Have some strawberries to hand and wondering whether or not to feed them to your Iguana. Is it okay to do so, beneficial or could it prove quite problematic? Here is what you need to know.
So, can Iguanas eat strawberries? Iguanas can eat strawberries as part of their total fruit intake. However, fruit should only comprise between 10-15% of an Iguana’s total diet. So, only a few strawberries should be fed and on occasion. Washing, removing the stalks, and cutting up is also advised when serving.
Like any fruit, strawberries have a limited place in the diet of an Iguana.
They can be fed.
They do not necessarily need to be fed.
Remember it that way.
Nevertheless, let us now see why they can have their place should you desire, and how to do so properly and safely – if you did ever decide to do so.
Are Strawberries Healthy For Iguanas?
Strawberries are one of the better fruits to offer your Iguana. Nevertheless, they are most beneficial and healthy when fed sparingly and in moderation. View them as a treat as opposed to a dietary staple.
In small amounts, strawberries can offer some additional nutrition to Iguanas.
But even then, fruits are generally considered “water-rich and nutrient-poor” – at least according to the experts.
There are some vitamins and minerals still on offer, though, as we can now see below.
Nutritional Content Of Strawberries
|of which sugars||5.34 g|
|Vitamin C||56 mg|
As you can see, strawberries are rather favorable.
They are low in energy (calories), provide a decent amount of water to help naturally hydrate an Iguana while also providing some much-needed fiber.
With these factors in mind, it is no real surprise that strawberries are included and listed as a safe fruit in this iguana feeding guide by the VCA animal hospital.
That being said, the calcium to phosphorous ratio of strawberries is quite poor (12:20 mg per 100 grams of strawberries).
It is unfortunately not in favor of calcium like the intake needs to be for optimal health.
For this reason, if you do intent on feeding strawberries, it is essential that you consider this ratio in foods from the rest of the diet.
Ensuring your Iguana obtains sufficient calcium from dark leafy greens or calcium supplementation is something that is going to be required with a more regular serving of strawberries.
Can Iguanas Eat Strawberry Seeds
Iguanas can eat the seeds found in the flesh of a strawberry. Due to their small size, they should safely pass through an Iguana and be digested with relative ease.
For this reason, it will be more than okay to serve strawberries to your Iguana without removing the seeds in advance.
This is unlike some other fruits, such as is the case in stone fruits, like cherries.
For most other fruits, where seeds, stones, or pips are much larger – they should be removed first.
That being said, there are some things you should do to prepare strawberries before serving. But more on that later.
How Many Strawberries Should An Iguana Eat?
Iguanas should only eat strawberries as a treat. They are best served 1-2x per week, in small serving sizes at a time.
And do not just limit your Iguana to strawberries.
While they can eat up to 15% of their total diet in the form of fruits, you want this to come from a variety of fruits.
In fact, by providing different fruits alongside strawberries, with a focus on berries like blueberries and raspberries, you can maximize your reptile’s nutrition.
And at the same time, you’ll ensure they do not develop any preferences for certain fruits, which can be tricky to correct.
If you are yet to offer strawberries to your Iguana, perhaps start with one.
See how they respond and if they even like it.
It may be their turn their nose up at it.
In this case, you can either try again at a future meal or forgo this fruit altogether.
Iguanas have their own unique preferences – and in the case of any fruit, it does not have to be consumed.
So you can always try something else.
But even if your Iguana takes to strawberries well – you are always going to want to offer 2-3 at a time at most.
Otherwise, you risk overfeeding them.
And the high water content can quickly and easily start to displace other more nutrient-dense vegetables.
How To Feed Strawberries To An Iguana
Strawberries are best fed to an Iguana freshly washed and cut up. Removing the stalk and any unedible fiber is generally best.
First and foremost, be sure to only offer fresh, ripe strawberries.
You do not want to offer them when they have started to spoil, mold, or become too mushy.
They should be firm to touch but not too hard either (as this indicates they are not quite ripe) and will be more challenging for your Iguana to digest.
Buying organic is preferable if you can. This should ensure that your Iguana is not ingesting any herbicides, pesticides, or other chemicals used to protect the strawberries during growing.
While frozen strawberries are ideal during out-of-season months, if you do end up purchasing these, you will need to set some time aside to let them completely thaw out and warm up to room temperature ahead of serving.
Other than this, only raw strawberries should be offered.
Strawberries from tins, cans, or preserved in fruit juice should not be given.
These are often very high in sugar and other additives that can prove problematic.
With your strawberries to hand, you’ll then need to prepare them.
It is best to wash them thoroughly in lukewarm water first.
Then cut off the stalks and cut them into smaller pieces.
From there, you can look to serve.
Placing the strawberries on the top of your Iguanas salad is going to be best here.
The calcium-rich vegetables of choice would be greens (beets, collard, mustard, turnip), parsley, swiss chard, and dandelion.
Once you have prepared that salad and mixed it all together, you can then add your strawberries.
Again, move them throughout the salad somewhat.
You may even want to throw in a segment or two of orange or even a fig for increased calcium here.
In fact, pairing strawberries, orange and fig would be an ideal way to boost the calcium absorption from the salad.
Iguanas can eat strawberries, and along with other berries, are some of the best fruits to offer.
They are relatively low in calories and sugar compared to other fruits, nor do they contain any toxic compounds like you can get in others e.g., avocado.
Nonetheless, strawberries should not be overfed.
Besides, you do not want preferences developing, nor should you be displacing the more nutritious foilage an Iguana must consume.
So consider strawberries as treats.
Just as other fruits should be viewed.
They should be a small addition to an existing meal – like a salad.
And not always present.
That should ensure you do not go overboard with fruit.
Which is easy to do.
10-15% of total dietary intake is not much.
Especially if you are offering a variety of fruits and not weighing it all out!
Just remember, Iguanas do best with leaves.
They are herbivorous by nature.
Calcium-rich vegetables must be the priority.