While many vegetables, fruits, and insects are suitable for feeding a reptile, there are a few things you must avoid, and yet many owners may not be aware of them. It’s important to feed your reptile a well-balanced, nutritious diet to keep it in the best shape possible. Here are a few foods to make sure you don’t accidentally feed your reptile.

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There is a lot of material out there that is contradictory

Many sources include lists of plants that are harmful or poisonous. I’ve seen lists for reptiles as well. With a few exceptions, any plant on one of those items should never be fed.

Furthermore, some information on what not to eat is founded on obsolete or outdated information. As a result, some of the knowledge available is confusing and contradictory.

Parsley, for example, is listed as toxic in some published sources.

Parsley is high in beta-carotene, a pigment that animals convert to vitamin A, an essential vitamin. It can, however, induce photosensitization if consumed in high quantities.

This means that if a significant amount of parsley is eaten and the reptile is exposed to sunlight (or possibly full-spectrum lighting containing ultraviolet wavelengths), it can experience skin irritation, redness, and discomfort. However, whether parsley is fed solely or as a significant portion of the diet, this is highly unlikely.

Spinach has been linked to a variety of health issues. This is due to the presence of oxalates, which have the ability to bind calcium.

Peas, beets, carrots, beet greens, spinach, turnips, and berries are some other foods that are low in oxalates. Spinach, on the other hand, is a healthy source of beta-carotene, calcium, and protein.

When spinach is consumed as part of a balanced diet, oxalates should not be a concern. No single food source should be used as the primary source of nutrition, as this is far more likely to cause health issues. Variety is important for a balanced diet!

What Should Be Avoided While Feeding Carnivorous Reptiles

Live animals can be risky to feed to your reptile for a variety of reasons:

  • Bacteria are prevalent in living meat, especially in rodents’ bodies.
  • The best and healthiest food is pre-killed meat that has been frozen for 30 days.
  • Putting a live mouse in your reptile’s enclosure or tank will cause serious injury to your pet. Since your reptile isn’t in its natural environment, he isn’t deliberately stalking or camouflaging.
  • When you feed your pet live food, you expose him to scratches and bites from his prey.

What Should Be Avoided While Feeding Herbivorous reptiles

  • Iceberg lettuce should be avoided because it is low in nutrients.
  • Herbivores benefit from dark, leafy greens.
  • Kale, broccoli, cabbage, spinach, and romaine lettuce, on the other hand, should be avoided since they contain an element that prevents reptiles from properly consuming calcium.

What Should Be Avoided While Feeding insectivorous and Omnivorous Reptiles


Avoid spiders, centipedes, millipedes, ticks, scorpions, and fireflies if you have an insectivore. Fireflies are particularly dangerous since they contain lucibufagin, a self-defense toxin that is highly poisonous to reptiles.

A single firefly is capable of killing a small reptile. Your neighborhood insects may not even be safe to eat if your reptile isn’t native to the region. Before you feed him local bugs, consult your veterinarian.


Since omnivores consume both animals and plants, simply obey the carnivore and herbivore recommendations.

Know Which Vegetables And Fruits Are Good For Your Reptiles

It can be difficult to know which vegetables and fruit are the most nutritious for your reptiles, particularly with so many options.

On our related care sheets, we have a limited list of good and bad foods, but it is far from comprehensive, so we figured it would be a great idea to cover a broader variety of vegetables and fruits, how healthy they are, and list some unhealthy foods to avoid.

Calcium content, calcium: phosphorus ratio (Ca:P), and oxalates and goitrogen levels are also critical factors in determining whether a vegetable or fruit is healthy or unhealthy. A varied diet is essential for keeping a reptile safe, and a calcium: phosphorus ratio of less than 2:1 is among the most common illnesses.

As a result, calcium supplements and calcium-rich vegetables are important.

Furthermore, some vegetables (such as cabbage and spinach) contain oxalates, which adhere to dietary calcium as well as other trace minerals, preventing their absorption. Low Ca:P ratios may cause metabolic bone disease (MBD), an all-too-common condition.

Cabbage, kale, and other cruciferous crops contain goitrogens. Iodine absorption is inhibited by goitrogens, which may contribute to hypothyroidism if left untreated for long periods of time.

The thyroid gland produces all of the hormones that your animal’s body requires to function appropriately, and hypothyroidism is a condition in which the thyroid gland is not functioning properly. Hypothyroidism causes lethargy, bloating, and sluggish development, and it can ultimately be fatal.

Vitamin A is an essential nutrient in a reptile’s diet. The skin, mucous membranes, immune system, reproductive system, retina (part of the eye), muscles, and other body systems all benefit from vitamin A.

The most common type of hypovitaminosis A (a lack of vitamin A) can be seen in chelonians, such as tortoises. Swollen eyelids, loss of appetite, swelling around the mouth, nasal discharge, decreased growth rate, and death in extreme cases are common symptoms of vitamin A deficiency.

Cricket care

Crickets, which make up a large portion of your pet’s diet, must be taken care of if you want your insect-eating reptile to be well. The crickets must be held in their own jar with paper towel rolls or a part of an egg carton as a substrate.

Commercial cricket food, dried reptile food, or powdered juvenile bird diet must be fed to the crickets for at least 48 hours before feeding your pet reptile. Crickets that have not been consumed should not be kept in the cage of your reptile.

After 30-60 minutes, any leftover crickets must be removed, since they will attack your reptile, and also the powdered supplement will eventually fall off.

Final Words

The majority of reptiles necessitate a very precise and closely controlled diet. Before feeding your animal, do some research on it and talk to your veterinarian if you have any questions.