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In terms of weight, a fully grown Iguana can weigh approximately 9 pounds. If you want your Iguana to grow this big, you should consider feeding the little guy the right type of food.
Like all lizards in captivity, there are certain rules that you should follow when feeding an Iguana.
With that being said, certain foods can cause serious health complications or death in worst-case scenarios.
The latter can apply if the food in question is ingested in large amounts at once or over a long duration.
As such, you need to be extra cautious, especially when introducing new foods to your Iguanas diet.
Basics about Iguana Diet
When it comes to feeding Iguanas, one thing that you should keep in mind is that they are herbivores, meaning they mostly feed on plant materials.
Moreover, their digestive system can effectively break down plant matter in a matter of hours after feeding.
Iguanas can get all the dietary nutrients that they need from different plants, so ensure that your pet’s diet has more greens than anything else.
According to expert pet parents, an Iguana’s diet should consist of 80-90% veg/greens. Fruits, on the other hand, should not make more than 20% of the diet.
If you are new to keeping Iguanas, this rule can help you know what to include or not to include in the lizard’s diet.
However, Iguanas need leafy vegetables more than anything, so you should not replace some of the vegetables in your pet’s diet with watermelon.
How Often Should I Feed My Iguana Watermelon?
Iguanas need a varied diet regardless of whether they are in the wild or captivity. In the wild, they can choose what to eat from the multiple options of plant materials that nature offers.
Nonetheless, captive Iguanas have no option but to rely on the owner to provide the right foods.
Your Iguana will only stay healthy if you feed them a nutritiously balanced diet. The term balanced, in this case, means you should feed your lizard friend a wide range of foods in the right proportions.
Since watermelons and other fruits should only make a small percentage of an Iguanas diet, you need to limit their intake.
If you are planning on adding watermelons to your Iguana’s diet, you need to choose specific feeding days without sacrificing any of the vegetables.
As such, you can feed your Iguana watermelons 2-3 times per week. This may, however, vary depending on the Iguanas diet.
If you are already feeding the Iguana other fruits, you can limit the feeding to once per week. That way, your Iguana won’t eat too much fruit.
In addition to this, you need to minimize the portions in each serving session so that your pet doesn’t eat the watermelon in excessive amounts.
Following these rules may seem somewhat difficult, but rest assured that your pet lizard won’t have any problems provided that you do everything correctly.
How to Serve Watermelon to an Iguana
To achieve the above feeding recommendations, there is a way in which you are supposed to feed your Iguana watermelon.
Besides, this will make your work easier when determining the portions, thereby lowering the chances of feeding the Iguana too much melon.
How you prepare the watermelon matters a lot, especially when dealing with juvenile Iguanas.
When serving watermelons to Iguanas, you should cut the fruit into small manageable pieces that the lizard can eat without straining.
Most Iguana keepers prefer slicing the melon into cubes since it gives the lizard an easy time when picking the pieces.
For the safety of your Iguana, ensure that you serve all fruits in a feeding container. You should avoid throwing the melon pieces directly into the enclosure since they can easily be contaminated.
As you know, Iguana enclosures contain substrates and excrements that can cause health problems when ingested.
Like other members of the reptilian species, Iguanas can get fecal impaction when they eat indigestible substances.
Most substrates (especially those that are loosely packed) can cause blockage in the intestinal tract.
When fruits are tossed into the cage minus a feeding container, there is a high probability that your Iguana will gulp everything, including the excrements and the substrates.
This will, in turn, force you to spend a lot of money at the vets when treating the Iguana.
There is also a possibility that the Iguana may die from gastrointestinal complications, so the best that you can do is to serve fruits and other foods hygienically and in the right way.
Can Iguanas Eat Watermelon Rind?
Now that you are sure Iguanas can eat watermelon, what about the rind, can they eat that as well?
Iguanas can eat watermelon rind, but it will all depend on how it is served. You shouldn’t give your Iguana large chunks of watermelon rind since it can be a choking hazard.
Despite having sharp teeth, Iguanas cannot bite through watermelon rind because it is tough. As such, ensure that you peel off the rind before slicing the melon.
Besides, Iguana teeth are not designed for chewing, and that is exactly why your lizard friend swallows everything whole.
If you want your Iguana to benefit from the nutrients in the watermelon rind, you can consider grating the rind into small pieces. The rind is rich in vitamin C, an essential nutrient for Iguana skin.
Also, don’t forget to wash the rind before feeding it to your Iguana. Washing can help you rinse off traces of agricultural chemicals that may have been used when growing the melon.
Aside from that, it removes potentially harmful germs and parasites that may affect the health of the lizard.
Is It Safe For Iguanas To Eat Watermelon Leaves?
