Are you considering adopting a salamander? These cute lizards exist in a variety of breeds that vary in shape, size, color, and natural habitats. Just like with any other pet, correct nutrition and a balanced diet are crucial to their health and well-being. And like most reptiles, salamanders are carnivores. Knowing what and what not to feed your little buddy can help ensure that he lives a long, healthy life. In this post, a veterinarian lists a few salamander diet dos and don’ts.
Salamander Diet Dos
Salamanders should be fed a carnivorous diet, one that consists of foods they would eat in their natural habitats, which include both land and water environments. If your pet lizard is a land-dwelling breed, insects, crickets, mealworms, tubifex worms, and white worms should make up the bulk of his menu. For water-dwellers, you’ll need to feed him water-borne critters, like nightcrawlers, bloodworms, and brine shrimp.
Commercial food options, such as pellets, are another way to go. These contain processed insects and worms. However, these shouldn’t be the bulk of your salamander’s diet. Reptiles are natural hunters, meaning they need to catch their food. Some will refuse to eat pellets for that very reason. Another option to consider is feeding your salamander freeze-dried insects instead of live ones. Ask your vet for recommendations.
Salamander Diet Don’ts
One common misconception about feeding salamanders, and amphibians in general, is that they must be fed daily. Actually, adult salamanders only need to be fed two or three times a week, typically at nighttime. It’s only the juvenile or younger salamanders that require daily feedings. You’ll also need to make sure your pet always has clean, fresh, chlorine-free water available.
Fruits and Vegetables?
A salamander’s digestive tract can’t really process anything other than meat, so you should not feed your little buddy any fruits or vegetables. However, salamanders do need the nutrients from produce. They just need to ingest it via those insects. Make sure the insects you feed him have been fed lots of these types of foods. You may also need to dust your pet’s lunch with nutritional powders. This is called gutloading.
Your little salamander buddy will need calcium powder supplements for bone health. Also, make sure the calcium powder you use doesn’t include vitamin D3, since this can be toxic to reptiles. Ask your vet for specific advice.
If you have more questions or wish to schedule your salamander for a checkup, don’t hesitate to call your local vet today!