When it comes to having and taking care of pets, several factors comes into play. One tend to wonder the type of environment and diet that would be most suitable for the pet. Iguanas, unlike dogs and cats, require extra special care and attention. Iguanas are part of the herbivorous lizards family, and are native to tropical areas of South America, Central America, Mexico and the Caribbean. There are more than 10 species of iguanas; they come in different shapes and colours. Popular among the breed of iguanas is the green iguana, cuban rock iguana, desert iguana and rhinoceros iguana. Feeding an iguana is a little bit more complex and requires special attention and adequate knowledge. Improper feeding of your pet iguana can lead to severe health issues and even death of your iguana. Hence, if you already have an iguana or you are planning on having one, you need to know the dos and don’ts of taking care of your pet.
CAN IGUANAS EAT BANANAS?
Yes, iguanas can eat bananas. However, you should only feed them bananas in moderation. Though, iguanas are classified as herbivores animals, they are primarily folivores animals; their primary diet are leaves, vines, some flowers and occasionally some fruits. Banana is a good additional diet for iguanas as they are fibrous and contains many vitamins, minerals and natural sugar. Unlike humans, iguanas do not have a digestive system that can take care of excess natural sugars and fruits. Hence, you should only feed your iguana banana occasionally and moderately as excessive feeding can cause health issues to your iguana.
Proper diet for iguanas
Iguanas are herbivorous and folivores animals. Iguanas in the wild feed on the leaves and vines of trees most of the times, they also occasionally feed on flowers and fruits. According to specialists, your pet iguana should be fed dark green leafy vegetables (80-90%) with less than 20% fruits. We have researched and gathered some of the best vegetables you can feed your pet iguana. The first on our diet list for your iguana are calcium-rich vegetables. They include collard greens, beet greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, alfalfa hay, bok choy, kale, parsley, Swiss chard, romaine, kohlrabi, escarole, and dandelion. It is recommended that these vegetables should make up 40-50 percent of an adult iguana’s diet.
Other vegetables you can feed your adult iguana includes cactus, broccoli, squash, bell peppers, green beans, sprouts, sweet potato, parsnips, okra, cucumber, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, and peas. Asides from vegetables, you can occasionally decide to treat your pet iguana with fruits; which should be given in small percentage (less than 20%). Fruits like apples, pears, bananas (with skin), mangoes, grapes, star fruit, peaches, tomatoes, guava, kiwis, melons, figs, apricots, dates, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries can be offered to your iguana. You can decide to offer your iguana cooked vegetables or raw vegetables. However, it is recommended that you offer raw vegetables since most vegetables lose part of their nutrients when cooked. You should also ensure to wash the fruits and vegetables carefully before feeding your pet iguana.
Diets to avoid
It is essential to note that not all diets are safe for iguanas. Iguanas are the most common pets of the lizard specie. They require special care, and attention should be paid to their diet and health. It is recommended to take advice from your vet doctor when treating your specie of iguana. There are different categories of diet you shouldn’t feed your iguana. The first category on our list are animal-based protein foods. Unlike dogs and cats, iguana can’t take in large amount of protein and fat. Hu Diets comprised of large amounts of animal based protein such as crickets, mealworms, pinky mice, tofu, and hard boiled eggs should not be offered frequently to your pet iguana. Adult iguana should not have more than 5% of animal-based proteins. Young iguana, on the other hand, can have up to 10%.
Also, not all vegetables are safe for your pet iguana. You should watch out for cabbage, kale, mustard greens, swiss chard, spinach and beet greens. Cabbage, kale and mustard greens contain a compound known as goitrogens. Goitrogens can lead to thyroid problems if eaten in excess. Swiss chard, spinach and beet greens contain oxalates that can prevent your iguana from absorbing the calcium and other vitamins/minerals they need. It is very important to note these vegetables as they can cause severe damages to the health of your iguana.
When it comes to feeding your iguana fruits, you should avoid citrus fruits. Though, iguana can’t be offered fruits occasionally, they should never be offered acidic fruits such as grapefruit, oranges, limes, lemons, pineapples, tangerines, etc. It is also important to note that you shouldn’t feed your pet iguana foods that have been exposed to pesticides. Pesticides-exposed foods are really harmful and can cause several health damage to your iguana.
How often you should feed your iguana
According to the research conducted by veterinarians, most young iguanas need to be fed daily, while adult iguana can be fed every other day. Young iguanas need to bed fed at least twice a day for proper growth. You can reduce the feeding to once a day once your iguana is 2 feet long or overweighted. In addition, adequate fresh water is important for your iguana. In fact, iguanas do not only drink from water bowl, but also bathe in it. This is no surprise since reptiles absorb water through their skin and through drinking. Hence, it is essential to change the water bowl frequently.
In conclusion, iguanas are exotic pets and requires special attention and care. Though, iguanas are primarily folivores animals, they are also majorly herbivorous. You can feed your iguanas bananas, but it has to be in moderation. Iguanas need not more than 20% fruit in their diet; feeding them excessive banana will cause severe health issues. To sum it up, iguanas comes in different species, hence it is important for you to check your iguana up with the veterinarian regularly.