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Iguana Food & Dietary Requirements

Iguanas are strictly herbiroves, which means they consume exclusively plant material.

In the wild, green iguanas feed on leaves, flowers, and some fruits. They do not eat insect or any other type of animal protein.

A balanced diet of greens, vegetables, fruits, and other items can help to guarantee that your pet iguana is content and healthy.

Make sure to provide your pet a wide choice of foods.

This ensures a balanced diet and gives your pet the opportunity to try new, exciting foods.

The majority of the required foods are readily available at grocery stores and pet retailers.

Iguana Food and Diet
Green Iguana eating Food

There is commercial iguana food available that can make a nice addition to your pet’s diet.

Iguana food is usually in pellet form and can be mixed with other foods your pet eats.

Since the pellets are dry, moistening them before feeding is a way to make them healthier. Iguana food should not be the primary diet of your iguana.

Greens & Vegetables

The majority of your pet iguana’s diet should consist of fresh veggies and greens.

To aid digestion you can chop the food into small pieces. You could offer your pet a variety of greens, including collard, mustard, dandelion, turnip, kale, and romaine lettuce.

Shredded carrots, peas, green beans and other beans, bell peppers, squash, cucumbers and other vegetables may be enjoyed by your iguana.

You can occasionally replace fresh vegetables with frozen ones or use frozen vegetables if you’re out of them.

A decent emergency food is a combination of french-cut green beans, peas, carrots, lima beans, and maize.

Before giving your iguana the frozen vegetables, make sure to thaw them to room temperature, or to blench them (throw them in hot water for a few second and then place them in cold water).

iguana eating green leaf in zoo
Blue iguana eating a leaf. Photo by Tom Fisk on Pexels.com

Fruit

Fruit can safely be added to an iguana’s diet for variety.

Some fruits your pet may enjoy include strawberries, blueberries, bananas, apples, and cantaloupe. Like other foods, fruit should be chopped for easy eating.

To prevent any choking hazards, make sure the fruit is cut into small, bite-sized pieces.

It is important to note that fruits should only be given as a treat and not as a primary food source as they contain high amounts of sugar which can lead to obesity and other health concerns.

Grains

You can occasionally add grains and bread to the meals you give your pet. Your iguana will like some cooked pasta, cooked rice, and whole grain bread.

To make eating easier, make sure the food is chopped into small pieces.

When feeding your iguana grains, be sure to limit the amount as they are not a natural part of their diet.

Grains should only be given as an occasional supplement and should not replace vegetables as the main source of nutrition.

Insects

Unlike most other reptiles, iguanas do not feed on insects.

They are herbivores which means that they reach their protein requirements solely by eating vegetables, and not from animal protein.

Iguanas may occasionally swallow small insects when eating their veggies, but do not purposefully prey on insects and should not be fed meats of any kind.

Water

Iguanas receive a large portion of their water intake from their vegetarian diet, but they still need a source of water available at all times.

Keep a large, spill-resistant bowl in their enclosure and replace the water daily.

In addition to having a bowl of water, it is important to mist your iguana’s enclosure regularly to maintain proper humidity levels.

Supplements

A pet iguana’s nutritional requirements for vitamins and minerals, can be met with the use of reptile supplements, and this is especially important to avoid calcium deficiencies.

It is recommended that you dust your iguana’s food with powdered calcium and vitamin D3 one or two times per week.

A reptile multivitamin supplement can also be given once a week to ensure your pet is receiving all the necessary nutrients for good health.

Repticalcium Calcium Supplement
Zoo Med Repti Calcium without D3
Reptile-friendly Calcium SupplementRepcal Calcium without D3
Reptile Multivitamin Supplement
Fluker’s Repta Vitamin Reptile Supplement

What do iguanas eat in the wild?

Iguanas in the wild have a diverse diet consisting of a wide variety of fruits, flowers, leaves, and stems of plants.

They are known to be opportunistic feeders, meaning they will eat whatever is available in their environment.

Some of their favorite foods include hibiscus, mesquite beans, prickly pear cactus, and fruit trees.

While they are primarily herbivorous, wild iguanas may also accidentally ingest small amounts of insects, although these are not a significant part of their diet and they get all the proteins they need from plant matter.

How often should I feed my iguana?

It is important to establish a feeding schedule for your iguana.

Iguanas should be fed daily, but the frequency and quantity of food should depend on the age and size of the iguana.

Young iguanas should be fed more frequently than adults, usually 2-3 times per day.

Adult iguanas can be fed once a day, but it is important not to overfeed them as they are prone to obesity. A balanced diet with proper portions is key to keeping your iguana healthy and happy.

Can iguanas eat fruit?

Fruit can be a tasty and nutritious addition to your iguana’s diet. However, it should only be given in moderation as fruit is high in sugar content.

Fruits that are safe for iguanas to eat include strawberries, bananas, apples, blueberries, and cantaloupe.

Always make sure to chop the fruit into small pieces to make it easier for the iguana to eat and digest. Remember, too much of a good thing can be harmful, so limit fruit intake to maintain a balanced diet.

Can iguanas eat meat?

Iguanas are strictly herbivores and do not require any meat in their diet.

In fact, feeding your iguana meat can be harmful to their health and cause digestive problems.

Iguanas must stick to a fully “vegetarian” diet consisting of vegetables, fruits, and occasional grains to meet their nutritional requirements.

A diet high in animal protein can lead to kidney and liver damage in iguanas, which can be life-threatening.

Stick to a balanced, plant-based diet to keep your iguana healthy and happy.

Can iguanas eat human food?

While iguanas can eat some human food, it is important to be cautious about what you give them.

Some human foods that are safe for iguanas to eat include cooked vegetables, fruits, grains, bread, and pasta. However, it is important to avoid giving them processed or salty foods as well as any food that is high in fat or sugar content.

Additionally, never feed your iguana anything that contains dairy, chocolate, or caffeine as it can be toxic to them.

While bread and cooked rice or pasta can be given, it should be noted that these simple carbohydrates, especially if processed, are nutritionally poor and not particularly healthy, although totally safe to consume in moderation.


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

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