- Before You Feed Cucumbers To Your Iguana
- Iguana’s Digestive System And Cucumbers
- How Is The Digestive System Of An Iguana Different?
- Can Iguanas Digest Cucumbers?
- How Should I Feed Cucumbers To My Iguana?
- Things To Take Care Of When Feeding Cucumbers To Your Iguana
- Preferred Cut Sizes Of Cucumbers For Efficient Digestion And Absorption
Can iguanas eat cucumbers? This question is a common one since iguanas should be fed on vegetables only.
So here we are with everything you need to know about iguanas and cucumbers.
Iguanas are probably the most famous pet lizards native to Central and Southern America.
It is only a matter of taste that some people like to go for a reptile as a pet!
Let us start with the category of food iguanas like to have. And how do cucumbers fit in?
Before You Feed Cucumbers To Your Iguana
Do you know which fruit contains the highest amount of water? It’s cucumber!
Cucumbers are almost 96 percent water.
So, feeding cucumbers to your iguana can be a great way of keeping him hydrated.
Fruits and vegetables with high amounts of fiber are beneficial for digestive health.
And fiber is what cucumbers are known for.
You can add cucumbers to your iguana’s diet when he faces problems with digestion or normal pooping.
Our personal experience with iguanas says that Iguanas enjoy cucumber skin more than fruit.
Cucumber skin has got an incredible amount of fiber to help your iguana improve its digestive system.
Plus, since iguanas get bored quickly, feeding them cucumber skin now and then as a treat can help diversify their food.
Iguana’s Digestive System And Cucumbers
Iguanas are strictly herbivores. So, yes, Iguanas can eat cucumbers.
But now it’s time for some detail.
Precisely speaking, they are a part of a subgroup called ‘folivores’.
Folivores are animals that feed strictly on the leaves of trees and vines.
So, iguanas, despite being reptiles, are very similar to animals that feed on foliage.
Such animals include horses, rabbits, and koalas.
Pretty strange group for an Iguana to fall in!
Now we know the nutritional group of an iguana, which makes it quite an exciting reptile.
But there’s more. Iguanas have a unique digestive system. Let’s see how.
How Is The Digestive System Of An Iguana Different?
Iguanas are known as hindgut fermenters.
Its body has all these bacteria and microbes that serve to digest the fiber-based food of the iguana through fermentation.
This diverse and unique microbiome allows this reptile to get maximum nutrients from cellulose-containing foods such as raw vegetables and leaves of trees.
At the same time, humans do not have the bacteria and the enzymes required to digest starches such as cellulose.
This unique digestive system makes an iguana able to extract 30 to 40 % of nutrition from green leafy vegetables.
And this is why you can easily feed cucumbers to your iguana.
Can Iguanas Digest Cucumbers?
A cucumber is actually a fruit. It has got these seeds, and it can reproduce further.
That’s how we know it’s a fruit.
But we have been talking about leafy green vegetables and plant products.
Can iguanas eat and digest cucumbers too?
Yes, they can. What is more critical about the staple diet of an iguana than anything is that it should be fed plant products.
And cucumber, a fruit, remains a plant product.
Animal protein, pet food, or something that can obstruct their unique digestive tract is highly discouraged. Why is that so?
Diets high in protein can damage the kidneys of the iguanas, in addition to causing other illnesses.
That’s why they have natural instincts to avoid animal protein, including insects.
How Should I Feed Cucumbers To My Iguana?
One thing about the iguanas that you should consider before feeding them is their mode of ingestion.
Iguanas do not have sharp canines used by the carnivores since our little reptile is a strict herbivore!
They only have those little things in the mouth in place of teeth used for tearing vegetation.
They don’t even use those weapons for grinding the vegetables, and neither do they chew food.
Instead, they should be called gulpers- they swallow whatever you put in their mouths.
And it goes straight into their tummies.
That makes it clear that Iguanas cannot munch on large chunks of cucumber.
