Watermelon is just quite fun to eat. And it’s delicious too. But is this sweet and vibrant fruit suitable for iguanas to eat? Can you offer some from time to time? Let’s find out!
So, can Iguanas eat pineapple? Iguanas can eat watermelon, but should only eat a very small amount at a time, and infrequently. As the name suggests, this type of melon is mostly water and therefore can cause digestive upset and issues if too much is consumed at once. There are generally much better options for fruit to offer to Iguanas.
Not the worst thing to offer, but certainly not the best.
And we will soon see why.
But what you need to know from the outset is that watermelon should not be relied upon routinely.
Besides, an improper diet in this particular lizard species can cause many different and adverse health conditions.
It’s not something you can really get wrong, or for too long.
So, with this in mind, let us look at how to offer watermelon in an appropriate manner into the diet of your Iguana – should you feel the need to do so.
Is Watermelon Healthy For Iguanas?
Watermelon can provide some vitamins, minerals, and variety for iguanas, but should not be relied upon as a significant means of nutrition.
Besides, watermelon is generally water-rich and nutrient-poor. At least compared to other fruits and vegetables.
In fact, in this Animal Veterinary Hospital of Orlando Iguana care guide, watermelon has been placed in the “poor” category” under the feeding and nutrition section for this very reason.
If we look at the nutrient profile, we will soon see why:
Nutritional Content Of Watermelon
|of which sugars||6.2 g|
|Vitamin A||28 µg|
|Vitamin C||8.1 mg|
As you can see – 91 grams of 100 grams of watermelon is water!
And there is very little fiber.
Plus, watermelon has unfavorable calcium to phosphorous ratio too!
And 100 grams of watermelon really is not a lot.
Pair all this together, and you can soon start to see why this fruit is not ideal.
Ideal here is the important word.
There can be some benefit to offering it.
It is relatively soft and easy to consume, it can provide some energy and it does help keep an Iguana hydrated.
But with that aside, you are going to want to offer it on occasion.
Consider this quote below by VCA hospitals:
Well, let us now explore this in the next section!
How Much Watermelon Can An Iguana Eat?
A small serving of watermelon, a few cubes 2 per week, is the recommended serving size and frequency for iguanas.
Even then, this should be seen as an estimated serving.
If you have not fed your Iguana before, you may want to offer watermelon even less frequently.
At least to begin with.
Or, if you know your Iguana seems to do quite well on it, then you may want to offer a little more.
Either way, monitor your Iguana closely and see how they respond.
Remember, watermelon should only ever contribute to the 10-15% total dietary intake coming from fruit.
And that 10-15% fruit intake should be varied too.
That way, your Iguana will be maximizing their nutrition without going overboard on the fruits.
As herbivores, folivores specifically, these lizards do best with a diet that is comprised mostly of leaves.
How To Feed Watermelon To An Iguana
The best way to offer watermelon to your Iguana is on top of a varied leaf-based salad. A few cubes of watermelon, paired with another fruit such as a chopped-up fig, on top of calcium-rich vegetables would be optimal.
One thing to consider here is that you will need to prepare your watermelon in advance.
That means removing the rind (or outer shell) and removing the seeds.
Neither of those should be fed.
So, you will need to cut up the watermelon first.
Even if you are purchasing a watermelon slice, you likely will still need to cut it into smaller cubes.
As we can see from the above, Iguanas should not be fed much.
So, there’s going to be a lot of waste unless you or your family are able to eat the rest!
Nevertheless, cut several cubes of watermelon and then place them on top of your Iguana’s next salad.
If you can add the melon to a calcium-rich salad (that includes the likes of greens, dandelion, etc), your Iguana can benefit from a lot of nutrition at once.
You can pair the watermelon with other fruits in this salad but just remember the 10-15% rule.
And make sure it is placed as a topper on the salad.
This will help entice your Iguana and ensure they consume all of the real nutrition that is found in the foliage.
Iguanas can eat a little watermelon here and there – if you have some spare of if you desire.
One thing is for sure though, you do not have to feed your Iguana watermelon.
In fact, they will not really be missing out on much.
There are generally better fruits to offer.
And even then, fruits should only make up a very small amount of the diet anyway.
And with all the preparation involved, it’s generally not really worth the effort.