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3 Treats Your Herbivorous Reptile Will Go Wild For!

3 Treats Your Herbivorous Reptile Will Go Wild For!

3 Treats Your Herbivorous Reptile Will Go Wild For!

Written by Mariah Healey,

Everyone likes to give their pet treats. Seeing our pets makes us happy, after all. But what kinds of treats are good for herbivorous reptiles? It’s not like you can go to the pet store and get a bag of shaped biscuits or jerky like you can for a dog or horse.

The good news is that you can find suitable treats for herbivorous reptiles in grocery stores and even in your backyard! Here are some nutritious treat ideas that your herbivorous pet will love:


Many herbivorous reptiles are naturally attracted to the vibrant colors and enticing scents of flowers, since they’re a source of valuable extra vitamins in the wild. Some species have color preferences; for example, uromastyx, chuckwallas, and desert iguanas often get particularly excited about yellow flowers. But it’s not just yellow flowers that you can use to tempt your herbivore!

  • African violet
  • Alyssum
  • Aster
  • Balloon flower
  • Bellflower
  • Bergamot
  • Bindweed
  • Chrysanthemum
  • Clover
  • Cosmos
  • Cornflower
  • Dahlia
  • Dandelions
  • Day lily
  • Geranium
  • Hibiscus
  • Hollyhock
  • Hosta
  • Jasmine
  • Marigold
  • Nasturtium
  • Pansy
  • Petunia
  • Phlox
  • Rose
  • Snapdragon
  • Squash flower
  • Sunflower
  • Viola
  • Yucca
  • Zinnia

The only caveat here is that you will need to make sure the flowers you feed to your pet are clean and chemical-free, so you can’t go to the florist or snag a bloom from the park, since these plants are almost always laden with pesticides. Instead, buy edible flowers marked for human consumption, grow your own, or even gather them from areas you are 200% confident haven’t been exposed to chemicals.

Wondering about a flower not on this list? The Tortoise Table is an excellent resource for edible flowers as well as other greens. It’s also worthwhile to brush up on identifying the plants native to your area. However, when you’re out foraging, if you come across a flower that you want to give to your pet but you’re not perfectly confident about its identity, leave it alone! It’s not worth potentially poisoning your pet.

Bee pollen

Bee pollen is a treat relished by many herbivorous and omnivorous reptiles. Wild reptiles get pollen and nectar when they eat flowers, but this resource is often absent from the diets of pet reptiles. Aside from being tasty, bee pollen is also a natural multivitamin! According to a paper by Khalifa et al. (2021), bee pollen contains “proteins, amino acids, enzymes, co-enzymes, carbohydrates, lipids, fatty acids, phenolic compounds, bio-elements, and vitamins…[such as] “vitamin E, pro-vitamin A, vitamin D…vitamins B1, B2, B6, and C… biotin, rutin, pantothenic [acid], nicotinic [acid], inositol, and folic [acid]. Bio-elements include macro-elements like sodium, magnesium, calcium, phosphorus, and potassium, as well as micro-elements as zinc, copper, manganese, iron, and selenium.”

In captivity, if you can’t get a steady source of edible flowers for your pet, whether due to season or limited availability, high-quality organic bee pollen granules are a good option.

Keep in mind that there are anecdotal reports connecting excess bee pollen ingestion with yeast infections, so when you do give bee pollen to your pet, offer just a few granules at a time.


As with flowers, most herbivores and omnivores (and even some carnivores!) will readily eat fruit when they get the opportunity. It’s a great source of extra vitamins and energy which otherwise may be rare in their diet. There are also some reptile species which eat fruit as a regular part of their diet (New Caledonian geckos, day geckos, and red-footed tortoises are some of the best-known examples). Here are some of the best fruits to use as treats for reptiles:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Blackberries
  • Blueberries
  • Cactus fruit (prickly pear / tuna)
  • Cherries
  • Figs
  • Mango
  • Pears
  • Raspberries
  • Strawberries
  • Watermelon

Fruit must be washed well to remove pesticide residue, especially if it’s on the Environmental Working Group’s Dirty Dozen list. The fruits most contaminated with pesticides in 2024 are strawberries, grapes, peaches, pears, nectarines, apples, cherries, and blueberries. Whenever possible, buy your fruit local and organic. Growing it yourself is always the best-case scenario.

For reptiles that aren’t adapted to eat fruit regularly, you need to be especially careful. Fruit is high in sugar (especially domestic varieties bred for human consumption) and can lead to dental disease and obesity. If you want to give your pet a fruity treat, keep it sparing: one or two small pieces no more than 1x/month.


Treats are a great way to build trust with reptiles because they can teach the animal to associate their human caretaker with good things. They can also be a helpful part of target training. Just be disciplined about how often you use them, and treats can become a fulfilling and healthy way to bond with your pet.

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