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i read on another forum that cat food,dog food, and fish food is a bad gut loader for your roaches when feeding to your reptiles or whatever you have is this true or false

There is a high level of Vitamin A added to dog and cat food which some people claim may harm some species of lizards in early development. The Vitamin A is good for dogs and cats. In humans, too little A during a child's development can cause blindness but extremely high levels can lead to bone problems later in life. I have not seen a single piece of solid evidence that the vitamin A in dog food is outside the range of any reptile but it could be true for some species out there. It's not a totally unreasonable theory but there's no evidence. If a small lizard had the same Vitamin A intake as a much heavier dog it would certainly cause problems but we're talking about a very tiny amount leftover in the gut of a very tiny feeder so the chances of getting more than is required is probably only an imagined threat. You can give your feeders greens for a week before feeding to clear their gut of dog food if you're concerned.

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actually i think most of it comes from the high protein levels of dog and cat food when it's used as a gutload and how that effects the reptile specifically there liver and how it can lead to gout.

The primary cause of gout in captive lizards is dehydration. Many insects and live prey are high in protein.

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actually i think most of it comes from the high protein levels of dog and cat food when it's used as a gutload and how that effects the reptile specifically there liver and how it can lead to gout.

i had a leopard gecko i put down because it had gout. the treatment for gout is a low protein diet. bugs are high protein so there really isn't a treatment option. the high protein in dog and cat food is why its is good as roach food.

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this is the chart i found on feedeI recently found this post on another forum and thought that it might shed some light on how we gutload our feeders and to also see peoples comments and thoughts on this article

It is important to feed the prey insects well, in such a way as to ensure they provide the correction nutrients for your chameleon. This process is called gutloading the insects.

The "wet" portion of the gutload, which should be your principle gutload, can frequently includes things like (switch it up with a different couple of items every other week): dandelion leaves, squash (butternut, spaghetti), hibiscus leaves and flowers, yam, orange, papaya, carrot, alfalfa sprouts,mustard greens, romaine, leek bulb, spearmint leaves, apple, peas, blueberries, grape leaves, raspberries, arugula (rocket), sunflower sprouts,mulberries ... Fruits and veggies such as these are important both for the nutrients they give (via the insect) to your chameleon, and also because well hydrated prey results in a better hydrated chameleon.

The dry portion (the lesser portion) of a gutload can include (blend/grind fine with a coffee grinder or food processor): spirulina; dried seaweed/kelp/dulse; bee pollen; dried alfalfa; organic raw sunflower seeds; sesame seeds; flax seed; hemp seed; poppy seeds; dehydrated cranberry powder; beet powder; zucchini powder; kale powder; dried Mulberries; fig powder; ground dried hibiscus; ground almonds; small amounts of groundbrazil nuts; small amounts of ground/chopped beechnuts; oak leaves; small amounts of quality whole grain cereal /oats / cracked rye /wheat germ / stabalized rice bran/quinoa; small amounts of quality monkey, avian or ignuana food (read the ingredients, be cautious of too much Vitamin A or animal fat).

Limit your use of grains, beans, and other items higher in phosphorous than calcium (a little can be very good, a lot is not unless you compensate to fix the ratio). Good grain choices are stabalized rice bran and crushed whole barley.

Avoid dog food, cat food, fish food and other processed "foods" that are major sources of animal protien and fat and may provide excessive preformed vitamin A and also D (a little now and then is okay, but too much can lead to gout and other issues). Similarily avoid meat, eggs, etc.

Avoid using large amounts of broccoli, beet leaves, parsley, cassava, watercress, kale, collard greens, spinach (anything high in phytates/Phytic acid,Oxilates/ Oxalic Acid, Goitrogens). Soy has the same issues. Some is fine, possibly beneficial. Just not as a regular item.

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  • 3 months later...

I thought I should comment here as I may be the source of those comments on other forum.

There is a very good reason not to feed dog or cat food, or any other high protein food, to roaches. And yes, it will effect your reptiles by causing dehydration and unnecessary stress on the kidneys and liver. In their natural habitat roaches are used to a protein poor diet, they only need about 18% protein in their diets. As such, they have adapted in a very unusual, and impressive way. They are able to store amino acids in their blood and then synthesize these into proteins when needed. In the natural world, this means that on those rare occasions when they find a high protein food source, they ingest as much as possible and break it down into uric acid, which is stored in high amounts in their blood. Because it is rare in the wild, this is cyclical and they can handle these high amounts of uric acid for short periods of time.

