You’re here because you love your reptiles right?
But, reptiles are mostly kept indoors. They won’t get enough sun exposure to get the vitamin D3. More often than not, this causes pet reptiles to suffer calcium deficiency.
This is why we need to help with the bone growth and health of our pets!
Buyers Guide for reptile calcium powder
With the ever-growing pet reptile market, comes the rise of many companies and products seeking to satisfy their customers’ needs. This applies to calcium powder – with so many products on the market.
How will you know which one is the right one?
For starters, we’re going to have you take a look at the ingredient content as much as possible. We’d like our calcium powder to contain only the essentials.
Thus, our reptile calcium powder has to meet the following criteria:
A proper diet for a reptile should contain calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1.
Because the majority of the meals pet reptiles such as bearded dragons already have lots of phosphorus.
We don’t want them to contain any phosphorus. If your pet reptile gets too much phosphorus in its diet. It can also cause calcium deficiency!
We also don’t want to put any form of preservatives in the calcium powder. The problem is, many preservatives don’t have any good nutrient content for our reptiles.
Moreover, these preservatives can be harmful to our pets.
Thus, when buying any reptile diet supplement, ensure to take a look at the label. Common examples of preservatives include Citric acid, potassium sorbate, methylparaben, and calcium phosphate among others.
Should have at least Vitamin D3
The requirement for Vitamin D3 in your reptile’s calcium powder is dependent on your terrarium.
Assuming that you only gave your reptile a basic lighting setup – then Vitamin D3 is essential.
Vitamin D3 is a nutrient that allows your pet reptile to digest calcium correctly.
In the wild, the reptiles usually obtained this when basking under the sun – due to Ultraviolet B Rays.
If your terrarium has an Ultraviolet Blight, you won’t need Calcium with D3 as much.
However, for most reptile owners, this will be highly essential. If you cannot find a special UVB light, you can alternatively satisfy your reptile’s D3 inevitably by taking them outside.
This will be easier to do with some reptiles, as not all pet reptiles like to be handled too much!
The texture should be finely milled
Because this is a mineral, we have to make sure the calcium powder is finely milled. The texture should resemble that of baby calcium powder.
The reason for this is two-fold.
For one, this makes it easier to apply to our pet’s food (more on that later).
And second, it’s easier for our pet reptiles to digest. Poorly milled one can be rough and sharp – and can potentially harm our pet.
Furthermore, if not finely milled the calcium powder can pose a choking hazard.
List of 10 calcium powders for reptiles
ZooMed reptile calcium powder without D3
Key component features
- Highly bio-available source of calcium carbonate.
- Made primarily from oyster shells.
- Safe levels of D3.
- Suitable for reptiles that are able to meet the vitamin D3.
This brand by Zoo Med is without vitamin D3.
Considering the importance of vitamin D3 for the absorption of calcium. Reptiles that require vitamin D3 for calcium absorption won’t do well with it.
The supplement a is finely milled phosphorus-free precipitated the calcium supplement for reptiles and amphibians. It has a high surface area per gram thereby increasing calcium bio-availability.
One downside of this product is that its seal quality quite poor. Perhaps due to the way some online suppliers like Amazon stock it in their warehouse, the products might arrive half-open. This will certainly affect the quality and potency of the supplements.
What We Like
- It’s perfect for bearded dragons, box turtles, and all other species of reptiles.
- It’s just plain calcium with safe levels of vitamin D3. This gives the best calcium-phosphorus ratio needed for desert-based reptiles.
What We Don’t Like
- The product uses oyster shells as its calcium source. What this means is that it contains toxic heavy metals and may not be totally free of harmful impurities.
- Poor quality and safety seal.
Rep-Cal SRP00200 Phosphorous
(Rep-Cal SRP00200 Phosphorous – Free Calcium Ultrafine Powder Reptile/Amphibian Supplement with Vitamin D3)
- It’s made from 100% natural oyster shell phosphorus-free calcium carbonate.
- D3 to aid calcium ingestion.
- Use with D3 deficient reptiles that require it to assimilate calcium.
- Easy to use.
- Has good packaging.
- Delivers value for money.
