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You are here: myPetSmart.com > Pet Care Library > Articles > Newts And Salamanders

Newts and Salamanders

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Traits & behavior

Insectivores

This means they eat mostly live insects.

Communal
Newts and salamanders can generally live together peacefully. If housing multiple pets, be sure to watch for any territorial or aggressive behavior.
 

Things to remember

Handling
Newts and salamanders have sensitive skin, and should not be handled very much.

Supervision
Always supervise children when they're observing your newts or salamanders.

Food safety
Remove uneaten insects from the habitat by the end of the day; do not allow to remain in habitat overnight.

Safety & cleanliness
Please remember that all pets may bite or scratch, and may transmit disease to humans. Keep your pet's home clean and wash your hands before and after handling your pet or cleaning his home. Infants, young children, pregnant women, people with compromised immune systems, and the infirm or elderly are at greater risk of infections and should use caution when in contact with the pet or its habitat. Consult your doctor for more information.
 

Nutrition

Crickets & worms
They eat live insects, like "gut loaded" crickets (feed the insects a special supplement so they have extra nutrients), bloodworms, ghost shrimp and red wigglers. They may also adapt to eating frozen or freeze-dried food.

Feeding amount & frequency
Feed juveniles daily; adults 3-4 times a week. Offer an amount that can be consumed by the end of the day.

Calcium dust
"Dust" the insects with a calcium supplement twice a week - ask a PetSmart associate for details.

Health

Signs your newts or salamanders are healthy:

  • Clear, alert eyes
  • Eats normally
  • Breathes easily

Things to watch for:

  • Red streaks in droppings for more than two days
  • Red, inflamed skin
  • Eating less; weight loss
  • Swollen joints
  • Discharge from the eyes, nose or mouth

If you notice any of the signs above, please consult an experienced Reptile Veterinarian as soon as possible.
 

Environment

Terrarium
Your semi-aquatic pet needs a home with land and water areas. You can create this environment by:

  • Furnishing the terrarium with a water dish large enough for full-body soaking
  • Creating a divided terrarium with a water side and a land side. Be sure to create a gradual incline that allows your pet to get in and out of the water easily. Use a small filter to help keep the water clean, and a submersible heater (if needed), to keep the water at the right temperature.

Filter
A small underwater filter is a good idea to help keep the swimming water clean.

Plants
Live aquatic plants help maintain humidity levels. Check a reptile book for a list of non-toxic plants to use.

Humidity
Keep the humidity level in the terrarium at or near 80%. A hygrometer (humidity gauge) will help you keep track.

Temperature
Maintain temperature inside the habitat between 68-75° F. Place an aquarium thermometer in the water and a reptile thermometer in the land area of the home to monitor temperature. Use a submersible aquarium heater to maintain proper water temperature.

Bedding
Line the home with 2"- 3" of aquarium gravel. Incline up to create a dry area above water level. Remove waste weekly and clean gravel at least once a month.

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