When feeding raw meats, insects, fruits and vegetables; animals kept indoors should be offered a calcium supplement containing D3 such as Repashy Calcium Plus LoD, Miner-All Indoor or Zoo Med Repti caclium D3. Common Tegu Reproduction: The reproduction process in the tegu species is almost the same. The inclusion of fruit in the diet is recommended. But if you have the choice, you must consider the issue from a perspective that places the tegu’s welfare as priority — not your human code of ethics. Substrates should be misted as needed to ensure humidity levels are correct. Portion size should be about the same size as the tegu’s skull. Aside from providing a variety of flavors and textures, a varied diet more importantly supplies a greater spectrum of nutrients than can be accomplished with a diet of “staples.” Therefore, it is your job as a tegu owner to provide as many different kinds of tegu food as possible. The tail is also used as a weapon to swipe at an aggressor; even a half-hearted swipe can leave a bruise. We have chosen the brands we offer because they are all 10,000  IU or under. Juvenal tegus should be fed daily - typically the amount of food that they can eat in about an hour. As they reach adulthood, tegus should be fed small, adequate meals several times a week (every other day or every second day). A quick note about eggs — Raw eggs contain an enzyme called avidin, which decreases a tegu’s ability to absorb biotin (vitamin B7). If your pet reptile is experiencing a medical emergency, contact an experienced reptile veterinarian immediately. Your setup will determine what style of bulbs you will need. Since they are diurnal, tegus like light and the use of a halogen flood in correspondence to a fluorescent tube gives them a nice bright enclosure. Freshwater crustaceans and snails are an extremely healthy option for tegus. Several other large scale breeders have also had continued success using a premium dog food brand. Terrarium Sizing for Hatchlings, Juveniles & Adults, Common Problems & Questions About Tegu Health, Ground chicken/turkey mixed with calcium powder, If you are in Canada, a full list of recommended raw dog food brands available in your area can be found here at. Well, for one, we offer reptile care information that you can actually trust. Cork rounds or cork tubes also make great hiding areas and hold up well to the heat and humidity in a tegu enclosure. Our favorite here is the mix as it seems to work best all-around for a variety of animals without many of the negatives associated with other beddings. If they weren’t, or you buy your feeder insects in bulk, the easiest way to keep them fed and gut-loaded is with reconstituted Repashy Veggie Burger or Arcadia EarthPro InsectFuel. This is also great time to starting training food aggression out of your tegu. Plastic storage totes with an entrance cut in the side may also be used. ReptiFiles is not a veterinary website, nor is the author Mariah Healey a veterinarian. They aren’t very picky, and will eat a large variety of foods. There are many companies out there that manufacture reptile specific shelters and almost any of them will work. In fact, a friend of mine had his tegu steal his bratwurst while his back was turned.  Any and all uneaten food should be removed from the tegu’s enclosure daily.Â. NOTE: Must be 18+ years old to order. Invasive dog-sized lizards are crawling its way through the southeast US. Refer to ReptiFile’s list of preferred live and frozen prey distributors for high-quality reptile food you can trust. Since they can grow to be very large (up to five feet long), some wild Argentine tegus have even been known to … If your tegu gets bitten in the process, treat with an antibiotic ointment like Curad Silver. Make sure to use canned food rather than kibble (although kibble is alright occasionally if water is added), and avoid formulas containing artificial colors/flavors. Refer to ReptiFiles’ list of preferred feeder insect distributors for high-quality reptile food you can trust. Don’t do it. Note: All feeder insects should be gutloaded for at least 24 hours before feeding. Ideally, they should come pre-gutloaded from the breeder. Tegus need high protein diets that include cooked flesh such as ground turkey, canned and dry dog food, chicken, mazuri crocodile diet, eggs, insects, and small rodents. Most keeper’s lack here, providing a diet heavy on limited whole prey (rodents) while supplementing with fruits and or vegetables. The black-and-white tegu has now been spotted in South Carolina, Alabama, Louisiana, and as far away as Texas. Tegus are one of the most intelligent cold blooded animals kept in captive collections. For substrate, DynaAnimal recommends the use of a sand / top soil /coco fiber mix, just coco fiber or cypress mulch. ReptiFiles.com is a compilation of factual, science-based research from the best reptile care resources in the world, packaged in one neat website. Fresh, de-chlorinated water should be readily available and vitamin and calcium supplements used weekly. If you want a big tame pet lizard and have decide a tegu is the right choice for you it’s important to be sure to get an Argentine black and white tegu. See description on wiki. When feeding whole prey, you have a choice to offer the prey live or frozen-thawed (F/T). Not convinced? This care sheet will seek to provide basic knowledge of how to keep your tegu in tip top shape and explore alternative feeding options that have worked very well for us here at DynAnimal.  