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Reptile advice: what should your pet eat and drink?

Food is the fuel that keeps your reptile alive, so make the right choices

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Don't make a meal of it

Most reptiles’ diets include plants, insects, small mammals or a combination of all these foods. However, each species of reptile has its own specific food requirements and it’s important to find out the correct diet for your species straight away.
Reptile 1

Gut loading

Lots of reptiles eat live, whole insects, so whatever is in the insect’s gut becomes part of the reptile’s meal. Therefore it’s important that the live insects themselves are well cared for and fed nutritious foods or gut loading products. It’s also a good idea to dust the insects with vitamin and mineral powder prior to feeding time.

Reptile 2


Every reptile needs water, but how you make it available to your pet will depend on what kind of reptile you have. Some reptiles will live in water – or spend much of their time in it – so you will need to provide a pool of some kind in their vivarium. Others won’t drink from a pool, preferring to lick water droplets from the plants that you provide.

Reptile 3

Snake diets

Snake lovers will know that dead mice or rats are the main food choice for their pets, most commonly kept frozen until it’s time to serve them up. They need to be fully defrosted first, but never use a microwave to do this. Rather than dangling the rodent by its tail in the cage, use feeding tongs to hold the food in front of the snake. This imitates live prey, which stimulates your pet’s hunting instinct.