do iguana’s make good pets?

I like pets that are affectionate and relaxed.. can iguana’s be trained at all?

9 Responses to “do iguana’s make good pets?”

  • Larry H:

    NO! They can’t be trained. They grow too big, too fast. They will outgrow their cage very quickly and you will have a 4 ft. long iguana and nowhere to keep it. And then you can’t get rid of it.

  • silverstardust_16:

    It depends. I’ve heard of iguanas that are behaved and trained. A lot of them are relaxed and sit on your shoulder, but as for training, like tricks and commands, I think it’s rare. You have a better chance of training them if you start them young. However, I’ve heard that iguanas only really bond with people who regularly handle them.

  • Lindsay S:

    Iguanas are beautiful and wonderful pets but they can be quite dangerous because if not cared for and handled gently they can become very aggressive They grow very large and become very strong. Often a new iguana is quite docile for the first few days after he is brought home. At this point many owners think that taming their iguana will be no problem, and are somewhat startled in a few days when the iguana starts showing signs of aggression. This is normal – at first the iguana may have been too nervous and intimidated by his new surroundings to assert himself. However, as the iguana becomes more comfortable he is more likely to show his displeasure with handling. (For the sake of clarity, iguanas are referred to as males in this article, although the information here applies equally to male and female iguanas.)
    The difficulty owners will face in taming their iguana depends somewhat on the iguana, his age (older is sometimes better, as a tame baby may change a lot when he/she reaches sexual maturity) and his background. Pet store iguanas are likely to be at least a little stressed by their experiences (shipping, handling, and housing). Getting an iguana from a rescue is a wonderful idea, but remember some will have been neglected and even mistreated so it may take a little longer to gain their trust. Taming requires gaining trust, and this is something that will not happen overnight – trust must be earned over time. Depending on your iguana it may take months – so be patient and persistent, and you will have a much happier life with your iguana.

    A note on the damage iguanas do: they have lots of weapons so you do need to be careful. This is not said to scare you, just to warn you what to watch out for. They have sharp teeth and do bite, and they may try to whip you with their tail which can be extremely powerful (and the dorsal spines along the tail are very sharp). They have very sharp claws, so at least expect some scratches when first handling an iguana. It is also a good idea to acquaint yourself with body language and behavior so you can read the warning signs. Head bobs and extension of the dewlap may signal that the iguana feels threatened and may defend itself; tail twitching is a definite sign of aggression. Read the resources so you can get a feel for what your iguana is trying to tell you.
    Taming is also a balance between not pushing too hard and showing the iguana who is in charge. You have to be firm and persistent without completely stressing out the iguana. At the same time, if the iguana is aggressive or struggles and you immediately back off or put him down, your iguana thinks he has “won” and thinks that when he is aggressive he will get his way. This may be easier said than done when an iguana is scratching you or trying to bite or lash you with his tail, but try to make it clear that you are making the decisions and in charge of the interaction.

  • Black Assasin:


  • madart:

    I would find a local reptile club and hang with someone who has a full grown iguana as a pet. You will see first hand the size and temperament and can decide for yourself.

    The other advantage of finding a club is that often you can get a “free” rescue animal- the animal will be free but you will end up buying all kinds of stuff. They can also give you tons of good advice.

  • critterman51:

    Iguanas do not make good pets. They don’t “get aggressive”, they simply never get to trust you. For thousands of years they have been prey for any carnivore in Central and South America and the instinct for fight or flight is well established. I get so tired of the folks who happen to have that 1 out of 100 iggys that do calm down claiming they are good pets. I have known hundreds of iguanas and most are always ready to whip with their tails and scratch with their sharp claws. If you want a large lizard that usually has a calm disposition get a savannah monitor.

  • Azure Child:

    Iguanas DO make good pets and at the same time they DON’T, I should know, I have two.

    They are not affectionate or relaxed perse, and even the tamest of iguanas can (and probably will) turn on its owner a couple of times. You can’t predict if your iguana will be the mellow kind that tolerates your hand, or the super jumpy kinda that will whip you whenever you get three feet from it. They can learn to tolerate humans, as a slave to the Ig,but they won’t really feel affection towards you. You’d simply be a convenience that delivers food.

    Having aid that, Iguanas can learn. They are very intelligent pets and they’ll learn to use a water box or a bath-tub, play/roaming schedule, If they are allowed on the sofa or not and even to return to their cages and wait until you close it. Whether the iguana wants to learn these things and you have the patience to teach it… that’s a very different issue.

    But Igs are difficult to care for, they need large enclosures (around bathroom sized), food that you probably won’t find anywhere but the fresh market, UV tubes, and most of all, they need Patience and TIME. An iguana is not something I’d recommend for people who are young because you don’t know where you’ll be in 20 years, or people who move a lot or don’t spend time home. They need the security of stability.

    I suggest you research a lot, because having a cranky pet isn’t very fun at all if all you want is to pet it. Another lizard would be more suitable, like a Beardie or a Blue Tongued Skink.


  • blaze111691:

    I don’t know if their affectionate but I know they sit around all day and do nothing. and I don’t think they can be trained but then again you never know. you might buy one that can talk or something. anythings possible. I wouldn’t own one just because of all the diseases you can get off of them. same diseases you can get off of a frog or something. my aunt owned one and I wanted one once till I read on them.

  • sarcofilus:

    They are relatively relaxed. You must spend lots of time with it thought. And soon they will somewhat “bond” to you, knowing your appearance and smell.

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