Most parts of the watermelon plant are edible. And because Iguanas like eating greens, there is no problem if you feed them watermelon leaves.
Like the pink part and the rind, watermelon leaves contain helpful nutrients that will improve the overall wellbeing of your pet lizard.
The good thing about watermelon leaves is that they don’t require much preparation.
Moreover, Iguana teeth work best when they are used for harvesting leaves. And since they are born with teeth, Iguanas can start eating leaves even when they are still babies.
Unlike the fruit, you can feed your Iguana watermelon leaves without worrying about anything. Still, ensure that you provide the lizard with other vegetables to maintain a proper diet.
In addition to this, the leaves should be thoroughly washed to remove dirt and other contaminants that may harm your pet.
Do Iguanas Eat Watermelon Flowers?
Besides leafy greens and fruits, Iguanas also like eating flowers. They are particularly attracted to brightly colored flowers like those found in watermelon plants.
Finding watermelon flowers can be a bit challenging since they are rarely sold in stores. If you have a few melons growing in your garden, you can consider getting the flowers from there.
Just ensure that you don’t harvest all the flowers since the fruits come from the flowers.
Watermelon flowers are not only rich in nutrients but also easy to digest, meaning your Iguana won’t experience any GI complications after eating.
Can Baby Iguanas Eat Watermelon?
Like the adults, baby Iguanas can eat watermelons in minimal amounts. The same applies to juveniles.
As mentioned earlier, baby Iguanas are born with razor-sharp teeth that can tear through plant materials effortlessly. Ensure that you prepare the watermelon fruit properly before feeding it to baby Iguanas.
To give the little guys an easy time, the melon should be sliced into tiny portions that can easily fit into the Iguana’s mouth.
Additionally, you shouldn’t stuff baby Iguanas with too much melon since this can prevent them from eating enough vegetables.
Instead, you should serve small portions a few times a week while supplying other fruits as well. Baby Iguanas need a calcium-rich diet, so greens should top your pet’s feeding list.
Health Benefits of Feeding Watermelons to Iguanas
Fruits such as watermelon can also be fed to Iguanas as supplements. Watermelons can provide your lizard friend with bountiful benefits.
However, this only applies when the fruit is served occasionally and in small amounts. If it were up to your Iguana, the lizard would eat a whole watermelon in one feeding session.
That will, however, be unhealthy, so it is up to you to minimize the portions as recommended.
Here are some of the nutritional benefits that your Iguana can get from eating watermelons:
On average watermelons contain 92% water. They are, without a doubt, one of the most hydrating fruits.
Like all living organisms, Iguanas need water to perform various biological processes in the body.
Plus, Iguanas get most of their water from the plant materials that they eat, so watermelons can be an excellent addition to your lizard’s diet.
If you think your Iguana is dehydrated, a few chunks of watermelon can provide the pet with the water that it needs.
A single serving can keep your Iguana hydrated for several hours. However, you should still place a bowl of water in the lizard’s enclosure, just in case they need to hydrate more.
2. Source of Essential Nutrients
Watermelons are loaded with vitamin C and other nutrients that can help your Iguana in multiple ways.
In fact, research has shown that vitamin C can reverse hyperkeratosis in Iguanas and other lizards. Hyperkeratosis occurs when the outermost layer of the Iguana’s skin thickens more than usual.
To add to this, watermelon contains potent antioxidants that can reverse oxidative damage in cells. As such, your Iguana will be less likely to fall sick.
Some of the nutrients found in watermelons have anti-inflammatory properties, so they can boost the healing process in case the Iguana hurts itself.
Also, watermelons contain a significant amount of calcium. Each cup serving contains up to 10.78 mg of Ca.
3. Dietary Fiber
The pink part of the watermelon fruit doesn’t contain a lot of fiber, but the rind does. You can grind the rind such that your Iguana can eat it without choking.
Fiber is essential in an Iguana’s diet because it prevents constipation and other gastrointestinal complications.
When fed to Iguanas in the right way, watermelons can provide your pet lizard with other health benefits.
What Type Of Foods Should I Feed My Iguana?
Calcium is particularly essential during the early stages of growth since it aids in the formation of skeletal muscles and bones.
Calcium deficiency in Iguanas can cause metabolic bone disease and other health problems that can be fatal.
Adding watermelon to your Iguana’s diet can be a great idea since the fruit has a lot to offer. To get even better results, you can mix watermelon with other fruits.
Ensure that you minimize the serving portions so that the lizard can be able to eat enough vegetables.
Besides, there is no perfect diet for pet Iguanas. The best that you can do as a pet parent is to provide the right foods while avoiding those that can harm your lizard.