Food is the basis of the health of any living being. Iguanas have started to become popular as pets not too long ago. According to veterinary experts, many people did not know about the diet that corresponds to these animals and their life expectancy as pets was, a few years ago, shorter than it is now.
It is essential that before adopting an iguana in your home you learn what food it needs and use the feed created for it. Each animal needs a specific diet, so feed these reptiles only the human foods that are healthy for them. In this article we will help you get to know iguanas and their nutritional needs better.
The most important
- Iguanas are herbivorous reptiles and, therefore, they basically eat vegetables and some fruits. The most common species when choosing a species of iguana as a pet is the green one. But there are other variants, according to the tastes of each one.
- It is very important that the food you give your iguana contains a lot of calcium to keep the animal’s bones healthy and strong. To metabolize its nutrients, this animal needs UVB rays. You also need phosphorus but without being excessive because that can be harmful.
- You must know very well the nutritional needs of your iguana when you go to buy food. The nutrients these animals need are not the same as other animals. Also the age of the animal should influence your purchase choice.
The best food products for iguana on the market: our recommendations
In this section you can find a list of the five most popular food products for iguana that exist on the market. And, along with this list, you have a detailed guide to each of the articles to understand what the food components are. Surely it will be very useful to better understand the habits of your pet.
- The most sophisticated iguana food
- The best food for young iguanas
- The most complete iguana food
- The most versatile food for iguana
- The best food on sticks for iguana
The most sophisticated iguana food
This is a herbivorous reptile food, created for tortoises and iguanas. It contains high quality vegetable proteins, fats and vitamins. Each piece of food has a core with characteristics and a ring. The latter comes with a blend of more than 20 selected herbs. The package can be purchased in 4 different sizes.
The core of the product contains essential vitamins, prepared in a low temperature process, with minerals and algae, to reinforce the natural defenses. It contains calcium and phosphorus, two very important nutrients for the iguana’s bones. The package can be purchased in 4 different sizes. It is only for a herbivorous diet.
The best food for young iguanas
This 260 gram jar comes with added vitamins and minerals and its vendors highlight that it does not contain corn, a food that has no nutritional value for reptiles and that some brands use as a filler ingredient. Exo Terra iguana food has been formulated to ensure the proper and healthy growth of these reptiles. It has plants and fruits.
Some buyers recommend mixing this food with green leaves. It is recommended to take the indicated food according to the weight of the iguana every morning and what is left over, remove it at night instead of leaving it for the next day. Among its ingredients there are legumes, cereals, fish and fish by-products, glycerin, mineral substances and oils among others.
The most complete iguana food
This iguana food is enriched with legumes and calcium. Its manufacturers say that it is completely natural, without artificial colors. Among others, it includes spirulina, beta-carotene, amino acids, enzymes, and vitamins (including vitamin C). It is a slightly moist food, so it is not necessary to add water.
According to the nutritional information that accompanies the container, 24% of the total food is crude protein, while 13% is fiber, 11% ash, 1.2% calcium and less than 1%, in the case of phosphorus and sodium. It tastes like cassava and green leafy vegetables, according to the manufacturers. Water can be added to make the iguana like its food more.
The most versatile food for iguana
This iguana food can be administered dry or moistened with water. And it can be mixed with fresh foods such as romaine lettuce, dandelion or nettle, which the animal will like very much. According to its manufacturers, it has 13.5% crude protein, 1.5% lipids, 11% fiber, 5.5% humidity and 8.2% crude ash, among other components. .
In addition, it has various vitamins and elements such as calcium, phosphorus, iron, manganese or zinc. It is made up of corn stew, wheat flour, aromatic herbs, alfalfa, wheat gluten, seaweed, nettle, brewer’s yeast, parsley, carrots, spirulina, peppers, sugar, spinach and mollusks.