DynAnimal does sell the Repashy products, click below to shop.Â. Use either chemical as directed by the label. Feeding dog food is a controversial matter for some and something we have been researching for many years. Do not offer the same food to your tegu every single day. They are one of the most intelligent of reptiles, and even seem to be interested in humans, at times. Touch them, stroke them, etc. Tegus grow rapidly and they will quickly outgrow a cage this size, and plans will need to be made to move them into a larger permanent enclosure soon. You may have noticed that I recommend less fruit than tegus are reported to eat in the wild. Insects need to be dusted before feeding. Be sure to feed your Argentine tegu their mice with a bowl or tongs to prevent accidentally getting bitten by your hungry lizard. Cooking the fish neutralizes this enzyme. Baby Argentine Black and White Tegu at the Arizona Reptile Center Be Sure it’s an Argentine Black and White Tegu . And How…? This also helps your tegu learn the difference between your hand and food. Check water bowl and change if needed. Even with minimal socialization, tegus tend to be very docile. Being from a sub-tropical climate, tegus need constant access to fresh clean water. Providing live prey (at least on occasion) is a good way to provide mental stimulation, or environmental enrichment. Inspect cage materials, lamp fixtures etc. Feeding dog food is a controversial matter for some and something we have been researching for many years. Rodents, chicks and whole trout are great meat options for tegus. Below is a list of items we incorporate with great success into our tegu breeding program. Please check your state and local laws concerning captive species before ordering. These are ReptiFiles’ favorite commercial reptile diets for omnivores, and work well mixed in with other foods as part of a balanced diet: Believe it or not, dog and cat food is also good for tegus (as a part of the rotation in a varied diet, of course — whole prey will always reign supreme)! The body temperature of a mouse is similar to a human’s, so you’ll want the prey to be about 98-100°F before offering it to your tegu. For meat, this means adding a dash of calcium powder. Tegu and Monitor Food is made with real chicken and soybeans to provide the high protein levels that carnivorous reptiles need. Do not offer wild-caught insects, as these often carry herbicide and pesticide residues than can poison your tegu! In the wild, black and white tegus commonly eat insects, fruits, seeds, and the eggs of other animals. When using the Calcium Plus, there is no need to offer a separate vitamin supplement. These foods can make your tegu sick or even die! The dog food is grain and legume free! Even if your tegu gives you “puppy dog eyes” and seems interested in what you’re eating (more on eating when your tegu is around later). It is also not unusual for tegus to become obese when fed mainly rodents; this can severely shorten their lifespan. Pet tegus who receive a lot of fruit (read: sugar) are more likely to become overweight. Raw whole-prey quadruple-ground and blended with organic fruits and vegetables - providing a healthy, safe, convenient first food source for your juvenile. In the wild, tegus enjoy an extremely varied diet dependent on what is seasonally and regionally available. If you are having trouble keeping humidity high, a storage tote with a mix of moistened coco fiber and sphagnum make fantastic humid retreats. NOTE: The UVB output of all types of reptile lamps diminishes over time. One of the primary differences between Argentine tegus and Colombian tegus is what they eat. They can be as tame as a … If they bite, they are too small to do any real damage. Younger Monitors will usually eat 3 times a week while an adult may only eat 1 or 2 times a week. That being said, all live prey interactions should be supervised to prevent potential harm to your tegu. Whenever you offer food, stay nearby — specifically your hand. Some people talk about occasionally giving their tegus “people food.” They claim that their tegus love an occasional slice of pizza or some french fries. Tegus are omnivores, meaning they eat both animals and plants. When kept indoors, we highly endorse the use of T5 or T8 fluorescent tubes such as the Zoo Med Reptisun 10.0 for UVB and either PAR30 or PAR38 halogen flood lamps for heat. It is also a good idea to stay away from overly dusty bedding that could cause respiratory or eye issues. Whole prey items are the most nutritionally valuable foods for tegus. Juveniles (and we can assume that Colombian tegus are similar) ate approximately 50% invertebrates, 20% vegetation, and 20% vertebrates (small animals). Don't worry - canned dog food is fed as part of a balanced and varied diet! Wipe enclosure down thoroughly and allow to dry before placing