If you are reading this expecting an in-depth review of all the supplements that are on the market nowadays aimed at reptile nutrition – you are in for a shock! No, this will give you some home truths about the basics. Armed with this basic knowledge you can then decide for yourself which you feel best suits your reptiles needs.
Not that long ago there were no supplements that were balanced for reptiles. Commercially we had SA-37 and Vionate for the general pet market. From there we had keepers experimenting with human supplements for their reptiles – Vitamin D and calcium (ground) tablets were popular, along with liquid additives such as Abidec (for human babies). It really was not acceptable at all, and we all sighed a huge sigh of relief when the likes of VetArk’s Nutrobal arrived on the scene – balanced for reptile use. Phew! Thank god! But since then it has gone into over-drive, within the current market there is a huge choice of reptile supplements available. An over crowded market, with a confusing amount of varieties.
So, am I here to go through all the differences and give you some definitive best choices? No, I’m sorry I am not. I learnt, over time, that the hobby evolves fast and is not only fickle it can be a dangerous place to put forward an opinion on anything. Some of the greatest experienced keepers now keep their opinions to themselves, what a shame. However I can give you one top tip – do a Google search for supplements and read through the manufacturers specifications and details. Certainly compare them this way rather than trawling through all the various opinions on social media groups. You know what animals you are keeping, that’s a good starting point. There are species and group specific supplements – for example if you keep Chameleons you will find various manufacturers offering a specific supplement. Likewise for Cresties, Leopard geckos, Frogs etc, etc. You may want the dust to stay on your livefood longer, or in difficult damper habitats – yes there are supplements that claim to do this. If you dig deep enough you will find ‘science’ based claims, such as the role of magnesium in a diet – and yes there are supplements that cater for this too. Bee pollen? Yes, there are ranges with that too! Does it do anything more than a supplement without? There are might claims saying undoubtedly yes, and some keepers swear by such additives others see no benefit at all. So, it has to be said it is now super confusing, and super dangerous that a retailer such as ourselves should offer a vote of confidence to any particular product.
Currently at home, as my personal opinion, I have Phrynosoma asio, a group of Testudo and a group of Bombina – I use the same reptile supplement I have used for over two decades for all but the Bombina. For those I use a supplement that claims to cling to the livefood longer. As with all keepers we generally have a what we personally regard as the winning formula – in truth in the modern hobby as long as some basic research is done it’s difficult to make a very bad decision – in turn that will become perhaps the base for your own future opinion. Yes this may all sound like I’m talking in riddles, but trust me it’s the best piece of reptile keeping advice you’ll hear today 😉