Reptiles that can eat a vegetarian diet
6 February 2020
Are you interested in buying a new scaly friend, but put off by feeding them live stock? Or would you like a camouflaging companion but don’t want to store bugs for food? Well, you are not alone. Many people would like to invest in a reptile for a pet, but are put off by storing and the feeding of live or frozen stock. Luckily, there are many herbivore reptiles, or reptiles whose diet can be supplemented by easier meat alternatives. So we’ve compiled a list of these reptiles to help you decide what’s right for you.
Gartner Snakes are very common small snakes. A garter snake is a carnivore and hunts prey, so frozen mice are usually the best option. However, this is not the case with all captive bred Gartner Snakes. Some might not even touch mice. Alternatively, these snakes can be fed live or frozen fish and worms. It is important to avoid fish with thiaminase, like goldfish, which will harm the snake. Frozen fish such as fish fillets are convenient and safer as the freezing will destroy potentially harmful parasites. Be sure to vary their diet to ensure complete nutrition. Occasional calcium and vitamin supplements will be necessary on a fish diet.
Blue Tongue Skink
Blue-tongue skinks are a popular pet choice as they require less space than other reptiles and can be easily tamed for handling. These lizards are also omnivorous, but they eat a variety of foods including prepared foods, ground turkey, eggs, fruits, and vegetable. A balanced diet would equate to roughly 50% vegetables, 40% protein and 10% fruit.
African Egg-Eating Snake
The Dasypeltis Scabra (or African Egg-Eating Snake) is a popular pet as the mouth contains no teeth, meaning they cannot bite you. These snakes live purely off eggs-hence the name. Quail eggs are perfect size for these snakes and are easily sourced from most supermarkets or online.
Uromastyx are omnivores, however they cannot process large amounts of meat. Doing so can lead to kidney failure and death. Therefore, it is better to treat them as herbivores. Fresh greens, vegetables and fruit should be the primary diet of a pet Mali Uromastyx. For protein, feed your pet seeds. Be sure to supplement vitamins, minerals, and calcium.
The majority of Iguanas can be fed a vegetarian diet. Some are even advised to avoid meat completely. Some are carnivores but can be supplemented with prepared foods. The Green Iguana in particular is strictly herbivore. A well balanced diet of greens, vegetables and fruits will ensure a healthy Green Iguana.
Each species of reptile along with each individual pet can vary on specific diet needs and feeding times. Be sure to do research and ask the buyer what the pet’s particular needs are for responsible reptile keeping and a healthy pet.
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