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Some Issues about Iguana Food
People who think that iguanas only need to be given lettuce as food would be very wrong in their assumptions. Feeding an iguana has a lot of issues involved and a good iguana owner should learn as much as possible about these issues. Here is a guide to help you with some of the issues surrounding iguana food:
1) Vegetables ther5e are guides which still say that iguanas should be fed insects and they may eat cat and dog food. The fact remains, however, that iguanas have bodies that are designed for effective consumption of plant protein. That means that your iguana is better off as a vegetarian. Iguana food should consist of vegetables that have high nutritional value such as collards or mustard greens. Occasionally feeding it lettuce is okay but you should not regularly do this since most types of salad lettuce contain very little nutritional value.
Why is an iguana better off eating vegetables? Well, an iguana will have a hard time processing animal proteins. This task requires a lot of work from the kidneys. This means that an iguana which is fed animal protein has a high chance of developing kidney problems. Animal proteins are also hard to absorb. Often, unabsorbed animal proteins are stored in the iguana’s body as uric acid this may lead to gout.
So, now you know why iguana food should consist of as much veggies as possible.
2) Water iguanas tend to drink water only sparingly. If you do not have enough humidity in the enclosure, this would mean that your iguana will spend most of its days at least partially dehydrated. This can be bad for your iguana.
An owner should try to get an iguana to drink as much water as possible. Since iguanas are not naturally inclined to do this, you should take some steps to accomplish it. One way is to spray your iguana food with water. This way, the iguana will get the moisture it needs when it is feeding.
Another good idea is to try and train your iguana to drink as much water as possible. You can do this by placing a treat inside the iguana’s water dish. Do this regularly and soon, you will be able to train your iguana to drink from the bowl on its own.
3) Temperature iguanas are cold blooded. This means that they depend on the heat of the environment for their bodily functions. No matter how good the iguana food you provide, the iguana will not be able to properly digest it without the proper temperature. After feeding, the temperature in the enclosure should be kept at least 85 degrees Fahrenheit. This will aid in the proper digestion of iguana food.
4) Calcium and phosphorus When choosing iguana food, an owner should always keep in mind that iguanas need calcium and phosphorus in a 2:1 ratio. This means that you should try to choose foods that contain these nutrients.
5) Light another issue about iguana food is the need for proper lighting. Iguanas need UVA and UVB rays to produce vitamin D3. This nutrient facilitates the proper absorption of calcium in the body. There are actually many types of artificial lighting that provide these rays, but the best source is still the sun. So if you want your pet to absorb the nutrients in the iguana food properly, make sure that you let it bask in direct sunlight as much as possible.
Facts about the Red Iguana
The Iguana family is considered the largest of the lizard families. The most common are the green iguanas. But there are also some with colorful skin, they are known as the red iguana.
One of the popular red iguanas is the Red sided skink. These are multicolored terrestrial and semi-aquatic lizards that are native to the rocky steppes and open forests habitat of Southern and Eastern Africa.
Today, these red iguanas are now the most common well-liked pet reptiles. They are also one of the most purchased on some pet shops. Thus, these red iguanas are now found in the garden and even inside the house.
Care and Feeding Your Red Iguana
Like any other pet, there are some requirements needed in order for the red iguana to grow on its new environment.
1. Proper Housing
A red iguana can live in an aquarium with 30 gallons of water. Enclosures can vary in shapes, sizes and styles, and are made out of glass or wood. The base should be easy to clean. The most efficient to use is the newspaper, but linoleum and artificial grass are also excellent options as well. Keep enclosures away from soil, sand and bark, as these can lead to impaction or obstruction if your iguana ingests them. It is also important to provide them with shallow container for the food and water. These food and water dishes must be thoroughly disinfected and cleaned regularly. It is also necessary to add climbing materials such as twigs, barks, broad limbs and rocks.
2. Right Feeding
Iguanas in general are herbivores and should be given a variety of vegetable and fruits. The bulk of the diet must contain green leafy vegetables such as mustard greens, escarole, kale, and spinach. But it is also important to feed them with limited amount of protein rich foods. You can also offer mixed vegetable like green peppers, squash, frozen mixed vegetables and green beans, and fruits like, bananas, mangoes, and apples. Like other pets, iguanas should be fed everyday.
3. Appropriate Amount of Water
Water is the most essential needs of the iguanas, thus it should be readily available. Normally, iguanas get water through the plant they consume, others lapping water off wood or on the leaves. Exposing your iguana on your environment early in the morning will avoid them from being dehydrated. These iguanas provided with water dishes can train on their own to purge on their water. So, it is important that their dishes are regularly cleaned to prevent bacterial infections.
4. Grooming your Iguana
Like all pets, your iguana must also be properly groomed. Bathing is a good routine to get your iguana used to. It is one way for your pet to obtain water and cleanse themselves. Bathing should be done using lukewarm water in a shallow container, at least 3 times a week. Always, aid your pet to avoid accidents. Keep in mind that not all iguanas have fun during bath time, some might panic.
5. Handling your Iguana
Iguanas should be handled frequently to discipline or tame them. Your pet iguana can be trained to show fondness for those who handle them regularly. They should be held 2-3 times everyday for at least fifteen minutes. Gently stroke, their back and neck and get your pet reptile used to handling and picking them up. Just keep in mind that iguanas can be aggressive by nature so extreme caution is needed in handling your pet reptile.
