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How Long Can a Lizard Live Without Food?

How Long Can a Lizard Live Without Food?

Lizards are a common sight in many parts of the world, and they come in a wide variety of shapes and sizes. Some people may wonder how long a lizard can live without food. This is not an easy question to answer, as it depends on a variety of factors.

In this guide, we will take a look at some of the things that affect how long lizards can go without eating, as well as some tips for keeping your lizard healthy and happy.

How Long Do House Lizards Live Without Food and Water?

If you’re wondering how long do house lizards live without food, the answer is generally about two weeks. However, there are some factors that can affect this timeline, such as the type of lizard and its size. For example, a small gecko may only live for a week without food, while a larger iguana could survive for a month.

Dehydration is also a factor to consider. If a lizard doesn’t have access to water, it will start to dehydrate within 24 hours and will only live for a few days. Lizards can lose a lot of water, so it is important to always give them clean, fresh water to drink.

If you need to leave your lizard alone for a while, it is best to give it enough food and water to last a few weeks. You can also ask a friend or neighbor to check on your pet while you’re away. [1]

Lizards Live Without Food and Water

Age and Size

The age of a lizard is the number one factor in how long it can live without food. Lizards that are younger have not yet developed the fat stores that older lizards rely on to survive periods without food. In fact, young lizards may only be able to fast for a few days before they start to experience health problems.

On the other hand, adult lizards have fully developed fat stores that can help them survive for weeks or even months without food. However, it is still important to note that an adult lizard will eventually need to eat again.

Smaller lizards have a higher surface area to volume ratio. This means that they lose heat faster than larger lizards. This makes smaller lizards more likely to die from cold temperatures if they can’t find food.

Larger lizards, on the other hand, have a lower surface area to volume ratio. This means that they can keep warm for a longer time, which means they can survive without food for a longer time.

Age, size, and species are all important factors in determining how long a lizard can live without food. However, there is one more factor that is even more important: the environment.

The environment in which a lizard lives can have a significant impact on how long it can survive without food. Lizards that live in hot climates can go longer without food than lizards that live in cold climates. This is because heat helps lizards to maintain their body temperature, which is essential for their survival. [2]

Food, Temperature, Substrate

There are a few things to keep in mind when it comes to your lizard’s food.

  • First, lizards need a diet that is high in protein and low in fat.
  • Second, live food is best, but frozen or freeze-dried food can also be used.
  • Third, always offer your lizard a variety of foods to ensure that they are getting the nutrients they need.
Lizards need a warm environment to digest their food properly. The basking spot in their enclosure should be around 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit. The cool side of the enclosure should be around 75-80 degrees Fahrenheit.

It is also important to provide your lizard with the proper substrate. This is the material that you put on the bottom of their enclosure. The type of substrate you use for your lizard will depend on the species of lizard you have. You should research what type of substrate is best for your particular lizard. [2]

Food, Temperature, Substrate

Dietary Nutrients

Lizards are ectothermic, or “cold-blooded”, animals. As a result, they rely on the sun to regulate their body temperature. This means that they are most active during the day when it is warmest and bask in the sun to raise their body temperature. At night, they retire to a cool hiding place to avoid losing too much heat.

Lizards are opportunistic feeders, which means they will eat whatever food is available to them. In the wild, they typically eat insects and other small invertebrates. Some larger lizard species may also include small mammals, birds, and reptiles in their diet.

In captivity, the diet of a lizard can be more controlled. However, it is still important to give them a variety of food items so they can get all the nutrients they need. Some common lizard foods include:

  1. Crickets
  2. Mealworms
  3. Wax worms
  4. King worms
  5. Pinkie mice (for larger lizard species)

It is also important to dust the food items with a calcium powder to help prevent metabolic bone disease. This disease is caused by a lack of calcium and vitamin D in the diet and can lead to deformities and fractures.

In general, lizards should be fed everyday or every other day. However, some species can go for a week or more without food and still be healthy. If you are unsure how often to feed your lizard, it is best to ask your veterinarian for guidance.

Lizards typically eat less in the winter as they are less active and do not need as much energy. This means that you may need to reduce the amount of food you offer or the number of times you feed your lizard.

