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Dog Care | Basic Health Check

Depending on the species and their stage of life, reptiles can be insectivores, herbivores, carnivores, or a combination. Many species will eat differently as a juvenile than as an adult. With so many options available, let Dr. Eva and her experienced Veterinary team help you choose the correct diet and supplements for your reptile.

For insectivores and carnivores, we recommend feeding your reptile in a separate container from their enclosure, as this will help decrease the association of your hand with food. Never leave a reptile unattended when feeding and remove food un-eaten food sources after 15-20 minutes to prevent injury to your pet.

Insectivores

Staple insects include horn worms, silk worms, and crickets; while butter worms, meal worms, and wax worms can be given occasionally as treats. These insects provide the diet with a proper balance of calcium to phosphorous in a ratio that should be as close to 2:1 as possible. Super worms should be avoided, as they contain an inappropriate ratio of calcium to phosphorus. Their mouthparts can also cause injury to your reptile.

Depending on the species, supplementation with a calcium vitamin, such as Reptivite calcium WITHOUT D3 is recommended daily. Further supplementation with a multivitamin that contains vitamin D3 is also recommended once-twice weekly. For a species that cannot produce their own vitamin D3, such as leopard geckos, use a calcium supplement WITH D3 daily.

To dust insects, place them in a bag with the powder and allow them to become coated. Insects will brush off the powder quickly so it is recommended to only dust those insects that will be immediately ingested.

Carnivores

Reptile species that eat whole prey, such as snakes, ingest a much more balanced form of nutrition. Depending on the species, frozen rodents gently thawed are recommended.

Herbivores

Reptiles that are fed a strict herbivorous diet suffer the highest nutritional deficiencies in calcium and protein, and therefore many species will eat both insects and veggies. Ratios of insects to vegetables vary between life stages, reproductive status, and species, so it is imperative you receive the right information for your specific reptile.

Dark, leafy greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, dandelions, and snap peas, are strongly recommended; while lettuce, spinach, and cabbages can be fed on occasion. We recommend feeding organic products when available to avoid pesticide intoxication.

Depending on the species, supplementation with a calcium vitamin, such as Reptivite calcium WITHOUT D3 is recommended daily. Further supplementation with a multivitamin that contains vitamin D3 is also recommended once-twice weekly.

Water Recommendations

Water should be available to all species and refreshed daily. Depending on species needs, a large shallow water disk helps increase humidity in the terrarium and provides a pool in which your reptile can soak without placing their head underwater.

We recommend using stage 5 reverse osmosis or bottled spring water, as the filtering process also contains a filter for protozoans, while keeping the important minerals normally found in water in your reptile’s diet. For comparison, Brita water filters are only stage 2, while distilled is stage 6 and contain no minerals.