Feeding your lizard wild game?
To be specific I’m referring to an Argentine B&W tegu I just got, I’ve had many reptiles but never a tegu until now. He loves fish especially salmon and I’m wondering if it would it be ok to throw him some wild game to eat here and there. I live in Minnesota and do a good amount of fishing and not sure if it would be bad for his health if I fed him some fish I catch here and there. Have you ever? I always fed my reptiles store bought food and just thought of this so any input on it would be nice. Especially if you have good experience with a tegu already.
- Anonymous1 month agoFavorite Answer
Wild animals, including salmon, often harbor parasites. You can kill the parasites and their eggs by cooking. Lizards can digest cooked meat without problem. Therefore you definitely can feed him meat from wild animals unless they come from a polluted environment. Many fish have high levels of mercury so it may not be that healthy. The question is whether they recognize what you give them as food by smell, since lizards rely on smell and/or movement to recognize food. Whatever you feed your lizard, you should make sure that it contains enough calcium and phosphorus, or it may get rickets, a dreadful disease that can result in broken or deformed bones, and even death. Vitamin D helps reptiles absorb calcium from their food, but if there is no calcium in their food, then they will still get rickets.
Tegus are large lizards, and they can be fed mice, which have bones and therefore calcium. I would discourage feeding it wild caught mice, not because it is dangerous to the lizard, but dangerous to people who handle the wild mice, which can transmit diseases like the plague or Hanta Virus to humans.