If your lizard is not eating as much as usual, be sure to speak with a veterinarian to determine if there is an underlying medical reason for the decrease in appetite.

Finally, it is important to provide lizards with a clean and safe environment. This means regular cleaning of their enclosure and providing them with hiding places and perches. By doing this, you will help your lizard stay healthy and happy for years to come. [2]


There are some lizards that can live for up to two years without eating anything. The Komodo dragon is the most common type of lizard used in scientific experiments about fasting.

Other types of lizards include the Gila monster, beaded lizard and monitor lizard. These lizards usually live in arid conditions and have adapted to be able to go for long periods without food or water.

One scientific study looked at the fasting ability of different species of lizards. They found that smaller lizards were more likely to die during a fast than larger ones. This is because they have a higher surface area to volume ratio. This means that they lose water faster and their body temperature drops more quickly.

The study also found that lizards from arid habitats were more likely to survive a fast than those from humid habitats. This is because they are used to living in conditions where food is scarce.

Fasting is a survival mechanism that all lizards have. This means they can go for a long time without food and water. This is helpful if there is not much food where they live.


Overall Health

The lifespan of a lizard is going to be greatly affected by its overall health. If the lizard is generally healthy, it will likely live a long and full life.

However, if the lizard is not in good health, it may only live for a short time. There are several things that can affect a lizard’s overall health, such as:

  • The quality of its food
  • The cleanliness of its environment
  • Whether or not it gets enough exercise
  • The amount of stress in its life

If you want your lizard to live a long and healthy life, it is important to pay attention to these factors.

One of the most important things you can do for your lizard’s health is to feed it a high-quality diet. There are many different types of lizard food on the market. You need to do some research to find out which type of food is best for your particular lizard. You can also ask a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles for advice on what to feed your lizard.

It is also important to keep your lizard’s environment clean. Lizards need a clean environment to live in, so it is important to clean their tank or cage regularly. If you have a lizard, it will need a new water supply every day or every week, depending on the type of lizard.

In addition to diet and environment, exercise is also important for a lizard’s health. Many lizards are very active and need to have plenty of space to move around. If your lizard is cooped up in a small cage, it is likely to become stressed and unhealthy. Make sure to give your lizard plenty of space to roam and explore.

Finally, stress can also have a negative impact on a lizard’s health. Lizards can become stressed by many different things, such as loud noises, changes in their environment, and being handled too much.

If you think your lizard is stressed, it is important to reduce its stress level. This can be done by avoiding loud noises, keeping the environment stable, and handling it less often. For example, you may want to give your cat a place where it can feel safe, or you may need to handle it less often. [2]

Starvation and Dehydration: Do House Lizards Last Long?

Lizards are ectothermic animals, meaning that they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. As a result, lizards are much more susceptible to the effects of starvation and dehydration than mammals.

In captivity, lizards will often refuse to eat for long periods of time. This can be due to stress, illness, or simply because they’re not hungry. If a lizard goes without food for more than a week, it will start to experience the effects of starvation. [1]

Do House Lizards Last Long

Why Is My Lizard Not Eating?

There are many reasons your lizard might not be eating. Some common causes include:

  • Stress: Lizards can get stressed from a variety of things, including changes in their environment, handling, and even being around other lizards. If you think stress might be the reason your lizard isn’t eating, try to create a more stable environment and handle your lizard less.
  • Illness: If your lizard is ill, it may not feel well enough to eat. Signs of illness in lizards include lethargy, hiding, changes in appetite, and weight loss. If you think your lizard might be sick, take it to the vet for a check-up.
  • Mouth problems: If your lizard has mouth problems, it may not be able to eat. Mouth problems can be caused by infection, injury, or teeth problems. If you think your lizard has a mouth problem, take it to the vet for a check-up.
  • Temperature: Lizards are ectotherms, which means they rely on external sources of heat to regulate their body temperature. If the temperature is too low, your lizard may not be able to digest its food properly. Make sure the temperature in your lizard’s enclosure is appropriate for its species. [2]

What Should I Feed My Lizard?