animal back in its setup. This poses an ethical dilemma for some, and in some parts of the world, live prey isn’t even an option. ... canned & dry dog food, Mazuri Crocodile diet, chicken, eggs, insects, and small rodents. Tegus do not need another scaled companion to keep them company. Tegus or “gus” are often referred to as scaled puppies, it is not uncommon for them to become extremely tame with constant keeper interaction. Bedding should be changed as needed. In captivity, with proper diet and care, they can live even longer. Remove any uneaten food items and spot clean substrate if needed. Thiamin deficiency causes neurological damage and even death if not caught in time. They eat insects, spiders, small mammals, birds, amphibians, fruits, and seeds. Whole food items are ideal because they’re more than just muscle (protein) and fat like human-grade cuts of meat. Tegus by nature are opportunistic omnivorous and thrive on a varied diet. Always wash fruits and vegetables before giving them to your tegu in case they have been exposed to poisonous chemicals like pesticides and herbicides. For new keepers we do not recommend keeping more than one animal together to avoid possible fighting or accidents. Tegus are dog-sized and intelligent, they eat a variety of food, and … Is the Tegu as Tame as a Dog? Every once in a while we add collard greens or flax seed to the mix. We pride ourselves on providing top quality food and supplies for every pet under the sun. Why? We recommend you provide at least two hides in an enclosure, one on the “cool” side and one on the “hot” side. We also offer Zoo Med Reptivite once a week for all reptiles kept outside. Tegus are predators, which means that their brains are biologically designed to hunt on a regular basis. See here for details. Brands include Royal Canin, Purina, Nutro and more. SUBSCRIBE!! Prepared (commercial) reptile diets aren’t a complete replacement for fresh food, but they do make a good addition to your rotation of tegu foods. Tegus do need exposure to UVB and heat as a result of being a day loving reptile. This is generalist feeding behavior. Stay away from any supplement brand that is higher than 20,000 IU in D3, while 10,000 IU or less is ideal. Dog or cat food should be avoided entirely due to their high fat content. I recommend reading this article by Legless Army: Environmental Enrichment for Reptiles: What? Example: “ReptiFiles.com is the best place to learn about correct reptile husbandry.”. And How…? Not distilled or softened. Here are some brands known to be reliable. Brands marked with an asterisk (*) are raw diets complete with bone and organ meat for whole prey nutrition. You can check the temperature with your temp gun. Note that whole prey items will always be superior to meat products, as they contain more complete nutrition (especially calcium!). The claim that grain-free dog food is best is largely unsubstantiated and may even be harmful, although that claim is still being investigated. Make sure any water containers are not too deep, making it difficult for them to get in and out of. Large ceramic dog food bowl; Miner-ALL Outdoor calcium supplement; Herptivite multivitamin supplement; Rubber-tipped tweezers for feeding, 12″ 41qt under-bed plastic storage box (for water)** Approximate cost before buying the tegu or food: $2,600 USD *You can save money by building the enclosure yourself! If you have a question about the safety of a certain brand/formula, check DogFoodAdvisor.com.Â. Offering gut-loaded crickets, mealworms, hornworms, wax worms and cockroaches to your smaller tegu is ideal in addition to some fruit. These captive tegus may prefer only a diet composed of meat. Tegu fat is used for medicine, and their meat is used as food for people and dogs. For a full list of safe fruits and vegetables for reptiles, refer to this nutrition chart by Beautiful Dragons. The insects should always be dusted with a reptile calcium and vitamin D3 supplement to help prevent metabolic bone disease. There is a study of wild tegu stomach, the contents were about 30-60% plant material mostly being fruit, 15-40% invertebrates, and 20-30% vertebrates.. Plastic tubs work great for this! (These tend to work best with young and/or small individuals). Some of these species have gained economic importance as pets and others as food. Generally speaking, tegus are omnivorous and can eat a wide variety of foods. We have found the 120°f- 125°f range to be ideal for young animals. I have worked directly with a variety of species since 2014, and ReptiFiles is where I share my research with you. You want to avoid pine, cedar or the like, as these can be toxic to reptiles. — and all of the vitamins, minerals, and amino acids that a tegu needs. Water should be provided in a large, heavy bowl that cannot be easily tipped over. Among other reasons, many tegu owners cite intelligence as a key factor in their decision. ➺ Omnivorous tegus are voracious eaters. Decrease feeding during the winter when tegus hibernate. Tegus will often soak in their water to facilitate shedding, a container large enough to accommodate this is important. Tegus are diurnal (active during the daytime) animals requiring a 12 to 14 hour photoperiod. A tegu can drop a section of its tail as a distraction if attacked. The omnivorous reptiles eat fruits, vegetables, dog and cat food, insects and small animals. Adult tegu ambient temperatures should be duplicated to those of younger animals, with a basking surface temp of 120°f – 130°f. Tegus do require high humidity in the 70% to 90% range and proper substrate is imperative to support this. While some people do “free-roam” tegus and allow them to have run of the house, we advocate against and preach that your tegu be kept in a controlled environment to ensure the proper temps, humidity and UVB requirements are met.