Quick Answer – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cabbage?
Yes – but be careful to feed only in moderation!
Cabbage is grouped with kale as being an acceptable food for your bearded dragon, but only occasionally and to add variety to their diet.
Cabbage has a good calcium to phosphorus ratio (2:1) and is full of nutrients. The reason it’s listed as an occasional food is because cabbage is high in goitrogens which is a chemical known to suppress thyroid functions because of blocking iodine absorption.
You can feed your beardie cabbage about 2 times a month. It’s also good to know that both red and green cabbage can be fed to your lizard friend!
Pro Tip – When feeding your bearded dragon make sure the vegetables are raw, thoroughly washed, and cut up into pieces smaller than the width of their heads!
If you’re curious – we’ve developed a complete food list for your bearded dragon. It’s got all the good stuff your favorite lizard friend will like!
Long Answer – Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cabbage?
So you’re munching on some coleslaw and you think to yourself, “I wonder if my bearded dragon can have some of this awesome cabbage?”
Well you’ve come to the right place to find out!
I’m going to explain the good, the bad, and the ugly of feeding your beardie cabbage.
Here’s the good news:
Cabbage packs a nutritional punch when it comes to your bearded dragon. Just a couple leaves and you’re guaranteeing they’ll be getting the calcium, protein, water, and fiber content they need to be happy and healthy.
Cabbage also has one of the better calcium to phosphorus ratios of the veggies, so that’s a net positive. In case you’re unfamiliar here’s a good explanation of why this ratio is so important…
You should plan to feed your bearded dragon cabbage roughly 2 times per week, and when you do please be sure to dust the cabbage with a calcium supplement for healthy bones!
Here’s the bad news:
There’s really only 1 reason we listed cabbage as an occasional food.
It’s because of a little chemical called goitrogen. Below I’ve detailed out why goitrogen is a particularly nasty chemical for bearded dragons.
What exactly is goitrogen?
If you have thyroid issues you may have heard of this compound. Basically goitrogens are compounds which interfere with normal thyroid production.
They make it difficult for hormones to be properly produced, and bearded dragons can be more prone to issues from excessive goitrogens.
Goitrogen is primarily an issue because it blocks much needed iodine uptake. Without iodine, hormone production can become erratic.
Most vegetables contain goitrogens, but greens like cabbage, kale, and spinach have a larger quantity compared to others.
By feeding your beardie large amounts of cabbage you can run the risk of suppressing the thyroid function and possibly causing hypothyroidism.
Here’s the ugly:
For some reason the internet is full of misconceptions about feeding your bearded dragon cabbage. I’ve consulted with professional veterinarians and reptile experts to be sure about this advice.
Just to clear up any misconceptions, you’re bearded dragon can definitely have cabbage – and they can have green and red cabbage – but use it as a treat to add variety to their meals!
Plan to feed your bearded dragon cabbage roughly 2 times per week, and when you do please be sure to dust the cabbage with a calcium supplement for healthy bones.
Have fun with your lizard friend and add comments below if curious!