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Feeding of Green Iguana

Green iguanas are herbivores, dining exclusively on leaves, flowers, and fruits in the wild. Unfortunately, not all the plants that are available to green iguanas in their natural habitat are also available to hobbyists keeping these lizards in captivity. The best way to ensure that they are still getting the nutrition they need is to provide a varied diet, including a wide selection of vegetables and fruits. There is no reason to offer your green iguana anything other than plant matter.

A diet of vegetables, fruits, and leafy greens should be broken down as follows: one-fifth fruits, two-fifths solid vegetables, and two-fifths leafy greens. The types of these components that are offered will vary based on availability, cost, and perhaps personal preference. Keep in mind that variety is the key to a healthy diet for your iguana. Therefore, you cannot offer, say, three different vegetables, two different fruits, and a leafy green and expect your pet to stay healthy. A nutritious diet should include at least ten different items.

The following are some suggested food choices for your green iguana. It is okay to stray from this list, but you should consult a reference of food nutrient values to make sure the additional items you want to offer have a significant nutritional merit. Good choices for solid vegetables include green beans, bell peppers, snow peas, radish, okra, parsnip, squash, and asparagus. Leafy green offerings should include collard greens, mustard greens, parsley, dandelion greens, rapini, escarole, leeks, watercress, endives, and arugula. Some good fruit options are raspberries, blackberries, grapes, pears, prickly pear, figs, mangoes, and papaya.

Adding a calcium supplement powder to your green iguana’s diet is highly recommended. It is very difficult to supply enough calcium to your lizard through calcium-rich foods. Therefore, a supplement should ensure that his calcium requirement is met.

You should feed your green iguana on a daily basis, if possible. Five or six feedings a week is about right for the average iguana, but the feeding frequency will depend on the amount of food that you give at each feeding and the size of the iguana. Most green iguanas, particularly adults, eat a large amount of food and will be hungry every day, especially if they get used to being fed that often. Obese iguanas are very rare, so your attention should be focused on the opposite extreme of making sure your pet is not undernourished.

Making sure water is always available for your green iguana is also important. Place a water bowl in his enclosure so that he can drink whenever he is thirsty. It is a good idea to change the water daily to keep bacteria growth at bay. Don’t be concerned if your iguana doesn’t seem to be drinking too much, as their vegetable-heavy diet provides a large amount of the water they require.

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