Feeding Your Blue-Tongued Skink
Blue-Tongued Skinks are omnivores, which means that they need both animal- and plant-based foods to get the nutrition that their bodies need. Blue-Tongued Skinks under a year of age should receive high-protein foods as 70-80% of their diet. After this point, high-protein foods should only make up 50-60% of their diet. The rest of a Blue-Tongued Skink’s diet should come from leafy greens and other vegetables, with fruit offered as a treat.
The key to providing a healthy, balanced diet for your pet blue tongue Skink is variety. Provide as varied a diet as you possibly can, and you will be rewarded with a healthier pet that always looks forward to mealtimes.
Protein Ideas For Blue-Tongued Skinks:
- Young rats
- Hatchling chicks
- Young quail
- Small fish or cut up pieces of fish
- Dubia roaches
- Discoid roaches
- Black soldier fly larvae
- High quality canned or raw dog or cat food
- Chicken organ meats (gizzards, hearts, etc)
- Eggs (raw, scrambled, and boiled)
- Ground turkey or chicken
How often Blue-Tongued Skinks need to eat depends on age:
- Babies (up to 3 months) - Daily
- Juveniles (3-8 months) - 3 times weekly
- Subadults and Adults (8+ months) - 1-2 weekly
What Types of Food Should A Young, Blue-Tongued Skink Eat?
Young, Blue-Tongued Skinks should have a diet that is higher in protein. This means offering more meat and insect content for the first year of their life. For young Skinks, wet cat food can be used due to the higher protein content. Once Blue-Tongued Skinks become a year old, switching to dog food is more ideal.
Sometimes blue tongues, especially juveniles can be picky about consuming veggies. Dicing your vegetables and mixing them into cat food may trick them into consuming less tasty foods.
Supplements For Blue-Tongued Skinks
To ensure that your Blue-Tongued Skink is getting all of the vitamins and minerals that they need, you will need calcium powder and a multivitamin powder. You should have calcium with d3, without d3, and a multivitamin powder (if your calcium choices do not include multivitamin). If your Skink has UVB lighting, they will not need calcium with d3 as often as they will if you do not offer UV lighting. UVB lighting allows reptiles to synthesize their own D3, but without it, they will need to be given dietary D3 to ensure they receive all of the D3 they need.
Adult Skinks should be given calcium dusted meals once per week, and young Skinks should have supplements on their food twice a week. There is such a thing as overdoing supplements, so it is important you are not overdoing calcium/multivitamins. In order for your Skink to benefit the most from their insects, any insects you feed should be gut loaded for 24-48 hours before being fed to your Skink.
For more information, check out our article on gutloading: Complete Guide To Gutloading Insects For Your Reptiles | Zen Habitats.
What Types of Food Are Not Safe For Blue-Tongued Skinks To Eat?
Avoid onion, avocado, rhubarb, eggplant, citrus, seeds, and tomato greens. Never feed wild caught insects, as they could be poisoned with pesticides that can harm your Skink.
Reptile Specific Prepared Diets
There are several commercially available prepared diets that are great to use on rotation with blue tongue Skinks. The two most popular are Repashy’s Bluey Buffet and Arcadia Omnigold. Repashy also makes several formulations that can be offered or mixed in with dog/cat food for variety such as Grub Pie, Meat Pie, and Veggie Burger. Reptilinks also makes a 50/50 omnivore blend that is popular for omnivorous reptiles like Blue-Tongued Skinks.
Remember that adding additional multivitamins to prepared, complete diets should be avoided unless stated on the label as it may lead to vitamin overdose.
Can Blue-Tongued Skinks Eat Dog Or Cat Food?
Yes, Blue-Tongued Skinks can eat dog and cat food as part of a varied diet. Cat food is best for Skinks under a year of age due to high protein content, dog food is generally lower protein and better for adult Skinks. The high levels of taurine in cat food may not be ideal for blue tongue Skinks.
If using raw, dog or cat food, choosing a complete formula with organs and bone is ideal. You can also add fresh greens to the dog/cat food to make it a more ideal protein:vegetables ratio for Skinks.
Kibble can also be fed very occasionally when soaked and rehydrated. Keep in mind, kibble requires a binding agent to hold their shape, typically grains, potatoes or legumes. These foods are not typically consumed by blue tongue Skinks, therefore, kibble should not be a frequently fed food.