What Not To Feed
While it is important to know the correct foods to feed your iguana, it is just as important to know what things NOT to feed, and WHY. The following lists some of the most common 'no-nos' in iguana diets.
1. Animal protein of ANY kind - cat or dog food, meat, cheese, insects, money biscuits, etc. Iguanas are obligate herbivores. Their bodies physically cannot process animal proteins. Feeding animal proteins puts a huge strain on the kidneys and liver and lead to an early death from kidney or liver failure.
2. Spinach and parsley. Yes, they are dark leafy greens, I know. But, they are also very high in oxalates. Oxalates bind the calcium your iguana needs for strong bones. Avoid feeding spinach and parsley.
3. Kale and Broccoli - these are two major goitrogens that can lead to thyroid problems if fed too much. A little bit in moderation is OK, but they should not be a staple.
4. Tofu - this is another 'only in moderation' food. A little bit as a treat once in a while won't hurt, but it is often high in fat and too much is not good for igs.
5. Lettuce - No lettuce. I don't care if it's iceberg, romaine, red leaf or green leaf. Lettuces have virtually no nutritional value whatsoever. They are simply water and fiber.
6. Commercial iguana foods - yes, I know it would be so much more convenient if we could just buy a jar or two of prepackaged ig food in the pet store like we do for cats and dogs. However, most commercial diets on the market today are NOT healthy for iguanas. Most are not nutritionally balanced (no matter what the labels may say...remember, they WANT you to buy their product, and there are NO regulations on reptile products!) and almost all of them are notorious for dehydrating iguanas. Some even contain animal protein. While it can be time consuming to prepare your ig's fresh diet daily, it is far and away the healthiest option.
Solar Drops / UVB Drops - These are one of the biggest scams on the
market for reptiles. These are simply liquid D3. Iguanas cannot process
dietary D3 - they can only synthesize it with the help of UVB. Using
these supplements will NOT replace the need for proper UVB, and can
also harm the kidneys and liver as they work overtime to process out
all that excess D3 the body can't use.
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