Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower? All You Need To Know

In Australia, bearded dragons are semi-arboreal lizards that are indigenous to the country. Can bearded dragons eat cauliflower? All you need to know is discussed below. The name bearded dragon came from the part it possesses under its neck.

Bearded dragons are some of the well-endorsed reptile species around the world. These can be excellent pets if they are welcomed at home. The diet of Bearded dragons includes vegetables and insects.

Cauliflower is one of the vegetables that you can feed to these creatures. It is safe to feed cauliflower as long as they are fed only 6-10 grams a month. Bearded dragons need a variety of veggies and insects to thrive better in harsh conditions. Unfortunately, bearded dragons couldn’t get sufficient vitamins and minerals through insects.

Sometimes we might consider food that is healthy for humans is also healthy for our pets. It can be considered a myth and is proved wrong in this article. There is a need to opt for vegetables for nutritional benefits. Numerous vegetables are available in the market, which is excellent for a bearded dragon’s diet.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower?

Bearded dragons can eat cauliflower once or twice a month. It has to be fed in significantly fewer quantities, i.e., 6 to 10 grams.

Bearded dragons usually eat insects, plants, vegetables, salad, and leaves, and cauliflower can be given as a treat to your bearded dragon once a month.

can bearded dragons eat cauliflower

Cauliflower for Bearded Dragons may not be a great source of food. But cauliflower has its own advantages and disadvantages. We will look at the nutritional stats and facts of the cauliflower in this guide.

Cauliflower Nutritional Stats

green and white vegetable on white surface

Cauliflower is a cruciferous vegetable in which the florets are tightly bunched and are attached to a thick core. Green leaves surround the posterior body of the cauliflower. The following shows the nutritional profile of the cauliflower per 100 grams. 

  • 25 calories
  • 0 grams of fat
  • 0 grams of cholesterol 
  • 1.9 grams of protein 
  • 5 grams of carbohydrates 
  • 2 grams of dietary fiber 
  • 2 grams of sugar
  • 2 grams of protein 
  • 30 milligrams of sodium 
  • 299 milligrams of potassium 
  • 80% Vitamin C, Vitamin K
  • 2% iron

Cauliflower Nutritional Facts

Feeding cauliflower to the bearded dragon is considered safe only up to some level. When you choose vegetables to feed bearded dragons, you should precisely know about the nutritional benefits each vegetable has. Cauliflower has some nutritional benefits, such as

  • Cauliflower contains a considerable amount of vitamins and minerals, which are essential for bearded dragons. 
  • It contains a small percentage of phosphorus, protein, and fiber. 
  • It is exceptionally high in vitamin K (phylloquinone), which is essential for normal blood clotting and the synthesis of proteins found in plasma. Deficiency in vitamin K Leads to hemorrhage.
  • It contains vitamin C (ascorbic acid), which acts as an antioxidant and protects the cells from damage. The deficiency of vitamin C leads to lesions in the mouth and skin. It can cause mouth rot (stomatitis) and poor wound healing.
  • Cauliflower contains vitamin A which is required for healthy eyes and eyelids.
  • It has a small amount of calcium which serves as a vital element for bearded dragons. 
Cauliflower on white background

Health Benefits Of Cauliflower For Bearded Dragons

Cauliflower has high vitamin content, which is essential for the bearded dragon. Vitamin C and vitamin k are essential for every reptile which grows through the stages of molting.

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Iron and vitamin K is essential for blood circulation, and they prevent anemia which is common in these reptiles. These compounds are essential for the healthy life of the bearded dragon.

Protein is crucial for the growth and development of reptiles. It is very important to note that bearded dragons need different vitamins and minerals in considerable amounts, just as we humans require.

grayscale photography of bearded dragon

To attain maximum nutritional benefit, there are many healthier alternatives to cauliflower.

Goitrogens, in their high amounts, affect the thyroid glands of the bearded dragons. This leads to a slower growth rate. The thyroid plays a significant role in several functions of the lizard.

If it doesn’t function properly, it severely affects the metabolism of the dragon, which in turn affects the growth rate. There is a chance of getting MBD if the thyroid gland is impaired. 

Baby bearded dragons cannot tolerate these high levels of goitrogens. Hence, cauliflower has to be provided in moderation to these reptiles.

Regular consumption of food that is high in goitrogens may cause impairment in the long run. When the effects are already known, it is best to avoid the consumption.

Can Bearded Dragons Have Cauliflower?

However, cauliflower doesn’t serve as a staple diet due to the following reasons. 

  • The water content in the cauliflower is considerably low compared to other vegetables. 
  • A relatively low calcium to phosphorus ratio makes it inferior among other vegetables. 
  • High amounts of goitrogens in cauliflower interfere with the normal functioning of the thyroid gland, liver, and kidneys.
  • Goitrogens inhibit the absorption of iodine. It causes kidney stones, liver damage, and goiter.
  • Overall low nutritional level doesn’t serve to be a staple diet for bearded dragons.

