Which lizard food and treats are best?
From tiny anoles to iguanas, people keep lizard species of all shapes and sizes as pets. And since we now understand what lizards need to live long, healthy lives, manufacturers have created several nutritious food and treat options for your cold-blooded companion.
Zilla Reptile Food Munchies Omnivore Mix offers a blend of whole veggies and insects, providing great nutrition suitable for a range of lizard species.
What to know before you buy lizard food and treats
Know your lizard’s natural diet
In order to provide the best diet for your pet, you need to understand what it would naturally consume in the wild.
- Herbivorous lizards exclusively eat vegetable matter. Iguanas enjoy eating a varied diet of leafy greens, veggies and the occasional fruit treat.
- Carnivorous lizards, such as monitors, are predators that consume meat. Most lizards fall into this category, specifically insectivores that hunt insects and invertebrates. Geckos and chameleons are examples of insectivorous lizards.
- Omnivorous lizards require a diet that includes both prey items and vegetables. Bearded dragons, for example, are omnivores.
Your pet’s habitat
Lizards can’t regulate their body temperature and need UV rays from the sun to synthesize vitamins. Indoor pet reptiles are totally reliant on their owners to provide them with enough light in their habitat. Most reptiles don’t have an appetite unless they have a healthy environment. Be sure to research your lizard extensively to create a home for your pet that will keep it healthy and hungry.
Competition among your pets
If you have more than one lizard in a tank, be aware that the most dominant one may prevent your other lizards from eating enough food. If one of your pets is larger or more aggressive than the others, you should feed them all separately to ensure that smaller lizards aren’t hungry.
Live food is often the only option
Predatory lizards such as geckos rarely show interest in freeze-dried crickets or other dead prey items. In many cases, these animals like to hunt live insects. Because of this, these animals cannot be fed a prepared diet. However, you can still dust powder on their prey to provide them with additional nutrition.
What to look for in quality lizard food and treats
Insectivorous lizards need a diet that is high in insect protein. You can achieve this by selecting a food that is either completely prey items, such as dried crickets or grasshoppers, or one that has insect protein listed as a top ingredient.
Vegetable content for vegetarians
Omnivorous and herbivorous lizards should be fed food with quality plant matter as a top component. Look for ingredients such as carrots, dandelion greens and clover.
Quality protein for carnivores
Monitors, skinks and tegus lizards require a meat diet. You can supplement live or freshly-killed prey items with food that is high in whole protein, such as chicken.
Texture and smell
While this will vary from one lizard’s preference to the next, sometimes all it takes is a change in texture or smell to get your pet to eat prepared food. If freeze-dried insects don’t entice your pet and you prefer not to deal with live bugs, try a canned option. Canned insects provide a smell and texture that is more similar to live prey.
How much you can expect to spend on lizard food and treats
Depending on the size of the container and ingredients, lizard food costs between $10 to $20. However, if you feed several lizards, you’ll end up saving money by buying in bulk.
Lizard food and treats FAQ
What if my lizard doesn’t eat all of its food?
A. You should remove uneaten food after a couple of hours to prevent any mess or bacterial growth in your pet’s habitat. Live food should be promptly taken out after feeding time to prevent crawling insects from bothering your pet or multiplying in its terrarium.
Can I feed my lizard ‘people food?’
A. Aside from vegetables and fruit, avoid feeding your pet any “people food.” They should only eat food that is specifically formulated for its diet.
Do lizards appreciate treats?
A. Unlike mammals and birds, reptiles don’t typically appreciate treats as a reward. However, the enrichment and stimulation that they get from experiencing a new or rare food item are both nutritionally and physically beneficial.
What are the best lizard food and treats to buy?
Top lizard food and treats
What you need to know: This mix is fortified with additional calcium to promote healthy bones.
What you’ll love: With ingredients like dried bok choy, peas and crickets, this food has everything an omnivore needs to live happily. You can add water to this mix to soften it.
What you should consider: Especially picky eaters may reject this food in favor of fresh options.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Top lizard food and treats for the money
What you need to know: This mix is great for insectivores or to supplement an omnivore’s diet.
What you’ll love: Made of whole crickets, grasshoppers and mealworms, this medley has no artificial ingredients. While marketed for bearded dragons, these snacks are great for any insectivorous lizard that will eat prepared food.
What you should consider: This medley should only complement a diet already rich in variety. It not be used as a primary food.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
Worth checking out
What you need to know: This insect and fruit medley is a complete diet for Crested Geckos and other fruit-eating lizards.
What you’ll love: Some of the fruits in the mix include banana, apricot, papaya and coconut. Insect meal is still a primary ingredient, so don’t worry about protein.
What you should consider: You can’t feed this to any non-fruit-eating lizards. Some people found the mixed food has a strong smell.
Where to buy: Sold by Amazon
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Derek Walborn writes for BestReviews. BestReviews has helped millions of consumers simplify their purchasing decisions, saving them time and money.
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