Healthy Treats for Your Reptile

Even scaley, spiny, slithery creatures appreciate a treat every once in a while.

Reptiles have unique diets, but like dogs and most other pets, they like treats too. In fact, many of them need healthy and tasty treats once in awhile in order to fulfill all of their nutritional needs. The types of treats you should feed your pet depend on the species. In general, these guidelines will help you choose the right treat for your reptile.

Herbivorous Reptiles

  • Plant eating reptiles such as turtles, tortoises and iguanas, eat most leafy greens, but you should give them a treat every once in a while by mixing in other vegetables or fruits. This helps them get the nutrients they need, but it should only consist of about a tenth of their diet.
  • Some herbivorous reptiles, like tortoises, need fiber in their diet. A good treat to provide them with is hay.
  • Though herbivorous reptiles eat almost exclusively plants, they do need protein. You can get this from plant sources such as alfalfa and tofu. Every once in a while, it is alright to give them an animal source of protein such as hard-boiled eggs with the shells, cooked poultry, or fish. This should be done infrequently, though, as herbivores could develop kidney disease if fed too much animal protein.

Carnivorous Reptiles

  • Reptiles that regularly eat whole prey usually do not need treats, as they get most of their nutritional needs filled by the various parts of their prey. Reptiles that eat just animal parts will need to be treated often with whole animals to fill these needs.

Insectivorous Reptiles

  • As their name would suggest, insectivorous reptiles, like chameleons, eat mainly insects. Though they mostly eat crickets, you can treat them by varying their diet and including a lot of different insects. Grasshoppers, hornworms, silkworms, mealworms, cockroaches, and especially waxworms provide great treats for your insectivore. Even earthworms can be a healthy treat.