Little Critters Veterinary Hospital - Gilbert AZ
Iguanas are herbivores – eat veggies.
Iguanas are a lizard that I do not recommend purchasing as a pet unless you understand and are willing to provide for all their very special needs.
These guys will grow to be very large and males often become aggressive, have razor sharp teeth that can cause serious injury, and a strong tail that can be used like a whip.
When buying an iguana (or any reptile) it is important to first research their needs and be certain that you can provide the space, diet and environment that they require. It is not uncommon to see advanced metabolic bone disease in Iguanas due to poor diet and environment.
MBD is a lack of bone density due to low calcium and vitamin D (or sunlight) in the diet. MBD results in scoliosis, fractures and inability to walk.
We also frequently see adult iguana that have become so large that they cannot be kept by their current owners. Unfortunately many of the iguana rescue groups are full to overflowing with rescued iguanas and are not always able to provide a home for these guys. Please realize that these guys get very large and be certain that you’ll be able to care for they later in life before you buy that baby iguana.
I recommend feeding a mixed leafy green salad with diced veggies daily. These guys will also need a calcium supplement (phosphorus free) and either direct sunlight or a vitamin D supplement as part of a multivitamin and adequate humidity.
Another problem with iguanas is dehydration and kidney disease.
They need much higher humidity levels than we are often able to provide in captivity.
I suggest soaking in warm shallow water daily to improve hydration. Kidney disease is often linked to high dietary protein intake.
Iguanas are not carnivores and should not be fed dog food.