Savannah Monitors: 11 Amazing Things You Should Know

Savannah monitors are interesting animals from the lizard family and many owners would profess to them being excellent pets. They are somewhat an unusual choice of lizard as a pet and this is why they are not a common choice.

Let’s look at 11 amazing things you should know about Savannah monitors.

1. Can I Feed My Savannah Monitor Raw Chicken?

Savannah monitors are beautiful and interesting medium-sized lizards native to Africa, making them good household pets. One key responsibility of a pet owner is feeding it; therefore, if you decide to keep a savannah monitor in your home, you need to know what it eats.

So, can I feed my savannah monitor raw chicken? You can feed your savannah monitor raw chicken by providing your monitor lizard with a balanced diet by giving it other meats too, including raw chicken. The raw meat does not have to be from fully grown chickens. Even raw meat from day chicks has sufficient nutrients for your savannah monitor.

Do not feed your savannah monitors too much raw chicken. They are opportunistic eaters and might become obese if you do not regulate the quantity of food they eat.

Unlike other pet lizards, savannah monitors are somewhat high maintenance pets and need someone with experience handling them. Therefore, if you decide to keep a savannah monitor, you should maintain a strict balanced diet.

In the wild, savannah monitors mostly feed on insects and small animals but because they are involved in hunting for food, the energy involved helps balance the calories eaten, with less calories taken when food is scarce.

Read on to find out more on foods you should or should not feed your savannah monitor.

2. Can Savannah Monitors Eat Tuna and Fish?

A proper diet is very important to the health of savannah monitors. Therefore, considering savannah monitors are carnivorous, you might be wondering if they can eat tuna or fish.

Savannah monitors can eat tuna or fish. Tuna is a good source of protein with very low-fat content, ensuring your savannah monitors maintain their body weight. You can feed your savannah monitor fish fillet by cutting them into small pieces that are easy for your savannah monitor to chew.

The pieces of fish or tuna should not be larger than the space between the eyes of your savannah monitor and not longer than its head. Big pieces of tuna or fish can choke your savannah monitor or cause indigestion.

You should also ensure that the tuna or fish fillet is fresh and clean by washing the raw meat before feeding it and using a different cage for feeding. Avoid tinned tuna since it has additives and preservatives that can be harmful to your savannah monitor’s health.

You should also wash your hands after handling raw fish or tuna since your savannah monitor might mistake your fingers for food and bite you. You should also avoid feeding your savannah monitor carp fish or goldfish. Carp fish meat has minimal nutritional value and can be toxic to most reptiles, including savannah monitors.

3. Can Savannah Monitors Eat Hard Boiled Eggs Even With Egg Shells?

Most household pets such as cats and dogs will eat almost the same food as their owner. However, you need to check if the food has nutritional value to your pet. Hard-boiled eggs are very nutritional to people, and you might be wondering if you can add them to your savannah monitor’s diet.

Savannah monitors can eat hard-boiled eggs as well as the eggshells. Hard-boiled eggs are a good source of vitamins, and the eggs shells provide your savannah monitor with valuable minerals such as calcium and magnesium.

Hard-boiled eggs should only be a rotational meal; therefore, do not feed your savannah monitor daily. Since your savannah monitor spends most of its time in a cage without exercise, it will gain weight quickly if you feed it too many hard-boiled eggs.

Some savannah monitors do not chew their food, and they swallow it whole; therefore, depending on the size of your savannah monitor, choose the correct size of eggs. You can use quail eggs that are small and easy to swallow.

4. Can You Give Savannah Monitor Raw Eggs?

The key to having a healthy and strong savannah monitor is by feeding it appropriate food. Therefore, other than feeding your lizard with insects, can you offer it raw eggs?

You can give your savannah monitor raw eggs. You can crack the eggs so that your savannah monitor has easy access to the yolk inside. However, you should avoid feeding your savannah monitor unfertilized eggs. Unfertilized eggs contain avidin, which usually bonds with biotin found in vitamin B, preventing its absorption.

The good news is that it only happens if you give your savannah monitor too many raw eggs. Feeding your savannah monitor one or two eggs will not affect the absorption of vitamin B.

Not all savannah monitors like to eat raw eggs. In fact, some savannah monitors prefer to eat the eggs whites only. If your savannah monitors do not like to eat raw eggs, you can mix them with cooked eggs such as scrambled eggs. If that does not work, then you can just feed your savannah monitor hard-boiled eggs.

