• Home
  • Guides
  • What You Need to Know to Care for a Pet Salamander

What You Need to Know to Care for a Pet Salamander

Share on twitter
Share on facebook
Share on linkedin

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Great, you’ve decided to adopt a baby salamander! A salamander is an amphibian and is easily recognizable by its slender, lizard-like body, blunt muzzle, and long tail. Most of the species (including water salamanders) have five toes on their rear legs and four on their front legs.

Their length varies from a little more than an inch (2.5 centimeters) to almost 4 feet (122 centimeters). However, most salamander pets are between 5 and 8 inches long. Like other vertebrates, salamanders can reconstruct cut limbs and other body parts. However, unlike grounded vertebrates, salamanders require water to keep their skin moist.

According to Nature Haven, there are around 350 discovered species of salamanders in North America. Salamanders are commonly shy creatures, though unique species like the tiger salamander can recognize their caretaker and even ask for food. You will need to identify the salamander pet species that you have to care for your pet properly. Knowing the exact species will help to determine any special needs it may have beyond the basics. 

Salamander Pet: The Basics

Housing

Your salamander’s new house should simulate its natural habitat, a moist and damp environment with plenty of places to hide. For a terrarium, opt for acrylic, glass, or plastic 10-gallon habitat; for an aqua-terrarium, opt for a glass habitat.

For a terrarium, provide a water container for it to submerge in, bits of bark for hiding spots. For an aqua-terrarium, divide into water and land areas using a bar, or better yet, add an island or other obstacles to get in and out of the water. Water must be cleaned out regularly. 

Salamander Pet

Temperature and Substrate

Salamanders are comfortable in temperatures between 50 to 70 degrees Fahrenheit, so make sure to keep the habitat cool, especially during hotter days—salamanders like moistened sphagnum moss and bits of bark or mulch-type soils such as coconut fiber. Do not put gravel and artificial soil that is too rigid for amphibian skin.

Food 

Salamanders are carnivorous, nocturnal creatures, so it’s best to feed them at night. Opt for earthworms, slugs, woodlice, or snails.

Handling 

Handle your salamander as carefully as possible. Their frail, silky skin cannot stand too much treatment. Always wear latex gloves when treating your salamander; the oil on your skin may harm them. Be careful when handling; all amphibians secrete toxins, do not allow amphibian’s secretions to get in your eyes, mouth, or open wounds.

Lighting 

For Newts, use UVB rays with full-spectrum lighting for 10-12 hours a day. Other species require a 10-12 hour daylight cycle using an incandescent bulb during daytime hours. Make sure to add hiding places so they can hide from light as needed. You may house various Newts together, same for other types of salamanders but do not put different amphibian species in the same habitat.

Health 

Thoroughly clean the habitat out every 2 to 3 months with lukewarm water and dish soap (at least once a week for smaller tanks). Avoid chlorine disinfectants as traces of chlorine may harm your pet. Scrub the container as well as the furnishings; wash thoroughly. After that, dry everything thoroughly and put down a clean substrate. Salamanders shed every few weeks, and they usually eat the shed skin, so you don’t need to worry about it.

Indications of a Healthy Animal

  • Eats daily; digests properly
  • Maintains proper weight
  • Healthy, smooth skin, clear eyes

Red Flags

  • Diarrhea
  • Distressed breathing
  • Skin lesions
  • Weight loss
  • Skin parasite
  • Bloated abdomen
  • Poor balance
  • Lethargy
  • Cloudy or dull eyes

Common Health Issues

salamander

Gas bubble disease: Bloating, bumps under the skin surface, lack of balance. Treatment: Consult your exotic animal doctor and make sure water is not too aerated.

Metabolic bone disease: Malformations, weak bones, paralysis. Treatment: Consult your exotic animal doctor and add vitamin/calcium supplements to its diet.

Skin problems: Abrasions, bacterial and fungal contaminations. Treatment: Consult your exotic animal doctor.

Wounds: Usually happens when an amphibian is introduced to a new habitat and panics. Treatment: Consult your exotic animal doctor.