Is Cauliflower Good For Baby Bearded Dragons?

Feeding cauliflower to baby bearded dragons is not recommended because of its low calcium content. Calcium serves as an essential element in the effective growth of bones and muscles.

Providing less source of calcium through cauliflower during the growth phase of bearded dragons is not advised. Bearded dragons need plenty of nutrition to support their faster rate of growth.

Instead, you can opt for a better calcium and protein source. The stomachs of baby bearded dragons are relatively small, so it is not advisable to fill that small room with foods that have lower nutrient content.

Juvenile bearded dragons should have sparingly low cauliflower to avoid stilt growth and shedding problems.

Cauliflower has tannins that prevent the absorption of proteins in bearded dragons. It also inhibits enzymes that help in the absorption of iron and vitamin B12.

As mentioned before, goitrogens are very harmful to all lizards, especially to young bearded dragons, as it inhibits the absorption of iodine which in turn inhibits its growth. 

How To Feed Cauliflower To Bearded Dragons?

You can give cauliflower raw. But you need to make sure that it is fresh and white. It is better to avoid cooked cauliflower as the nutrients are lost due to overheating. A bowl of cauliflower weighing about 6 to 10 grams can be given to your beardie.

You can finely crush them using a blender to make it easy for your pet. Or you can just shred the leaves into pieces and serve it with some other supplements recommended by the veterinarian.

  • As bearded dragons need only 6-10gm of cauliflower a day, You should prevent bearded dragons from overeating.
  • You can serve cauliflower with other vegetables, fruits, or supplements to attain maximum nutritional value. 
  • Do not give a higher amount, i.e., more than 6-10gm.
  • Cooked cauliflower should be avoided since the nutritional value is lost due to the heat. 
  • Raw and fresh cauliflower serve as the best source.

How Many Cauliflower Can A Bearded Dragons Eat?

The amount of cauliflower that you should feed your beardie is less than 10 grams. This continues with just 10 % weight of the whole cauliflower.

According to this, we can say that we just need 10% of the whole cauliflower to feed your beardie. It would help if you avoided excess feeding of the vegetable.

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 The whole cauliflower is edible, and each part contains a different nutrient value. Interestingly, the leaves of cauliflower are much healthier than the actual edible part.

Leaves of cauliflower show an entirely different nutrient composition as compared to the florets. The leaves are considered to be surprisingly good for bearded dragons due to the following reasons. 

  • Relatively higher content of calcium than cauliflower florets. Calcium promotes bone growth and density and prevents metabolic bone disease (MBD)
  • Cauliflower leaves have much lower goitrogen content which is to be avoided by the bearded dragons. 

However, Cauliflower leaves prove to be a better source of food compared to the florets, and it has its disadvantages too.

  • Cauliflower leaves may contain pesticides, depending on how they are grown. Even if a small amount of pesticide happens to enter the digestive system of these lizards, it threatens the bearded dragon’s life. 
  • Pesticide-free food is advisable to be fed to the lizards. 
  • You can feed cauliflower leaves once a week.

Is Cauliflower Bad For Bearded Dragons?

Cauliflower has high goitrogen levels, which inhibit the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. Cauliflower should be this vegetable in a small amount. Goitrogens can affect the thyroid gland of the bearded dragon and cause goiter.

Now we know that cauliflower doesn’t serve the whole purpose of providing nutrition to the 

Bearded dragon. We can surely opt for other vegetable sources. Some of the alternatives are listed below 

Greens

Turnip grass, coriander, clover, parsley, spinach, green leaf lettuce, cabbage, iceberg lettuce

vegetables 

Green beans, peas, potatoes, butter squash, Bell Pepper, sweet potato, asparagus 

Do Bearded Dragons Like Cauliflower?

Bearded dragons are versatile eaters. They tend to eat everything that is placed in front of them. There isn’t any complication that your beardies show towards the food they eat. So, the responsibility directly is on you to provide the proper diet for these reptiles.

an orange Juvenile Bearded dragon lizard posing on a white background

You must make sure that you feed a good amount of nutritious food to your beardies. Any artificial food or flavors should be strictly avoided.

They tend to accumulate in the body of the bearded dragons and some severe health problems in the long run. Anything organic or natural is always preferred as the diet for these reptiles.

How Often Can A Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower?

Bearded dragons can eat cauliflower only once a month. Cauliflower comes at the end of the list of vegetables that are nutritious for the reptile. It is better to totally avoid this vegetable or feed it very rarely because of its low nutritional value.

