With their curious eyes and social disposition, green iguanas are a top choice when it comes to reptiles as pets. One thing that many prospective iguana owners do not realize is iguanas have specific needs when it comes to their diet. Feeding your iguana the right food is the only way to ensure you do not end up with a malnourished iguana that has to see a veterinarian at the animal hospital. Here are a few of the most common questions concerning how, what, and when to feed a green iguana once you have it in your home.
How many times a day should you feed your iguana?
The amount of times per day your iguana will eat will depend on his age and feeding preferences. In general, you should offer your new pet food several times throughout the day and allow him to eat until he seems satisfied. Some iguanas will be socialized enough to eat right from your hand and may actually prefer to be fed. However, some iguanas would rather eat from a dish or bowl on their own.
What types of foods do iguanas live on in the wild?
In the wild iguanas feed on mostly green, leafy plants. However, they do occasionally eat flowers, such as dandelions or geraniums, and fruit. To keep a healthy iguana, you should aim to keep their diet as close to what they would normally eat as possible. With mostly green, leafy vegetables, such as collard greens, broccoli, and parsley, your iguana will be content. Further enrich his diet with fresh fruits offered daily, like bananas and strawberries. Iguanas can also get some of their nutrition from wild edibles you may find in your area, such as clover and dandelions.
Is there anything that you should not feed your iguana?
It is debated whether or not iguanas should be fed anything other than fruits and veggies. While some experienced iguana owners will feed their iguana crickets and mealworms for protein, this is actually not a necessity. Adult iguanas do not require a great deal of protein and what they do need, they obtain from the green vegetables they eat. Over feeding protein rich foods, such as insects, can cause health problems for your pet. If you do choose to feed your iguana crickets or mealworms, this should only be an occasional treat and not a main source of food.
To avoid ever having to take your green iguana to the animal hospital (such as Southwest Florida Veterinary Specialists & 24-Hour Emergency Hospital) for care, it is imperative that you educate yourself about the nutrition of these reptiles. Unlike normal pets, such as cats and dogs, your iguana will need more variation in its diet. Without the appropriate food, health issues, such as vitamin deficiency and dehydration, can easily occur.