Can anyone give me information about keeping an iguana as a pet?

Hi, I’m thinking about getting an iguana as a pet, but I want every bit of information I can find out about what I have to do to care for it first, for the animal’s sake. Any information or relevant stuff would be amazing, thanks in advance.

6 Responses to “Can anyone give me information about keeping an iguana as a pet?”

  • Alyssa:

    Adult cage size is about 8 feet long, 6 feet tall, and 4 feet wide. Larger is better, but that’s the minimum size for an adult.

    They need freshly prepared meals daily of fruits, leafy greens, veggies, flowers, etc. They don’t generally eat much protein.

    They also require full spectrum UVA/UVB lighting, and very high temperatures. Their lighting can be quite complicated to maintain.

    Lastly, they need both a large bathing tub of water, and a drinking bowl of water, as they like to wade and poop in water and should not be allowed to drink from the dirty water.

    As for temperment, they are generally very aggressive and will bite, claw, and tail-whip people when they are upset.

    I personally do not find Iguanas to be suitable pets, and few people can take care of them properly.

  • stephen eblue eyes:

    buy a good book to get all the right answers

  • kittenslayer:

    Iguanas tend to suck as pets.

    They get absolutely huge (5 feet plus) and need huge cages. They need high humidity (above 70%) and only eat veggies, so you have to come up with and maintain a nutritionally complete diet of fresh veggies every day.

    They poop tons, way more than any other type of lizard.

    They have long sharp claws and rip you up without even trying. They climb everything and will knock stuff over and break things loose in your house.

    They can be really aggressive, even if handled at a young age. They go into an aggressive state in breeding season. They bite really hard and have razor sharp teeth.

    If you want a big lizard, look into Argentine Black and White Tegus as well as Savannah Monitors.

    If you like the look of iguanas, check into chinese water dragons.

    If this hasn’t dissuaded you, get the book “Green Iguana: Ultimate Owner’s Manual” by James Hatfield III and check out

    If you do decide an iguana is right for you, look on to adopt an iguana in need of a home. There are tons of iguanas in rescue; many people get them without realizing how much work they really are.

  • evanescence_fr3ak:

