Bearded dragons are some of the best reptiles to have at home as pets. They do not take up too much space and they are beautiful to admire. They are also quite easy to take care of and feed. However, just like with any other pet, there are certain things that you should be aware of when feeding your bearded dragon. For instance, you might wonder what veggies you should give to your pet and how often. Or you might wonder if some veggies that you already have at home are suitable for them. For instance, cabbage is a very common veggie that many of us have at home. So, can bearded dragons eat cabbage?
Bearded dragons can safely eat cabbage. What’s more, beardies like the taste of it so it is a double win – thanks to its nutritional value and deliciousness. On top of that, bearded dragons can eat both green and red cabbage, which helps diversify their diets and keep things interesting. Additionally, these animals require the high vitamin content that this leafy green veggie offers.
However, even though bearded dragons can safely eat cabbage, there is still a number of things you should be aware of when adding this veggie to your beardie’s diet.
Nutritional Value Of Cabbage
Cabbage – both red and green – is full of nutrients, minerals, and vitamins. Leafy greens are always great additions to any diet, including a bearded dragon diet. They are also very tasty and crunchy, which allows your pet to munch on something.
Nutrient And Vitamin Content
Cabbage is rich in vitamin C and vitamin K and vitamin B6, which are both essential components of a healthy diet. Vitamin K is responsible for calcium absorption and ensures strong bones and immunity. It is also immensely important in blood clotting, hence its deficiency is dangerous and can potentially be lethal. Vitamin C is responsible for strong immunity and foods rich in this vitamin help prevent scurvy and anemia.
What’s more, green cabbage is rich in calcium, making it a necessity in the bearded dragons’ diet. Calcium ensures dense bones and helps prevent any teeth problems. As a result, you should remember to include this nutrient when you give your bearded dragon food.
On top of that, green cabbage is primarily made up of water, which ensures that your beardie is properly hydrated and nourished. Reptiles require good hydration, hence choosing water-based food is essential for their health. Although it is important not to overdo it, your beardie should always have access to clean water and water-rich foods. This will help you ensure that your pet is healthy and satisfied.
Green cabbage is also rich in antioxidants, making it a perfect food to get rid of free radicals that might be in your beardie’s body. Antioxidants also help in preventing various illnesses as well as flush chemicals and harmful substances. Therefore,
Moreover, green cabbage is low on fats and sugar, which promotes gut health and does not dehydrate your beardie. Sugar can cause diabetes, high blood pressure, and many other diseases and since this veggie is low on it, it is a healthy food option for your reptile friend to eat.
Red cabbage and green cabbage are both rich in micronutrients. They help your bearded dragon be hydrated and well-nourished due to the high water content as well as calcium and vitamin C. Vitamin C is also essential in the absorption of iron, which helps in maintaining healthy blood levels and preventing anemia. This vitamin is also said to help produce collagen – an essential skin building block.
On top of that, since this veggie contains an impressive amount of vitamin B6, it also improves energy levels and ensures quality sleep. Vitamin B6 also prevents and helps anemia due to its ability to bind to iron. Since leafy greens are often rich in iron, the ability to absorb iron is essential – especially since it is important for maintaining health.
This leafy green veggie is also wonderful at preventing inflammation. It is a great benefit, especially that many foods these days cause such inflammation in our bodies. As a result, consuming foods that have anti-inflammatory properties is necessary for good health and strong immune system.
In addition to that, these nutrients and vitamins help prevent many cardiovascular illnesses, scurvy, and other health problems that a healthy and balanced diet can prevent. As a result, green cabbage and similar vegetables should be included in your beardie’s diet due to their nutritional value.
Cabbage And Toxicity To Bearded Dragons
Cabbage is relatively high in water, which can cause problems if your bearded dragon consumes way too much of it. Green cabbage consists of over 94% of water, which is too much to eat on a daily basis. Hence, it is best to diversify your pet’s food to avoid overhydrating your beardie.
What’s more, red cabbage tends to be more peppery, which can cause mouth irritation as well as an upset stomach in your beardie. Therefore, if your beardie eats too much red cabbage, it can affect his appetite and cause diarrhea or constipation.
Overall, consuming too much green cabbage will not cause too many health problems to your beardie, especially if the diet also includes other foods, such as meat protein that should comprise the bulk of bearded dragons’ dietary needs.
How To Prepare Cabbage For Bearded Dragons
Prior to letting your bearded dragon eat any cabbage, make sure to wash it carefully and thoroughly. As a result of conservation, there might be some pesticides and chemicals on the leaves, posing a health risk. Consuming such substances can cause stomach issues, overall poor health as well as lethargy. Hence, always wash your produce before giving it to your pets. What’s more, make sure not to use any detergent when washing the vegetables since it can cause irritation and stomach issues.
After you have carefully washed the green leaves, slice them up into smaller pieces. These leaves tend to be relatively big, so in order to decrease the risk of your beloved pet choking, make sure to split them into smaller pieces. This will also make it easier for your beardie to eat and chew on.
Another important thing to remember is that bearded dragons should never consume cooked or fried green cabbage, or any foods for that matter. All vegetables you serve to your beardie should be raw since this is the best form for them to absorb all the nutrients. Moreover, feeding your reptile cooked veggies can cause stomach issues.
Finally, it is a very good idea to purchase organic or ecological green cabbage leaves if you can afford it. This helps you make sure that your pet’s diet is healthy and that you are not feeding it ay pesticides or chemicals.
How Much Cabbage Should Bearded Dragons Eat?
Even though this veggie is a great source of nutrients, it should not be consumed by your beardie too often. It contains lots of water, which can cause bloating and excessive urination, which, in turn, can cause dehydration. As a result, your reptile pet should eat green cabbage a few times a week, and the red version only once a week due to its bitterness.
This veggie contains goitrogens, which are substances that negatively impact thyroid functions. Excessive feeding of such vegetables can give your reptile hyperthyroidism.
Alternatives To Cabbage For Bearded Dragons
Even though green cabbage, as well as its red version, is healthy food for your beardie, it should not be the only thing your pet consumes. As a result, you might wonder, “What do bearded dragons eat?” and the answer to this question is relatively easy.
Bearded dragons love chewing on a wide variety of leafy greens, such as lettuce, spinach, kale, or arugula. These vegetables can be fed to your reptile friend on a daily basis, as opposed to green cabbage, which your pet should only be eating occasionally. Such leafy greens are a good source of nutrition as well as vitamins, which makes them a great substitute.
In addition to that, beardies love eating various fruits, such as oranges. This fruit is also the best replacement for cabbage since it contains high levels of vitamin C and helps your beardie fight off many illnesses as well as ensures proper nutrition.
However, most of all, bearded dragons should primarily consume meat protein, coming from crickets, worms, kingworms, and other insects. They require these nutrients to function properly and grow as well as have energy. Hence, you should never overfeed your pet with lead greens and forget about such food items.
Cabbage is a delicious and nutritious veggie that offers many benefits for your bearded dragon. This vegetable has a high vitamin content, lots of minerals, and still tastes incredible. As a result, it is a good idea to include this veggie in your bearded dragon’s diet to make sure that your pet is as healthy as possible. After all, a healthy pet is a happy pet.