5. Can Savannah Monitors Eat Shrimp, Including Raw Shrimp?

One advantage about keeping savannah monitors as pets is their tendency to eat anything you put in front of them. Most savannah monitor lizards are not picky eaters, and you might wonder if it is appropriate to offer them shrimps.

Savannah monitors can eat shrimp, including raw shrimp. However, it is recommended that you avoid offering your savannah monitor pre-cooked food. Also, young savannah monitors prefer to eat insects. Therefore, you have to cut the raw shrimps into little pieces easy for them to swallow.

For adult savannah monitors, you can give them whole shrimps as long as they are not bigger than their heads. If you refrigerated the shrimps, place them in warm water first before feeding them to your savannah monitor.

6. Can Savannah Monitors Eat Dog Food?

Savannah monitors are docile lizards and can get along with other pets at home. If you have a dog in your home, you might think of giving some of it to your savannah monitor, but you are not sure if it has any nutritional value to your pet lizard.

While a savannah monitor will eat anything you offer it, including dog food, you should not give your savannah monitor dog food. Dog food is only meant for dogs’ consumption, and they lack some nutrients and minerals crucial for keeping a savannah monitor healthy. Dog food has high levels of fat which, if consumed by a savannah monitor, will collect in its vital organs such as the liver and kidney.

The more dog food a savannah monitor lizard consumes, the more its health deteriorates. Therefore, always check the nutritional value of any processed foods you give to your pet. If possible, avoid giving it processed foods altogether.

7. Can Savannah Monitors Eat Cat Food?

Some people prefer to keep numerous pets of different species in their homes. If you own different pets, you have to buy different foods for them. However, some pets can share the same diet, and as a cat and lizard parent, you might wonder if they share their foods.

Savannah monitors can eat cat food; however, it is recommended that you do not feed it to them. Cat food usually contains meat products from chicken, beef, and fish. Some also have egg products. Most cat food contains high proteins, some reaching levels of 35 to 45%. 45% protein content in food is too high for a savannah monitor to be regularly eating.

If you feed your savannah monitor cat food every week, it will gain a lot of weight and become obese within a short period. However, some vets recommend you feed your savannah monitor cat food once or twice since it contains other vital nutrients such as carbohydrates.

8. Can Savannah Monitors Eat Raw Meat?

Savannah monitors are strictly carnivorous, and, from a young age, they will feed on a variety of small insects and animals. Some pets require their meat to be boiled or cooked before they eat it, and you might be wondering if you have to cook a piece of chicken or tuna before offering it to your savannah monitor.

Savannah monitors do enjoy eating raw meat. In the wild, from a young age, a monitor lizard will start eating small raw insects. When the savannah grows up, it will start to eat small animals such as mice and frogs raw. When you keep a savannah monitor as a pet at home, there is no need to cook their food. As long as the raw meat is clean and fresh, your savannah monitor will be free from infections and digestive issues.

Juvenile savannah monitors usually eat every day, and you should not feed them raw meat daily. You can feed your young savannah monitor raw meat once a week to avoid obesity and other health complications.

A diet with mainly insects and worms provides your young savannah monitor with crucial nutrients to help it grow strong and healthy. As your savannah monitor gets older, you should feed it every other day, and a raw meat meal should be once or twice a week.

The raw meats you should feed your savannah monitor include chicken, turkey, fish, and seafood such as scallops and shrimp. You should also ensure the tank has the correct equipment to aid proper digestion. Savannah monitors, just like other reptiles, need heat to digest their food. If the tank is too cold, the savannah monitor will not digest the raw meat, leading to digestive complications.

9. Do Savannah Monitors Eat Insects?

Savannah monitors are very popular pets among the monitor genus because they are very friendly and easy to look after. If you decide to keep a savannah monitor in your home as a pet, you need to know the type of food they eat.

Insects are the main source of food for savannah monitors, especially the young ones. A young savannah monitor will eat grasshoppers and crickets and start hunting small animals when it grows older and bigger in the wild. In captivity, most people feed their savannah monitors commercially raised insects such as cockroaches and crickets. These insects have high calcium and protein content ensuring your juvenile savannah monitor grows into a healthy adult.

