Iguana Food and Diet
Iguana Food & Diet Reference Guide
Good news for reptile lovers that hate bugs – iguanidae happen to be herbivores, or vegan for short. This means that the reptiles love eating plants. In their natural habitat, the iguanidae survive on various types of foliage as well as the occasional fruit. Just because you don’t have to feed them bugs doesn’t mean that there isn’t some work involved with keeping them satiated though. Your pet needs to have a diet that is rotated to keep them in optimal health. A varied diet will allow them to ingest all the nutrients they need and would get in the wild. Plus, it keeps things interesting for your pals. This page will teach you:
How to Prepare Your Iguana’s Food
Most of the time that you are feeding your pet reptile, you should lightly prepare the food for them. This is to make eating easier and safer. If there are any apples, butternut squash or carrots in the meal, they should also be peeled. You should always chop the food your pet is eating very finely or make sure that it is broken up into small pieces. Shredding the food also works well.
You want to have plenty of fresh greens in your iguana’s diet. Fresh is a key word here. Relying strictly on frozen or old greens is not going to provide the same nutritional value as using fresh produce. Greens should compose close to half of your ig’s food intake. There are a lot of good options when it comes to choosing which ones to include.
Go for organic if possible, but even if it is not an option, ALWAYS make sure that there are no pesticides or other toxic substances on the plant matter you feed your pet. Collard greens are a popular and good choice, but make sure to either get rid of or finely dice the stems. Collard greens are loaded with calcium, which your pet needs. Dandelion greens are another good choice, but the same concern for stems also applies. The flowers are fine for your pet to eat and are a good way to add some dietary variety. Continuing with the high calcium content is watercress. Again, make sure to either get rid of or chop the stems. Escarole, turnip greens and mustard greens all fall into the same category.
You should include an equal amount of non-greens vegetables in your iguana’s diet as you do greens. These vegetables are usually more fibrous than greens and add a good amount of variety for when you feed your ig. Igs can be picky eaters and you need to make sure they are interested by what they are consuming.
Alfalfa is an awesome choice, and requires little to no preparation for feeding. Butternut squash is another choice for regular feeding, but must be prepared and broken down into bite size chunks with the cores removed. Bell peppers are a nice addition and should be prepared just like butternut squash. These have the added benefit of diversifying the coloration of your pet’s meals. Snow peas and snap peas can also be included without too much preparation necessary (they should be chopped though). Green beans are a popular choice and include a healthy amount of fiber. Make sure to chop these as well.
Fruit is totally safe to feed your iguana, but in moderation. A great way to add variety to your reptile’s diet and also reward them, is to use fruit as a treat. Even though it is soft, most fruits need to be diced or shredded before being fed to your pet. You can also use watery fruits to increase your iguana’s water intake. Some great options can include blueberries, grapes (high water content), mangos, bananas (the peel can be included if chopped), and melons. You want to be careful of citrus fruits though, because of their high acidity. While these can be fine every once in awhile, too many can upset your pet’s stomach.
Cooked bread and other types of grain based food are safe for your iguana, but should make up a small percentage of their diet. Cooked brown and white rice are tasty, easy to digest treats for your pet. Cooked pasta is another option for special occasions or as a dessert – we’re big fans of chopped penne and igs love it too! Whole wheat bread is a favorite of many iguanidae, and it can be a useful way to disguise medications or supplements that your ig doesn’t particularly enjoy.