Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cactus? (See What Happens)

can bearded dragons eat cactus

We all know that bearded dragons enjoy eating cacti in the wild, but what about when they are kept as pets. Is it okay to give them cacti or is there a reason why you shouldn’t? The answer is that it depends on the type of cactus you have and how much you feed your beardie.

There are many types of cacti out there, so if you do want to feed your dragon one make sure it’s not toxic for them first. Check out the vegetables bearded dragons can eat.

is it safe for bearded dragons to eat cactus

Which Cacti Are Safe For Bearded Dragons To Eat?

Almost all types of cacti are safe for bearded dragons to eat. You can feed them the pads from the following:

  • Prickly Pear
  • Golden Crown
  • Nipple Cactus

The reason why they eat these spiky plants in the wild is that they contain a lot of water which helps them hydrate in their desert habitats. If you do have a type of cactus that isn’t listed here then definitely avoid feeding it to your beardie as it could be toxic for them.

Which Cacti Are Toxic To Your Bearded Dragon?

There are some kinds of cacti that are dangerous for reptiles to eat due to their toxins so be careful with which ones you choose to give him/her. The following cacti are toxic to your bearded dragon:

  • Arizona barrel cactus
  • Marston’s organ pipe cactus
  • Cardinal cactus

Bearded dragons are impressively hardy creatures who can eat almost anything, but that doesn’t mean you should give them everything. Just like with any animal, if the wrong type of plant is ingested it could be fatal for your beardie so make sure they can only eat safe plants!

So again, if you have a type of cactus that isn’t listed here and you’re unsure of whether it’s toxic or not, please consult a veterinarian.


How Much Should You Feed Your Bearded Dragon?

You should only feed your bearded dragon cacti after you’ve soaked them in water – this is because they contain a lot of water in the wild and in captivity, so soaking them in warm water for around 10 minutes makes them softer and easier to digest.

After you’ve soaked your cacti, cut off small pieces with kitchen scissors or nail clippers then feed them to your pet. Try not to feed your beardie the spines as they can get stuck in his/her throat – if this happens, see a vet immediately!

As with any plants you give your bearded dragon, only provide him/her with cacti once or twice a week so they don’t develop any health problems.

Can You Put A Cactus In A Bearded Dragon’s Cage?

It’s not recommended that you put cacti in your bearded dragon’s tank as they can damage his/her skin or eyes. The best thing to do is just feed them the pieces after soaking, but if you’re set on decorating your pet’s cage with a cactus then make sure it’s suitable first!

Final Thoughts

I hope this article has helped answer your question, “Can Bearded Dragons Eat Cactus?”. The simple answer is that almost all types of cacti are safe for bearded dragons to eat as they contain a lot of water. If you want to make sure it’s safe before feeding it to him/her though, please consult a veterinarian first!

If you have any other questions or queries about beardies then don’t hesitate to contact us at headquarters!

Rich Hansen

I'm a long time Bearded Dragon owner. I currently have two Bearded Dragons, Sam and Dean. I'm also a huge fan of the show Supernatural.

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