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Dietary Recommendations for Green Iguanas

Green Iguanas are herbivorous (plant eating) and, in the wild, feed almost entirely on the leaves of various vines and trees. They do not have gizzards like birds and, therefore, do not require grit in the diet. Similarly they are not insectivorous at any time in their lives; they are herbivorous from birth (although the occasional insect may be taken opportunistically).

In captivity, Green Iguanas should be fed a mixture of greens, vegetables, and fruits. Food should be prepared fresh daily and water should be available at all times. All plant material should be washed, chopped, mixed and served at room temperature or slightly warmer. Discard any uneaten food after a few hours. Recommended diets, ingredients, amounts, and schedules are listed below.

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Hatchlings up to 14 inches in length:
85% plant matter 15% high protein plant matter such as alfalfa pellets. Plant material to be finely chopped or shredded. Feed twice daily or have food continuously available.

Juveniles up to 2.5 years of age or 14 inches to 3 feet in length:
90-100% plant material, reduce volume of pellets offered, if any. Plant material to be chopped fine to medium or shredded. Feed once daily.

Adults over 2.5 years of age or over 3 feet in length:
100% plant material, no alfalfa pellets should be offered at this time. Plant material to be chopped coarsely. Feed once daily.

Recommended diet ingredients:
Calcium rich vegetables: should comprise 30-40% of diet, offer two or more items per feeding. Examples: Turnip greens, mustard greens, beet greens, kale, collards, bok choy, Swiss chard, dandelions, parsley, romaine, escarole, spinach, alfalfa pellets. Other vegetables: should comprise 30-40% of diet, feed a variety weekly.

EXAMPLES: Thawed frozen mixed vegetables, squash, zucchini, sweet potatoes, bell pepper, broccoli, peas, beans, okra, grated carrot, bean sprouts. Fruits, no more than 15% of diet. Such as Figs, Papaya, melon, apple, peaches, plums, strawberries, tomatoes, banana (with skin), grapes, kiwi.

Iguanas are strictly herbivores and SHOULD NOT be fed animal protein.  DO NOT feed dog or cat food, or whole prey.

Modest amounts of vitamin/mineral supplementation are used to balance out the diet. If your iguana is housed indoors, choose supplements with Vitamin D3. Vitamin D3 is the form of Vitamin D used by reptiles, and this is a better source than Vitamin D2. If your iguana spends more than a couple of hours outside in direct sunlight per week, choose a calcium supplement WITHOUT D3 as they will recieve more than enough from the direct sunlight and can be overdosed if additional supplementation is administered. Powdered calcium with or without D3 and multivitamin powders are available at most major pet stores. Mix two parts vitamin supplement with one part mineral supplement and feed as follows: For hatchlings and juveniles: one small pinch per feeding. For adult males: one full pinch per two pounds body weight, twice weekly. Adult females: one full pinch per feeding from December until egg lying, then once weekly the remainder of the year.