How to feed an iguana, we tell you!


The iguanas are reptiles and therefore have a special diet and care. Do you know how to treat your exotic pet?

When it comes to having a pet, There are a whole series of issues related to your cu>

Apart from the fact that they are animals that are not accustomed to being locked up and must be tamed food is one of the aspects that you have to take care of. They are used to getting their own food, not to be provided, and they know what they have to eat. Homeowners may not always know and they can give them, without even knowing it, a food that is harmful to them.

And, although the iguana lives in freedom and has to overcome the dangers alone, It is a most delicate animal if you do not take the right food. If you have had pets such as dogs or cats and you acquire one of these reptiles, you have to keep in mind that nothing resembles their diet. If you have any questions, consult a pet shop specializing in reptiles.

A herbivorous animal

Iguanas are herbivorous, that is, they only consume vegetables. At no time can they be given prepared foods from those sold in animal stores, much less any type of food of animal origin. Your digestive system is not able to process these foods and will end up getting sick and suffering.

It is a very delicate animal when it comes to food

His stomach is very delicate and does not process much of the food that humans consume, hence we must carefully monitor what we give our iguana. And although he has teeth, he hardly uses them to grab food, not to chop them. Hence, we are the ones who have to help him by chopping the food into very small pieces in order to help him at lunchtime.

Foods to give to an iguana

Vegetables are the main basis of your diet. Of these, the most recommended are escarole, romaine lettuce, beets, cabbage, chard and even parsley. Vegetables such as tomato, zucchini, cucumber or pepper are the healthiest as well.

The fruit, with a sweeter and therefore more palatable taste, is also advisable as part of a rich and varied diet. Apple, banana, melon or strawberries are the most recommended foods of this group to give this kind of reptile.

The food that is prohibited

Although the consumption of another kind of food is not recommended there are those who occasionally add some bread to the meal to provide the necessary dose of fiber. It should not be daily, but every one or two weeks, and in a very small amount, just a quarter of the toast.

Previously we talked about the fact that the fruit has to be part of the feeding of an iguana, but not all kinds. Citrus fruits are too strong for your digestive system, so they can be given in very small amounts and rarely. Iceberg lettuce is also not recommended for its low nutritional value, although it can be mixed with other vegetables.

Oxalic acid - found in cauliflower, celery or chard - and tannin - present in spinach - Iguanas don't feel good either, so it is suggested to limit your consumption.

As we discussed earlier, Food preparations from pet stores, as well as any type of meat are totally prohibited for this reptile that is not able to process them. The same goes for dairy products, sugars or eggs.

You can never miss food

The iguana does not have an established time to eat like other animals. And even if you try to tame it so that it eats at a certain time you probably won't get it. Thus, the most advisable thing is to always have food at your disposal.

There are other animals with whom this cannot be done, because they are more gluttonous. This is not the case with this reptile, which eats when it needs it only.. By not always doing it at the same time of day we run the risk that if at the time you want to eat there are no food at your disposal do not feed it. Keep in mind that this reptile eats on a daily basis, but only once, so if you do not do so it will fast unintentionally for one day..

So you never lack food and also for hygiene reasons you have to enable a specific place where you will eat. The most common is to put a small plate or well in the terrarium, in a specific place and always the same. This will get used to going there when you want to eat.

Once you have eaten you have to remove the dish to clean it and eliminate the leftover food that you could have left. We will immediately refill it with food for when it is your next shot. If not in the container Fungi may be produced that the animal ingests without realizing and damaging to its digestive system which, as we have already mentioned, is the most delicate.

How to feed a pet iguana

If you want to know how to feed an iguana at home, The first thing you need to know is that they are diurnal animals, so they will eat during the day. This is very important! To do the digestion correctly it is necessary for your body to maintain a temperature of around 32º, which you only get during daylight hours.

The ideal diet for an iguana is very varied and balanced, with a vegetable base of fruits and vegetables. To digest them well, it is important to cut them into small pieces.

Fruits and vegetables> (Photo via: AZ animals)

Between the vegetables that an iguana can eat is it so:

  • Turnip greens
  • Different types of cabbage, such as cauliflower and broccoli
  • Watercress
  • Coriander
  • Parsley
  • Mustard plant leaves
  • Chard
  • Watercress
  • Endives
  • Beet
  • Celery
  • Alfalfa
  • Mulberry Leaves

And the fruit you can drink It is also very varied:

As an occasional prize you can leave the vegetables and offer small pieces of bread, boiled rice, cereals or tofu.

How to prepare your iguana's food

You already know how to feed an iguana, but in addition to being clear about what ingredients you can eat, it is also important to know how to prepare them.

To prepare your iguana's food, Cut everything into tiny pieces to make it easier to digest. After, moisten the mixture to add even more water and have extra hydration in your food. In addition, you should have your fresh and clean water fountain always available.