However, if you are feeding this high protein source to your roaches regularly it can become problematic. The fact that most people are using dry food is what keeps the roaches from dying. If fed a constant wet, high protein dog or cat food you would find a lot more dead roaches, unable to deal with the consistently high levels of uric acid that would start to crystallize in their joints and organs.

What this means for your reptile is that you are feeding a high uric acid prey. Many reptiles already suffer from various levels of dehydration in captivity, so this high uric acid feeder prey can lead to further dehydration and related problems. Gout is caused by uric acid crystallizing in the joints and organs. Does that sound familiar yet? Even if not dehydrated, you are forcing your reptile to process higher than normal levels of uric acid, thus stressing their 'filter organs', the kidneys and liver. As there are already plenty of stressors for captive reptiles, the question becomes, why are you feeding your roaches dog or cat food?

Dog and cat foods, especially the cheap stuff most people give to roaches, are a horrible food source, even for dogs and cats! Roaches only require about 18% protein in their diet to grow healthily and reproduce. Any more than that and you are feeding a uric acid boosted prey. Look at most roach chows, the good ones are around 15-20% protein for a reason. They are also cheap and easily found online. If you aren't willing to take the time to feed them fresh foods, then at least be willing to feed them a healthy, cheap roach chow.

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  • 2 months later...

I thought I should comment here as I may be the source of those comments on other forum.

There is a very good reason not to feed dog or cat food, or any other high protein food, to roaches. And yes, it will effect your reptiles by causing dehydration and unnecessary stress on the kidneys and liver. In their natural habitat roaches are used to a protein poor diet, they only need about 18% protein in their diets. As such, they have adapted in a very unusual, and impressive way. They are able to store amino acids in their blood and then synthesize these into proteins when needed. In the natural world, this means that on those rare occasions when they find a high protein food source, they ingest as much as possible and break it down into uric acid, which is stored in high amounts in their blood. Because it is rare in the wild, this is cyclical and they can handle these high amounts of uric acid for short periods of time.

However, if you are feeding this high protein source to your roaches regularly it can become problematic. The fact that most people are using dry food is what keeps the roaches from dying. If fed a constant wet, high protein dog or cat food you would find a lot more dead roaches, unable to deal with the consistently high levels of uric acid that would start to crystallize in their joints and organs.

What this means for your reptile is that you are feeding a high uric acid prey. Many reptiles already suffer from various levels of dehydration in captivity, so this high uric acid feeder prey can lead to further dehydration and related problems. Gout is caused by uric acid crystallizing in the joints and organs. Does that sound familiar yet? Even if not dehydrated, you are forcing your reptile to process higher than normal levels of uric acid, thus stressing their 'filter organs', the kidneys and liver. As there are already plenty of stressors for captive reptiles, the question becomes, why are you feeding your roaches dog or cat food?

Dog and cat foods, especially the cheap stuff most people give to roaches, are a horrible food source, even for dogs and cats! Roaches only require about 18% protein in their diet to grow healthily and reproduce. Any more than that and you are feeding a uric acid boosted prey. Look at most roach chows, the good ones are around 15-20% protein for a reason. They are also cheap and easily found online. If you aren't willing to take the time to feed them fresh foods, then at least be willing to feed them a healthy, cheap roach chow.

Sorry but I absolutelly DO NOT AGREE!

High protein food grows reproduction!

FOR EXAMPLE: If you will use low protein food for hissers than than they will eat

each other and their reproduction will be low!

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Sorry but I absolutelly DO NOT AGREE!

High protein food grows reproduction!

FOR EXAMPLE: If you will use low protein food for hissers than than they will eat

each other and their reproduction will be low!

Exactly what part of jarich's post do you not agree with? High protein levels might speed up reproduction, but possibly at the risk of harming the reptile the roaches are being fed to.

I have never fed my hissers cat, dog, or fish food and they've never eaten each other. Roaches don't need more than 18% protein in their diets, and even 18% is quite high. They can do just fine on much lower protein levels.

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Sorry but I absolutelly DO NOT AGREE!

High protein food grows reproduction!

FOR EXAMPLE: If you will use low protein food for hissers than than they will eat

each other and their reproduction will be low!

