You Are What You Eat
In the wild exotic animals have access to a wide range of food products, including a variety of live foods. All the live food obviously has access to it’s own food source. This way, exotic pets get access to an increase range of nutrition by proxy (i.e. the reptiles foods food)!
When captive this potential range of food and nutrition can diminish leading to nutritional deficiency in pets which can cause them to be serious ill or in some cases die. Simply put we tend to feed our pets the same live food time and time again, some of which will either have the same food or none in its gut.
What is Gut Loading?
Gut loading can be loosely defined as “the process by which an animal’s prey is raised and fed nutritious foods with the intention of passing those nutrients to the animal for which the prey is intended”
This essentially means looking after your pet by making sure their live food is fed a nutritious and healthy diet. The one exception to actual gut loading (but is closely related) is “calcium dusting”. Nutrients like calcium do not have to be digested by the prey before its death in order to be available to your pet but instead can be added topically to the food – or ‘dusted’.
So, gut loading your crickets, locusts and other feeder insects isn’t just good practice it’s essential for helping to keep your pet healthy and happy.
Products to Help with Gut Loading
We’ve got a selection of products which can help with this:
- Jelly pots
- Bug grub
- Bug gel
- H2O balls
- Calcium dust
- Multi vitamin
- Cricket pens (to keep your live food)
Anything Else That Can Help Other Than Gut Loading?
Yes, some animals need to have access to a UVB light which is achieved through installed UV lamps. UVB light is necessary for the reptile’s body to properly synthesize vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 plays a crucial role in allowing your pet’s body to absorb calcium and maintain healthy bones. See our post “why do reptiles need light” for more information and a free download.
In conclusion both gut loading and calcium dusting can be highly beneficial to your exotic pet, but there’s simple and relatively cheap solutions to this which we can help with.
If you’ve got any questions on gut loading your live food feel free to drop into the shop which is located at 187 Old Chester Rd, Birkenhead CH42 3TB, give us a call now on 0151 645 6235 or use our contact form on our website.
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