You should take great care in administering an iguana’s diet, failure to do so may result in them dying on you. Even if you provide your iguana green vegetables, you still have to check what they contain. If they are toxic to iguanas, you definitely have to avoid those greens.
Not all green vegetables can provide them all they need, but you should still be well educated on the foods iguanas can eat when you own them.
Can Iguanas Eat Meat?
No! Iguanas should not eat meat. They contain high protein. That meat will damage their kidneys and liver. They will get weak and it will shorten their lifespan. They will not grow normally, so it may stunt their growth and they will live unhappy lives. There are, however, a few insects that will not affect your iguana.
Can Iguanas Eat Kale and Spinach?
Yes, but should be given in small, controlled portions. Kale contains goitrogens. This will cause your iguana to suffer from a thyroid issue.
Spinach contains a high level of oxalate content. This means that iguanas cannot absorb calcium from other substances. This will lead your iguana to have Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD), and you need to consult your veterinarian.
Foods Toxic to Iguanas
Iguanas diet should consist of the following (and try not to stray away since there are foods toxic to them):
- Romaine lettuce
- Beet greens
- Celery stalk
- Chinese cabbage
- Brussels sprouts.
What happens if you feed soybeans to your Iguanas?
The soybeans contain high phytoestrogens. This will reduce the growth and reproductive capacity of the iguana. Not to mention, they will end up look like a baby iguana even in their adult age.
Why you should NOT feed milk your Iguana?
you should never provide your iguanas with any milk product because iguanas do not have enzymes to digest the milk. If you still feed them with the milk, they may experience gastrointestinal issues and bloating.
Do NOT provide calcium supplements with phosphorus!
Do not provide your iguana pet with calcium supplements with phosphorus. This will omit the calcium. When your iguanas omit calcium in the diet, they will definitely suffer from Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD).
Why You Should Avoid High-Protein in Your Iguana’s Diet
The iguanas should rarely be given proteins. If provided regularly, your iguana will experience kidney failure. And if not treated properly, they may end up dying.
Foods you MUST avoid
As mentioned before, there are foods toxic to iguanas, as such, there would be some that would kill your pet. Practice care in choosing and providing the food for your iguana.
Here is a list of food to AVOID:
- High protein foods (causes kidney failure)
- Caffeinated drinks (like tea, coffee, coke, energy drinks, etc.)
- Eggs and dairy products
- Alcoholic drinks
- Raw sprouts
- Tofu (high in protein and oxalates)
- Tap water (too many chemicals that will cause digestive problems)
- Citrus, Pentas, and Crotons plants (iguanas hate the smell)
- Multivitamins should be given only 2-4 times per month (any more than that, and they will have health complications)
Avoid Oxalic Acid in Your Iguanas Diet!
The vegetables you provide in your iguana’s regular diet may have some oxalic acid, but these do not harm your iguanas. Long-term consumption, however, will cause storage oxalates in kidneys and forms crystallized or mass forms. They also cause calcium deficiency.
Vegetables high in oxalic acid are spinach, rhubarb, celery, beetroot, chard, fried potato chips, parsley, and leeks.
Fruits that are high in oxalates are kiwi, figs, and small berries. These can be provided occasionally as a treat. But try to limit the proportion.
Result of Oxalic Acid for your Iguana
If they contain oxalic acid, you definitely have to avoid those green veggies. Many vegetables contain oxalic acids that hinder calcium, which will cause Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD). And you have to consult your vet immediately.
Calcium deficiency may also cause kidney stones in iguanas, and they cannot be removed through urinating.
Avoid Goitrogens in Iguana Foods!
You should NEVER provide your iguana with goitrogenic foods, as they may cause thyroid issues like goiter.
Foods that contain high levels of goitrogens are mustard, cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, bok choy, kale, rutabaga. You may still provide these in controlled portions, but also provide iodized supplements.
Wash the Vegetables and Fruits Before You Provide Food
Never give provide food for your iguana without washing the vegetables, fruits, plants, or flowers first. This is because they have been sprayed with pesticides. If your iguana consumes pesticides, it may cause digestive problems.
If there are plants placed in their enclosure, you also have to clean them at least once every 2 weeks so they won’t be harmful to your iguana if they choose to climb or eat those plants.
What Iguanas DON’T Like
Avoid giving your iguana garlic cloves, habanero peppers, and lemon juice mixtures – these don’t have the good taste to them and have foul smells. Your iguana will refuse to eat their food when it tastes sour.
You should internalize the kinds of food to provide your iguana. Do avoid giving your iguana food outside their usual diet (especially junk foods like biscuits, chips, cake, etc.) just to show them a different taste. Please bear in mind that they do not have the enzymes to digest those foods.