When it comes to the diet of a pet lizard, they typically enjoy a wide variety. This depends on the type of lizard, of course, but diets typically include bugs, vegetables, and small mammals, including mice.
However, mice can sometimes be strange to think about as a food for your pet. Not all lizards eat them, but there are a good amount of breeds that will eat them if provided.
Some pet lizards that can eat mice include:
- Water Dragons
- Some Geckos
None of these lizards necessarily require mice as a daily snack, but they will willingly eat one if they get the opportunity.
The reason these lizards enjoy mice is because it could be a part of their diet when they live in the wild.
There are different types of feeder mice that you can provide, so make sure you do your research before feeding one to your pet lizard.
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Types of Feeder Mice
When it comes to feeder mice, not every kind is the same. There are lots of different types of feeder mice to choose from.
Some of these mice come in different sizes and ages, so some may be more suitable for your lizard than others.
A pinkie is the most common type of feeder mouse for reptiles and also amphibians. It is a small, hairless mouse that can be served frozen or live.
These mice are hairless because they are so young that their fur has not developed yet. Pinkie mice are typically only four days old or younger. They are called pinkies simply because of the pink tone of their skin.
Pinkies can range anywhere from 1.50 to 2.99 grams. This typically depends on the age of the mouse. At a day old, they are extremely tiny, but as they grow, even at three to four days older, they can show a change in size.
Pinkies are the smallest option for feeder mice, so they are a great option to start off with for your lizard, especially if your lizard is smaller or not used to consuming small mammals.
If you purchase your lizard while it is still growing, you can start off by feeding them pinkie mice and then move up to larger options as they grow larger. You want to make sure that you pet can consume their food with ease.
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A fuzzy mouse, also known as a peach fuzzy, is a pinkie mouse that has grown old enough to develop a thin coat of fur. This means that they are slightly larger, so make sure they are a proper size for your lizard.
When fuzzy mice are between five and nine days old, they can range from 3.00 to 4.50 grams. These are considered a small fuzzy. A large fuzzy is when they are about ten to thirteen days old and they range from 4.50 to 6.99 grams.
It is generally a good idea to start feeding fuzzy mice to your pet once the pinkies appear too small to fully satisfy them.
Adult mice are the largest kind of feeder mice that are available for lizards. When they are just growing into adults, they are considered to be small or medium adult mice, ranging anywhere from 7 to 17.99 grams.
When these adult mice are older and full-grown, between 18 and 45 grams, they are considered large or extra-large.
At these adult stages, they have reached full maturity and can be purchased with white fur, a darker colored fur, or sometimes without any fur. At this point, these mice have opened their eyes fully and are able to eat and drink on their own.
Since the adult mice have such a wide range of sizes, be sure not to buy any that are too large for your lizard to handle.
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Live or Frozen Mice?
When feeding mice to your lizard, you have the option to serve them frozen mice that have been thawed or you can feed them live mice instead.
Most lizards are fine eating their mice frozen, but some prefer to have their prey moving. However, there can be some dangers to feeding live mice to your pet. This is because many mice do not like to go down without a fight.
While your lizard is hunting a mouse, their prey may try to fight back by using their claws and teeth. Even though this likely won’t leave any serious injuries on your lizard, some small scratches from mice could cause infections if not treated properly. Therefore, live mice can be fed to lizards, but it is something to remain cautious about.
You should only feed your lizard a live mouse if you know for sure that your lizard is hungry. This is because if the lizard does not hunt and eat the mouse right away, then the mouse can harm the lizard.
Therefore, if you give your lizard live mice, always watch it to make sure it eats the mouse. Never just put the live mouse if there and walk away. Mice can try to kill reptiles if they feel threatened.
Even if lizards prefer live mice, they can easily transition to eating frozen mice instead. They can be bought at most pet stores in special freezers.
All types of feeder mice can be purchased at pet stores and even online.
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How to Serve Frozen Mice
In order to serve a frozen mouse to your lizard, it must be thawed ahead of time. This can be done by exposing it to heat for at least a half hour before you lizard eats. You can do this by placing the frozen mouse in hot water or in the microwave.
Always make sure the mouse is completely warm before serving it to your lizard. This can help your pet to consume food with no problems. Once a mouse it thawed, you should not try to refreeze it.
Most lizards will eat the thawed mouse as soon as you set it in their cage, but some may be unsure since it isn’t moving. You can use tong or tweezers to move the mouse near the lizard, trying to simulate how it might move in the while. Sometimes, this can help your lizard become more comfortable eating mice that are not live.
Frozen mice can last up to twelve months, but if they do not have fur, it is recommended to only keep them frozen for six months at most.
Lizard Diets in the Wild
It is a good idea to keep your lizard’s diet somewhat similar to what they would experience in the wild. They come across a variety of different foods such as insects, eggs, smaller lizards, small mammals, and plants.
In the wild, they do eat mice and other rodents. Therefore, since they are easily accessible to pet owners, they should purchase them for their lizards to help mimic their habits in the wild.
However, for owners that do not want to feed mice to their lizards, there is still a variety of other options. Mice are not a necessity, but are a part of the lizard diets in the wild.
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What else can I feed my lizard?
Mice are just one option for your lizard’s diet. However, it is important to give them a variety from time to time. Some others foods that you can feed your lizard includes:
These are just come of the many varieties that you can provide for you lizard. However, it is important to remember that each lizard has different needs, so be sure to do your research before introducing them to new foods.
Some lizards are herbivores, meaning that they do not need any meat. If this is the case, then they will primarily eat plants, fruits, and vegetables. These breeds could be a good idea for anyone that wants to avoid feeding other critters to their pets.
Which lizards don’t need live food?
If the idea of feeding rodents to your lizard seems a bit repulsive, there are some that do not need live food at all. A few lizard breeds primarily eat vegetables and other small, simple foods.
These lizards do not require any live food:
These lizards can eat a diet of primarily fruits and vegetables, but they also need some bugs:
- Argentine Black and White Tegu
- Blue-tongued Skink
- Crested Gecko
- Bearded Dragon