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Are you aware of the nutrition in the foods you are giving your pet reptile? Read more to learn about what they need and how to choose the right diet for them.
(Link of the picture- Reptile from Pixabay)
If you are reading this article, you are most likely a reptile owner. You should know that feeding these pets can be confusing. They usually feed on insects, and different insects offer different nutrition. So how do you know what is most appropriate for your pet and how to choose the right feeder insects for reptiles?
Last update on 2023-12-10 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
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This article contains information about what your pet needs to be healthy and what could be their favorite meal that is both nutritious and delicious.
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Nutrients that Matter
If you already have a pet reptile or you are considering getting one, learn what foods they need to eat. The most important nutrients your pet needs are:
For staying healthy and for the proper growth of muscles, protein is essential. It is also a source of energy and helps build a healthy weight. Repairing injured tissues also requires protein. The amount of protein needed varies depending on the type of species your pet is, their weight, their gender, and other environmental factors.
Fat is a crucial part of your pet’s diet. Fat helps to maintain body temperatures as well as create fat stores for breeding seasons. However, too much fat can lead to obesity, which can cause a lot of health problems. Keep in mind that inactive animals don’t burn a lot of fat, so if you have one at home, take note of how much fat you are feeding them.
This comprises the minerals and salts. Minerals and salts are important for different purposes. Some minerals make their bones stronger, while others improve brain activity. Salts are needed to maintain electrolyte balance and for a well-functioning nervous system.
Can you feed your pet reptile fruits? Click the link to know more.
Ideally, the Ca:P or calcium to phosphorus ratio should be between 1.5:1 to 2:1. If less than enough calcium is provided, your pet’s bone health may start to decline as its body will now draw out calcium from its bones.
Water is perhaps the most important nourishment to sustain life. Without it, every animal would become dehydrated. There are different insects, such as mealworms, that are considered “juicy,” which means that they have high moisture content. Most water for animals comes from these insects rather than from drinking water directly.
The following chart shows the different nutrition and the amounts that can be obtained from different insects. The chart is collected from credible sources.
|Item||Calcium||Phosphorus|| Ca:P |
|Cricket, domestic, pinhead||0.22||1.27||1:6||*||*||1|
|House. fly.larvae, dry||0.41||1.13||1:3||56.8||20||1|
|Mealworm.larvae, king, hi-Ca||0.69||0.57||1:1||38.9||45.4||1|
|Phoenix worm||2.33||1.53||1.5:1||17||10||4; 6|
|Silkworm||0.21||0.54||1:2.4||64||10.6||5; 6; 7|
Dry Matter VS As Fed
As previously mentioned, some insects have higher nutritional values than others. Dry Matter Basis, or DMB, is mostly used to measure insect nutrition. Here, the insect is dried, and the nutrition value is calculated.
In As Fed, the insect is not dried and contains moisture. This value is more accurate.
Let’s see how we can convert one from another.
As Fed to Dry Matter: % of nutrient As Fed/% Dry Matter= % nutrient by dry weight
Dry Matter to As Fed: % of Dry Matter x % of nutrient
Gut Loading Insects
Oftentimes, insects are dusted with calcium powder to increase the calcium content in them because, naturally, most insects have higher phosphorus than calcium in them. This way, when that insect is fed to an animal, it would provide higher calcium than before. This helps in treating and preventing calcium deficiency.
Variety is the Key
Just like you wouldn’t like having the same meal every day, it is essential to create variety in your pet’s diet too. This is not just because of the varying taste of insects. We have seen how different insects offer different nutrients in different amounts. Creating a variety in their diet ensures that all the required nourishment is being given to your pet.
Now that you know how to determine insect nutritional values for your pet reptile, make sure you always keep their diet in check to ensure a healthy and happy animal.