Can Iguanas Eat Cheese?

Can iguanas eat cheese? No, Iguanas cannot eat Cheese because it contains too much sodium and fat that would lead to health problems if ingested.

Throughout this guide, we’ll explain:

  • Can Iguanas Eat Cheese?
  • Reasons Why Iguanas Cannot Eat Cheese
  • What To Do If You Already Fed Iguana Cheese
  • Final Thoughts
  • F.A.Q.

Can Iguanas Eat Cheese

Iguanas are unable to process cheese. Since they are herbivores, their bodies are only able to digest leaves and small pieces of fruit. If you see your iguana eating cheese, it’s time to remove it from their diet and feed them vegetables. 

Reasons Why Iguana Cannot Eat Cheese

  • High Blood Pressure

Cheese has sodium which keeps the balance of water within our cells. However, too much cheese will increase your iguana’s blood pressure to high levels. This can damage their heart, kidneys and lead to osteoporosis. 

  • Fat Content

Cheese is high in saturated fat. This means that eating too much of it can cause an increase in blood pressure. An excessive amount of cheese will place your iguana at risk of cardiovascular disease. 

On average, a slice of cheese contains 9 calories a gram. This means that you run the risk of making your iguana obese if you give them cheese. Instead, feed them leafy greens to ensure that they maintain their current weight. 

  • Animal Enzymes

Giving your iguana cheese is dangerous because it consists of rennets. Rennet is an enzyme that’s made from baby cow’s stomachs. Since calves contain animal protein and enzymes, it can lead to kidney failure for your iguana. Even if you give your iguana vegetarian cheese, it contains bacteria making it difficult to digest.

  • Unhealthy Processing System

Manufacturers have an unhealthy way of processing cheese. They feed the cows hormones to produce more milk. This means that you’re feeding your iguana cow hormones each time they consume cheese. Plus the machines can place infections on the cheese, making it a dangerous food to feed your iguana. 

  • High in Sodium

Cheese is high in sodium, which increases the chance of heart disease. For instance, a piece of provolone cheese consists of 309 milligrams of sodium.  Keep in mind that cheese is mixed with snack foods that are high in sodium (i.e. nachos or pizza). Because of this, you should avoid giving your iguana cheese altogether. 

  • Indigestion and Heartburn

Your iguana will have problems digesting cheese because of the lactose that’s within it. Cheese relaxes the esophageal sphincter, and slows down digestion. 

What to Do if You Already Fed Iguana Cheese?

If you’ve already fed your iguana cheese, check to see their reaction. For example, if you notice them choking or gasping for air, chances are you gave them too much cheese for them to consume. Seek veterinary assistance to give your iguana the proper health care and additional tips to improve your iguana’s diet. 

Alternatively, you should feed your iguana vegetables and herbs as their main diet. With fruits, only feed them on occasion. By giving your iguana foods that are not cheese or other dairy products, you’ll enhance their life expectancy and health. 

Final Thoughts

To conclude, your iguana should stay away from cheese. Not only is it high in fat, but your iguana is unable to process it through their body. Feeding your pet iguana leafy greens and herbs is the way to go to ensure they live a long and healthy life. 

FAQ

Can Iguanas Eat Cottage Cheese?

Cottage cheese is harmful for your iguana’s digestive system. One, it contains cheese, which is known to slow down the digestive process. Second, cottage cheese contains more lactose if more milk is added into it. Basically, anything cheese related will cause negative effects to your iguana’s health. 

What Can I Feed My Iguana?

  • Leafy Greens

Since iguanas are natural herbivores, at least 70% of their diet should consist of dark leafy greens. Greens such as collard greens and zucchini are dense in nutrients. Leafy greens contain folate, Vitamin A, calcium, and Vitamin C. They tend to be low in sodium and fat, making them a great choice for your pet iguana. 

Keep your iguana away from high acidic vegetables such as green onions, tomatoes. Also, keep them away from spinach and kale. Vegetables that are high in oxalates will disrupt their digestive process. 

  • Other Vegetables

While iguanas love leafy greens as a staple of their diet, they will get bored if they are fed the same thing. These vegetables are within their proper calcium-phosphorus level:

  • Raw Okra
  • Bell Peppers
  • Yellow Wax Beans
  • Green Beans
  • Zucchini Squash

You can feed your iguana these vegetables, but only sparingly. Mix them in their diet to add variety, but always keep their diet filled with calcium-rich vegetables. 

  • Fruits

On occasion, you can give your iguana some fruits to add diversity to their diet. Iguanas can eat fruits such as bananas or grapes at least once or twice a month. Remember not to overfeed them with fruit or else they’ll become too dependent on it. 

Fruits that have high acidic levels can be detrimental to your iguana’s health. To get the most out of fruit, chop it into smaller pieces to prevent your iguana from choking on it. 

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