Rep-Cal phosphorus-free calcium is one of the best calcium powders for reptiles on the market, especially dragons. It is also ideal for leopard geckos and other species of reptiles.
What We Like
- Bearded dragons, leopard geckos and other reptiles feed fine with it.
- Contain vitamin D3 for easy calcium ingestion and absorption.
What We Don’t Like
- Made from ground oyster shells.
Although no evidence for toxicity is recorded, chronic use of these kinds of supplements may constitute unnecessary metal exposure.
Zoo Med Aquatic Turtle Banquet Block
- Best source of calcium.
- Maintains tortoise’ beak and offers enrichment.
- Includes a mixture of nutritious vegetables.
This Aquatic Banquet Block by Zoo Med is specially formulated to include extra for your tortoise and box turtle while helping them to prevent their beak from overgrowing and give enrichment as well.
This supplement also contains a wide variety of nutritious vegetables on a solid source form including carrots, spinless opuntia cactus, and alfalfa.
This supreme combo offers varied nutrients for the diet of your turtle.
What We Like
- Best formulated to meet the dietary needs of aquatic turtles.
- Great source of calcium garnished with vegetables.
- It helps to prevent the overgrowth of turtles’ beak.
- It provides enrichment to turtles as they chew the block to get the food inside.
What we don’t like
- Some turtles may react negatively to it.
- Some customers have reported the product not dissolving despite being in the turtle tank for up to a month.
- It may change the color of the water thus making it difficult for you to spot your turtle.
Exo Terra Exo Terra Calcium Powder Supplement
- Contains essential elements for metabolism.
- Low phosphorus content.
- Ultrafine calcium powder.
- Great for reptiles and amphibians.
This calcium powder is a low-level phosphorus powder formulated to help ensure the long term health of reptiles and amphibians.
The product is available in different sizes of such as 40g and 450g. The supplement is produced with a combination of essential elements (Calcium, Magnesium oxide, Potassium chloride, etc.) with no arsenic or dangerous heavy metals that could be detrimental to your pets.
What We Like
- Sticks very well to feeder insects.
- Consistent and easy to use.
- Suitable for turtles, leopard geckos, and beardies.
What We Don’t Like
- It must be used with Exo Terra Multivitamin calcium powder supplement for optimal results.
Zoo Med Repti Calcium D3 Reptile Supplement
- Bio-available source of calcium carbonate.
- Not made primarily from oyster shells so it’s free of harmful impurities.7
- Suit for reptiles that require vitamin D3 to assimilate calcium.
This reptile supplement is a finely milled precipitated calcium carbonate. It is made with no phosphorus in it, which is just perfect for reptiles and amphibians.
As this product is fortified with Vitamin D3, it is suitable for feeding to bearded dragons, leopard geckos, and other nocturnal reptiles which do not bask under UVB.
What We Like
- Suitable for reptiles. A great number of reptile species love it.
- Finely milled.
- It can be fed to turtles as well.
- Great for baby Bearded dragons.
What We Don’t Like
- The calcium powder will start sticking together if kept in a humid environment (i.e above 40%). However, This issue can be remedied by mashing the particles with an object or storing the product in a less humid environment.
Reptile calcium for baby reptiles
Do baby reptile needs help feeding supplement?
Let’s help you out!
In the wild, reptiles typically don’t feed their young. Most reptiles hatched from an egg or a born life with innate abilities and instincts to hunt, catch, and eat prey on their own without having to be taught.
They are mostly born with the readiness to do most of the things their adult counterparts do. And this includes feeding.
However, these young reptiles may not be as strong physically as their adult counterparts.
So, feeding them with calcium supplements and exposing them to UVB is very important for strong and healthy bones.
The question is, what’s the best calcium supplement for a baby reptile? For us to respond effectively. Let’s look at the various forms that can be found on the market.
There’s powdered calcium, Calcium-fortified with vitamins such as vitamin D3 and liquid calcium. Powdered calcium available as calcium carbonate provides calcium boost reptiles require for proper bone growth and egg development in females.
Liquid-calcium is better absorbed than powdered-calcium.
