What Do Iguanas Eat

Wondering what do iguanas eat? Contrary to what you may have heard, the green iguanas that people keep as pets are strict herbivores. They only eat insects accidentally, or when there is no vegetation for them to eat.

Fruits, Greens and Vegetables
In the wild, the iguana diet includes the mature leaves of trees, certain flowers and fruits and berries. Captive iguanas eat what we can provide for them, but they should have a diet that mirrors what they would get in the wild.

An iguana's sharp teeth are designed to clip leaves, not to chew or bite. When you're preparing iguana food, it must be cut up into small pieces. Iguanas swallow their food whole, and its easier to digest and more nutritious if its in small pieces.

Tips for Feeding Your Iguana
An iguana needs one part calcium for one part of phosphorus in its diet. Too much phosphorus can lead to metabolic bone disease.

Sixty percent of an iguana's diet should be leafy greens, including

  • Turnip greens
  • Collard greens
  • Dandelion greens
  • Mustard greens

You can also feed spinach, chard, kale and carrot tops. Rotate the greens. Do not feed just one type of green every day. Use two or three different types of greens in each meal. Do not use lettuce as a substitute for greens. Lettuce has very few nutrients, so it's junk food for iguanas. Stay away from rhubarb, which is toxic to iguanas.

Thirty percent of the iguana's diet should be vegetables. Iguanas enjoy green beans, squash, peas, yams, carrots, parsnips and asparagus. Do not feed broccoli, cauliflower, brussel sprouts, beets, mushrooms, cucumbers, zucchini or bell peppers on a regular basis. These can be used as a treat.

The other 10% of the diet should be about 5% fruit and 5% grains. Too much fruit will cause the iguana to have diarrhea. You can slip your iguana some whole-wheat bread as a treat and as a source of grains.

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