What Supplements Should I Be Giving My Pet Reptile?

Reptile husbandry has come a long way in recent years, yet little is still known about what supplements to feed our reptiles, when to supplement them, and how much. There are so many different species of reptile now kept as pets in Ireland and it can be very overwhelming trying to decipher what is the correct feeding plan for your pet. At Shauna’s Petshop, we are always researching new findings when it comes to vitamin supplements for your reptile. We have compiled a guide below on what to feed some of the most common reptiles we encounter which we hope will start you off on an adventure of learning about reptile nutrition

Too often, vitamin supplements are generalized when it comes to reptiles, which can lead to an overdose of a certain vitamin/mineral (most commonly vitamin D3) or a deficiency in a certain vitamin/mineral (most commonly vitamin A).

 

 

We have been looking for a guide that is straight forward and easy to use, and we found the EarthPro Supplementation Programme by Arcadia the best in terms of ease of use. We are a huge fan of Arcadia reptile products and this feeding programme is no exception. Arcadia are at the forefront of new dietary programmes for reptiles and are always coming up with new products, literature and information. For an extensive look into reptile nutrition, we recommend The Arcadia Guide to Reptile and Amphibian Nutrition book, which offers a plethora of information on what diet and husbandry is needed for each species and most importantly, WHY they are so important. Arcadia strive to replicate the animal’s wild habitat, which should always be the objective when it comes to animal husbandry.

 

 

In this blog, we will cover the feeding programmes of our most common pet reptiles:

 

 

1.       Insectivores (e.g. the leopard gecko, crested gecko, panther chameleon, White’s Tree Frogs)

2.       Omnivore (e.g. the bearded dragon)

3.       Carnivore (snakes e.g. cornsnake, royal python, western hognose, milksnake)

4.       Herbivore (e.g. Horsfield’s tortoise)

 

 

1.       Crested Gecko (Omnivore):

 

 

Main Diet: A complete crested gecko diet such as Repashy Grubs ‘n’ Fruit and live insects.

 

Supplements: Arcadia EarthPro-Aon all items on feeds 1, 2 and 3. Arcadia CalciumPro-Mg on all items on feed 4. We then use Arcadia EarthPro-A for feed 5, 6, 7. Then use an optional high quality powder with pre-formed A and D3 for feed 8. Our recommendation would be Arcadia RevitaliseD3 or Vetark Nutrobal. We then continue this cycle. Introduce Arcadia ShedSupport as needed - (arcadiareptile.com)

 

How often do I feed my crested gecko?: Cresties should be fed every second day. Their complete crested gecko diet needs to be mixed with water until it has reached a watery custard consistency. Depending on the gecko, some may eat live insects more often than others. Don’t worry if your crestie is not too interested in live insects!

 

 

2.       Leopard Gecko (Insectivore)

 

Main Diet: Exclusively insectivores

 

Supplements: Use Arcadia EarthPro-A at every feed and on all food items, CalciumPro Mg at every 4th feed and a quality full-spectrum powder with D3 and A can be offered at feed 6 or 8. We recommend Arcadia RevitaliseD3 or Vetark Nutrobal. We then carry on with this cycle. Arcadia ShedSupport can be as directed over the shedding period.

 

How often do I feed my leopard gecko?: leopard geckos under 1 year old should be offered food everyday (e.g. 4-6 size 2 brown crickets). Juvenile leopard geckos should also be fed everyday until approximately 12-18 months old (e.g. 3-4 large locusts/size 4 brown crickets). Adult leopard geckos should be fed approximately 3-4 times a week (e.g. 3-4 large locusts or standard brown crickets). Be careful not to overfeed – leopard geckos can be prone to obesity! Keep a close eye on under their arms – if they develop little underarm fat pockets, they need to go on a diet! If this happens, reduce their feeding to 1-2 times a week, only offering 2-3 insects at a time (e.g. 2-3 large locusts) still keeping to the above supplement programme.

 

 

3.       Bearded Dragon (Omnivore)

 

Diet: Insects and some fruits/vegetables

 

Supplements: Use Arcadia EarthPro-A at every feed and on all food items, CalciumPro Mg at every 4th feed and a quality full-spectrum powder with D3 and A can be offered at feed 6 or 8. We recommend Arcadia RevitaliseD3 or Vetark Nutrobal. We then carry on with this cycle. Arcadia ShedSupport can be as directed over the shedding period.

 

How often do I feed my bearded dragon?: bearded dragons should be offered fresh vegetables everyday. The most popular and healthy for them include dandelions (pesticide free), pak choi leaves, rocket leaves, bell peppers with the occasional apple slice or blueberry treat. As juveniles, bearded dragons tend to prefer insects, so offer these everyday. When an adult, offer insects everyday. Add supplements above to both vegetables and insects as instructed.

 

 

4.       Panther Chameleon (Insectivore)

 

Main Diet: Exclusively insectivores

 

Supplements: Use Arcadia EarthPro-A at every feed and on all food items,CalciumPro Mg at every 4th feed and a quality full-spectrum powder with D3 and A can be offered at feed 6 or 8. We recommend Arcadia RevitaliseD3 or Vetark Nutrobal. We then carry on with this cycle. Arcadia ShedSupport can be as directed over the shedding period.

 

How often do I feed my panther chameleon?: panther chameleons should be offered food everyday and follow the above supplement programme. Be sure to feed them the appropriate sized insect as they can be prone to impaction. Hydration is vital with most habitats needing to be sprayed down three times a day to maintain the correct humidity. Chameleons have more complex requirements to other reptiles, so please get in touch if you have questions regarding their care!

 

 

5.       Snakes (e.g. cornsnakes, royal pythons) (Carnivore)

 

Main diet: meat e.g. frozen thawed mice, rats, chicks or rabbits

 

Supplements: defrosted whole animal items can be offered with Arcadia EarthPro-A at every feed. Arcadia CalciumPro-Mgat the 4th feed in the cycle. For problem shedders,Arcadia ShedSupport can be used as per the instructions on the packet. As snakes feed in longer periods the dose is built up per feed and over time.

 

How often do I feed my snake?: As a general guide, we recommend feeding your snake roughly once a week, depending on age, species and size. For a guide on what to feed your snake, get in touch with us on facebook or Instagram!

 

 

6.       Tortoise (herbivores) – a general term for the land-based herbivores. E.g. Horsfield’s tortoise and Hermann’s tortoise.

 

Main diet: high quality tortoise pellets such as ProRep Tortoise Pellets along with daily fresh vegetables such as pak choi, dandelions (pesticide free), certain flowers, rocket leaves, bell peppers with the occasional fresh fruit treat (avoid citrus fruits).

 

Supplements: Arcadia EarthPro-A on every feed with Arcadia CalciumPro-Mg every 4th feed on all items. A quality powder with D3 and A at feed 6 or 8 in the cycle. We recommend Arcadia RevitaliseD3 or Vetark Nutrobal. Arcadia ShedSupport can be used where needed as per the instructions.

 

How often do I feed my tortoise?: Tortoise should be offered food every day, as they are grazers and do consume a large amount of food.

 

These guidelines are the basic feeding needs of some of the most commonly kept reptiles in Ireland. Please reach out to us if you have any further questions. Don’t forget to ensure that your reptile has a suitable linear UVB bulb and fresh water available at all times too! For more info contact us @shaunaspetshop on Facebook or Instagram 

 

 

Some excerpts taken from arcadiareptile.com.

 For full supplement guides visit https://www.arcadiareptile.com/earthpro/feeding-programme/

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