Why Do Iguana Eat Their Own Poop?

Iguanas are interesting reptiles. On occasion, you’ll see your pet iguana eat its own or its parent’s poop! And what is the cause of this phenomenon? Keep reading to find out!

Do Iguana Eat Their Own Poop

Yes, iguana do eat their own poop. There are multiple reasons for this behaviour like baby iguanas eat their parent’s poop out of instinct. Sometimes iguanas eat their own poop if they’re upset or angry. Young iguanas eat their parent’s poop because they need the extra microflora inside their guts. Since iguanas are herbivores, they will eat their own poop as a source of nutrition. 

Reasons Why Do Iguana Eat Their Own Poop

  • Lack of Food

Most of the time, iguanas eat their own poop due to a lack of nutrients. Young iguanas will eat their parent’s poop because the adults are eating the rest of the food. To survive, they will eat their own parent’s poop until they can find another food source. 

  • Territory

Like most reptiles, iguanas are territorial. Iguanas will poop as a sign to mark their territory and to ward off others. They do this to prevent other iguanas from coming towards their habitat. So if you catch your iguana pooping outside, chances are they want the entire area to themselves!

Conclusion

Iguanas do eat their own poop, but that does not mean they can’t be trained to poop in a specified area. You have to take care of your iguana and potty train them correctly. In conclusion, continue to monitor your iguana’s pooping habits to ensure that they are removing waste correctly!

FAQ

Why Does My Iguana Poop On Me?

When handling iguanas, you have to be careful. Your pet iguana pooped on you because you startled them or out of anger. Because of this, it’s important to potty train your iguana to ensure that they don’t leave any droppings on your home. 

How to Potty Train Your Iguana

Potty training your iguana requires a few different factors. If your iguana is pooping inside a water dish, it will be easier to train them. Some adult or baby iguanas will go to the water dish to start and won’t require too much training. But it’s difficult to train iguanas that have bad habits. 

But it will take some time and patience if your iguana is not properly trained. Toilet training is more complicated, depending on the iguana’s temperament. On average, it will take around 2-6 weeks to fully potty train your iguana. 

  • Training Inside the Cage

If your iguana poops in the same spot, then you can place paper towels and newspapers for easier cleaning. Alternatively, you can use a newspaper to cover the whole floor and remove the pieces little by little until they become fully potty trained. 

Iguanas tend to poop in a tub that has a small amount of water in it. If your pet iguana does poop inside the water dish, give them another dish for drinking. 

  • Outside Cage Training

For outside potty training, you have to catch your iguana in the act. If you notice their back legs winding down, you have to pick your pet iguana up and palace them in the area you want them to poop. 

If the iguana hasn’t found a spot, you can place a newspaper in the selected area. Place a small amount of poop on the newspaper to trick the iguana into believing they pooped there before. Again, you can add more newspaper and reduce it once your iguana has found the spot. Alternatively, you can find where your iguana poops and add a newspaper there. 

What Does Iguana Poop Look Like

Iguana droppings can be hard to decipher. That’s because they urinate and defecate at the same time from the same body part. As a result, their droppings have a liquid component (urate) and a solid component (pellet).

The pellet has a black or brown color,  and with adult iguanas, their pellets are the same size as dog feces. Urates have a clear, thick liquid and a stringy mass that gets folded to the pellet. 

Many iguanas prefer to poop in soft places. For instance, they are more likely to poop on the carpet instead of a hardwood floor. You’ll find this action disturbing when your iguana decides that your pillow is the softest area in the room. 

If you like doing laundry, you can add extra towels near your iguana before he defecates. A soft towel is what your iguana would prefer to use. While a towel will keep the iguana poop, it needs to be thoroughly cleaned to reduce bacteria. 

How Come My Iguana Can’t Poop?

There are some occasions where your iguana will have difficulty pooping. Here are some ways to fix this:

  • Look for a Veterinarian

If your iguana is unable to poop, you should seek professional assistance. Make sure your veterinarian has experience handling reptiles. If you notice any additional illnesses like constipation, then you’ll have to take them to the vet immediately. 

It’s important to determine the cause of your iguana’s problem before using more invasive procedures and techniques. However, you can use remedies such as warm soaking, as it causes less harm to your iguana. 

  • Use Pain Killers

If the previous methods don’t work, giving your iguana painkillers will help. If your iguana is unable to poop due to trauma or injury, it’s a chance they stopped pooping because of the pain. 

Your vet might prescribe Metacam, which is an anti-inflammatory painkiller that reduces inflammation and alleviates discomfort. Alternatively, they’ll prescribe Tramadol, which is more potent, but your iguana might suffer from constipation as a side effect. 

  • Give Them a Warm Bath

If your iguana is unable to poop, giving them a warm bath is the least invasive remedy. Bathing them periodically is beneficial for non-therapeutic reasons; it helps reptiles shed their skin and helps stimulate bowel movement. 

Only use lukewarm water, and make sure the water does not go past the iguana’s head. Reptiles like to poop in the water, so if they cannot do so, you’ll have a problem. 

Sources

How To Potty Train Your Iguana? – Lizards101.com

Feces and Urates – anapsid.org

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