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Home » Can Iguanas Eat Avocado? Toxicity, Nutrition and Health Concerns

Can Iguanas Eat Avocado? Toxicity, Nutrition and Health Concerns

Iguanas can consume most types of fruit, but avocado is one of the few foods known to be toxic to reptiles. Because of this, you should not feed avocado to your pet iguana, as it can have serious negative consequences for their health.

Avocado should never be offered to iguanas. A substance in avocados known as persin is harmful to several reptiles and birds, and lizards can become ill and even die just hours after consuming avocado.

Iguana and avocado
Iguana vs Avocado

Additionally, avocados contain a lot of oxalic acid, which is known to combine with vitamins and minerals to generate oxalates, which are difficult for reptiles to expell from their system. This could result in the development of kidney stones, have a detrimental impact on your pet’s capacity to absorb calcium, and ultimately cause metabolic bone disease.

Therefore, iguanas should never consume avocados, every part of this fruit is to be considered toxic to reptiles.

Fat22.7 gramsVery high
Carbohydrates9 gramsNormal
Fiber7 gramsHigh
Calcium5 milligramsLow
Phosphorus52 milligramsNormal
Folate108.8 microgramsVery high
Nutritional value for 100g of avocado

Things to consider:

  • Avocado contains a high amount of fat and should not be fed to iguanas as a regular part of their diet. Excessive consumption of fat can lead to obesity and other health issues in iguanas.
  • Avocado also contains a substance called persin, which is toxic to several reptiles and birds. Ingesting persin can cause illness and even death in iguanas.
  • When looking for fruit alternatives for iguanas, options like strawberries, blueberries, and mangoes are safer and contain lower levels of fat. However, fruits should still be given in moderation as a supplement to a balanced diet of leafy greens and vegetables.

Iguanas and Avocados FAQs

Are avocados good for iguanas?

No, avocados are not good for iguanas. The primary nutrients an iguana needs are calcium and vitamin D. Unfortunately, avocados provide very little calcium, with only 27 milligrams per cup. The high level of phosphorus it contains prevents the calcium from being absorbed, and there is no vitamin D present in avocados. Therefore, there is no nutritional benefit in feeding this food to your pet.

Why are avocados toxic to iguanas?

Avocado plants contain a toxic chemical called persin which is harmful to many animals, including cats, dogs, and iguanas. Persin is a fungus idol toxin that can cause severe reactions and even death in many animals. All parts of the avocado plant contain persin, so it’s recommended to avoid feeding avocado to iguanas, and if your iguana ingests some by mistake, you should take them to the vet to have them checked.

What is the calcium and phosphorus ratio in avocados, and why is it harmful to iguanas?

The calcium and phosphorus ratio in avocados is much too high for iguanas. Most experts recommend keeping these two minerals at a ratio of two to one because the phosphorus can prevent the iguana from absorbing the calcium. If an iguana doesn’t get enough calcium, it can lead to a serious condition called metabolic bone disease (MBD).

MBD can cause the bones of your reptile to become soft and brittle, and some pets can even become immobile. One cup of avocado contains about 27 milligrams of calcium but 119 milligrams of phosphorus, so the phosphorus content is much too high and could lead to problems down the line.

What can I feed my iguana instead of avocados?

Leafy greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, and dandelions should make up about 60% of your iguana’s diet. For the remaining 40%, you can feed them brightly colored vegetables like green and red peppers, squash, yellow beans, and peas. About 10% of your iguana’s diet can consist of fruit, such as dried figs, bananas, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, and apples.

When introducing new fruit to their diet, do so slowly to avoid gastrointestinal discomfort and diarrhea. Always check the nutritional value of every food you plan to feed your iguana to ensure the calcium to phosphorus ratio is acceptable.

Avoid feeding iguanas any food that contains a lot of sugar, animal proteins, or has an unfavorable calcium to phosphorus ratio, such as corn, cabbage, broccoli, turnips, Brussels sprouts, potatoes, asparagus, and cauliflower. Also, avoid feeding them dog and cat food, as it is not formulated for the nutritional needs of reptiles.

[Green Iguana Care Sheet][Iguana Food & Diet]

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