Feeding Your Reptile: Is Live Food Better?

Professional herpetologists and pet owners have long debated the value of feeding live prey to reptiles. With some it's a good idea, with others it's not – in fact it can be dangerous.

There are exceptions: A ready eater like the African clawed frog seems always eager to eat both living and non-living food. Marine toads have been observed to feed on dog food and vegetation but such is not a recommended captive diet. Salamanders, like frogs, do best with live prey while newts and other aquatic species will readily consume non-living food.

Pet stores sell frozen pre-killed mice in various sizes. Ideally you should offer your pet a mouse that can be eaten whole in one feeding, rather than offering cut-up parts of a larger mouse. This will ensure that your pet consumes the entire animal – skin, bones, and internal organs – all of which contain vital nutrients for your pet's health. If you must cut the animal up, make certain that your pet consumes it all over several feedings.