The best food on sticks for iguana
This food, which comes in the form of pellets or sticks, is used to feed various species of animals and is made up of a high proportion of proteins, minerals, vitamins and trace elements. Specifically, the protein of this product amounts to 33%. The fiber it contains is 4% and the humidity is 10%.
The food bars come in a clear plastic bottle without any nutritional information. There are only the details that the seller gives. One user claims that it may be difficult to chew, but it can be mixed with water to facilitate this. Also some types of turtles and fish can feed on this food.
Shopping Guide: What You Should Know About Iguana Food
A good diet will have a positive impact on the health and quality of life of your iguana. To keep your bones strong and fit, feed your body the nutrients its body needs. In these lines you will learn more about the needs of these reptiles that are gaining popularity as pets in homes.
What kind of animal is an iguana and what food does it need?
The iguana is a herbivorous and oviparous reptile. That is, it lays eggs and eats vegetables. Specifically, 80% of your diet should contain vegetables, according to experts. The idea is to offer him a daily portion of the special feed created for iguanas and mix it with vegetables, the leaves being highly appreciated by these animals. Also small doses of fruits.
About a third of the vegetables that we give to this animal should be rich in calcium, such as endive, beets, chard, cabbage or parsley. Fiber is very useful for your body. Specialized feed already contains this element and can also be offered through small pieces of whole wheat bread. There is food like meat that you should not eat.
How much food should an iguana eat each day?
The proportion of food that you offer to this animal each day will depend mainly on the size of its body. According to experts, depending on the length and weight of your pet, you should give him a certain amount of food. Obviously, the greater the weight and size, the more food, since your body will have more needs.
In addition, the common thing is to give it its food once a day and look at the end of the day if there is anything left over or if it has finished everything, to take into account how much your iguana eats. The animal will not eat everything at once as others do, but will eat food in small quantities throughout the day. If you see that he has left over, give him less so as not to waste.
Can you give my iguana I only think as food?
Although the special feed provides many nutrients for the body of your iguana, it should not be the exclusive food. It must be complemented with fresh vegetables and fruits. Later you will see a list of what these are. Therefore, do not give him his feed exclusively because he will be missing something. And don’t just give her the vegetables. Add the feed as a food supplement.
At what time should I feed my iguana and why?
All experts recommend offering food to the iguana first thing in the morning. There are two reasons. First of all, it is good that you start eating before dawn. If you do it before taking your first sunbath, an activity that gives you a lot of energy and that you like a lot, you will metabolize food better when you get the light of the aforementioned star.
It should be explained here that when the iguana is exposed to the UVB rays emitted by the sun, it produces vitamin D3, and this is necessary to absorb the calcium provided by food. Calcium is optimal for strong bones. On the other hand, this species of reptile requires a temperature of more than 25º to be able to digest food correctly.
Another reason is that these animals eat food in small amounts throughout the day. So, when you give him food in the morning, you help your pet to have his food, so that he takes it little by little, as he likes to do. It is recommended to remove what is left over at night and give new food the next day.
Why should I remove my iguana’s leftover food at night?
It is always recommended to remove the food at the end of the day, in case you have given the food in the morning. The objective is to keep the terrarium clean and that your animal does not eat a meal that, after so many hours, has lost its freshness. In addition to this, if we take into account that without light an iguana is not able to digest, it is not recommended that it eat at night.
Should I feed a baby iguana the same food as an adult one?
No. Needs will change as you age. 95% of the baby iguana’s diet should be vegetables and green leaves, while only 5% should be fruits and I think special food for iguanas. They eat twice a day. Young can also, very occasionally, eat insects, and ingest more than a baby iguana.
When they reach adulthood and later into old age, the iguana is completely herbivorous. Vegetables, fruits, and leafy greens will make up your entire diet. In stores you can also find specific feed for these pets, according to their age. In larger iguanas, it is recommended to use the feed as a treat to accompany the leaves.
Can my iguana take food from a tortoise?
