Are newts and salamanders easy pets?

They can be, as long as you have healthy animals, know how to feed them, care for them, and you keep them cool. The most important thing is to inform yourself on the needs of the animals.

Always learn about your animal BEFORE getting them.

There are some very delicate species but others, like the Axolotl and Plurodeles, that are more indicated as first newts due to being very hardy, eager eaters and more forgiving to errors.

Can i keep a salamander that I found

The short answer is: NO. The long answer is: Maybe, but probably you shouldn’t.

It is always best not to capture animals in the wild and, depending on the country you live in, it could be illegal.

Can I pet/handle my newts?

No. Newts and Salamanders are not the type of pet you can handle. Being handled causes stress that can bring to the death of the animal, as well as damaging the sensitive skin of the animals.

They are best to be admired in the comfort of their aquarium.

What do newts eat? Can I give Fish Food to my newts?

Maybe, but it is not great. Fish food is formulated specifically for fish needs, not newts, and several types, like the powder or flakes, wouldn’t even be recognised by the newts as food. Specific pellet produced for carnivorous fishes can be eaten by the newts, but these should not be a staple of the died as of their often sub-par nutritional values, and are often rejected by the newts.
The best option is to feed frozen or live food. Newts will readily eat bloodworms, daphnia, earthworm, insects, shrimps and fish.

How do i house my newt?

Depending on the needs of the species, you may need an aquarium, a terrarium or somewhere in between. In general, you need a clean environment, a secure lid that prevents escapes (newts are rumoured to be Houdini masters), suitable gravel if desired (check the safety of it first, as newts may swallow gravel that is too small), and cool temperature.

Before getting an animal, inform yourself and make sure you are ready to accommodate its needs.

How can I keep my newt/salamander cool?

There are various options ranging from fans to coolers to air conditioning. The right way will depend on your needs and abilities.

Can I keep a newt together with…..?

Short Answer: NO. Long Answer: Very probably also NO.

As a general rule of thumb, one species needs to have one tank. This rule allows you to focus on creating the perfect environment for the species that you want to keep, instead of creating something that all the species may find ok but not great.

Also, newts do not often play nice with others. If it is another amphibian, they may attack/poison each other. If it is smaller than the newts, the newts will eat it. If it is bigger than the newts, it will eat your newts. Small, pacific snails, shrimps and cold water fishes may live peacefully with newts for a while but these may and will be attacked by the newts or, in the case of the fishes, disturb your newts.

Snails are the most indicated companions for the newts, as they don’t disturb the newts and the newts ignore them until they decide to fancy escargot for lunch. Shrimps are natural food for newts, which will constantly hunt them. Shrimps may survive a long time but will be eaten eventually. Fishes may escape the newts more easily, but they will also be attacked by the newts. On the other hand, the fishes too may attack and disturb the newts.  

My newt’s skin is coming off?

If it is coming off in one piece, as if the newt just changed onesies, yes. Newts shed their skin similarly as lizard and snakes do. If you haven’t seen a skin yet, it may be that the newt ate it.

If it is coming off flaky, blistering or getting stuck around the limbs or neck, there may be a health problem. Reach out for help to a veterinarian. 

My newt’s limb is gone, what happened and what should I do?

This could possibly be due to a tankmate biting your newt. If the newt is healthy and kept cool and clean, it will regrow the missing limb.

If this was not caused by a tankmate but by an infection, reach out for a vet as there may be a more serious issue.

Are newts poisonous?

Yes, to various degrees. Research your animals to understand how poisonous they are.
Remember to not handle your animals with unprotected hand if you have cuts, and do not touch your eyes or mouth after touching your newts.

How long can newts live?

If housed correctly, newts have been recorded to live past the 50 year mark!

I can’t have my newt anymore, can I free it?


Irresponsible people that have freed captive animals in the wild are the cause for the spread of BD and BSAL, which have decimated entire populations of frogs and salamanders around the world.

If you can’t care for your animals anymore, reach out to forums, facebook groups or eBay. There is likely a fellow hobbyist nearby that would love to take the animal from you. 

My newt or salamander escaped. What should I do?

This has happened to everyone. Start by searching the room where it escaped, searching under furniture and along the walls. If you can find it, place several wet towels around. The animal will likely crawl under one of this to keep wet.

Secure the lid, so that this doesn’t happen again.