Taking care of a pet reptile differs from taking care of other pets such as cats and dogs. Since reptiles are exotic pets, information about feeding and caring for them is scarce and mostly unavailable to the general public. However, like all other pets, even your reptiles need affection, attention, and occasional rewards and incentives. A treat is a fun way to express your love for them, whether it’s positive reinforcement, teaching a new trick, or just because you want to.
Some reptiles are simple to feed. Snakes, for instance, swallow entire prey that provides them all the nutrients they require to survive and grow. Of course, this assumes that the prey has been well fed and is free of deficiencies and parasites. Gut loading the prey ensures that the prey is as safe and nutritious as possible by supplying the requisite nutrients. All of the predator’s nutritional needs are met at this stage. For vertebrate prey, this is simpler since the bones have the required calcium. You can also feed the prey animals fat-soluble vitamins, such as A and D, as it is difficult for a reptile to extract these nutrients from other foods.
When feeding a herbivore or insectivore, you must be a little more creative to provide them enough calcium and other nutrients. A diverse set of prey insects and well-balanced supplements support each species to meet all of its nutritional needs. There really is no one-size-fits-all plan for your scaly mates, but study and conversations with other pet owners will help you find the right diet for them.
Lizards: What Do They Eat?
Lizards come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Insectivores make up the majority of smaller lizards. The rest of the lizard species can be herbivorous (vegetarian) or omnivorous (eat everything – both animals and plants). Some large lizards are real predators, easily devouring larger mammals, but they aren’t commonly kept as pets.
If you’re okay with killing crickets but again not rats, insectivorous lizards are perhaps the better option.
Lizards can eat the following in the wild:
- Worms, beetles, spiders, bees, and other insects of various kinds
- Other small mammals, such as baby birds, rodents, or eggs of smaller lizards
- Vegetables and fruits
- Depending on the lizard’s size, larger prey
- The lizard’s diet varies greatly based on the species.
- Crickets, waxworms, and mealworms are commonly fed to lizards.
If by now, you are wondering where you could buy these insects, take a look at this website, where you will find insects and superworms for sale!
Crickets are normally easy to come by at your local pet shop, making it simple to feed those reptiles. However, your insectivore can suffer from nutritional deficiencies if you feed it a crickets-only diet. You may want to look at supplementing your diet.
Leopard geckos, Anoles, and Long-tailed Skinks are examples of insectivorous lizards that can be kept as pets. Another popular pet lizard is the Iguana, which is mostly vegetarian. Bearded dragons and skinks with blue tongues are omnivores.
What Do Corn Snakes Eat?
Corn snakes are carnivores and can be fed defrosted frozen rodents. Before deciding on buying a snake, make sure you can handle the responsibility of providing frozen rodents to your corn snake. Although most snakes are fed dead mice, some people believe that serving live rodents to a snake is a more typical experience. That being said, most captive-bred corn snakes haven’t been exposed to live prey and might even reject it. There’s also the possibility of your snake being injured by live prey, as well as the possibility of infection, particularly with wild-caught rodents. Then you have to consider public health and safety rules and regulations of where you live. For example, in the United Kingdom, prey animals must usually be dead when fed to your pet.
The shape of the rodent you have must be appropriate for your snake. Snakes consume their prey whole, but they won’t be able to handle or regurgitate large amounts of food. Rodents must be no more than 1.5 times the size of your corn snake’s midsection because feeding a prey object that is too huge can be harmful.
Corn snakes don’t need to feed as much as other snakes. For teen snakes, a diet every 5-7 days is sufficient, and for adults, a meal every 7-10 days is adequate. Frozen rodents should always be defrosted before feeding and never cooked, as this can irritate or cause your corn snake to be sick. Overfeeding must be avoided because snakes, like humans, can become obese.
Turtles and tortoises eat a variety of foods.
Most pet tortoises and turtles are reptile pacifists who don’t consume meat or insects. These sluggish creatures tend to eat stuff that can’t flee, such as:
- Leafy greens such as beet greens, lettuce, and other leafy greens
- Melons, apples, and mangoes are among the fruits eligible.
- Arrangements of flowers
- A wide range of other vegetables
- Some marine turtles eat fish and insects.
If you do not like the concept of certain other animals being killed to feed your pet, herbivorous tortoises and turtles are perfect for you. Since they evolved to consume such a wide range of foods, tortoises and turtles have complex nutritional requirements. To complement their fresh meals, many omnivorous species do better with a supplement or pellets. The herbivorous Russian tortoise and the omnivorous red-eared slider are two common types of pet turtles.
Make changes for the animal and the environment.
The amount of food and how much you should feed your pet reptile are both dictated by the animal and the environment. The temperature of the animal’s environment and the animal’s level of activity and life cycle influence the quantity of feed needed and how much has to be fed.
Most reptiles can eat live foods (such as super worms, mealworms, and mice), fruits, vegetables, pellets, and grasses in general. Before selecting reptile food, do some research on your pet reptile types, figure out what you will be comfortable feeding a pet, and pick a reptile pet accordingly.