Along with providing your pet reptile with the proper terrarium, you also want to make sure they’re properly nourished with food and water. Most species of reptiles, from iguanas to tortoises to geckos, need a food and water bowl in their cage. And it takes more research than you might think to find the right one for your pet’s specific needs; not all pet bowls and dishes are interchangeable with each other. Since there are so many different sizes and designs of bowls you can get, so be sure to find one that fits your pet, their habitat, and preferred type of food.
Why buy a reptile food and water bowl?
Ensuring your animal companion has enough food and water is arguably your most important responsibility as a pet owner. You might think that you can just use any old food and water bowl for your reptilian friend, but it is worthwhile to invest in a bowl designed specifically for reptiles. Different pets eat different types of food, and even different species of reptiles have different food requirements; a turtle’s food won’t be the same as an anole’s. It’s vital that the food bowl is the right height and shape to accommodate your pet’s proper food. And you’ll want to lean towards flatter, shallower water bowls for almost all reptiles.
It’s worth your while to research and buy the proper reptile food and water bowls instead of just tossing any spare dinner bowl you have in their tank and calling it a day.
What should you look for in reptile food and water bowls?
- Size: Size is a factor worth considering in order to give your pet easier access to their food and water. A standard dog bowl will be much too big for the average pet lizard. Lizards native to deserts can go a lot longer without water than lizards native to rainforests, so they may not need super large water bowls by comparison. A bowl with tall sides won’t be a great option for lizards like tortoises that aren’t very mobile. And the bowl will need to fit appropriately into your pet’s cage, aquarium, or terrarium.
- Material: When it comes to material, be sure to find a durable and easy-to-clean product. Food and water bowls should be cleaned regularly to prevent bacteria growth, so you’ll be doing yourself a huge favor by finding a set that is easy to keep clean. Ceramic and plastic are both reliable choices. Feeding dishes made from organic material and with fewer chemicals should be highly favored.
- Design: Aesthetics sometimes play a more prominent role in a reptile food and water bowl than you might think. Not only will the right bowl suit the overall look of your cage or tank’s setup, but some are designed to look like rocks or plants. This may even help encourage your pet to eat or drink from the bowl since, for example, many forest-dwelling reptiles find their water in rock crevices in the wild. Some feeding bowls have ramps perfect for tortoises; others are designed to nestle into the corners of an aquarium tank. There are also worm dishes made specifically to keep mealworms contained if that’s what your pet eats.
Do all reptiles need food and water bowls?
Depending on the reptile’s eating and drinking habits, a food and/or water bowl may not be a requirement for certain species of reptiles. Pet snakes, for instance, need to be fed live prey like mice, so a food bowl wouldn’t be a necessary addition to their habitat. Some lizards eat insects like fruit flies that can’t be contained in food bowls. And certain reptile species, like anoles or chameleons, actually won’t drink from bowls at all; their owners make sure they get their water by spraying water mist on plants inside their habitats. You may even have better luck getting a reptile to drink from a tube or tube-like device, similar to those found in hamster or mice cages. As with any type of pet you plan to buy, be sure you research the species to ensure you know how to properly care for them and make sure you can meet their needs before you bring them into your home.
Fluker's Reptile Corner Bowl
This nonporous bowl works great for food or water and nestles directly in the corner of your terrarium.
Pros: This reptile food or water bowl is designed to fit perfectly into the corner of a tank or cage, keeping it out of your pet’s way and leaving their habitat open and free. Since this bowl is made of resin rather than plastic, it’s a stronger and heavier material, and your reptile shouldn’t be able to shift or upend it. It’s also easy to clean and disinfect and resembles a real slab of rock. There are two size options available.
Cons: The medium-sized bowl falls in the usual price range, but the large size is a bit pricier than most. Also keep in mind that this bowl might not look exactly as pictured. Though the color is listed as gray, there’s a chance you’ll receive a different color at random.
Bottom Line: This corner bowl works great as both a reptile food or water bowl, and it’s suitable for most species of reptiles, from bearded dragons to snakes and more. Since it’s a corner bowl, it fits flush against the corner of your terrarium, so it’s out of the way and gives your friend plenty of room to scurry around freely.
Fluker's Reptile Bowl for Food/Water
Your reptile will be happy eating or drinking out of this bowl that will blend seamlessly with most terrariums.
Pros: Whether you want a more natural-looking water bowl to encourage your reptile to drink or a bowl that blends in seamlessly with its surroundings, this reptile bowl is an excellent choice. It resembles real rock so closely that your pet won’t be able to tell the difference, especially since it’s so durable and solid. Yet it’s easy to clean and disinfect. And thanks to the four size options, you shouldn’t have trouble finding a bowl that’s the right size for your pet and their habitat.
