Thinking About a Pet Lizard? Here's What They'll Be Eating

Posted by Erin McDade
What Do Lizards Eat

Not sure what to feed your new pet lizard?

Reptiles such as snakes and lizards are popular pets. Small lizards often make excellent indoor pets as they do not require extensive amounts of time and attention from their owners. Pet lizards require specific cage setups and food sources but often can be left to their own devices. But what do lizards eat?

What Should My Baby Lizard Eat?

What should you feed your pet lizard? There are many different types of lizards, so this will vary as different species of lizards eat different types of food. According to Cool-Small-Pets.com, you should feed a variety of lizard foods to get the lizard accustomed to eating a range of foods no matter what their particular species eats. Your vet may also recommend adding calcium supplements to your lizard.

What Do Herbivore Lizards Eat?

Some lizards are herbivores and exclusively eat plants. Examples of herbivorous lizards include the green iguana, prehensile tailed-skink, and chuckwalla. A standard herbivorous lizard diet should be 10% fruit, 15% veggies, 25% high fiber pellets, and 50% leafy greens. To ensure the plant-eating lizards get adequate protein, this group of reptiles should be fed alfalfa sprouts, bean sprouts, or soybeans. Leafy greens can include bok choy, collard greens, kale, mustard greens, turnip greens, and romaine lettuce. Fruit and veggies like apples, avocado, berries, okra, and tomato are also appropriate for these small animals.

What do Insectivore Lizards Eat?

Additionally, some lizards are insectivores and also eat insects such as cockroaches. Examples of insectivorous lizards include glass lizards, brown and green anoles, alligator lizards, geckos (including house geckos and leopard geckos), night lizards, skinks, and true chameleons. An insectivorous lizard diet should be between 30-60% protein, with the remaining % coming from fat. Insectivorous lizards can eat canned foods (such as snails, caterpillars, and crickets) from the pet store or Amazon, which will provide the same nutrition ratio as live insects. You can also feed your lizard the following insects: butterworms, fly larvae, fruit flies, giant mealworms, silkworms, nightcrawlers, and grasshoppers.

What Do Omnivore Lizards Eat?

The majority of all pet lizards are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and insects. Examples of omnivorous lizards include bearded dragons, blue tongue skinks, day geckos, racerunners, new caledonian geckos, veiled chameleons, and water dragons. Omnivore lizards need to maintain a diet of 25% carnivorous foods and 75% herbivore foods. While they can eat essentially everything listed above, certain house lizards will perform better on slightly different diets, so work with your vet to establish a healthy diet and maintain appropriate body weight.

What about Carnivorous Lizards?

There are a few carnivorous lizards kept as pets (primarily certain types of monitors and tegus). Lizards that are true carnivores do not perform well in captivity and are typically giant wild lizards like the komodo dragon and Gila monster, though this category also contains legless lizards, often mistaken for snakes. Even other smaller lizards with carnivorous tastes prefer to hunt smaller animals as prey items. Collared lizards even eat their own kind!

Tell us what you feed your pet lizards on the Wide Open Pets Facebook page!

READ MORE: 8 Best Lizard Pets If You Are the Scaly Type

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Thinking About a Pet Lizard? Here's What They'll Be Eating