What foods are toxic to iguanas?

Answered by Willian Lymon

Iguanas are herbivores, meaning they primarily eat plants. However, not all plants are safe for them to consume. Some foods can be toxic to iguanas and should be avoided to ensure their health and well-being. Here are some foods that are toxic to iguanas:

1. Spinach: Spinach contains oxalates, which can bind to calcium and hinder its absorption. This can lead to metabolic bone disease in iguanas.

2. Romaine lettuce: While small amounts of romaine lettuce are generally safe, it should not be a staple in an iguana’s diet. It has a poor nutritional profile and can cause diarrhea if consumed in large quantities.

3. Onions: Onions, along with other members of the Allium family like garlic and shallots, contain compounds that can damage a reptile’s red blood cells and lead to anemia.

4. Beets and beet greens: Beets and their greens contain high levels of oxalates, which can interfere with calcium absorption and contribute to metabolic bone disease.

5. Celery stalk: Celery stalks have a high water content and lack significant nutritional value for iguanas. They should be avoided as a regular part of their diet.

6. Swiss chard: Similar to spinach, Swiss chard contains oxalates and should be avoided or fed in moderation to prevent calcium deficiencies.

7. Carrots: Carrots are high in sugar and should only be given to iguanas as an occasional treat. Feeding them in excess can lead to obesity and other health issues.

8. Grapes: Grapes, along with raisins, contain a toxin that can cause kidney failure in dogs and may have similar effects on iguanas. It’s best to avoid feeding them to your pet.

9. Kale: While kale is generally considered safe in small amounts, it also contains oxalates. It should be fed sparingly to prevent calcium-related health problems.

10. Chinese cabbage: Chinese cabbage, also known as Napa cabbage, can cause digestive issues in iguanas if consumed in large quantities due to its high water content.

11. Broccoli: Broccoli is safe for iguanas in small amounts, but excessive consumption can lead to thyroid problems due to its goitrogenic properties.

12. Turnips: Turnips, as well as their greens, contain goitrogens that can interfere with thyroid function in iguanas. They should be fed sparingly or avoided.

13. Cauliflower: Cauliflower also contains goitrogenic compounds and should be fed in moderation to prevent thyroid problems.

14. Brussels sprouts: Brussels sprouts are part of the Brassica family, which can interfere with thyroid function in iguanas if consumed in large quantities.

It’s important to note that this list is not exhaustive, and individual iguanas may have different sensitivities to certain foods. It’s always best to consult with a reptile veterinarian or an experienced reptile keeper for specific dietary recommendations for your iguana.