Iguanas are herbivorous and eat all sorts of greens, vegetables and fruits, including tomatoes. While it is generally okay to feed tomatoes to your iguana every now and then, this food should not be a stable in their diet because they can potentially lead to health complications in large amounts.
Tomatoes are rich in vitamin C, A, antioxidants and fiber, but they lack calcium, they are very acidic and somewhat high in oxalates, which in larger amounts can bind to calcium and further prevent its absorption, which is a big problem in reptiles. It is therefore recommended to only feed tomatoes to iguanas in moderation. As a rule of thumb, iguanas should have no more than 20% of their diet consisting of fruits, and tomato counts as one.
Why you shouldn’t feed tomatoes to iguanas too often:
- Tomatoes have low calcium levels, which is essential for healthy bones and development. This means that feeding your tegu with too many tomatoes can lead to calcium deficiency which is not good for your pet.
- Tomatoes have an undesirable ratio of calcium and phosphorous such that the existence of phosphorous in tomatoes prevents absorption of calcium in the body. This leads to calcium deficiency in your blue tongue lizard or, in the most extreme cases, to metabolic bone disease.
Tomato plants and tomato leaves
We do not recommend feeding tomato leaves or any other part of the plant to iguanas. Tomatoes are part of the nighshade family which is known to contain high levels of alkaloids in their stems, leaves, flowers and vines. These are generally considered toxic and should not be fed to reptiles, although iguanas have been observed eating tomato plants in the wild.
PetsWithScales.com is an informational website about big lizard pet care. We collect and provide information from different sources across the web on how to keep and care for reptiles as pets. The species we mainly deal with are tegus, monitor lizards, skinks and geckos. Our aim is to provide high quality information to help pet owners make better, more informed decisions about their animal’s diets, health and life.