Reptiles make exotic pets. They are quite different from the normal kinds of pets we usually see because they have different feeding habits, need different kinds of habitat and atmosphere. In some countries you may even need to have license to own pet reptiles. Various kinds of reptiles are becoming popular pets these days. Some of the most common ones include snakes, lizards, turtles, bearded dragons and iguanas. Unlike the birds and animals, the reptiles do not consume much food. So they are relatively cheap to feed. If you are planning to own a reptile pet, here are certain things to consider for feeding your pet reptiles.
1. Food preferences
The type of food the reptiles prefer depends on its type whether it is herbivore, carnivore or omnivore. There are some other kinds of preferences such as folivore which means that the animal consumes only leaves, insectivores consume only different kinds of insects and piscivores are those that eat only fish. Before choosing a reptile, consider the food preferences and then bring home one if you will be able to feed it properly.
2. Amount of food
The amount of food required by your pet reptiles usually depends on its size and its natural feeding habits. Insectivorous reptiles may need to feed on insects at least twice daily or sometimes every other day. The best thing is that there is no need to stand and watch it feeding. All you have to do is to just leave the food in the bowl and your pet is ready to slurp it off. Herbivorous lizards may require a pile of chopped veggies twice its width and as long as its body. Omnivorous lizards require a weekly thrice diverse diet. They can be given three types of foods such as meat, consisting of cat food or kangaroo mince, fruits and vegetables and live crickets, snails and cockroaches. Feeding it once a day is more than enough. Snakes take a long time to digest the foods. Sometimes you may need to feed them only once in a week or 15 days.
3. Prekilled foods
Most of the reptile pet owners are confused about the type of foods to be given when it comes to feeding carnivorous pets. Should you feed live or prekilled foods? Both kinds of foods are consumed by these reptiles. Most of them prefer to give prekilled foods. There are various advantages of providing prekilled foods. Prekilled rodents are easily available, easy to use and store and most of the rodent eating pets can be bought for cheap prices.
Prekilled foods are easily eaten by the pets. Using the killed versions also removes the feeling of disgust while feeding a live animal. It may put in you in a lot of pain to see one animal being devoured by another while it is struggling with pain. This can be avoided while feeding prekilled foods. Prekilled foods are easily available in pet food stores. All you have to do is buy them and feed them in a proper manner. The process of offering prekilled food is very simple. The food has to be thawed in warm water for half an hour. Larger foods may need more time. Blot the food dry and then toss it into your pet’s cage.
Use gloves while tossing the foods. By using prekilled foods, you will be saving your pets from possible attacks from the prey.
4. Live food
Though you can feed live food to your reptiles, it is advisable not to give live foods due to various reasons. Offering a live food to your pet snake is not the same as offering a prekilled food. It is not easy for the reptile to overcome and successfully capture the prey as they do in the wild. Most often, the reptiles are attacked back by the prey and suffer different kinds of injuries. If you leave the rodent and your pet snake for some time without monitoring, your pet may end up not eating the food along with some bruises.
Most of the veterinarians have a story to tell about how they had to treat some pet reptiles with a missing tail, no eyes or even with exposed ribs due to the preys. So, be very careful if you want to feed live food. Monitor the two in every fifteen minutes. If the prey has not been killed and eaten, remove it from the cage after 45 minutes. This will ensure that your pet reptile is safe.
There are no complete and nutritional commercial diets available for the reptiles. Each type of pet requires specific kinds of foods and nutrition. Before buying your pet, do a thorough research on the kind of reptile you want. If you are not able to provide proper nutrition, consider using calcium and vitamin supplements. Speak to your veterinarian and get a clear idea about the feeding habits so that you can take care of your pet properly.