It is better to feed cauliflower greens other than the florets. This actually helps to provide abundant nutrition to the bearded dragons.

Cauliflower greens are rich in calcium and have a negligible amount of goitrogens. These levels of the essential elements make the greens a worthy meal compared to the florets and leaves.

Does Cauliflower Affect The Digestive System Of Bearded Dragons?

Cauliflower might not be the perfect vegetable for the digestive system of bearded dragons. Cauliflower consists of the least amount of fiber.

Fiber helps in the proper digestion of food. It also helps in the better ejection of the fecal matter; it clears out the stomach and hence cleans the digestive system.

Cauliflower, along with other vegetables, can act as an excellent source for a healthy digestive system. But a cauliflower alone cannot improve or affect the digestive system.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower Greens? 

Cauliflower greens are the outer layer of the head. It surrounds the florets of the cauliflower. Many of us think this part is not edible, and we just discard them.

But for the beardies, these are a rich source of calcium and iron. They do not consist of any goitrogens, which may affect the thyroid gland the beardies.

The greens of the cauliflower are slightly hard to consume by these animals. Hence, we can cut them into pieces or crush them in the blender to serve the bearded dragons. Cauliflower greens are considered to be the richest source of calcium.

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These help to improve the bones and the muscles of the bearded dragons. A 100g serving of cauliflower greens provides a whopping amount of 600mg of calcium. This is considered the best source of calcium compared to other vegetables.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower Leaves?

Yes, Cauliflower leaves have high calcium levels, which are very nutritious to the beardies. Cauliflower leaves are much healthier the cauliflower head. These leaves have very low levels of goitrogens as compared to the florets.

close up photo of cabbage vegetable

Leaves are mostly preferred out of the whole cauliflower due to their nutritious nature. It would be great if you made sure that these leaves are free of pesticides and dust. This ensures a safe and clean meal for the bearded dragons.

You should feed cauliflower rarely due to the high levels of goitrogens in it. But the leaves show significantly low levels of this toxic substance.

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cauliflower And Broccoli?

Yes, Bearded dragons can eat both cauliflower and broccoli. However, broccoli is preferred over cauliflower due to its high nutritional content. Both the veggies may look similar, but they do have a lot of differences in their nutritional status.

Fresh cut broccoli that makes a pattern

Can Bearded Dragons Eat Raw Cauliflower?

Cauliflower is best served when it is raw. Bearded dragons are fed raw cauliflower. Cooked or boiled cauliflower tends to lose all its nutritional benefits. Above all, The nutritional benefits of raw cauliflower are considerably low when compared to other vegetables.

SO, when boiling the cauliflower, the entire nation is lost, and just the bland veggie is left out. When you want to serve cauliflower to your beardies, do it properly by serving it raw.

Final Thoughts

Feeding the food which has the best nutritional value has a greater impact on the lifestyle of bearded dragons. There are also a whole bunch of supplements available out there which actually serve as a great source to the bearded dragon.

You should preferably know the underlying facts of the food and present it accordingly. You should balance the diet of the bearded dragons to derive health benefits from the food. 

Greens can contribute to a healthy meal for the bearded dragons. Apart from cauliflower, there are numerous vegetables available that can be pretty healthy for the beardies. Make sure that you keep your bearded dragons hydrated all the time.

Cauliflower has the least amount of water content and very low nutrients. Hence, other veggies can be preferred in place of cauliflower. Cauliflower has low calcium to phosphorous ratio. This is considered harmful to the health of the beardies.

Providing a balanced diet with ample other supplements can increase the life span of the bearded dragons and help to cope up with the existing problems. Go through the information provided in this article and choose whether you feed cauliflower to the bearded dragons.

FAQs

Can bearded dragons eat tomatoes?

Tomatoes generally contain high levels of oxalic acid, which can be harmful to the health of bearded dragons. Oxalic acid interrupts the absorption of calcium and phosphorous. This may lead to bladder and kidney stones. Hence, You should give tomatoes in moderation.

Can bearded dragons eat bananas?

Yes, Bearded dragons can eat bananas. Bananas have high phosphorus to calcium ratio, which makes them unsuitable for feeding bearded dragons. Bananas can be fed it only once or twice a month.

Can bearded dragons eat eggs?

Bearded dragons can eat eggs. Eggs consist of high protein, which serves to be a great meal for the bearded dragons. You can feed eggs in any of its forms, and You can feed them once or twice a week.

Can bearded dragons eat bell peppers?

Bearded dragons can eat red bell peppers since they are fully nutritious. Ripened bell peppers are a great source of nutrition for bearded dragons.

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Gulshan
Hi, I am Gulshan, a pet blogger, and author. I've been working with the local pet groups for the past five years. I have been fascinated by our pets and am here to share that wonder with you.