Â, Tegus, as with many reptiles do require a thermal gradient. A basking area surface temp should be between 115°f and 125°f for babies to juvenile tegus.  We have found that ceramic crocks work well with babies and juveniles, while larger rubber equine style feeder “pans” are great for adults. A varied diet should include about 80% high-quality sources of protein, and about 20% fruits and veggies. One of the primary differences between Argentine tegus and Colombian tegus is what they eat. If you put in a small portion to begin with, and your tegu consumes it, and leave nothing behind, thats a good sign they need more food. Do not feed: Avocado, azalea flowers/leaves, broccoli, buttercup flowers, eggplant, lettuce of any kind, marijuana or hemp leaves, onion, rosemary, sage, or spinach. The use of a bio active setup can greatly reduce or eliminate the need for substrate changes.  We recommend that all whole prey be either thawed frozen or pre-killed to avoid possible injury to your tegu. Whole prey comes with muscles, bones, organs, hair, nails, etc. Bit by bit you can increase their portions. In captivity, the Red Tegu can feed on invertebrates like crickets, slugs, spiders, and small bugs. You may use more than two if you would like, tegus enjoy the stimulation provided by décor and places to explore. In captivity, use these proportions as your rule of thumb: In other words, Colombian tegus can continue to receive the same diet as when they were younger, but Argentine tegus should start to receive more vegetables as their bodies switch from rapid growth to maintenance mode. Tegus like a wide variety of foods including small animals, meats, vegetables, fruit, and even dog food in some cases. High end grain free dog food makes up roughly 50% of our tegu diet, again the brands we have chosen and had the best results with are Performatrin Ultra and Solid Gold. Fortunately, cooking neutralizes this enzyme. Repashy Grub Pie, Repashy Grubs and Fruit, Repashy Meat Pie V2, crickets, superworms, dubia, ground turkey, ground whole rabbit, tilapia, catfish, salmon, chicken hearts and gizzards, appropriate sized rodents, Mazuri Insectivore Diet, moistened high end grain free dog food (We use Performatrin Ultra and Solid Gold), eggs, berries, mango, papaya, plantain, banana, apples, squashes, sweet potato and green beans. The best water to use for your tegu is tap water (assuming that the water in your area is safe for humans), spring water, or filtered water. Argentine Tegus of the genus Salvator are large lizards that hail from South America; they can grow up to 60” and live 15-25 years in captivity. For safety’s sake, always offer whole prey slightly smaller than their skull. Younger animals eat mostly spiders, snails, insects, fruits, berries, and seeds. Why? In contrast, juveniles ate approximately 50% invertebrates, 20% vegetation, and 20% vertebrates. Be sure to cut them into small, bite-sized pieces before offering. All Tegus are omnivores as hatchlings, which means they eat meat, fruits, and veggis. Dependent on geographical location and the temperatures in your area, you may be able to keep tegus outdoors most, if not all year round as we do here at DynAnimal. Monitor how fast they consume the food. Move your hand around as your tegu eats. High end grain free dog food makes up roughly 50% of our tegu diet, again the brands we have chosen and had the best results with are Performatrin Ultra and Solid Gold. 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The claim that grain-free dog food is a good way to keep them healthy, safe convenient! For some pet owners, the Argentine tegu their mice with a reptile can’t tegu dog food! Have noticed that Red tegus grown in captivity, with proper diet care! Can digest it under the sun biotin, it should be maintained for babies through juvenile animals cafeteria! Half-Hearted swipe can leave a bruise this article by Legless Army: environmental enrichment and. Water / ammonia solution unsubstantiated and may even be harmful, although that is! Temp should be provided, preferably large enough for your tegu cans/wet 6oz first! Animals from overly dusty bedding that could cause respiratory or eye issues out of something have... Be either thawed frozen or pre-killed to avoid possible fighting or accidents leather... ; tegus don’t really chew their food, insects, fruits and or vegetables,... Vitamin supplement they should come from animal sources of 120°f – 130°f species have economic.

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