Eat this and not that. What foods should you be feeding your iguana and what foods are toxic to iguanas?
I find it daunting to put together the right dietary plan for my iguana who refuses to eat sometimes unless I provide more variety and balance to these meals.
In this article, it’s important to spend more time and devotion to make sure we steer clear of toxic foods to not give iguanas.
What Foods Are Toxic to Iguanas?
Toxic foods for iguanas include anything sprayed with pesticides and not washed properly. Avoid foods high in oxalic acid or oxalates.
Stay away from persin, phytoestrogens, goitrogenic foods, thyroid blocking foods, commercially packaged foods, animal proteins and many more items that we need to explain further.
Please keep reading this helpful article to get to know the specific foods that are included in these categories of toxic foods and foods to avoid feeding your iguana.
Best Foods for Iguanas
The best part of this best foods list is that it is plentiful and only scratching the surface of all the choices you still have available to you.
Your iguana is going to thank you for offering such great choices including the following:
- Plums (no pit)
- Sweet peppers
- sweet potatoes
- beans (lima, green, butter, snaps)
- green and sugar peas
Premade commercial foods fortified with vitamins/supplements
- Wet canned foods
- pellet foods
Be careful with commercial foods that are simple and easy to deliver to our iguanas. Pelleted food that is canned and packaged foods do not hold the nutrition and bioavailability of nutrients the way fresh fruits and vegetables do for our herbivore companions to enjoy.
They are convenient foods that are helpful during travel or emergencies when nothing else is available.
Foods To Avoid For Iguanas
We do not think that protein rich foods are necessarily toxic for iguanas, but they are not healthy in the long run. Your iguana could develop problems in their fatty tissue, kidneys and livers. If your iguana turns black, consult this article.
Disorders can be caused from feeding them foods with phytoestrogens such as soybeans. Any of the safe foods to feed an iguana can turn toxic if they are laced or sprayed with pesticides.
- Avoid meaty diets with regular feeding of protein rich foods such as insects, larvae, poultry, red meat, fish.
- Avoid greens that are high in oxalic acid such as beetroot, rhubarb, parley, leeks
- Avoid oxalates in fruits such as kiwi
- Avoid tofu and soy products for their phytoestrogens, proteins and oxalates.
- Avoid brussels sprouts, broccoli and foods that block thyroid hormones
Toxic Foods For Iguanas
Iguana should not be ingesting chemicals and added sugar on any food items. Everything needs to be thoroughly washed to be free of pesticides and other chemical agents.
Toxic foods include:
- Foods high in persin such as avocado
- Caffeinated drinks or beans
- Sports drinks
- Sugary foods
- Dairy and eggs
- Oxalates or foods high in oxalic acid as they bind to calcium and cause deficiency or bone diseases
- Goitrogenic foods such as cabbage, broccoli, Brussel sprouts, Bok Choy, kale, rutabaga.
- Yew of any type
- Apple leaf
- Rhubarb leaves
- Poison ivy, German ivy, Glacier ivy
- Cacao tree
- Wild cherry
- Juniper Aloe
- Toxic mushrooms
- Red maple
- Bracken fern
- Felt plants
- Thorn apple
- Chinese lantern
- Panda plant
- Christmas cherry
- Castor bean
Avoiding toxic plants that are on this list and many others that aren’t involves not roaming wild and natural spaces like forests while allowing your iguana to munch on anything in sight.
If you have never heard of a particular plant or don’t know what it looks like, stick to the vegetables and plants that you do know.
Discuss some plants with the vet next time to see if you can add some of the wild growing items in and around your property for your iguana’s diet.
Can Iguanas Eat Protein?
Small portions of protein are accessible for iguanas to eat, but overall they do not rely on it for their survival. There is enough protein in plants to pull from the offering them meaty foods is not recommended.
Avoid these protein rich foods:
- Red meat
- Dog food
- Cat food
Too much protein causes disorders for iguanas in the livers and kidneys. Pesticides on plants and leaves are even worse.
What Not To Feed Iguanas
Let’s take this a step further and get right down to foods to never feed your iguana. Here we go:
1. Animal protein.
2. Spinach and parsley high in oxalates.
3. Kale and Broccoli as goitrogens leading to thyroid problems
4. Tofu and soybeans high in fat, protein and phytoestrogens
5. Commercial iguana food. As mentioned previously, these commercial foods lack the necessary nutrients that your iguanas get from plants, veggies and fruits. There are many cases of commercially packaged iguana food causing dehydration.
6. UVB Drops. Also referred to as solar drops, these supplements are supposed to provide dietary D3 which they cannot process this way. Excess D3 is a problem for their livers and kidneys and doesn’t substitute UVB lighting or natural sunlight.
Now that you have a list of foods to feed and not feed your iguana, there is another matter to consider. Maybe the foods are not causing the toxic reactions that many iguanas have experienced.
It could be due to the unsanitary conditions they are living in or residue and chemicals such as cleaning agents mixing with their food.
Cleaning the enclosure with bleach or harsh chemicals may interact with your iguanas mouth and gut when they make direct contact with them. Be careful, be warned and good luck feeding your iguana the best foods possible while avoid the rest if you can.
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