Tegus are omnivore and as such they can eat fish as part of a varied diet. Tuna should be fed in moderation, because it contains thiaminase that can reduce vitamin B1 absorption, but it’s otherwise a pretty healthy choice.
It is best to feed tuna fish fillets raw, but you can feed canned tuna occasionally, provided it is conserved in brine and not oil, you will want to rinse under water to remove any excess salt. High quality, wet cat food or dog food may also be an option.
Overall, it is perfectly okay to feed tuna to tegu lizards, although there are better options in terms of fish and other protein sources (such as raw chicken or turkey). If you are planning to feed tuna to your tegu, only do so sporadically and preferably in the form of raw fish fillets. Too much tuna can health issues due to high levels of mercury.
Feeding smaller white fish whole may also be a better option than tuna, because your tegu is going to have access to all the nutrients from the fish organs and bones, including calcium and minerals which would be otherwise difficult to obtain from natural food sources. Unshelled seafood can also be a great source of calcium and a substitute for whole prey.
Tegu and Tuna FAQs
Can I feed tuna to my tegu?
Tuna can be fed to tegus, but it should be done with caution due to the presence of thiaminase in some species of tuna. Thiaminase is an enzyme that breaks down thiamine, a crucial B-vitamin for reptiles. Over time, thiaminase can lead to thiamine deficiency, which can cause neurological damage and even death in severe cases. Therefore, it is recommended to feed cooked tuna to tegus as cooking neutralizes thiaminase.
Can I feed canned tuna fish to my tegu?
While some tegu owners have reported feeding their tegus canned tuna fish, it is generally not recommended as canned tuna often contains added salt and preservatives that may not be healthy for your pet. If you do choose to feed canned tuna to your tegu, be sure to use tuna that is packed in water, not oil, as oil can be difficult for your tegu to digest. It is important to note that canned tuna should not be a regular part of your tegu’s diet and should be fed in moderation.
Is it okay to feed fresh raw tuna to my tegu?
Fresh raw tuna can be a good source of protein for your tegu, but it is important to note that some species of fish, including tuna, may contain an enzyme called thiaminase. Thiaminase destroys a reptile’s stores of vitamin B1 (thiamin), which can cause neurological damage and even death if not caught in time. Cooking the fish neutralizes this enzyme, but if you choose to feed your tegu raw fish, be sure to only use fresh, high-quality fish that is free of parasites and other contaminants.
What other types of fish can I feed my tegu?
Other types of fish that can be fed to tegus include salmon, tilapia, cod, and haddock. These fish are generally safe for tegus to eat and are good sources of protein. It is important to note that fish should only make up a small part of your tegu’s diet and should be fed in moderation. Additionally, be sure to avoid feeding your tegu any fish that may contain thiaminase, such as bass, catfish, herring, mackerel, smelt, and whitefish.
Should I freeze fresh fish before feeding it to my tegu?
Freezing fresh fish can help to kill any parasites that may be present and can make the fish safer for your tegu to eat. If you choose to feed your tegu fresh fish, be sure to freeze it for at least 24 hours before serving it. This will help to ensure that the fish is safe and free from any harmful parasites or contaminants that could harm your pet.
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PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.