Pet reptiles can suffer from metabolic bone disease (MBD) when they don’t have enough intake of calcium and vitamin D3. Insectivorous (insect-eating) lizards, such as leopard geckos and bearded dragons, require high levels of calcium which is met by feeding them a diet composed of live insects which have been gut-loaded and dusted with a reptile powder supplement. These reptiles feed on locusts, crickets, and mealworms.
Vegetarian reptiles, such as tortoises and iguanas, are fed a variety of leafy greens that are high in calcium, such as watercress, dandelion leaves, and mustard greens which are then sprinkled with a powder supplement.
The use of reptile powder supplements will depend on the reptile’s species, age, and size, but generally, it is common practice to sprinkle the supplement on the food of young and juvenile reptiles every day, and 2-3 times per week in adults. Pregnant reptiles will also require daily calcium supplement to meet their body’s increasing need for calcium which is essential for egg calcification in oviparous species and for skeletal development of the fetus in viviparous species.