Can Iguanas Eat Watermelon? Explained!

Today, I want to tackle a curious question I’ve often received from many of you – “Can iguanas eat watermelon?” It’s a fair query, given that watermelons are a favorite summer snack for many of us, and who wouldn’t want to share a juicy bite with their pet iguana?

In this article, we’ll explore everything there is to know about iguanas and their potential love affair with watermelons. We’ll uncover whether these delightful fruits are healthy for our green friends and how much watermelon is too much. Navigating the complexities of an iguana diet can be tricky, so I’ll also guide you on how to correctly feed watermelons to your iguana.

Yes, iguanas can eat watermelons but in small amounts and only occasionally, as it is a high-sugar fruit. Also, due to the high water content, this type of melon can cause digestive upset if consumed excessively.

Watermelon isn’t the worst thing to offer your pet iguana, but it isn’t the best either.

Is Watermelon Healthy For Iguanas?

First, let’s talk about the nutritional profile of watermelon. Bursting with natural sweetness, watermelons are incredibly hydrating, being made up of about 92% water. For this very reason, watermelon has been classified as “poor” in the Animal Veterinary Hospital of Orlando Iguana care guide.

Nutritional Content Of Watermelon

Water91.4 g
Energy30 Calories
Protein0.61 g
Carbohydrates7.5 g
of which sugars6.2 g
Fiber0.4 g
Fat0.15 g
Calcium7 mg
Phosphorous11 mg
Magnesium10 mg
Potassium112 mg
Vitamin A28 µg
Vitamin C8.1 mg
Per 100 grams of Watermelon, Raw. Source: USDA

Watermelons are also packed with essential nutrients that are beneficial to iguanas, such as vitamins A, B6, and C, along with antioxidants like lycopene.

Vitamin A, known for its role in maintaining healthy skin and eye health, can be especially beneficial for iguanas. As they are prone to skin and eye issues, a bit of watermelon can contribute to their overall health in this area.

Vitamin B6 supports a healthy nervous system—a vital aspect of iguana health that cannot be overlooked. Vitamin C, on the other hand, boosts the immune system, helping your pet fight off any potential diseases.

The lycopene present in watermelons is a powerful antioxidant that’s been linked to heart health in various studies. While research in iguanas is limited, there’s no harm in offering this antioxidant-rich fruit in controlled portions.

How Much Watermelon Can An Iguana Eat?

Now, remember, every iguana is unique, and dietary needs can vary based on factors like age, size, and overall health. However, a good general rule of thumb is that fruits, including watermelon, should make up about 10-20% of an iguana’s diet. The rest should be primarily composed of leafy greens and other vegetables.

So, for a typical adult iguana, a couple of small chunks of watermelon once or twice a week should be just about perfect. Remember, it’s always a good idea to chop the watermelon into bite-sized pieces to make it easier for your iguana to eat.

Why not more often, you might ask? Well, while watermelon is high in vitamins, it’s also quite high in sugar. Consuming too much watermelon could potentially lead to health issues like obesity and dental problems in iguanas. It’s a treat, but not a main course.

Underfeeding isn’t usually a problem with watermelon, given its treat-like status. The main concern here would be if watermelon, or any fruit, were to become the bulk of your iguana’s diet. This could lead to nutritional deficiencies as fruits lack the wide variety of nutrients found in veggies.

How To Feed Watermelon To An Iguana?

Feeding your iguana properly is so important for their health and happiness. A well-fed iguana is a happy iguana, after all! And watermelon can be a great treat, provided we do it right. Let’s dive into the best practices for feeding watermelon to our beloved scaly friends.

  1. Choose the Right Watermelon: First things first, make sure to pick a ripe, sweet, and fresh watermelon. Avoid overly ripe or spoiled fruits as they can upset your iguana’s stomach.
  2. Prepare the Watermelon: Wash the watermelon thoroughly to get rid of any pesticides or dirt. Cut the watermelon into small, bite-sized pieces that your iguana can easily manage. Remember, iguanas don’t have the same biting capabilities as us, so we need to make it as easy as possible for them!
  3. Serve the Watermelon: Place a few pieces of watermelon in your iguana’s food dish. You don’t want to overdo it. A couple of pieces along with their regular food are enough.
  4. Monitor Your Iguana: Watch your iguana as they eat. Not all iguanas take to new foods straight away, so don’t be disheartened if they don’t immediately dive into the watermelon feast you’ve prepared. Patience is key!

Remember, watermelon is a treat, not a staple in their diet. So, we need to limit the amount they eat. Too much of a good thing can still be bad, and we don’t want to upset our iguana’s digestive system with an overabundance of fruit.

Can Iguanas Eat Watermelon Rind?

There is nothing wrong with the rind itself but it can be a choking hazard. We recommend avoiding watermelon rind altogether.

Iguanas cannot bite through watermelon rind, despite their sharp teeth. You should therefore peel the rind off the melon before slicing it.

Is It Safe For Iguanas To Eat Watermelon Leaves?

Most parts of a watermelon are edible. Iguanas love eating greens, and they will also love watermelon leaves. Just like the pink part, watermelon leaves also contain many beneficial nutrients.

Feeding them watermelon leaves won’t hurt your iguana as long as you don’t overdo it. Don’t forget to give the lizard other vegetables too.

It is easy to prepare watermelon leaves for iguanas.

  • Make sure the leaves are thoroughly washed
  • Cut them into manageable pieces
  • Serve alone or with a mix of other vegetations

Iguana teeth work best when harvesting leaves. Iguanas can eat leaves even as babies because they’re born with teeth.

Can Iguanas Eat Watermelon Flowers?

In addition to leafy greens and fruits, Iguanas also enjoy eating flowers. Watermelon flowers are particularly attractive to them because of their bright color.

Watermelon flowers are hard to find since they’re generally not sold in stores. However, it may be possible to get the flowers from your garden if you have a few melons growing.

Besides being rich in nutrients, watermelon flowers are also easy to digest, so your iguana won’t experience any digestive problems.


Iguanas can eat watermelons but not on a regular basis. Because it has a lot of water and very less nutritional value, it should not be fed to an iguana more than once every two weeks.

Filled under: Lizards

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