You can occasionally give him some animal protein, but it is not necessary at all and if you do, try not to abuse. Too much protein and animal fat could be very bad for your health.

If you want, you can give it Vitamin supplements and I think for iguanas. A good way to naturally increase your intake of Calcium is included in your meal crushed eggshell.

Remember! If you have an iguana as a pet, You should look for a veterinarian specializing in exotic animals. He will recommend the best for the particular case of your iguana based on your needs. If you want to give him supplements of minerals and vitamins, ask him for advice first!

How should I feed my iguana?

Green iguanas have been kept captive for many years, but until recently their dietary needs were unknown and it was often advised to feed them with lettuce, tomato and supplemented with ham. This is a very poor diet and that made the iguanas not live even 10% of their life expectancy.

The iguanas should eat every day and if necessary they should renew their food every 12 hours. Very young iguanas should always have fresh food at their disposal, so it is not uncommon for us to have to put new food up to 3 or 4 times a day. Iguanas do not fast, unlike other carnivorous reptiles.

It is convenient that the food is placed early in the morning and removed when we see that the iguana does not consume it anymore. In addition, if the iguana eats early in the morning, it will be easier to do digestion during the rest of the day, since it requires 29 ° C to perform it correctly. It is important to accustom the iguana to a feeding routine.

Foods that are part of the iguana diet

Within the iguana diet we will separate those vegetables that should be taken frequently, from occasional and sporadic.

Vegetables that should be taken frequently (40% of the daily ration) at least we will offer 2 or 3 of these vegetables on a daily basis. They are vegetables of easy digestion, high nutritional value and Ca: P ratio equal to or greater than 2: 1.

- Cabbage leaves

- Radish leaves

- Red and green pepper

Vegetables that should be taken frequently, accompanying the previous ones. They should also be part of the iguana's daily diet, although the Ca: P ratio is not as good.

- Radish

- Rose petals

The fruit should be part of the iguana's diet in small proportions. It is rich in vitamins, but also contains an excess of sugars. It should not be part of more than 10% in the diet of green iguanas.

- Apple (with skin)

- Fruits of the forest (raspberries, blackberries, etc.)

- Prickly pears (no spines)

- Apricot (without bone)

- Banana and banana (occasionally)

What do baby iguanas eat?

Iguanas are animals that feed only on vegetables, they are herbivorous. We should never give him meat. They have teeth but do not chew, but tear food before swallowing. For this reason it is very important to chop or grate your food.

We must look at the dimension of the head of our iguana and ensure that the snacks are easy to swallow. Baby iguanas should be fed every day. It is advisable to change the feeder a couple of times a day, modifying the combination of vegetables. Thus we encourage our little coma.

It is very important that clean your bowl regularly, without leaving leftover food from previous days because fungi can develop easily.

The best time to feed them is in the morning, after they have been heated for a couple of hours with UV rays. They need heat to be able to metabolize food. It is important that when you move it (especially after eating) do not subject it to sudden currents or temperature changes.

Foodshould never be cold Not too hot. If you use frozen vegetables, you must previously defrost them and wait until they are at room temperature. Even if it comes from the fridge it is convenient to prepare the bowl and wait for its temperature to rise (we can place it outside the terrarium for a few minutes).

Other foods

We will also add a small amount of pellets specially formulated for iguanas next to the vegetable mixture. The brand is very important that it is of quality.

Occasionally we can give our iguana citrus fruits, kiwi, tofu, carrots, spinach, Brussels sprouts, I think based on fresh alfalfa or alfalfa if we have the opportunity, parsley, pollen, edible flowers, hibiscus leaves, lettuce, tomato, sprouts, etc.

The foods that we should avoid at all costs are the following:

- Insects and other live prey

- Milk and derivatives

- Eggs and derivatives

- Processed food for other species (dog feed and the like)

- Insectivorous pastes

For the correct absorption of calcium, it is very important that the iguana has an adequate spectrum of light in its terrarium or that it has access to direct sunlight (without filters or crystals). An excess of protein added to a lack of calcium during growth can cause bone problems.

Healthy foods for baby iguanas

The diet of an iguana should contain approximately one 95% of vegetables, green vegetables and leaves, and 5% fruit and feed for iguana.

A good base with which to mix the vegetables and fruits that we crush is fresh and chopped alfalfa in small pieces. We can also incorporate pumpkin, hibiscus or rose flowers, provided they do not contain pesticides. The recommended vegetables are:

  • pumpkin
  • Zucchini
  • Coriander
  • Green beans
  • Turnip greens

There are fruits such as lemon or orange that are not advisable due to its acidity, although we can give it very occasionally and in small quantities. The fruits that we must incorporate are the following:

As for the dehydrated foods on the market: you can incorporate them into your diet, but always combining with other fresh products. If your little iguana has a hard time eating them, you can moisten them with water to soften them and make them easier to eat.

