Blue Tongue Skink Supplements – Supplements For Healthy Skink
Important part of Blue tongue skink care is ensuring they are fed a well balanced diet. As omnivores, in the wild, skinks eat meat, vegetables and insects. However, when kept as pets, we can’t provide them with all those nutrients through foods only and that’s where supplements come in. Blue tongue skink supplements such as Calcium, D3 and multivitamin ensures your skink develops to their full size potential and prevents MBD.
In addition to a nutritious diet, your pet skink will need dietary supplements. This will ensure they reach their maximum growth in the healthiest way possible.
This article will help you understand why your Blue tongue skink needs supplements in the first place and assist you in finding the best products. To achieve this, we are answering the following questions:
- Does my skink need Blue tongue skink supplements?
- How to feed the Blue tongue skink supplements?
- How often should I feed my skink supplements?
- What type of supplements does my skink need?
- Top recommended Blue tongue skink supplements
Does My Skink Need Blue Tongue Skink Supplements?
You might wonder why do skinks need supplements in the first place? After all in their natural environment there is no one to feed them anything but what they find to eat themselves.
Well, the skink’s diet in the wild contains everything they need in order to grow and be healthy including natural sunlight.
Whereas, when kept as pets, we can’t fully mimic their natural habitat. Therefore, we need Blue tongue skink supplements to replace what we can’t replicate such as:
- Natural sunlight
- Insect nutrition – lack of nutrition in commerically bought insects
- Fruit and vegetables – lack of nutrition in commerically bought fruit and vegetables
- Foods out of season
Even if we try to mimic natural sunlight with great and high quality lamps, it’s still not as good as the real thing. Reptiles can convert vitamin D3 from natural light into calcium and in captivity they will be lacking all of that.
For skinks that live in captivity, UV light alone might not be enough to support these functions. This is where Blue Tongue skinks supplements such as Vitamin D3 is needed
The insects we feed to skinks are bought from the shop. These insects have not been raised in a natural environment. Therefore, their nutrition will be lower compared to the insects that a skink will feed on in the wild. To supplement this lack of nutrition, we use Blue tongue skink supplements such as Calcium powder that is dusted on the commercially bought insects
Fruit And Vegetables
The same goes for fruit and vegetables that are commercially grown. They will be less nutritious than the ones a skink will eat in the wild
Foods Out Of Season
If any of the vegetables or fruit are out of season, you’ll have to resort to alternatives which will also be less nutritious
Although, you might see online owners arguing that skinks don’t need anything but a well balanced diet, you don’t want to risk your skink developing an illness such as MBD which happens often due to lack of vitamins and minerals.
It’s very likely that your skink will be missing vitamins and minerals from a diet that we, as owners feed them. Therefore, by including Blue tongue skink supplements in their diet, you will be providing them with their best chance of a healthy life.
What Blue Tongue Skink Supplements Does My Skink Need?
For your skink to grow healthy and to reach their maximum growth potential, they will need the following Blue tongue skink supplements:
- Calcium – Just like us, skinks need calcium for healthy bones and teeth. This is especially important in the first 12 months of their life, when they are growing and forming their bones. To learn more on what to feed a baby Blue tongue lizard, click here for the full guide What Do Baby Skinks Eat? Blue Tongue Skink Diet
- Multivitamin powder – vitamins such as A and C are as important to skinks just as they are to people. Although, Vitamin C is produced in the skinks kidneys, it’s often deficiency is responsible for mouth and skin lesions. On the other hand, vitamin A helps maintain good eye and skin health in reptiles
To maintain optimum health, your skink needs a diet with a ratio 2:1 of calcium to phosphorus alongside Blue Tongue skinks supplements such as Vitamin D3 in its active form and insects dusted in Calcium. If you want to go the extra mile, you can add multivitamin powder.
Calcium And Phosphorus
Both calcium and phosphorus are important mineral for your skink to ensure they stay healthy. However, when it comes to calcium and Phosphorus what matters is getting the balance right.
Calcium helps with bone formation, blood coagulation, muscle contraction, heart health and nerve impulse transmission. Whereas, phosphorus’ main function is in bone formation, cell and tissue function and repair; and producing protein that’s used for growth.
Normally, deficiency is not the problem, but it is the excess of phosphorus which causes binding with calcium. This would then result in the body depleted of calcium and therefore – bone problems.
That’s why the balance of 2:1 calcium to phosphorus is so important when choosing your skink’s foods.
Vitamin D is a group of vitamins known as secosteriods. For your skink, the most important of these vitamins is vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 has a very important role to ensure optimum bone growth and that the calcium gets properly absorbed in the body.
If not enough calcium is absorbed due to lack of vitamin D3, it can result in low serum or blood calcium levels which will also depletes calcium from the bones to try and maintain serum calcium normality.
The best vitamin D3 Blue tongue skink supplement comes in its active form. This is readily available from reptile stores and online.
In addition to the already mentioned Blue tongue skink supplements, bee pollen powder or granules can also be a good addition to your skink’s diet. This is especially true for shingleback skinks.
How Often And How Much Supplements?
Now that you’ve learned what Blue tongue skink supplements are needed, it’s time to get the feeding schedule right.
