Considering feeding your Iguana pineapple but not sure whether this is a good idea? Is it safe or even beneficial for you to do so? Let’s find out.
So, can Iguanas eat pineapple? Iguanas can eat pineapple but should only eat very small amounts at a time and very infrequently. Pineapple is very acidic and can cause digestive upset if overconsumed. There are generally better options for fruit available.
While pineapple can have its place in your lizard’s diet, you need to be quite careful with it.
We’ll soon see why.
But that doesn’t mean it’s completely off-limits.
There is a lot of nutrition in this yellow tropical fruit, after all.
Shall we look at what it can provide before turning to when and how to feed it?
I think we should.
So let’s get started.
Is Pineapple Healthy For Iguanas?
Pineapple can be healthy if it is fed in very small amounts at a time. It also needs to be cut up and prepared properly – the flesh is the only part an Iguana should consume.
If we take a closer look at the nutritional content of pineapple, it does give us some insight as to why it can have its benefits:
Nutritional Content Of Pineapple
|of which sugars||9.85 g|
|Vitamin C||47 mg|
Remember, a pineapple weighs around 900 grams on average.
So the good: a decent amount of water to support hydration, low-fat, positive calcium to phosphorous ratio, and the source of decent amounts of potassium.
But let’s not get ahead of ourselves here.
It’s also high in sugar and relatively low in fiber.
And here’s the other thing to consider with pineapple.
You won’t find this on any nutrition table, but they are very important to be aware of.
In particular, pineapples contain a group of digestive enzymes called bromelain.
And while there appears to be a lot of mounting evidence on its uses and therapeutic effects, the truth is, it can cause digestive issues, specifically stomach upset and diarrhea, if overconsumed.
And that is much more likely in Iguanas, particularly those not used to the fruit.
So, pairing the higher sugar content and the bromelain together means that we must be careful with offering it.
Less is certainly more with this fruit.
Can Iguanas Eat Pineapple Skin (Rind)?
Iguanas should not eat the skin or rind of a pineapple. It’s very fibrous, dense, and challenging for an Iguana to break down and digest. Even if it has been cut up into small pieces, this is not suitable and should not be offered.
In reality, the outer shell of a pineapple is very rough. And that can cause issues if it were to be successfully swallowed.
And that’s if it gets there and does not lodge in your Iguana’s throat on the way down.
Pineapple skin also provides a pretty high concentration of bromelin too which can be problematic for the reasons discussed in the section above.
At the same time, it is the skin (and leaves) that are likely to encounter any pesticides, herbicides, or chemical compounds in the environment.
For all of these reasons, it is the flesh and the flesh only that you should only be looking to offer your Iguana if you do decide to feed it.
How Much Pineapple Should An Iguana Eat?
Pineapples should be fed in very small amounts. A few small cubes of around 25-50 grams in total weight is a reasonable serving size. In terms of frequency, offering pineapple once every 1-2 weeks is recommended.
And when introducing pineapple to your Iguana for the first time, you may want to offer even less than this.
It may take your Iguana time to adjust and get used to it.
And how they respond will largely depend on your Iguana’s age, size, weight, and health condition, along with the ripeness and natural acidity of the fruit you feed.
So, it is advised to offer a small amount at first.
See how your Iguana responds and if they even take to it.
Some Iguanas may even turn their noses up. Either at first or after a few feedings.
If this is to occur, then you absolutely do not need to offer this fruit.
If they appear to like it, then you can proceed to feed it sparingly.
At the same time, as pineapple is pretty acidic and due to the high concentration of bromelain, you need to monitor your Iguana in the hours following consumption.
Make sure that they do not suffer from any significant digestive upset.
A small change to the stool is to be expected following pineapple, but it should not be too runny either.
Nonetheless, pineapple should be routinely rotated with other safe fruits.
This will ensure your Iguana is obtaining maximal nutrition and does not develop any preferences.
And of course, fruit should only comprise 10-15% of the diet.
Remember, for Iguanas, vegetables, and foliage must be the core of nutrition.
How To Feed Pineapple To An Iguana
When feeding your Iguana pineapple, it is best to first cut it up into small cubes or fingers. Remove the skin/leaves and ensure your Iguana can only consume the flesh.
If you can, it would be best to purchase an organic pineapple.
That should ensure maximum nutrition. Besides, they tend to be grown in richer pastures.
But unlike other fruits, if you cannot source organic, it is not the end of the world.
Pineapple is actually on the ‘clean 15‘. A fruit that is least likely to contain any harmful chemicals:
But do ensure you purchase a ripe pineapple.
It should not be overly green or dark either.
A good way to tell a pineapple is ripe is to gently pull the leaves.
If a leaf comes out easily – it should be ready to eat.
If you have the budget, you could even buy some pre-cut-up and prepared pineapple chunks from the store.
While more expensive, it’s definitely the more practical, time-saving option.
Just be sure not to buy any dried pineapple, canned pineapple, or pineapple kept in juices/preservatives.
They often are very high in sugar and add to the already high concentrations of sugar pineapple contains.
Nonetheless, once you have your pineapple, you may need to prepare it.
Cut off the outer shell and the top – sometimes, you can pull out all of the leaves simultaneously.
Either way, you just want the flesh. Discard the rest.
Cut this into small cubes/fingers.
And then, you can add this over to your Iguana’s next salad.
Here are some calcium-rich vegetables to use here:
- Greens (beet, collard, mustard, turnip)
- Bok choy,
- Swiss chard,
Mix it all together, but be sure to place some of the pineapple on top.
Or, if you are simply looking to treat your Iguana, you could try offering a cube or two by hand.
They may or may not eat it this way.
But it can be a nice thing to do with your pet.
Pineapple is one of several different fruits you can offer your Iguana.
And they do typically tend to enjoy it.
That being said, this is not a fruit that will be suitable for all Iguanas.
Nor should it be fed too regularly or in too large a serving size either.
Remember, pineapples are highly acidic and high in sugar.
So, view them as a treat and not something that you ever rely upon.
They should contribute to the 10-15% total dietary intake of fruit.
And this quota should come from various fruits, too.
The remaining 80-90% of the diet should come from calcium-rich vegetables. Leaves specifically.
Besides, Iguanas are herbivores and not fruitarians, after all.