The ideal insects for feeding your savannah monitor include crickets, grasshoppers, and cockroaches. You can also feed your savannah monitor mealworms, wax worms, hornworms, and earthworms, among others.

Some savannah monitors will refuse to eat dead insects if you place them inside their cage. Therefore, try and feed your savannah monitor living insects whenever possible. Feed your savannah insects sparingly insects with high-fat content such as mealworms and wax worms to avoid your pet becoming obese.

You can also gut-load the insects to improve their nutrient content. Gut loading means feeding insects with nutritious foods so that the nutrients can be passed to your savannah monitor when they eat them.

The best insects to gut load are crickets and mealworms. You can feed the crickets with vegetables, fruits, and minerals such as calcium. You can also gut the insects yourself, or you can buy insects that have already been gut-loaded.

10. Do Savannah Monitors Eat Vegetables?

Considering savannah monitors are carnivorous, you may find yourself only shopping for insects and raw meat to feed your savannah monitor. However, just like any other pet, do savannah monitors need vegetables to supplement their diet?

Pet savannah monitors can eat vegetables if you give them to them. Savannah monitors are carnivores; therefore, vegetables are not part of their diet in the wild. In captivity, a savannah monitor’s diet is limited to a few insects and small animals they usually eat in the wild. Vegetables offer nutrients that cannot be found in insects or small animals. Eating vegetables also ensures the savannah monitors are hydrated.

It can be difficult to make your savannah monitor eat vegetables. Therefore, you have to come up with a few ways to ensure they gain those extra nutrients and minerals. One way to make your savannah monitor eat vegetables is by mixing them with raw meat or insects.

You can also hand-feed your savannah monitor some vegetables before offering it insects or raw meat. If you want your savannah monitor to eat vegetables, you should start early when it is a baby. It is hard to make an adult savannah monitor eat vegetables.

You can also feed your savannah monitor vegetables indirectly by gut loading the insects. Prepping vegetables takes time, and it is disappointing when the savannah monitor will not even take a single bite. Therefore, to avoid this, you can gut load insects to help provide extra nutrients and minerals for your savannah monitor.

Vegetables perfect for gut loading insects to feed your savannah monitor may include endives, dandelion greens, collard greens, kales, spinach, bell peppers, among others. You should never use cabbages or iceberg lettuces to gut load the insects.

11. Do Savannah Monitors Eat Fruit?

Savannah monitors love to eat insects such as crickets, grasshoppers and small creatures like snails, gerbils, and mice. After feeding your savannah monitor insects and meat for weeks, you might feel it is time to introduce it to other types of food.

In their natural habitat, savannah monitors do not eat fruit, but they can eat fruit if trained in captivity. Once a savannah monitor gets used to eating insects and small animals, they avoid eating fruits. Therefore, you have to start it out at a young age by training it to eat different fruits.

You should mix fruit with insects each day until your young savannah monitor grows into an adult. You should also wait until your savannah monitor is hungry before offering it insects mixed with fruit. However, be careful not to starve your savannah monitor.

Training your savannah monitor to eat fruit requires patience. If your savannah monitor is still avoiding the fruit pieces in its bowl, you can use the gut loading option. You can feed the insects with fruits such as oranges and apples and feed them to your savannah monitor later. The nutrients obtained from the fruit will be passed down to your pet when it eats them.

Importantly, gut loading will work if you choose the correct feeder insects. Some insects do not have the gastrointestinal tract to absorb certain nutrients that you were hoping your savannah monitor will get.


Savannah monitors make great pets because they are easy to tame and can be quite large if you feed them properly. Savannah monitors also require good care; therefore, build a perfect and large enough enclosure. Also, install heating lamps, hides, heat rock, branches, and UV light. Finally, you must make sure to provide it with a balanced diet.

Savannah monitors prefer to eat insects and small animals. In captivity, you can also give your savannah monitor raw meat when it starts to grow. You should avoid giving your savannah monitor precooked meat, seasoned meat, and dog or cat food.

Since savannah monitors are carnivores, you have to start at an early age training your pet to eat vegetables and fruits. It might take a while, but the results will be worth it because your savannah monitor will be healthy and strong. If you decide to choose a savannah monitor as a pet for you or your family, use the information in this article to make a sound decision regarding your pet’s dietary concerns.

Bal Kang

Bal Kang is an owner of several pets including reptiles, cats and dogs. An avid writer, who loves to share her insights into caring for pets.

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