It’s important to note that giving your skink the right amount supplements is essential. This is because too much vitamins can be just as dangerous as too little.
For instance, multivitamins and vitamin D3 are the ones easiest to overdose. To avoid incorrect dosage, always offer each supplement as instructed on the label.
Out of all the Blue Tongue skink supplements calcium is one of the most important as it helps with bone growth. To ensure the calcium does its job, you should offer calcium powder to your skink as follows:
- Baby (0-3months) – dust food with calcium 3 to 4 times a week
- Juvenile (3 to 8 months) – dust food with calcium 2 to 3 times a week
- Adult (8 months +) – dust food with calcium 2 times a week
When supplementing with calcium, you need to ensure that their diet is balanced and not overloaded with calcium. For instance, collard greens are high in calcium.
An example of a calcium-rich diet includes: commercial cricket diet, grain, or a high protein baby cereal mixed with reptile vitamins, or dark, leafy greens.
One way captive skinks can get vitamin D3 is through UVB light or walks in natural light. In case you’re not providing UVB lighting, vitamin D3 should be the Blue tongue skink supplement that you offer in higher quantities.
Vitamin D3 should be offered once a week at the most.
To learn more on the topic if Blue tongue skinks need UVB in the first place, keep reading here Do Blue Tongue Skinks Need UVB? UVB Light Tank Setup
As mentioned earlier when it comes to multivitamins, there is a risk of overdose. Therefore, if you’re feeding your skink a commercial diet such as dog food, always read the labels and ingredients. This is because adding a multivitamin to a prepared diet can potentially cause an overdose.
How much Blue Tongue skink supplements such as multivitamin should be sprinkled on their food, depends on the skink’s age:
- Baby (0-3months) – multivitamin – 2 days per week
- Juvenile (3 to 8 months) – multivitamin – 1 to 2 times per week on separate days
- Adult (8 months +) – multivitamin 1 day per week on separate days than other supplements
If you decide to include bee pollen as one of the Blue tongue skink supplements, you should offer no more than a pinch every other meal or twice a week at the most.
This must be done on days no other supplements are offered.
How To Feed Blue Tongue Skink Supplements
The best way to feed Blue Tongue skink supplements is by dusting the insects with calcium or vitamin supplements. You can do this by placing the insects in a bag, adding the supplement powder and giving the bag a good shake.
The best way to feed dusted insects to your skinks is to gut load the insects beforehand. Gut loading the insects is force feeding them a diet that’s rich in calcium and nutrients to temporarily fill their gastrointestinal tract such as salad items.
You can also use certain pre-made products that have been formulated for this purpose, such as:
- Nature Zone Total Bites for Live Feeders
Blue Tongue Skink Supplements- Brand Recommendations
Best Blue tongue skink supplements – Calcium for skinks with UVB:
- Zoo Med Reptile Calcium
- Repashy Supercal LoD
- Miner-All Indoor
Best Blue tongue skink supplements – Calcium for skinks without UVB:
- Repashy Supercal HyD
- Zoo Med Repti Calcium with D3
- Fluker’s Calcium Reptile with added Vitmain D3
Best Multivitamin Blue tongue skink supplements:
- Arcadia Earthpro A
- Repashy Supervite
- Exo Terra Reptile Multivitamin
Providing a well-balanced diet to your skink is as important as including the right Blue tongue skink supplements. However, for the supplements to work properly and to not cause harm, you must know how much and how often you should offer them alongside your skink’s diet.
The main Blue tongue skink supplements that your skink will need is calcium once a week and vitamin D3 once a month. In addition, you can also include a multivitamin once a month and bee pollen twice a week.
Ensure you always follow the instructions on the manufacturer label as different brands can have different dosages, especially if the supplement comes as granules and not powder.
Related Topics Q&A
Blue Tongue Skinks And Water?
Important part of your skink’s care is providing them with hydration. You should never use distilled or softened water. The best water for your skink is tap water.
As skinks like to use their water dish as a toilet, you must ensure you change the water daily. This way they will always have access to fresh water.
In addition, to changing the water, you also must disinfect the water dish weekly with animal safe cleaning chemical such as F10.
In terms of water dish measurements, it should be large and shallow – no more than 3” deep and around 9″ x 13″ size. By providing your skink with the a good size water dish, you’d be allowing them to soak in there which they love!
What Can Blue Tongue Skinks Eat As A Diet?
An adult Blue tongue skink’s diet should be made up of 50% vegetables, 40% animal protein such as meat and insects and 10% fruits.
Read the full guide on what to feed Blue tongue skink here What Do Blue Tongue Skinks Eat? The Full Guide
What Blue Tongue Skink Disease Are Caused By Poor Nutrition?
The main illnesses related to poor nutrition is Metabolic Bone Disease, also known as MBD. This disease is the result of either not enough calcium or when the calcium is depleted from the bones.
The latter cause happens when you feed your skink foods that are too high in phosphorus. The phosphorus then binds readily with calcium; or when the calcium binds with free oxalate.
The best foods for your skink to eat have a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1 and no oxalate content. Alongside, a well balanced diet you should also include the correct Blue tongue skink supplements such as calcium and Vitamin D3.