Savannah monitors are usually voracious eaters, unless they are sick or in breeding season.
Adult monitors (3 feet or more) should be fed twice a week.
In the wild, Savannahs experience a cycle of feasting and fasting, due to the seasonal changes in their environment. During th rainy season, food sources are plenty. But during the dry seasons, food becomes scarce (hence the need to fast). The feasting period is approximately 4 months, with a fasting period lasting the remaining 8 months of the year. In captivity, however, these lizards experience no such cycle and therefore have a tendacy to over eat and become fat.
Wild Savannahs primarily eat insects, snails, eggs, and small rodents. The lizard will eat up to one-tenth of its own body weight in a day. The excess nourishment becomes fat which is stored in its tail and adipose bodies
of the abdomen. The monitor will rely on the reserves of fat during the periods of fasting when food is scarce.
As the captive Savannah does not experience the severe changes in seasons that would cause periods of feasting/fasting, you should take care not to over feed your lizard at any time. Monitors that over eat and get very little exercise will become obese. A lizard suffering from obesity may develop liver disease or other health problems which could shorten its life span.
However, young Savannahs that are fed only small amounts of food while they are growing may become stunted.
Always offer your lizard a variety for proper nutrition. It is a good idea to dust the food with calcium and vitamins for added nutrition.
A good diet may consist of any of the following:
- lean ground turkey
- beef hearts
- ZuPreem Tegu
- Commercial Monitor food
Your monitor may like an occassional treat of quality dog or cat food and eggs. But avoid feeding it a continuous diet these goodies as they are high in protein and are fattening. Keep in mind cat food is particularly rich and may cause diarrhea.
Feed appropriate sized rodents (mice, hamsters, rats) only. Judge what size rodent to feed your lizard by the size of the lizard's head and mouth when fully open. Feeding prey that is too large may cause the lizard to vomit.
Very young lizards(1 foot and under) can be fed 1 to 4 baby mice (pinkies, fuzzies, hoppers) every two to three days.
Juvenile monitors(1 foot to adult size) can be fed 1 to 4 adult mice twice a week.
Adult monitors can be fed 1 to 2 small to medium-sized rats per feeding.
Use only a small water bowl for drinking and provide fresh water daily. Clean and disinfect the water bowl frequently.
Savannah monitors also enjoy soaking if provided with a large enough container of water.