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How to Feed Your Iguana

By John Simmons TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

There are many aspects of caring for your iguana that you still need to take into consideration, even after building your habitat. Let's break them down here.

Iguanas are very delicate animals and part of that comes from their dietary needs. But, it will be up to you to determine what the right foods for your iguana are based on his tastes and your needs. But, we'll break it down for you too.

Don't be fooled by myths. Iguanas eat plants, not any type of insect or animal. If they do ingest this it is only by accident. They are herbivores! Don't make the mistake of feeding your iguana any type of animal protein.

As for what you should do, there are several things you'll need to take into consideration. First, anything that you give your pet should be clean, healthy and sterile. Fresh food and water is a must for you and so is it for them. You'll have an unhealthy living environment with a sick iguana if you allow them to drink dirty water.

You should feed your iguana daily. Give him clean water several times per day, too. Although you may hear that you don't have to do this, it is imperative to provide your pet with fresh food daily and allow him to eat as much as he wants.

Don't worry about over feeding them. They can't be overfed. But, how much; give them food and let them eat. You'll soon be able to tell just how much is too much and how much he wants. As he gets bigger, his appetite will grow, too. Feed him in the morning, after he's waken for the best, all day temperature aided digestion he needs.

Water is a funny thing with iguanas. In fact, you should train them to drink more water. To do this, use a highly enjoyed piece of lettuce, such as collards, and place a small amount of it in their water bowl. When he eats it, he'll take in water too. Soon, make the piece smaller and smaller until he is coming to the bowl to drink water rather than to eat the treat.

One thing that is important in feeding your iguana is the amount of calcium to phosphorus that they get. Its called the Calcium to phosphorus ratio or Ca:P. You want this ratio to be 2 to 1. Most foods are high in one but low in the other of these. Remember, a variety of foods is perfect for the iguana so keeping this in mind, feed him a diet of variety that provides a 2 to 1 ratio in these elements.

At least 40 percent of their diet should be made up of foods like turnip greens, collards, dandelion, water cress, and escarole.

Another 40 percent of their diets should provide vegetables like green beans, mushrooms, bell peppers, squashes, peas, parsnips, okra, alfalfa, sweet potatoes and carrots.

Keep this to less than ten percent of their diets and it can include foods like raspberries, mango, fig, apples, bananas, papaya, or melons.

Don't give more than five percent of this but it can come from alfalfa pellets or other commercial brands.

Less than five percent of their food can come from grains such as cooked rice and pasta, whole wheat breads of others.

There are other foods that should never be given to your iguana. Those include any type of insect or animal protein, any type of dairy product, no eggs, no type of other animal pet foods, no rhubarb. Some foods can be given but only sparingly such as foods that contain citrus, lettuce leaves, or tofu.

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Want to find out about giant iguana and iguana cage? Get tips from the Iguana Care website.

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