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What is Poisonous to Reptiles? | Don't Feed THESE To Your Reptile!

What is Poisonous to Reptiles? | Don't Feed THESE To Your Reptile!

What to NOT Feed Your Reptile | Toxic Reptile Foods

Reptiles can make phenomenal pets, and offer a unique experience for those looking for an animal that is lower maintenance than a dog or cat. However, their dietary needs differ significantly from those of mammals and it is important we know what they can NOT eat to avoid offering them any hazardous snacks. Here are five commonly found items and foods that be toxic to your reptilian companion:


The persin, a fungicidal toxin, present in both the flesh and pit of avocados, can cause severe gastrointestinal distress and even heart problems in reptiles.


Fireflies, Ladybugs, Boxelder Bugs:  

These insects have a widespread range across North America and beyond. Though your reptile may not be outside to catch these bugs, they can sometimes slip into your home unnoticed and find themselves around your reptile enclosures. They are known for being extremely toxic and can even be fatal if ingested by reptiles. 
Even safe insects that are wild caught pose a risk of pesticide or parasitic contamination. It is best to avoid feeding wild caught insects, or to educate yourself extensively on potential risks. 

Boxelder bug


Citrus Fruits:  

Oranges, grapefruit, lemons, limes, and more - the citrus family is a poor choice for reptiles. The high acid content can cause gastrointestinal upset, which can lead to diarrhea and dehydration. 


Dumb Cane (Dieffenbachia): 

Known for its striking foliage and commonly kept as a houseplant, the dieffenbachia genus possesses needle-like calcium-oxalate crystals within the leaves, which can cause numbness and burning of the mouth, tongue, and throat. Chewing this plant can lead to throat swelling and difficulty breathing in mammals (including humans) and due to high calcium oxalate content, should be avoided for use in terrariums with reptiles - especially herbivorous ones! 


One of the many varieties of dieffenbachia plant

Onions and Garlic:  

Both onions and garlic are regarded as toxic to reptiles, though it is unlikely that they would be tempting for a reptile to eat in the first place! Old tricks of using onions and garlic to repel snakes tells us that reptiles don’t necessarily want these items on the menu anyway! 

Reptile dietary requirements can vary widely from species to species. Therefore, it is important to research the species appropriate diet for each reptile in your care. Research and consulting with a reptile savvy veterinarian can help you determine the best diet for your pet so they can stay happy and healthy!

To check out more information about reptile keeping check out our Care Sheets and Articles page!

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