Q:

What can you feed your pet salamanders?

A:

Quick Answer

Caudates like salamanders are carnivores, dining on invertebrates such as earthworms, crickets, waxworms, spiders and bugs. A salamander generally prefers live food and may refuse to eat pellets. If healthy, he does not need to be fed more than once every three days.

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Full Answer

A salamander should be fed as much as he can eat in one sitting, with uneaten food removed to avoid causing injury or irritation. If his environment is aquatic, remove uneaten food within a few hours to avoid fouling the water. An adolescent or underfed salamander may need to be fed daily. If purchased from a pet shop, he may not have been fed in days and should be fed slowly in small amounts to avoid refeeding syndrome, which can be deadly. If stressed, he may refuse to eat.

Most species of salamander are not prone to overfeeding or obesity, but newborn mice and other mammalian meat sources are associated with weight gain. Some invertebrates such as waxworms are high in fat and should be fed in moderation.

While a salamander is capable of digesting feeder fish, research has shown that he is not likely to consume them in the wild since he is too slow. Feeder fish may also carry diseases that cause a salamander to fall ill.

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