It can happen, on occasions, that a food created for iguanas is also for tortoises. Some of the nutrients they need are similar. However, don’t buy a turtle meal if the product doesn’t specify that it will also serve your reptile. And the extra food you give him must be different. They are still different animals.
In addition, it is very important to keep in mind that you should never give him food created for water turtles because the nutritional needs are totally different. Water animals eat a lot of fish, and it is that they need a large amount of protein of animal origin that for an iguana can be harmful.
What species of iguana are common as pets and how does their food vary?
There is a huge variety of iguanas, native to many parts of the world. Many of them cannot be a pet. But others do. Although so far we have been looking at the characteristics of iguanas in general terms, in the following table we will see that there are differences according to species. You can see a summary of the most popular species.
Which human food is healthy for an iguana and which is harmful?
The organism of an iguana is very different from that of humans. Therefore, as with other animals, do not give him the leftovers of your food, but you must buy the feed adapted to his needs and you can always add food that you have for yourself. Some will look great on your reptile.
What happens if I don’t give my iguana enough calcium-containing food?
Lack of calcium can be one of the most common and damaging problems in an iguana. Therefore, it is very important to take into account the label of a product when you go to buy it and understand its components. Lack of calcium adversely affects an iguana’s bones and can lead to Metabolic Bone Disease, also called osteodystrophy.
In addition to giving your pet enough calcium with their food, remember that they cannot lack type B (UVB) ultraviolet light, present in sunlight and in special fluorescent for reptiles, which helps them metabolize this nutrient. Also, try not to give it too much phosphorus. Specifically, an iguana should consume twice as much calcium as phosphorus.
Bone decalcification can result in certain fractures in your limbs that are not always easy to see. Sometimes only small bumps are seen. It can also lead to constipation and bulging of the abdomen. Another serious consequence of a lack of calcium is that it affects the kidney and it can stop working properly.
You may have already seen that when someone decides to adopt an iguana as a companion animal, they must be well informed, since this will directly affect the reptile’s health. Therefore, in the following lines we give you the guidelines on what aspects you should observe when you go to choose a feed to feed your pet.
- Age of the iguana
- Shape and size
You have already been able to see which foods are beneficial for your iguana. A food created for these pets has to carry the foods that are healthy for them. You have to look at the label. Note that many green leaves have been used for its preparation. And, at the same time, do not bring food that does not contribute anything to an iguana and only makes it fat, such as corn.
You should also make sure that it carries the appropriate nutrient levels. Pay close attention to getting enough calcium. Minerals and vitamins will be very important for the growth of the animal. At a minimum, it should contain the following nutrients, in this order. The list goes from those that should have the most presence to those that least.
- Vegetable proteins
- Crude fat
- Crude fiber
Age of the iguana
Depending on how old your iguana is, it will require different nutrients. When they are babies they are exclusively vegan, although when they are growing, in their youth, they can integrate an insect, that is, they tolerate animal protein. On many occasions you can find specific foods for your iguana depending on the stage of life in which it is.
It is very important that the quality of your iguana’s food is optimal. We have already seen that this will have a direct impact on your health. So don’t skimp on the price. We already know that when we adopt an animal we will have more expenses. It is important that you do not include cheap and filling foods, such as cereals, which satiate an iguana, but do not provide it with nutrients.
Shape and size
It is important that the food you give your iguana is not in large or hard pieces. These animals do not chew food, as we saw previously. What they do is break small pieces before putting them in their mouths and swallowing them directly. So it is good that your food is easy to cut, small and fits in your mouth so that it is easy to swallow.
Most iguanas, especially the most common in homes, are herbivorous. They need a large amount of green leafy vegetables and a small amount of fruit, which gives them the necessary fiber. In the market there is a wide variety of special food for iguanas, which must be supplemented with human food.
It is important that you always give him fresh food. An iguana fed as it should be will be able to live for many years and have a good quality of life, without health problems. Calcium should never be lacking and neither should UVB light to metabolize its benefits well in your body. If the sun is out, you can buy a special lamp.