Salamanders make up a variety of breeds that vary in colore, size, shape, and natural habitats. Just like with humans, good nutrition and a balanced diet are essential to the health and well-being of your pet. And most reptiles, salamanders are carnivores. Knowing what and what not to feed him can help ensure your little buddy has a long, healthy life. In this post, a veterinarian discusses a few salamander diet dos and don’ts.
As reptiles, salamanders feed on a carnivorous diet that includes many of the foods they would eat in their natural habitat, which includes water and land-based environments. If your pet’s a natural land-dweller, crickets, insects, tubifex worms, mealworms, and white worms should make up the bulk of his diet. For water-dwellers, you’ll want to feed him water-borne critters, like nightcrawlers, bloodworms, and brine shrimp.
Commercial food options that usually come in pellet-form are another way to go. Food pellets contain processed versions of insects and worms. However, processed pellets shouldn’t be the main part of your salamander’s diet. Reptiles are natural-born hunters, meaning your little guy is going to want to hunt for his food. Also, some captive breeds will refuse to eat pellets for that very reason. Feeding your salamander freeze-dried insects instead of live ones is another way to go.
One common misconception about feeding salamanders, and amphibians in general, is that they should be fed daily. Not true. Adult salamanders only need to be fed two or three times a week, and always at nighttime. However, the juvenile or younger salamanders require daily feedings. And always be sure to have fresh, clean, chlorine-free water available for your little friend.
Your salamander’s digestive tract can’t really process anything other than meat, so don’t feed him fruits or vegetables. Since your pet does still need some fruit and vegetable-based nutrients, you’ll want feed him insects that have been fed lots of these types of foods.
Most reptiles don’t need vitamins and supplements in their diets. However, your salamander will still need calcium powder supplements for bone health. And make sure the calcium powder you use doesn’t include vitamin D3 since this can be toxic to reptiles.
If you have more questions or would like to schedule your salamander for a checkup, don’t hesitate to call your local vet today!