    First, think about adoption, not buying a young one from a pet store. Adoption would help the many that are in shelters, and you aren’t supply the pet store with the money. Adoption is great, usually the ig will be more mature and will possibly know the behavior/additude of the ig compaired to the young ones.
    Be prepaired to have stitches if you ig ever tries to bite you.
    Iguanas take a lot of time and patience. The are not like a dog or cat. Igs are wild, some igs will tolerate there slave/owner, some will never tolerate slave/owner. You will get tail whipping, but if your ig tolerates you, you should not get whipped as much. You’ll look like you got clawed by a cat w/ all the scratches on your body, but that is easy fix to trimming/filing there claws.
    Are they a greatest animal/pet to have? It’s your call honestly. If you know that you will be a slave to an ig for the next 10-20 yrs of your life, then the answer is yes. If you don’t know where your life is going at this point, I’d say the answer is no. Do you have the time to feed, bath, make sure of all his/her needs? If the answer is maybe … then you need to diffently think about if your ready for one or not.
    If you get a young one, nothing smaller then a 55 gallon tank for the first 8-12 months. After those months you will need to build an enclosure that suits your iguanas size, building bigger is better. Enclosure needs to be at least 1.5-2 times it’s total length. Adult size is recommended being at least 6-7ft tall x 8-10ft long x 4ft wide.
    You will need 2 UVB tubes, not just one. ReptiSun 10.0 or the Repti Glo 8.0 are best. MegaRays are better but for a small enclosure it is not recommended. The 10.0 should be 8-10 inches from your igs body, the 8.0 should be 6-8 inches from your igs body, you will need to be able to adjust. Always make sure that where you put the “basking” area for your ig to lay that you do supply a flat surface under the UVB lights, do not angle the “basking” area, your ig will not get the proper UVB threwout body. Avoid using the coil compact UVBs they do not produce the UVB that your ig needs, and the “U” shaped type can actually cause eye damage. Some web sites will charge less for the tubes then the pet stores charge.
    Make sure that you have a herp/reptile vet that knows iguanas. You never know when you will need one. It’s always best to take your ig to the vet for a check up when you first get, if you have no other issues that your ig needs to see the vet again for, a yearly check up. If you end up w/ a female ig you will need to be prepaired to have at least 1-2 xrays a year when breeding season comes, due to the egging. Males may become aggressive or sweeter during the breeding season.
    Igs should have daily baths, they will learn to use the bath tub as there restroom instead of there enclosure, but you should place a bowl or litter box (only use water no bark, litter, etc) when they need to go.
    Floor covering, do not use anything that your ig can possibly lick and swallow, which could cause blockage which then may need surgery to remove or possible death. Bad floor coverings: bark, sand, pellets, cork, shreeded newspaper … think of it this way if it looks like it could be swallowed don’t use. Safe floor covering: newspaper, paper towels, indoor/outdoor carpeting, lynolem. Always make sure that your ig isn’t trying to eat and swallow, look for shreeded fibers.
    Your ig needs humidity, if you use a tank placing outside will add humidity, along w/ spraying/misting, silk fake plants, water dishes. When you need to build an enclosure, make sure that you figure out a way to pipe the humidity inside. Do not place the humidifier or vaporizer inside the enclosure, your ig could possibly sit/lay on it and depending on what type you use could burn it’s underbelly or body could get too cold.
    Never use heat rocks!!! Very dangerous to igs underbellys. Tank you can use an under tank heat pad, large enclosure you can use a human heating pad (set on low setting), covered w/ a towel or blanket.
    Temps, iguanas need at least 4 temps: never let drop below 70F … basking 92-96F if temp is too low digestion is slowed too high food digests too fast and nutrition is lost … medium/middle 88-92F… cool 75-84F … at night 73-84F.
    Food, it is best to give your ig at least 5-7 staple greens a day. Here is a small list of what to give: collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens, endive, radicchio, arugula, mache, watercress … some greens to give occasionally kale, bok choy, escarole … you can add some basil into the mix only w/ good staple greens, sometimes that helps them eat more … you can add romaine to your iguanas food, but not as a staple food source should be very small amounts and every couple of days not every day, romaine does not have the nutrience it is mainly only a water source … some things to add (small amounts) snap peas, bell peppers (every now and then), parsnip, sweet potato/yam, acorn squash, butternut squash, buttercup squash … fruits should only be given every now and then once or twice a week type of thing fruits are like junk food to iguanas … some fruits to try papay, kiwi, mango, raspberries, strawberries, grapes, honeydew (great water source), canalope (great water source), 12 grain wheat bread … if anything has seeds make sure you remove seed before you give it to your iguana … watermelon (seedless) can be frozen and then shaved onto your iguanas food helps w/ hydration everyday … there are some foods that aren’t good for your iguana: spinach has oxalate acids bind to the calcium, so even though spinach is high in calcium, almost none is actually available for the iguana to use, also the oxalate acids can form oxalate crystals which can and do build up in the kidneys causing kidney damage/failure … some ig owners do give there ig spinach but in very small amounts and only once a month … carrots is another one to try not and use much of, best to use a sweet potato/yam or acorn … food should be cut/chopped/diced no bigger then the iguanas head, if they are small having a chopper chop them up, or slice them into very small pieces … spray/mist food to help w/ water/hydration … for help w/ food and learn and understanding the Ca:P Ratio to food. Learn what foods are toxic to igs also, yes there is toxic greens/veggies to igs. Never give meat protein (crickets/bugs/meat that we eat), soy, milk, cheese. Sites below will give you the Ca:P Ratio, and what and what not to give to igs.
    If you have other animals, make sure that they aren’t looking at your ig like an afternoon snack, this may at some point cause stress towards an ig.
    I’m sure I missed some things, but at least this will hopefully help.
    Here are some sites for you to look over and read:
    Great book to own, read and reference:
    Iguanas for Dummies by Melissa Kaplan
    There are some great Yahoo groups that can help you before after and possibly help you find a place for adoption if that is one that you consider, if you’d like to join:

  • gheckojc:

    Iguanas are definitely not good pets. Especially if it’s going to be your first reptile. Even most experienced herpers won’t keep iguanas.

    They are very prone to disease if lighting, temperature, humidity & nutrition is not just right. I know that from experience, and just stuck with snakes.

    Male iguanas are very territorial and can get vicious during mating season, also.

    Want a great lizard? Go with a bearded dragon.

  • special:

    Iguanas are great pets just read all the infor you can and set up its cage as said and make sure it has the proper diet and all the vitamins it needs. exotic pets has good infor to help you get started and then look up iguanas and you will find tons of infor.

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