There are a variety of things you can feed your lizard, but it is important to do your research to figure out what is best for your particular pet. Some common food items for lizards include:

  • Crickets
  • Mealworms
  • Wax worms
  • Pinkie mice (for larger lizards)

It is also important to dust the food items with a calcium powder to ensure that your lizard is getting the nutrients it needs.

Another option is to purchase a commercial diet designed specifically for lizards. These diets come in pellet or block form and are nutritionally complete, so you don’t have to worry about dusting them with calcium powder. [2]


How Long Does it Take for Lizards to Starve to Death?

In general, it takes several weeks for a lizard to starve themselves. There are some reports of lizards surviving without food. But these cases tend to be rare and happen when their environment provides them with other things to eat, like insects or small mammals that live in your house.

Lizards can be covered with extra insulation to keep them warm during cold weather. If the temperature falls below freezing point, they will not eat or drink. So it is best if you do not leave your pet lizard outside for long periods of time.

If you think your lizard is going into hibernation, it’s important to talk to a vet to make sure there are no health problems. Once these have been ruled out the best way for them will be to provide an area where he/she could hibernate in peace and safety!

How Often Does a Lizard Eat?

Lizards are generally very hungry creatures that can’t wait until their next meal. Though some species only eat once every two days, babies will still be eating more frequently than adults in most cases!

If the temperature in their environment is too low, it can affect how much food an animal needs. If they don’t eat enough or digest any of what’s on offer then you’ll see them looking thinner than usual and having low energy levels!

Lizards often go into a state of brumation during winter months when food is scarce. This usually happens so people don’t eat anything when they’re not able, which can lead to them losing weight even if they are already overweight!

It is crucial to get your lizard treatment if they are not eating for more than a week. This could mean there’s an underlying health issue that needs attention.

Can Lizards Go a Week Without Eating?

Lizards can go a week without eating, but they will start to lose weight and muscle mass. If you are planning on going on vacation or taking a break from caring for your lizard, make sure to leave food and water out for them. A good rule of thumb is to leave enough food and water for them to last twice as long as you will be gone.

If your lizard is sick or injured, they may not have an appetite. If this is the case, take them to the vet as soon as possible.

Lizards are creatures of habit and will usually eat at the same time every day. If you notice that your lizard isn’t eating, it could be a sign that something is wrong.

If your lizard has not been eating for more than two weeks or looks sick, you should take it to a vet. They will be able to help figure out what might have caused the change in appetite and create treatment plans if necessary.

Can Lizards Go a Week Without Eating

Do Lizards Drink Water?

Lizards are not only known for their ability to climb, but also drinking water! In the wild most lizards get all of what they need from eating food. If you want your pet lizard to drink more often than it would from its diet alone, you will need to provide a fresh source of water – either by providing a bowl or jar filled entirely with clean freshwater each day, so that he may take dips at his leisure as desired.

Giving your lizard a source of water is important not only for their health, but it can also be helpful in keeping them hydrated. A happy and healthy lizard is always more enjoyable to be around.

Do Lizards Feel Pain?

Yes, lizards can feel pain. In fact, they have many of the same receptors that we do and respond similarly to pain stimuli. This means that if you see a lizard with a wound or an injury, it is likely in pain and you should take steps to help it.

There are a few things you can do to help a hurt lizard.

  • First, you should clean the wound with warm water and soap.
  • Then, you can apply an antibiotic ointment to help prevent infection.
  • Finally, you should wrap the wound in a clean bandage.

Useful Video: Caring For Pet Lizards


So, how long can a lizard live without food? The answer to that question may surprise you. People think that lizards can go a long time without eating as long as they have access to water.In fact, one scientist even reported having a lizard live for an astonishing 46 days without any food!

Something to think about the next time you are wondering if you should feed your pet lizard is that it could help them grow big and strong.

We hope you enjoyed this article. If you have any questions or comments, please leave them below. And don’t forget to check out our other articles on all things lizard related!


  1. https://www.reptilehero.com/how-long-house-lizards-live-without-food-and-water/
  2. https://oddlycutepets.com/how-long-can-lizards-go-without-water-and-eating/
  3. https://guideyourpet.com/how-long-can-a-lizard-live-without-food/