calcium it offers)
Cabbage that contains high levels of calcium such as bok choy can be added in equal portions in the salad bowl to other greens such as mustard greens and dandelion greens.
Check out our new guide that shares just how good dandelion greens are for bearded dragons and the best way to prepare and serve them too…
Other varieties that aren’t as calcium dense should only be around half the portion size. This is due to the fact that you want your beardie to fill up on greens and veggies that are high in calcium as its critical to their health.
How Should I Prepare & Serve Cabbage For My Bearded Dragon?
Preparing vegetables such as cabbage to your bearded dragons is actually really simple but with this being said, there are still some things that you can do to make it easier and better for your beardie.
Take a look at our guide below to see our simple ways to serve cabbage to your bearded dragon…
Organic Is Best – It’s always best to pick up an organic cabbage or any green or vegetable you are going serve to your bearded dragon.
We understand that this can increase the price but the pesticides can be extremely harmful to beardies and sites such as Pet/MD recommend that all foods you offer your dragon should be pesticide-free.
Wash Time – The next job is to give your cabbage a wash. No matter how clean the cabbage looks and if it’s organic or not, you still need to give it a thorough wash before serving it to your bearded dragon.
Always Raw – As we mentioned earlier in this post, there’s no need to cook cabbage. It’s already soft enough for your beardie to eat and cooking it will only decrease the nutritional value of the food.
Serve It Up – Now it’s almost time to serve up the cabbage but before you do, make sure you chop it up into manageable pieces that will fit into your beardies salad bowl.
Finally serve the cabbage alongside other nutritional greens such as dandelion greens and mustard greens.
5 Great Bonus Foods to Offer Your Bearded Dragon Instead of Cabbage:
You might be wondering as well as cabbage, what other greens and veggies that are high in calcium can I offer my bearded dragons to keep them healthy?
Well, we have put together a list of 5 great bonus foods that are fantastic options to add to your beardies salad bowl on a regular basis.
The 5 foods we have chosen are…
- Grape Leaves
- Dandelion Greens
- Turnip Greens
We have also put them side by side in a table so you can see the nutritional value of each of them and decide which ones you would like to add to your bearded dragon’s diet.
Take a look at the table here…
Nutritional Information Of Healthy Bearded Dragon Foods Per 100g
|Name||Dandelions||Grape Leaves||Turnip Greens||Watercress||Collards|
|Water||85.6 g||72.32g||89.67 g||95.11 g||89.62 g|
|Energy||45 kcal||93 kcal||32 kcal||11 kcal||32 kcal|
|Protein||2.7 g||5.6 g||1.5 g||2.3 g||3.02|
|Total lipid (fat)||0.7 g||2.12 g||0.3 g||0.1 g||0.61 g|
|Carbohydrate||9.2||17.31 g||7.13 g||1.29 g||5.42 g|
|Fiber||3.5 g||11 g||3.2 g||0.5 g||4 g|
|Sugars||0.71 g||6.3 g||0.81 g||0.2g||0.46 g|
|Calcium, Ca||187 mg||363 mg||190 mg||120 mg||232 mg|
|Phosphorus, P||66 mg||58 mg||42 mg||60 mg||25 mg|
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cabbage – F.A.Q.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Green Cabbage? Bearded dragons can eat green cabbage. This variety of cabbage offers moderate levels of calcium and provides a balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio and is therefore considered a healthy option to add to your bearded dragon’s diet in the correct quantities.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Red Cabbage? Bearded dragons can eat red cabbage. It offers decent levels of vitamins and minerals alongside a healthy dosage of calcium and is considered a good choice to feed to your bearded dragon.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Savoy Cabbage? Bearded dragons can eat savoy cabbage but only in moderation. Savoy cabbage contains an unhealthy balance of calcium to phosphorus so it’s not advised to offer this variety of cabbage to your bearded dragon on a consistent basis.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Chinese Cabbage? Bearded dragons can eat Chinese cabbage. This variety of cabbage is also known as ‘boy choy’ and is very healthy for bearded dragons due to its high levels of calcium. Chinese cabbage also offers other key nutrients and is a great choice to add to a bearded dragons diet.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Napa Cabbage? Bearded dragons can eat napa cabbage. The high levels of calcium in napa cabbage make it a great choice to add to a bearded dragons diet. Napa also offers a balanced ratio of claim to phosphorus and is an all-round healthy vegetable for bearded dragons.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat Purple Cabbage? Bearded dragons can eat purple cabbage as part of their diet. Purple cabbage is also known as red cabbage and contains moderate amounts of nutrients that are considered healthy for bearded dragons including acceptable levels of calcium.
Can Bearded Dragons Eat White Cabbage? Bearded dragons can eat white cabbage as part of a balanced diet. White cabbage is usually referred to as green cabbage and this can cause some confusion. Whits cabbage offers acceptable levels of nutrients that are key to the growth and health of bearded dragons such as moderate levels of calcium.
One of the most common questions among new owners and reptile...
Any new or potential owners will naturally want to know if bearded...
Any potential bearded dragon owner will want to know if bearded...