Saturday, October 2, 2010

Some Myths about Green Iguanas

People who own green iguanas often have certain misconceptions about them. These myths could interfere with a person's ability to take proper care of a green iguana. Some of these myths may not be too harmful. However, some of these myths could be dangerous to a green iguana's health and well-being. Here are some common myths about green iguanas which you should know about:

1) You can feed lettuce to green iguanas – This myth has some truth to it. Of course, since green iguanas are best kept on a vegetarian diet, you can feed it lettuce. However, you should realize the fact that most types of salad lettuce have very little nutritional value. Some people realize this when it's already too late to change the iguana's diet. This is because a green iguana which is mainly fed lettuce will continue to eat lettuce even if better foods are added to its diet.

If you want to take proper care of your green iguana, you should feed it vegetables that have a high nutritional value. Examples include collards, turnip greens and mustard greens.

2) Iguanas will not outgrow their cages – Some people think that keeping iguanas in small cages will cause their growths to be stunted. These people provide small cages for their iguanas in order to keep it in a convenient size. This will definitely not help your green iguana. A green iguana, when properly taken care of, can grow up to six feet long. This means that keeping it in a small cage will only accomplish the feat of making your green iguana's life very uncomfortable.

3) Iguanas need to consume gravel in order to help their digestion – this is a very dangerous myth. Some people add gravel or small pebbles to an iguana's enclosure because they think that these help a green iguana to digest its food. However, you should realize that gravel or any such material could kill your green iguana if it is consumed. You should try to avoid feeding your green iguana these materials, whether by accident or on purpose.

4) Hot rocks are great for heating – some people add hot rocks to a green iguana enclosure, thinking that these rocks are good for an iguana's body temperature. What you need to remember is that green iguanas are cold blooded. This means that if a green iguana sits on a hot rock, it can literally be cooked to death. If you wish to provide proper heating for a green iguana enclosure, you should use special lighting available in most pet stores.

5) Iguanas can eat insects, pet food, and other animal products – Many sources today still state that iguanas should be given animal protein as part of their diet. However, the truth is that green iguanas are best suited to an herbivorous diet. The body and metabolism of a green iguana is designed to utilize plant proteins effectively. Animal proteins, on the other hand, can prove to be very troubling to them. Consumption of animal proteins can cause your green iguana to develop gout. It can also lead to serious kidney problems. The only reason that iguanas eat insects in the wild is because these get mixed up with their food accidentally.

These are just some of the myths that you may have heard about green iguanas. By knowing the truth about these myths, you are now equipped to give the best care possible to a green iguana.