Choosing the appropriate food size for your reptile is crucial for overall health and well-being. Different species will require different dietary needs depending on their age and size. We are here to help you if you do have any concerns or questions regarding your animals eating routines, but below is a general guide of things to consider when feeding your reptile.
Research your specific animal's dietary requirements
What reptile you own will depend on what kind of diet your animal will need. Most species of lizards will require live feeding (crickets, locusts or dubias are what we recommend for daily diets), some will require some vegetation in their diet and if you were to have a snake then you would be looking at feeding frozen/thawed rodents. Understanding their natural diet and feeding habits is vital for any pet owner. Do your research and ask questions!
Considering the age of the animal
Most younger reptiles will eat a lot more often than older animals as they are utilising their food more to help them grow to their full potential. Once an animal has reached a certain age/ size, you will notice that they will naturally decrease the amount of food they are eating; this also happens as the food size increases.
Prey Size in comparison to the animal
A good rule of thumb when choosing prey items for lizards is that the food is no wider than the distance of the gap between their eyes. This helps prevent choking and ensures that the food is manageable for the animal to swallow. Regarding snakes, it is a little bit trickier to gauge their food size. When feeding snakes, we choose food size depending on the thickest part of their body. Snakes have the incredible ability to take down food items whole. Their lower jaw allows their mouth to stretch and take down much bigger prey items than their head might let on. As your reptile grows, its dietary needs will change - adjusting the size and how often you feed will change.
Variety in diet
Try and offer a variety of prey items to ensure a well-balanced diet. This may include a variety of insects, rodents, fruit and vegetables, depending on your animal's dietary needs. We are more than happy to discuss which foods are available to create more variety for your specific reptile.
Calcium and Vitamin Supplements
Consider the nutritional content of the prey. Most live-feeding animals will require calcium and vitamin supplements in their feeds as insects lack certain nutritional values. Please check out our other blog post on the importance of supplementing your animals.
Overfeeding your animal can lead to obesity and other health problems. Whilst an animal is growing, we want to encourage allowing them to eat as much as they want, again, as during this time, they are using what they are eating to help them grow. As they get older, we need to be more mindful of this. Monitoring the weight of your animal is always advised - we then want to be mindful of the frequency and quantity of feedings, ensuring they align with your reptile's needs.
Always remember that individual reptiles may have unique preferences and needs. Regularly assess your reptile's health and make adjustments to their diet as needed. If you are uncertain about any aspect of your reptile's diet, you are more than welcome to ask us for any and all advice.
Thanks for reading!