what do pet monkeys eat

What Do Pet Monkeys Eat?

Written by: Gemmali Dizor

Keeping a monkey as a pet can be a rewarding experience for those who are able to provide the proper care and environment for the animal. Monkeys are highly intelligent and social animals that can form strong bonds with their caregivers. They can be trained to perform various tasks and tricks and can be taught sign language. 

However, it is important to note that owning a monkey is a serious commitment and requires a significant amount of time, effort, and resources. It is also important to research and complies with any local laws and regulations regarding the ownership of primates. Additionally, it is important to ensure that the monkey is obtained from a reputable breeder or rescue organization and not taken from the wild.

What Do Pet Monkeys Eat?

Pet monkeys typically eat a diet that is similar to their natural diet in the wild. This typically includes a variety of fruits, vegetables, nuts, and protein sources.

Some examples of fruits and vegetables that can be included in a monkey’s diet are:

  • Apples
  • Bananas
  • Oranges
  • Berries
  • Carrots
  • Spinach
  • Peas
  • Sweet potatoes

For protein, monkeys may eat:

  • Cooked eggs
  • Cooked chicken or turkey
  • Cooked lean meats
  • Cooked legumes (such as lentils, kidney beans, and black beans)
  • Some nuts

Commercial monkey food is also available, but it should be avoided as it lacks the essential nutrients needed for monkeys.

It is important to note that monkeys have specific dietary needs and it is essential to consult with a veterinarian experienced in primates to ensure that their diet is nutritionally balanced.

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Can pet monkeys eat human food?

Monkeys can eat some human food, but it is important to be cautious about what is given to them. Many human foods can be unhealthy for monkeys or may not provide the necessary nutrition for them.

It is best to stick to a diet that is similar to what they would eat in the wild, as outlined in my previous answer. Fresh fruits and vegetables, nuts, and protein sources such as eggs, chicken, and lean meats can be included in their diet.

It is important to avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat, as well as processed foods and junk food. Monkeys should also avoid any foods that are toxic to them, such as avocados, chocolate, and caffeine.

It’s also important to note that feeding monkeys human food can also lead to behavioral issues, as they may start to beg for human food, and can become picky eaters, refusing to eat their regular diet.

It is essential to consult with a veterinarian experienced in primates to ensure that the diet is nutritionally balanced and appropriate for the specific needs of the individual monkey.

You might also like: Do Monkeys Eat Coconuts?

What should you not feed a pet monkey?

There are several foods that should be avoided when feeding a pet monkey:

  1. Avocados: They contain a substance called persin which is toxic to monkeys and can cause respiratory distress or even death.
  2. Chocolate: It contains theobromine, which can be toxic to monkeys and can cause seizures and other serious health problems.
  3. Caffeine: It can cause nervousness, agitation, and muscle tremors in monkeys.
  4. Alcohol: It can be dangerous for monkeys and can lead to serious health problems.
  5. Foods high in sugar, salt, and fat: They can cause obesity, diabetes, and other health problems.
  6. Processed foods and junk food: They lack essential nutrients and can cause health problems.
  7. Peanut butter: Some commercial brands contain aflatoxins, a type of mold that can be harmful to monkeys.
  8. Dairy products: Monkeys are lactose intolerant, so consuming dairy products can lead to stomach upset and diarrhea.
  9. Foods that are toxic to humans: Such as rhubarb leaves, mushrooms, and some berries.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the diet of a pet monkey should closely resemble the diet they would have in the wild, which includes a variety of fresh fruits, vegetables, nuts, and protein sources such as eggs, chicken, and lean meats. However, it’s important to avoid foods that are high in sugar, salt, and fat, as well as processed foods and junk food. Additionally, certain foods should be avoided altogether, such as avocados, chocolate, caffeine, alcohol and dairy products, as they can be toxic or harmful to monkeys. It’s important to consult with a veterinarian experienced in primates to ensure the diet is nutritionally balanced and appropriate for the specific needs of the individual monkey.

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