Cons: Every shade will look natural, but you can’t pick which color you want. Many users also noted that the extra-small model isn’t much smaller than the small size, so if you have an especially small tank or pet, the extra-small may not actually be small enough.
Bottom Line: Available in four different sizes and styles, this food and water bowl combo offers the best natural look compared to other feeding or watering dishes. The unique and natural appearance is not only great for encouraging your pet reptile to drink from it, but it can fit in with almost any terrarium, whether it has a desert, jungle, or tropical theme.
SLSON Acrylic Ledge Suction Cup Reptile Feeder
This handy food and water dish combo is suctioned securely in place, so your pet will have a hard time knocking it over.
Pros: This reptile bowl set offers a slightly different setup than most. It features an acrylic mount that adheres to the side of the tank or aquarium via a suction cup and has two small, open slots, one for a food bowl and one for a water bowl. If you’re nervous about the mount not being strong or sticky enough to remain in place, never fear; the suction cup doesn’t just stick, it can actually be tightened and then screwed into place, so it holds firmer than most suction cups. In fact, it’s strong enough that the mount doubles as a perch for small climbing reptiles like anoles and geckos. Rather than two permanent ceramic or resin dishes, this set comes with 20 food-grade replacement plastic dishes. You’re meant to toss these instead of washing them, so minimal cleaning is required for this bowl set.
Cons: The downside to having disposable bowls is, of course, that you will have to buy replacement cups eventually. Consistently replacing the bowls will cost more money in the long run. And since the dishes get tossed after several uses, this set creates more waste than the usual reptile bowls. And it requires a solid-walled tank or aquarium for proper suction.
Bottom Line: This is a great reptile food and water bowl combo for reptiles that love to climb or habitats with limited floor space. Even if you have a less mobile animal, like a tortoise, it’s very easy to stick these dishes at the perfect height for them, no climbing necessary.
HELIME Anti-Escape Ceramic Reptile Bowls
This set of ceramic bowls are ideal for reptiles that eat live insects or are prone to spilling their water when they drink.
Pros: If your pet reptile eats mostly or mainly insects, an anti-escape reptile bowl like this one is an excellent choice for a food bowl. Thanks to the tucked-in rim, this bowl works to keep mealworms, nightcrawlers, and other similar bugs contained so they can’t crawl out, allowing your pet to eat at their leisure. The bowl is made from a sturdy, high-quality ceramic material that is smooth and nonporous. This makes it a great choice as a water bowl, too, since it won’t leak and is easy to wipe clean. You can buy this bowl in a set of two, in several sizes, and in two colors.
Cons: While this is a highly effective anti-escape reptile food bowl, keep in mind that there are certain insects (such as crickets) that will be able to escape. Smaller worms may crawl underneath the rim and get stuck there, which may frustrate your pet. And as good-looking as this bowl is, it’s not natural-looking and won’t blend in with its surroundings.
Bottom Line: If you’re looking for a slightly more refined bowl for your terrarium, then try out this reptile food and water bowl. The ceramic is good quality and good-looking, and the tucked-in rim along the top makes this the perfect choice for keeping insects like mealworms contained until your pet is ready to eat.
Boao Leaf Reptile Food and Water Bowls
These food and water bowls are the perfect blend of cute and functional.
Pros: Most notable about this pair of reptile bowls is their cute, playful, and distinct leaf-shaped design and color. But aesthetics aren’t the only advantage these bowls bring to the table. Since they’re low to the ground, wide, and almost flat, these bowls are highly accessible for reptiles of various agility and mobility levels. They also rinse off for quick and easy cleaning and dry out almost equally quickly. They’re sold as pairs, so you get a good bang for your buck.
Cons: While they do have a tall enough rim to keep pellets from going all over the floor, the rim is too short to properly contain live food like insects. And these aren’t the most space-efficient bowls for smaller tanks or cages; since they’re pretty wide, they will take up more than their share of floor space.
Bottom Line: These adorable leaf-shaped reptile bowls are especially great for turtles and tortoises due to their low, wide, almost flat design that makes them highly accessible for even slow, less mobile critters. Don’t feel restricted to using them for only these species, though; these bowls are great for almost any reptiles that eat dry food or fruits and vegetables.
Different types of pets have different requirements depending on their species’ habits and needs, and reptiles are no exception. And providing your pet reptile with the proper food and water bowls for their needs and habitat can go a long way toward ensuring your lizard, snake, or gecko is well-fed, well-hydrated, and comfortable in their home.