Just the name of the reptile gives birth to visions of tropical forests and beaches. Iguanas are becoming a popular choice for those who want an exotic and unusual pet. It does not take to long to realize that an iguana is not a dog or cat. Along with this comes the awareness that as a new owner, you do not have a clue as to what your pet requires to stay healthy and happy. If you can master what the iguana needs to eat to thrive, you will have made a giant leap toward being a responsible pet owner.
Iguanas are vegetarians.
Unlike many other species that eat primarily vegetation, iguanas do not supplement their diet with other ingredients other than plant materials. About 15% of what you feed your iguana needs to be fiber. Younger iguanas need slightly less and older iguanas need slightly more. As long as you do not get too carried away with certain fruits in the diet, the fiber should take care of itself.
Feed your iguana dark green leafy vegetation.
Some leafy vegetable matter like spinach should be fed sparingly. A little research into the latest information in this area would be wise because much of what is known about successfully raising a captive iguana is still being written. You can harvest the dandelions with the flowers from your yard and feed them to your iguana. Most lettuce is suitable for its diet.
Some cautions are needed for feeding a commercially prepared iguana diet.
Do not feed dried plant matter to your iguana until you have soaked it in water to rehydrate it somewhat. It is recommended that feeds with alfalfa as the base ingredient are preferred. Try to avoid making commercial diets the only thing that you feed your iguana. Shoot for at least half of the reptile’s diet to be made up of fresh food.
Adult iguanas do not have to be fed every day.
You may want to set up a feeding schedule for your adult iguana so that you do not feed it too often or forget to feed it. An adult iguana can survive quite well by only being fed about three time per week. For young iguanas, plan on feeding them a finely chopped diet every day. Consult your veterinarian regarding the quantity of food that you provide per meal in relation to the size and weight of the reptile. Your veterinarian can also tell you if your iguana needs to be fed a portion of feces from a healthy adult iguana to aid its digestive tract to function.
Make fresh fruit a part of the diet.
Iguanas like fresh fruit. However, they do not need to have it every meal. Think of fruit as a treat or dessert for the iguana. A piece of fruit a time or two per week is sufficient to give variety to the diet.