Reptile Diet

Reptile diets can be herbivorous (eat only plants), omnivorous (eat both plants and animals) or carnivorous. Popular pet lizards like geckos are insectivores and are commonly fed crickets or worms that need to be “gut loaded” with high nutrient foods for proper dietary balance.


Ideally, pellet diets should be limited and natural foods should be offered daily for total nutrition. It is easy to over supplement proteins with animal based diets and this can lead to kidney disease.


In the wild, green iguanas and tortoises consume leaves, grass, cactus and seaweed. As pets, these reptiles are best served a diet rich in vegetables, leafy greens and fruits.

Herbivorous pet reptiles need a well-balanced diet that includes both plant and animal sources of proteins, vitamins and minerals. Providing these nutrients in a form that is easy for the reptile to digest is important.

Many commercial diets are pellet based and do not always represent complete reptile nutrition. Many reptiles are unable to achieve their metabolic energy requirements from protein alone, and if fed high protein foods they can quickly become overweight or obese. In addition, some reptiles require certain essential fatty acids (EFA) like linoleic acid to function properly. A diet lacking in these EFAs can lead to the development of a dry, flaky skin which is prone to infection and shedding problems. 도마뱀분양

Some reptiles, such as geckos and chameleons, are insectivores and enjoy feeding on insects that have been dusted or gut loaded with high-value nutritive ingredients to provide them with the proper balance of protein and minerals. Using the right feeder crickets and worms is key to keeping your reptile healthy.


Reptiles that are omnivorous consume a wide variety of plant and animal sources. They typically feed on leaves, grasses, stems and flowers as well as fruits, insects, and a range of other reptile prey species. In captivity it is common to see a number of omnivorous reptiles consuming fresh fruit, v 도마뱀분양 eggies and even worms (for example, the popular Central Bearded Dragon).

The protein sources used for herbivorous reptiles are often plant based. The most common sources are grasses and leafy green vegetables such as kale, mustard and collard greens, broccoli and cauliflower. These plant based proteins are important for these species as they contain many of the essential amino acids required for healthy reptiles. Herbivorous reptiles require a high fibre diet and should have free choice access to hay and grasses as well as fresh dark green vegetables.

Carnivorous reptiles, such as snakes, alligators and caimans, crocodiles and numerous species of monitors and lizards require a diet rich in meat, fish and a range of other carnivorous animals. These protein sources contain a high proportion of the amino acid methionine as well as the important fatty acid arginine.

It is known that if a reptile is fed low biological value foods it can rapidly achieve its minimum energy requirement (MER) and become obese. Reptiles that are overweight have a higher risk of metabolic diseases such as liver disease and hepatic lipidosis.


A reptile’s diet is a vital component of its health. Captive animals that receive inadequate diets can suffer from a wide variety of nutritional deficiencies and may require treatment by your veterinarian. Many pet stores and online retailers sell prepared foods that provide the extra vitamins and minerals your reptile requires to thrive.

Reptiles such as geckos, skinks and anoles are insectivores that require a high level of nutrition to stay healthy. In captivity, it can be difficult to provide enough insects with sufficient nutritive value. Reptiles such as these can be fed frozen pinkie mice and earthworms (which lack chitin), dusted crickets, mealworms or wax worms. It is important to gut-load and dust these insects before feeding so that your reptile gets all the nutrients it needs.

Herbivorous species such as green iguanas, spiny-tailed lizards and tortoises should be offered a diet comprised mostly of fresh greens supplemented with fruits and commercial “kibble.” A mix of foods will encourage the acceptance of new dietary additions and reduce the risk of developing a nutrient deficiency such as squamous metaplasia and vitamin A and D deficiencies. Feeding a single food type such as house crickets, mealworms or wax wigers can lead to the development of SNHP. Moreover, these prey insects do not offer the required amount of water, protein and fats to meet the nutritional requirements of most herbivorous reptiles.


Carnivorous reptiles, such as snakes and crocodiles, eat birds (including their eggs), mammals, fishes, and other reptiles. They use their senses of sight, touch, and smell to locate prey. They have powerful jaws that can crush and tear meat. They also have a digestive system that produces hydrochloric acid to break down the protein in their food.

Reptiles are omnivorous, herbivorous, or carnivorous, depending on their food preferences. Some can eat both plant and animal foods, but others lean in one direction more than the other.

Herbivores (green iguanas, turtles, syrian and gila monsters) like fresh green leafy vegetables and fruits and commercial “kibble.” They may enjoy live prey such as worms and crickets or flies, but feeding dead vertebrate prey animals increases the chance of disease and injury. Feeding obese prey animals decreases nutrient content relative to calories, which can lead to insidious secondary dietary deficiencies.

For omnivores, a 70-20-10 diet is ideal. The majority of their diet should be leafy greens, such as collard or mustard greens, kale, chard, romaine lettuce, dandelions, and beets. These should be supplemented with vegetables and non-citrus fruits, such as berries, bananas, pears, apples, and tomatoes. Avoid feeding your pet reptile cruciferous vegetables, such as cauliflower, cabbage, and broccoli, too often, because they interfere with calcium absorption. Instead, try a calcium/vitamin powder or pellets that have been re-hydrated with water and vitamins.