I'm not sure on the effect to reptiles, but for Pet roach colonies like I've been keeping, I've had nothing but success always having dry cat food offered daily, and I moisten it with water, I've had adult dubia live for 2 1/2 years, fusca for nearly 4, and only time will tell how old my hisser's will live. I vary the diet and always offer fruits, vegetables, and white bread too and my substrate and rank decor are all made of wood so my roaches eat wood too! I never had a roach die, and mine live record lifespans. Especially hyper male dubia that mate and fight all day, they are supposed to not live long, but by feeding high protein mine always have extra nutrition stored do they don't starve themselves to death like most roaches. I also offer beef and various fruit baby foods in the baby food top for a day, it's easy for young and old roaches to eat and is organic and safe for them to eat and they love it.

The only thing I agree is most of the cheap dog and cat foods aren't good for our dogs and cats as corn and rice are usually the tip ingredient which is poor nutrition but makes our pets overweight from sugars breaking down.

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Exactly what part of jarich's post do you not agree with? High protein levels might speed up reproduction, but possibly at the risk of harming the reptile the roaches are being fed to.

I have never fed my hissers cat, dog, or fish food and they've never eaten each other. Roaches don't need more than 18% protein in their diets, and even 18% is quite high. They can do just fine on much lower protein levels.

They will survive with 18% protein but their nutritional value will be low!

What is the risk of harming the reptile please?

What do your hissers eat please?

I have a few thousands of hissers and I am sorry but I think they are in better condition than your hissers.

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ok with the harm to reptiles at least with geckos (who need a different diet then say monitors or other lizards) is it can lead to liver problems and gout. So you want to a gutload that is lower in protein, 18% and lower is best for all the geckos species i know of. this probably differs in other lizards as i mentioned, monitors will probably need a different diet then say bearded dragons ;). if youre just keeping them as pets go a head and feed what every you want but if you are using them as a feeder i would defantlly do some research on what the animal you plan to feed them to need in terms there diet and go from there on what you feed the roach.

also i remember reading some where that most roaches cant really expel uric acid which can accumulate in there bodies and lead to a premature death if feed long term.

http://www.store.repashy.com/can-feeder-insect-diets-contribute-to-gout-in-reptiles.html

now this is from repashy so he is trying to sell his gutload but he is pretty respectable when it comes to his research on things.

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ok with the harm to reptiles at least with geckos (who need a different diet then say monitors or other lizards) is it can lead to liver problems and gout. So you want to a gutload that is lower in protein, 18% and lower is best for all the geckos species i know of. this probably differs in other lizards as i mentioned, monitors will probably need a different diet then say bearded dragons ;). if youre just keeping them as pets go a head and feed what every you want but if you are using them as a feeder i would defantlly do some research on what the animal you plan to feed them to need in terms there diet and go from there on what you feed the roach.

also i remember reading some where that most roaches cant really expel uric acid which can accumulate in there bodies and lead to a premature death if feed long term.

http://www.store.repashy.com/can-feeder-insect-diets-contribute-to-gout-in-reptiles.html

now this is from repashy so he is trying to sell his gutload but he is pretty respectable when it comes to his research on things.

Sorry but the research there says NOTHING!- EVERY ORGANISM WHO IS HUNGRY HAS LOW LEVEL OF URIC ACID!

The myth that high protein causes kidney disease or aggravated pre-existing disease, the public obstinately hold, although several have been scientifically proven that most do not. The body needs protein in order to create and maintain tissue. If we fed insufficient amount of protein, the tissue will break down, weakening the immune system and enzyme activity decreasing..

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and i'm sorry i just cant agree with you there especially when it comes to my geckos. i'm a ferm believe that all of my animals evolved to cope with certain condition in the wild and if those conditions, especially in diet, varry to wildly there bodies cant deal with it well. hell this is why i use RO water with my A. Felinus because thay cant handle the heavy mineral content in normal tap water and if i did use tap water on them i would kill them prematurely if used over long term.

Also I'm not saying you cant use dog food or such to feed you pet roaches because i could care less. I'm just saying know the dietary requirement of your reptiles and go from there on what you feed to your feeder roaches.

Edit: also high levels of uric acid aren't great even in animals (such as humans) who can excrete excess uric acid which most roaches cant as i understand it so it build up in the body over long term.