On the other hand, calcium-enriched with vitamins has other elements added to it, such as vitamin A and vitamin D3, which are required for rapid absorption of calcium into the bloodstream.
This being said, liquid calcium and fortified calcium (vitamin D3 fortified) will be the best form of calcium for a baby reptile.
Why baby reptile needs special calcium?
The importance of calcium in reptiles can not be overstated. As discussed earlier in this article, If there is a calcium deficiency, they will become stunted and deformed.
Reptiles that are nocturnal such as leopard geckos are not much in need of UVB. Reptiles that require it most are desert reptiles like bearded dragons. They require reptile lightning with about 12% UVB and lizards.
How to feed reptiles with calcium?
Like bearded dragons, lizards also require calcium. The challenge we may have is to know the right dose.
You would think that the administration of calcium supplements to your reptile should be a simple process.
But it’s not because too much of it will lead to hypercalcemia. While insufficient supplies would also lead to a condition called Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
Ideally, the recommended dosage of Calcium supplements for lizards is 2 spoonfuls per diet.
Simply put the measured calcium in a bag of insects and shake well until dusted.
If you’re using mice, only deep the hindquarters of the mice in supplements.
The same dosage can also be applied to vegetables and fruits. This is supposed to be given to the lizards thrice a week or as recommended by your veterinarian.
Bearded dragons are omnivores and are not selective about their diet. Insects such as crickets, locusts, and cockroaches are eaten by beardies.
They also dine on fruits, leaves, and flowers.
Hatchlings and young dragons consume more live food than vegetables. While adult bearded dragons consume more fruit and vegetables in the same proportion (50:50).
Whatever is the best diet of your dragons. Before being offered, all foods should be dusted with calcium and multivitamin calcium powder.
One of the best ways to improve calcium in your turtle is to include calcium supplements in their diet and phosphorus-free calcium supplements in particular.
How to feed it to your aquatic turtles may be difficult. Because this calcium is generally powdered except for a few brands that make it in blocks.
If you sprinkle the powdered calcium on their food pellets and then put the pellets in their water, all the calcium will be washed away in the water. To avoid this, follow the following procedures:
- Place the food of your turtle in a plastic bag.
- Add a little water to the food. Be careful not to overwet the food and get it resolved at the process.
- Add a few scoops of the supplement- about 2-3 spoonfuls.
- Gently shake the bag to get the calcium supplements well into the pallet.
- Then let it dry before feeding it to your turtle.
This will make sure that the calcium sticks to the food as you place it in the water for a longer time. Until your tortoise eats it. If they don’t, you can leave them alone. Most reptile pets will eat later.
This can be administered once a week to a fully grown turtle
DO SNAKES NEED CALCIUM?
Snakes also require calcium. But do they need supplements calcium? For most snakes, the answer is an emphatic? NO! [Source]
In the wild, when a snake ingests a prey, all the nutrients are absorbed from the prey and most captive snakes are fed their prey items with an endoskeleton.
This endoskeleton provides the necessary calcium for proper bone growth and the egg-laying in female snakes.
But If you are not feeding your snake with rodents that have been well fed themselves, your snake will lack the required nutrients, and in this case, supplemented calcium is necessary for the snake.
It is common to notice calcium deficiency in reptiles mostly breeding females who use it for egg production. One thing to keep in mind is finding the correct balance of calcium as too much can prevent the digestion of important nutrients and capable of calcifying internal organs.
In short, if you feed your snakes very well with sufficient food nutrients, you don’t even need extra to supplement them. Except in the case of reproductive females.
The key reason that reptiles need supplementation in their diet is due to the chemical composition of their food. When any of these vitamins and minerals interact with each other, they cause imbalances that can contribute to health problems. So maintaining this balance is paramount.
The proper calcium-phosphorus ratio for captive reptiles is 2:1.
Unfortunately, many reptiles’ food source are high in phosphorus and relatively low in calcium. That’s why you need a proper supplement to help balance your pet’s diet.
Apart from applying supplemented-calcium to your reptile, you need to take into account that different species of reptiles require different levels of supplementation. In order not to overdose or underdose your pets, it is important to understand the quantity required.
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