Are you considering adopting a lizard? The blue-tongued skink is a very fascinating pet. As your Marion, IA area vet, I provide excellent veterinary care for a variety of reptiles. I discuss some basic points of blue-tongued skink care below.
There are actually several different types of blue-tongued skinks. The Northern blue-tongued skink is the largest and most popular. These adorable lizards don’t grow too large, rarely getting beyond 24 inches. They make great reptiles for beginners, as they are both cute and charismatic. Many even enjoy having their chins scratched! One thing to consider before adopting a blue-tongued skink is their longevity. They can live up to 20 years or even longer. Make sure that you are committed to caring for it for its entire lifespan!
Generally, blue-tongues should be housed by themselves. While you may be able to keep females together, males should definitely always live alone. If you have a baby lizard, your pet can live comfortably in a 20-gallon aquarium or terrarium. Adults need a cage that is at least 55 gallons. These guys have specific lighting and heating requirements, so you’ll need to get some special equipment. Ask your vet for more information.
Choosing A Skink
When buying your skink, go through a reputable breeder. Choosing a healthy skink is very important! Look for an active one that has clear, bright eyes; clean toes; open ear canals; and no retained skin.
Your little buddy will need a comfy hide box. As for substrate, you can use fir bark, cypress, or paper substrates. Avoid cedar chips, clay cat litter, orchid bark, and walnut shells. You can add things like rocks and low branches for decoration, but don’t go overboard. Blue-tongued skinks like open spaces. Your tiny dinosaur won’t be happy with a cluttered cage! Your pet will also need clean water. Choose a shallow dish that won’t tip over.
Blue-tongues can eat a variety of foods, including canned premium dog or cat food; meal worms; superworms; hard-boiled eggs; boiled chicken; canned insects; pinky mice; and various fruits and veggies. You’ll also need to provide your skink with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements. Never give your pet eggplant, rhubarb, citrus fruits, avocado, or anything high in salt. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Do you have questions about caring for blue-tongued skinks? Call me, your Marion, IA area veterinarian, today!