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I'm not sure on the effect to reptiles, but for Pet roach colonies like I've been keeping, I've had nothing but success always having dry cat food offered daily, and I moisten it with water, I've had adult dubia live for 2 1/2 years, fusca for nearly 4, and only time will tell how old my hisser's will live. I vary the diet and always offer fruits, vegetables, and white bread too and my substrate and rank decor are all made of wood so my roaches eat wood too! I never had a roach die, and mine live record lifespans. Especially hyper male dubia that mate and fight all day, they are supposed to not live long, but by feeding high protein mine always have extra nutrition stored do they don't starve themselves to death like most roaches. I also offer beef and various fruit baby foods in the baby food top for a day, it's easy for young and old roaches to eat and is organic and safe for them to eat and they love it.

The only thing I agree is most of the cheap dog and cat foods aren't good for our dogs and cats as corn and rice are usually the tip ingredient which is poor nutrition but makes our pets overweight from sugars breaking down.

You're talking about pet roaches though, this is about feeder roaches. Jarich's point was that the excessive amounts of protein can definitely have adverse affects on whatever animal they are being fed to. Anything over 18% protein is excessive for roaches, even that is very high. Actually, 14-15% is more appropriate, they can do fine on even lower levels than that even. And your statement that you've "never had a roach die" kinda contradicts what you said about how long your roaches have lived. I agree that good nutrition is important, but protein =/= nutrition.

And Zoo Centre, it is most definitely NOT a myth that excessive amounts of protein can lead to kidney problems. Different animals have different protein needs, and also need different types of proteins (animal vs plant). And what do you consider an "insufficient amount of protein"? Protein requirements vary greatly among animals so what might be insufficient for one, could be extremely excessive to another.

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And Zoo Centre, it is most definitely NOT a myth that excessive amounts of protein can lead to kidney problems. Different animals have different protein needs, and also need different types of proteins (animal vs plant). And what do you consider an "insufficient amount of protein"? Protein requirements vary greatly among animals so what might be insufficient for one, could be extremely excessive to another.

I agree protein=nutrition but for the animal who needs proteins is - less protein=bad nutrition !

Because the animals can make other substances from the proteins - fats and sacharides.

But the animals can make the proteins from the fats or sacharides NEVER!

Of course different animals have different protein needs, and also need different types of proteins (animal vs plant).

For example the herbivore animals(green iguana) cannot be fed by insects or tortoises cannot be fed by high protein food- deformation of shell.

But I am sorry we speak about COCKROACHES!

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  • 8 months later...

I know this thread is old but .............. what is your opinion on high quality ORGANIC dog / cat food ???.... I don't remember the brand but it is organic catfood I bought and sprinkled some in my Orange Heads , Giant Caves , and Red Runners containers ....

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Speaking from the cat and dog food world, using a cat or dog food certified organic or at least containing certified organic ingredients decreases the potential exposure to pesticide and herbicide residue in the plant ingredients and antibiotics and drugs in the meat ingredients. We know these can build up through the food chain so I see it as a better choice for both pet roaches and especially those who will be fed to larger animals. If you are going to feed cat and dog food to your roaches, I would use the same ingredient criteria as when choosing for my dogs and cats. I want to trust the ingredient sources, all ingredients should be identified by species ("chicken fat" as opposed to "anmal fat"), no BHA, BHT, ethoxyquin or by-products.

I know this thread is old but .............. what is your opinion on high quality ORGANIC dog / cat food ???.... I don't remember the brand but it is organic catfood I bought and sprinkled some in my Orange Heads , Giant Caves , and Red Runners containers ....

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I pretty much made a big order with RC and my roach collection is about to triple in size , I pretty much just sucked it up and went to Petsmart and bought the really expensive organic dog and cat food that has a lot of fish and veggies in them. I stayed away from the turkey , chicken and beef ... The pet foods are small as they are for puppies and kittens .... I gave up on the whole " roach jello " idea , it gets moldy after 1 1/2 days so it's too much work , I'll use those ice trays for organic oats , wheats and other types of fiber all organic... I'll also be putting rotten wood in every species of roach , whether they eat them or not , it's up to them.... I'll also stick with using fresh fruits , esp citrus every two days ... I don't really want to " control " feed them aka feed them once a week . Much like I do with my dogs , I'll " free " feed them , just throw food in there , let them munch 24/7 and check on them every few days :)

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