The information above are some facts about the red iguanas that you must keep in mind. Remember that the pet iguanas are also important and should be treated with proper care.
Iguanas are the largest species in the Lizards. The green iguanas are the most favorite as pets. There is a type of iguanas with a colorful skin. This variety is called red iguana. The most popular among the red iguanas is Red Sided Skink. This is a terrestrial variety, which is multicolored and is semi aquatic. They make their dwelling on rock plain in open forests of Eastern and Southerne Africa.
The red iguanas are becoming very popular as pet like green iguanas and you can often find them in the back garden or inside the homes. You have to provide for certain necessities to bring up iguana in the new environment as a pet.
First of all the iguana is to be provided a proper dwelling. Red iguana can live in water. You can arrange a 30 gallon capacity aquarium for it. Different types and shapes of enclosures can be used for iguana. These can be made from wood, glass, Plexiglas or plastic. Its base should be very clean. You can use newspaper, linoleum or artificial glass at the base. The enclosure should be free from soil, dust, sand or bark. These may choke iguana when it swallows any such thing.
Red iguanas should be furnished with a shallow container for their food and water. These containers should be regularly cleaned and disinfected to avert any infection.
As iguanas like to climb up the branches of trees, you can place some branches, twigs, barks, rocks and broad limbs and similar material for them.
Iguanas are herbivores and mostly feed on leaves, vegetables and fruits. Their diet should be balanced and major part of it should comprise leafy vegetables like mustard greens, kale, escarole, spinach, etc. They should also be fed with some amount of food rich in proteins. In addition, they can be fed green peppers, frozen mixed vegetable, squash, green beans and fruits such as apple, banana and mangoes. Young iguana should be fed daily.
Sufficient Amount of Water:
Iguanas should be given adequate water to drink. Usually, they eat plant and vegetables, which meets their requirement of water to some extent. They also lick the water from petals. If they do not take sufficient water they will get dehydrated. You should keep water in deep bowls for them. They take a dip to drink water, if they are trained. You should train them on it. The water should be clean and the containers should be daily cleaned to avoid any bacteria.
Bringing up/preparing your Iguana
Your pet iguana should be properly brought up and trained. It is good to teach it to take a bath. This way, it can take some water and also clean itself. You should provide lukewarm water for iguanas to take a bath. The container should be shallow. The iguana should take a bath at least thrice in a week. You should take care of you iguanas for their safety. Some iguanas will have fun while bathing whereas other may get frightened.
Managing your Iguana:
You should handle your iguana to tame him in such a way that it is disciplined and trained. It is to be trained occasionally. If you interact with it regularly, it can develop affection with you and you can train your iguana easily. The training session can be twice or thrice a day for about 10 to 15 minutes. You should pat their neck and back to make them pick up the things quickly. You should bear in mind that by nature these creatures are invasive. Therefore, you need to handle them with utmost care.
The above information reveals a few facts about the characteristics of red iguanas. It is critical to take proper care of these pets.
Some Myths about Green Iguanas
People who own green iguanas often have certain misconceptions about them. These myths could interfere with a person’s ability to take proper care of a green iguana. Some of these myths may not be too harmful. However, some of these myths could be dangerous to a green iguana’s health and well-being. Here are some common myths about green iguanas which you should know about:
1) You can feed lettuce to green iguanas This myth has some truth to it. Of course, since green iguanas are best kept on a vegetarian diet, you can feed it lettuce. However, you should realize the fact that most types of salad lettuce have very little nutritional value. Some people realize this when it’s already too late to change the iguana’s diet. This is because a green iguana which is mainly fed lettuce will continue to eat lettuce even if better foods are added to its diet.
If you want to take proper care of your green iguana, you should feed it vegetables that have a high nutritional value. Examples include collards, turnip greens and mustard greens.
2) Iguanas will not outgrow their cages Some people think that keeping iguanas in small cages will cause their growths to be stunted. These people provide small cages for their iguanas in order to keep it in a convenient size. This will definitely not help your green iguana. A green iguana, when properly taken care of, can grow up to six feet long. This means that keeping it in a small cage will only accomplish the feat of making your green iguana’s life very uncomfortable.
3) Iguanas need to consume gravel in order to help their digestion this is a very dangerous myth. Some people add gravel or small pebbles to an iguana’s enclosure because they think that these help a green iguana to digest its food. However, you should realize that gravel or any such material could kill your green iguana if it is consumed. You should try to avoid feeding your green iguana these materials, whether by accident or on purpose.
4) Hot rocks are great for heating some people add hot rocks to a green iguana enclosure, thinking that these rocks are good for an iguana’s body temperature. What you need to remember is that green iguanas are cold blooded. This means that if a green iguana sits on a hot rock, it can literally be cooked to death. If you wish to provide proper heating for a green iguana enclosure, you should use special lighting available in most pet stores.
5) Iguanas can eat insects, pet food, and other animal products Many sources today still state that iguanas should be given animal protein as part of their diet. However, the truth is that green iguanas are best suited to an herbivorous diet. The body and metabolism of a green iguana is designed to utilize plant proteins effectively. Animal proteins, on the other hand, can prove to be very troubling to them. Consumption of animal proteins can cause your green iguana to develop gout. It can also lead to serious kidney problems. The only reason that iguanas eat insects in the wild is because these get mixed up with their food accidentally.
These are just some of the myths that you may have heard about green iguanas. By knowing the truth about these myths, you are now equipped to give the best care possible to a green iguana.