Shopping List for Recommended Supplies:

  • Moss
  • Water dish
  • Plants
  • Under tank heater
  • UVB lighting
  • Appropriately sized habitat
  • The commercial salamander or newt food
  • Substrate
  • Hideaway place
  • Climbing décor
  • Vitamin supplement
  • Calcium supplement
  • Cricket keeper
  • Cricket food
  • Thermometer
  • Humidity gauge
  • A book about salamanders and newts

Takeaway

Salamanders are beautiful creatures that have grown quite popular over the last few years. They have a fairly extended lifespan and usually become quite docile. These woodlands amphibians make great pets. They can be quite cheerful and engaging under the right conditions. Once you have their habitat fixed up, the care is pretty straightforward. Further reading:

How to Care for Your Pet Hedgehog

Your Guide to Hamster Care

How to Easily Give Your Cat a Bath

The Best Dog Food Brands for Every Need

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Lorem ipsum dolor si

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Feugiat aliquam sed odio ridiculus viverra erat venenatis, facilisis enim. Amet curabitur etiam fermentum cras proin volutpat vitae cursus cras. Nisl nulla egestas dictum facilisi tristique diam magnis et massa. In tincidunt lacus sem pulvinar. At vestibulum elementum, nisi, facilisis elementum, amet, adipiscing. Enim congue quis est euismod vitae.Risus felis semper urna, convallis ultricies. Odio gravida vel gravida pulvinar commodo nunc congue.

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Feugiat aliquam sed odio ridiculus viverra erat venenatis, facilisis enim. Amet curabitur etiam fermentum cras proin volutpat vitae cursus cras. Nisl nulla egestas dictum facilisi tristique diam magnis et massa. In tincidunt lacus sem pulvinar. At vestibulum elementum, nisi, facilisis elementum, amet, adipiscing. Enim congue quis est euismod vitae.Risus felis semper urna, convallis ultricies. Odio gravida vel gravida pulvinar commodo nunc congue.

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Feugiat aliquam sed odio ridiculus viverra erat venenatis, facilisis enim. Amet curabitur etiam fermentum cras proin volutpat vitae cursus cras. Nisl nulla egestas dictum facilisi tristique diam magnis et massa. In tincidunt lacus sem pulvinar. At vestibulum elementum, nisi, facilisis elementum, amet, adipiscing. Enim congue quis est euismod vitae.Risus felis semper urna, convallis ultricies. Odio gravida vel gravida pulvinar commodo nunc congue.

Diana Wood

Diana Wood

Feugiat aliquam sed odio ridiculus viverra erat venenatis, facilisis enim. Amet curabitur etiam fermentum cras proin volutpat vitae cursus cras. Nisl nulla egestas dictum facilisi tristique diam magnis et massa. In tincidunt lacus sem pulvinar. At vestibulum elementum, nisi, facilisis elementum, amet, adipiscing. Enim congue quis est euismod vitae.Risus felis semper urna, convallis ultricies. Odio gravida vel gravida pulvinar commodo nunc congue.

Diana Wood

Noise dicomfort

Diana Wood

Feugiat aliquam sed odio ridiculus viverra erat venenatis, facilisis enim. Amet curabitur etiam fermentum cras proin volutpat vitae cursus cras. Nisl nulla egestas dictum facilisi tristique diam magnis et massa. In tincidunt lacus sem pulvinar. At vestibulum elementum, nisi, facilisis elementum, amet, adipiscing. Enim congue quis est euismod vitae.Risus felis semper urna, convallis ultricies. Odio gravida vel gravida pulvinar commodo nunc congue.

Feugiat aliquam sed odio ridiculus viverra erat venenatis, facilisis enim. Amet curabitur etiam fermentum cras proin volutpat vitae cursus cras. Nisl nulla egestas dictum facilisi tristique diam magnis et massa. In tincidunt lacus sem pulvinar. At vestibulum elementum, nisi, facilisis elementum, amet, adipiscing. Enim congue quis est euismod vitae.Risus felis semper urna, convallis ultricies. Odio gravida vel gravida pulvinar commodo nunc congue.

Affiliate Disclaimer

Please understand that in some cases we may receive commissions when you click our links and make purchases. However, this does not impact our reviews and comparisons. We try our best to keep things fair and balanced, in order to help you make the best choice for you.