The pet spiny-tailed iguana diet has been cause for concern over the years. Now, just about every reptile enthusiast knows that iguanas are herbivores, but there is still an amazing amount of misinformation out there. That means that someone who knows nothing about iguanas but is interested in getting one, may still find much outdated information, including recommending feeding one canned dog or cat food.
The first thing everyone needs to know about the iguana diet is that it does not contain any kind of meat. Meat, to put it bluntly, is very bad for spiny-tailed iguanas. Animal protein is very bad for iguanas. In fact, iguanas should get very little protein at all, even from plants. That’s because protein stops them from absorbing the calcium that they need to remain healthy. Iguanas do not eat crickets, mealworms, pinkie mice, birds or any other food that is not a veggie or a fruit.
There is also a difference between healthy and unhealthy vegetables and fruit when it comes to an iguana’s diet. Lettuce has no nutritional worth to a spiny-tailed iguana. Neither do sprouts, mushrooms, tomatoes, zucchini, watermelon, or cucumbers. Broccoli, spinach, cabbage, bok choy, kale, cauliflower, and Brussels sprouts should only be given in very small quantities. Likewise, chards, beets and rhubarb.
Alfalfa is a good protein source for spiny-tailed iguanas and can best be found in rabbit food. The base of an iguana diet should be leafy greens. One of the best is mustard greens. Greens should be cut up so that your iguana gets as much to eat as possible. Other vegetables that should be basic for iguanas are dandelion greens, collard greens, water cress and escarole. They should not have romaine or leaf lettuce, either red or green. Make sure that the foods you are feeding your iguana have not been treated with pesticides.
Spiny-Tailed Iguanas love to eat some house plants so be sure to get them out of the reach of your iguana unless you want them to be eaten. They like hibiscus, nasturtium, violets, geraniums, spider plants, fichus and Wandering Jew.
Fruits are good for an iguana diet but only as additions. They should never be a high percentage of the diet. In fact, try not to give more than ten percent fruit. The favorite fruit of a spiny-tailed iguana is the banana. Be careful about feeding it too often or your iguana will get picky and not want to eat other fruits. He can eat apples, blackberries, cantaloupe, grapes, honey dew melon, kiwis, mangoes, pears and strawberries.
Occasional vegetables can include:
- Yellow Squash
- Swiss Chard
- Sweet Potatoes
- Spaghetti Squash
- Beets and Beet Greens
- Acorn Squash.