Sporadic food

These foods should only be present sporadically since they do not have a suitable composition for them. Its consumption in high quantities can cause nutritional deficiencies. We can include small amounts of any of them always with other recommended vegetables.

Foods with low calcium and phosphorus content:

Lettuce, although it is a food that iguanas usually eat very well, it is not advisable to give large amounts. This is because lettuce has very little nutritional value and can make our baby iguana lose appetite.

Foods that cause deficiencies in the thyroid gland:

Dangerous foods for baby iguanas

The foods here called dangerous are not poisonous to our iguana but due to their composition they are inappropriate for them. We must avoid them to prevent future problems. Especially in a baby iguana that needs a healthy and varied diet that will provide everything necessary to grow strong.

There are a number of vegetables that can be harmful to our iguana. They are the ones that contain oxalic acid or oxalate, a substance that the body of our iguana cannot metabolize and assimilate. Its presence prevents calcium from assimilating normally, generating insufficiencies that can trigger joint and bone problems.

Foods with oxalic acid:

We must avoid giving eggs or any dairy derivative such as cheeses.

Vitamins and calcium

The vitamin D, calcium and phosphorus They must be present in the diet. If the contribution is insufficient, a metabolic bone disease called MBD (bone metabolic disease) can develop.

Vitamin D and phosphorus are involved in calcium absorption, a key factor in the development of an iguana calf.

A healthy, varied and balanced diet should provide the necessary amounts but we can make sure with vitamin supplements. There are special pills, drops or sprays for iguanas on the market.

Ask your veterinarian about the doses and the right supplement for your little iguana.

If you want to read more articles similar to Feeding for baby iguanas, we recommend that you enter our Breastfeeding section.

Discover how to feed a baby iguana

The diet of an iguana is similar for young and adult specimens. However, if you have a baby iguana, you should carefully take care of the way you serve food to your pet and be especially consistent in everything related to hygiene. Here are some tips:

  • If you are going to give him some vegetable leaves, crumble this, so that no piece is larger than the size of the animal's head. Thus, you will avoid drowning.
  • Avoid very cold or very hot foods: They can destabilize your iguana's temperature.
  • Clean the feeder every day, so that no bacteria or fungi appear.
  • Watch what time your iguana takes its sun bath and give it its food just before. Thus, the light rays will facilitate the metabolism of the food.

The feeding of iguanas

It worries you how to feed a baby iguana ? You don't know what food to give it? The diet of young and adult iguanas does not differ much in terms of food.

Iguanas are herbivorous and feed 80% on vegetables such as kale, watercress, alfalfa ... And the rest of their diet should be completed with fresh fruit: papaya, mango or pumpkin.

What an iguana can eat

The iguana feed must be made up of a 30-40% calcium-rich vegetables Among them are the escarole, romaine lettuce, beet, cabbage, chard, parsley or spinach. Other vegetables such as tomato, zucchini, cucumber, pepper and beans are also recommended. We can also include a small amount of fiber occasionally offering small pieces of bread.

The fruit It should also be part of your diet, but without excesses, since it contains sugars, it is best not to exceed 15% of your diet. Strawberries, bananas, apples (raw and with skin), melon and pear are advisable.

Among all these foods the owner must find out which ones his pet prefers, but the variety It is important for you to have a complete feed. The most advisable is to add supplements of vitamins and minerals to ensure that the diet provided contains all the necessary elements for the correct development of the iguana. In specialized stores we will find a wide variety of supplements from which we can choose the most appropriate.

What NOT to feed an iguana

It is important to be aware that, due to its herbivorous condition, the iguana organism is not prepared to digest meat or food of animal origin. That is why you should avoid offering food with animal protein and fat.

  • Dairy, specially made for mammals not for reptiles.
  • Eggs: have a high percentage of phosphorus and fat.
  • Dog and cat food: normally consists of a high percentage of animal protein and usually have enough fat.
  • Any type of meat
  • Iceberg lettuce (common lettuce): it has a very low nutritional value and also It can cause lack of appetite. It can be included in the diet occasionally and in low proportion, mixed with other vegetables.
  • Citrus fruits such as orange, kiwi or pineapple: they are strong for your digestive system, but you can take them occasionally if the iguana shows no negative reactions.
  • There are vegetables that are not very suitable for their high content in Oxic acid, a substance that cannot be metabolized by the iguana and that can be harmful if ingested in high quantities. Among them are spinach, chard, celery, cauliflower and broccoli.
  • The tanina It is another substance that in large quantities can be harmful to the animal. It is present in the spinach and some fruits such as grapes, bananas or apples when rusty

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