Can bearded dragons eat red cabbage?

Be Informed About Red Cabbage, And Bearded Dragons

Cabbage is a healthy and common vegetable found in homes across the world. Bearded dragon owners worldwide must have wondered: Can bearded dragons eat red cabbage?

Yes, bearded dragons can eat cabbage as part of their regular diet.  There are different varieties of cabbage, such as bok choy, napa cabbage, purple cabbage, green cabbage, and savoy cabbage, to name a few.

This article will discuss the safety safe of feeding red cabbage to your bearded dragon and the attendant, benefits, and risks of doing so. 

Nutritional Value Of Red Cabbage

The Nutritional Value Of 100g Red Cabbage

Water90.39 g
Energy31 kcal
Protein1.43 g
Total lipid (fat).016 g
Carbohydrate7.37 g
Fiber2.1 g
Calcium45 mg
Phosphorus30 mg

Red and green cabbage are very similar. There is not much difference in their nutritional value.  You can safely feed your bearded dragon green and red cabbage.

Benefits OF Feeding Red Cabbage To Bearded Dragons

Image of bearded dragon and red cabbage

Food plays bearded a significant role in a dragon’s overall health and well-being.  As an owner, you update your awareness of the nutritional benefits of a pet lizard’s diet.  Let’s look at some benefits of cabbage.

Moderate Amounts Of Calcium

Most cabbage varieties provide moderate amounts of calcium, except bok choy which has a high calcium level.   You can add red cabbage to other greens high in calcium to provide a well-balanced diet.

Calcium is essential to the health of bearded dragons of all ages.  Feeding them calcium-rich foods is vital to their health. 

Healthy Calcium To Phosphorus Ratio

Just as calcium plays a crucial role in the health of your bearded dragon so does the ratio of calcium to phosphorus.  

Too much phosphorus can prevent calcium consumers from being absorbed and thus ineffective.  As a dragon keeper, you must keep your eye on your bearded friend’s calcium intake because a lack of calcium can cause calcium deficiency and ultimately Metabolic Bone Disease.  

Signs of Metabolic Bone Disease include

  • Weakness,
  • Failure To Grow,
  • Tremors,
  • Bone Fractures,
  • Anorexia,
  • And more.

The good news is that most cabbage species have great calcium to phosphorus ratios so you can add it to your beardie’s diet without worries.

Low In Fat

Cabbage is generally low in fat no matter which variety you feed to a bearded dragon.  Beardies need a certain fat level in their diet which they get most of their fat through high-quality feeder insects. 

Relatively Low In Sugar

The sugar levels in cabbage will differ slightly depending on which variety you offer your dragon.

Studies have shown that red cabbage contains the most sugar at nearly 4 per 100g, which is a daily low amount

Moderate Amounts Of Fiber

Red cabbage as a whole does not offer large amounts of fiber. Still, it does provide your bearded dragon with acceptable levels that will aid its digestive system.  Decent amounts of fiber are vital as it regulates healthy bowels.

Vitamin C

The Vitamin C in red cabbage helps build a robust immune system that fends off potential disease and keeps bearded dragons happy.

Vitamin K

It is essential for tissue and blood cell maintenance. 


Strengthen the immune system and your bearded dragon’s digestive system

Risks Of Too Much Red Cabbage For Bearded Dragons

Image of red cabbage


Bearded dragons can eat red, purple, and green cabbage. However, bearded dragons should have red cabbage sparingly due to its high levels of goitrogens that are toxic to them.  When at high levels, Goitrogens affect the liver, thyroid glands, and kidneys in bearded dragons.

You should avoid feeding vegetables that have high levels of goitrogens together, such as kale, spinach, and wild mustard. These vegetables should be fed sparingly and not all on the same day.  They may be harmful to your bearded dragon. 

Generally, 80-90 % of the plant materials for bearded dragons should be vegetables and flowers, while 10-20% should be fruits.

 Feed cabbage in the correct quantities to your bearded dragon 

Can Baby Bearded Dragons Eat Red Cabbage?

Cabbage is safe for baby and adult bearded dragons. The nutrients in cabbage are healthy for  baby beardies, but add it to their diet in moderation.

The variety of cabbage you offer your baby beardies can be quite high in calcium. 

Calcium is essential for all bearded dragons because it supports their bone growth when they are young. 

 and juvenile beardies should eat a primary insect and protein-based diet with a smaller amount of high-quality greens and veggies. Their plant-based diet should increase as they get older. A good ratio is 80% insect-based and 20% plant-based to promote growth when young. and then move to a 60% insect-based and 40% plant-based diet when they are adults.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cooked Cabbage?

Raw is actually the recommended way to serve the majority of greens and veggies to your beardie because raw greens and vegetables retain much more of their nutrients than when they are cooked.

Essential nutrients such as calcium can dissolve during the cooking process.  e  recommend serving it raw as long as your dragon can digest it. 

How Much Cabbage To Feed A Bearded Dragon?

If you are unsure how much red cabbage a bearded dragon should be eating, follow the guidelines below.

If your bearded dragon is under a year old and doesn’t consume vegetables, limit them to 1/2 to 3/4 of the daily suggested serving.

When your bearded dragon reaches 1 year old, feed your beardie no more than 5-6 cups per day.

When your bearded dragon is  2 years old, feed it no more than 10-12 cups per day.

When your bearded dragon reaches 3  and older, provide it no more than 20-24 cups per day.

How To Prepare Cabbage For Your Bearded Dragon

Red cabbage can be served raw which requires almost no preparation.  Just follow these easy steps before offering the leafy goodness to your bearded dragon.

  • Stay clear of wilted cabbage, and make sure to pick cabbage that is crispy fresh with no spots or blemishes.  Organic cabbage is always the best option because it is pesticide and chemical-free.
  • Wash the cabbage thoroughly, and remove the outer leaves.
  • Separate a few inner leaves to feed your beardie.  
  • Don’t feed the cabbage stalk, just the leaves.
  • Chop the cabbage leaves into tiny pieces, no bigger than the space between your beardie’s eyes.
  • Serve the raw cabbage to your beardie.  We suggest creating a salad by adding mango, pineapple, collard greens, or others.


Cabbage is an excellent treat to give adult and baby bearded dragons.  It can help with their overall immune support, bone health, and growth.  It is safe to provide cabbage to your adult bearded dragon once or twice a week.

Continually research food to add to your bearded dragon’s diet.  Even food that seems healthy can have unintended side effects. Whenever you feel unsure, contact your vet for advice.

Continue to read our main article “What do Bearded Dragons Eat?” for all the ins and outs on general diet questions, and get a further detailed breakdown of other popular foods in the articles below:

Photo of author


I am a huge animal lover and have four dogs, a Labrador, Jack Russell, Pug, and Teacup Yorkie. I also have a cat and a Cockatiel. I have had pets since I was a toddler, and there was not a day when there wasn't an animal in my house.