Food pieces larger than the mouth or throat of an iguana can cause obstruction or choke him to death.
Therefore, chopping or grating their food before feeding them is really important.
So, here are some points you should take care of when feeding cucumbers to your iguanas.
Things To Take Care Of When Feeding Cucumbers To Your Iguana
Have a careful look at these. Feeding an iguana is not that simple!
1. Do not feed them cucumbers every day. It may sound like the best way to feed the baby!
Because cucumbers have a lot of nutritional benefits, and they are readily available.
Besides, you can store weekly stock. But iguanas, quickly get bored.
You need to bring variation in their diet.
After all, you are captivating them away from their natural habitat.
At least you can treat that little creature now and then!
2. Secondly, always cut the cucumbers into small pieces.
As we have discussed above, chunks of food can damage an iguana.
Always cut your cucumbers in tiny pieces, easily edible for an iguana.
Grate or chop the cucumbers into sizes that suit the age and size of your iguana.
3. Make sure you feed him vitamin and mineral supplements too.
If your iguana’s diet is not normal, you may observe him developing diseases and losing health. You don’t blame the cucumbers then!
Preferred Cut Sizes Of Cucumbers For Efficient Digestion And Absorption
Here are the various sizes of your iguana during various stages of the life cycle and the cut sizes of the cucumbers that should be fed:
You should feed finely grated or diced cucumbers to iguanas that are still below 14 inches in size.
This stage is especially critical because iguanas of this size tend to munch on absolutely anything you feed them.
They must be continually monitored and fed a portion of nutritious food.
As a result, if you decide to get a baby iguana, you must be extremely cautious.
It is the owner, you, who needs to take care of the baby iguana.
Feeding a baby iguana is best done in the morning after it has been warmed up by UV rays for a couple of hours as they need heat to break down food.
It is absolutely essential not to expose them to drafts or sudden temperature changes when moving them, especially after eating.
They are mostly herbivores who eat plants and flowers in the wild, and this meal is designed to provide the nutrients they require to encourage growth and bright color.
Juvenile Iguanas that have grown up to 3 feet can easily take finely chopped cucumbers.
Iguanas that have grown more than 3 feet can still not take bigger cucumber pieces.
An adult iguana’s diet should consist of 40-50% of these vegetables.
You should prefer medium-chopped cucumbers to prevent choking or other emergencies.
Follow the cut sizes. Make it extra small for the iguana to stay on the safe side.
Trust me; you don’t want to risk even a single percent with the tiny hatchling Iguana!
Cactus, broccoli, squash, bell peppers, green beans, sprouts, sweet potato, parsnips, okra, cucumber, asparagus, mushrooms, carrots, peas, and corn can supplement an adult iguana’s diet by 30-40%.
Yes, iguanas can eat cucumbers!
Cucumbers fall in the group of leafy, green plant products, green fruits actually.
So, they are iguanas’ favorite already.
Before you start feeding cucumbers to your iguana, there are just a few things to keep in mind.
Don’t overdo the cucumbers.
Feed your iguana the size he can quickly gulp on.
Maximize the variety so that he doesn’t get bored.
In fact, with everything you feed your iguana, remember how the digestive system of an Iguana works.
We hope this helps you and your iguana!
Lucy is a real-time contributor to Purrfect n’ Pawesome, along with being a freelance writer to various pet forums and platforms. She started writing professionally in the year 2016. Earlier, she enjoyed her community life as a pet rescue volunteer and offered boarding services to pet owners. Her extensive experience in the pet field is now the basis for her writing at this site.
She loves to collect animal facts from around the globe and then transform them into amazing stories for her readers. For Lucy, the mission is to bring pet love to every home and equip the pet parents with the required useful and authentic information to nurture their pet accordingly.
She lives with her two cats and a shepherd mix, whom she loves the most. Despite her extremely busy life, she spends some time with wildlife and outer space to relax her mind and enhance her observation.
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