How do you take care of a Iguana?

I want a pet Iguana, and I was wondering what do they eat. And I plan on getting one. And what else should I know about Iguana’s. Also if i get one she I get a baby Iguana?. Or and Adult Iguana. Thank you.

7 Responses to “How do you take care of a Iguana?”

  • jareyn2002:

    Iguanas come from exotic tropical lands, and as such they require very specific housing, food, light, and other care requirements to thrive in captivity. Without these absolute requirements, they can die a slow and painful death.

    • They call green iguanas “Giant Green Iguanas” because they get huge. As an example, the owner’s lizard (pictured on the book cover) at 4 years old was 5’5″ (nose to tip of tail) and weighed 13 pounds. Take size into consideration when deciding on whether to get an iguana or not. They can also live to 12-15 years.

    • Sexually mature male iguanas can be grumpy, rambunctious, or even mean during breeding season. Sexually mature female iguanas can lay eggs even without the presence of a male, and the females need specialized care while gravid and to lay their eggs successfully.


    i would get a baby so you can raise it. buy a book on iguana care. hope this helps a little

  • animal_lover:

    get an iguana book

  • kilukalasin:

    If you decide to get one, DO YOUR RESEARCH! Google “iguana pet care” or something similar and read at least half a dozen websites, preferably more, so that you can see the things they most commonly say. Remember iguanas are from tropical regions and need to have a living situation similar to where they come from. They’re cold blooded, and will need warmth and basking spots, and a well-balanced diet, as even if you feed them regularly, if it’s lacking some of the nutrients they need they will still starve. Often with reptiles it’s hard to tell if they’re sick because they will hide it – in the wild, if predators realise they’re sick they probably won’t live very long. You also need to be careful what you put in their living tank as some substrate (the stuff that goes on the bottom, like sand or pebbles or bark chips) they might eat and if they can’t digest it, it will be very painful and possibly lethal for them.

    Not to scare you away from doing it completely, but just make sure you’re absolutely prepared if you do.

  • viggo.blixen:

    If you have never cared for reptiles before you do not want your first one to be an ig. As has been said, adult males can be quite nasty during breeding season (Mine tail-whipped at everything that came near his cage for the entire month of September) and adult females will not lay their eggs if you haven’t given them a safe place to do it. This will kill them in the end. They also can get to be 6 feet long and need an enclosure at least this wide and twice as long in order to be happy.

    Iguanas are not pets for beginners, the oldest iguana in captivity lived to 29 years! [Hatfield] For your first reptile pet I would recommend some anoles or a skink of some kind.

    If you must have an iguana, get the book I cite in my sources and read it cover to cover before you get your animal. You could easily just go to the pet store and buy one and wing it, but I guarantee that animal will live a sad, short life. As others have said, I don’t want to scare you off iguanas (I loved both mine very much) but you need to be absolutely prepared to care for them, they are more like children than pets.

    EDIT: Iguanas only live in “tanks” until they are 2 or 3 years old, then they really should have their own room, or at least a custom enclosure. If you can’t provide this for them, you are essentially buying something to torture it to death.

  • evanescence_fr3ak:

    If you get an iguana from a pet store, you should take it in to a herp/reptile vet asap. Many pet store iguanas usally have mites and/or parasite. Iguanas are not that easy to take care of. If you get a young iguana it will have time to get to know you. Many older iguanas from rescue groups do will w/ new owners but if you do not know how to take care of one I wouldn’t get an older one.
    Iguanas are usually not the best first reptile to own. You really need to read and know all the pros and cons of owning an iguana.
    Iguanas can be very dominate or submissive. You are there slave for 15-20 yrs, if given the proper care (food/living space/UVB/heat/health). If you are in high school or college do think about school activities, hangin out w/ friends, going away to college. Just because you have one doesn’t mean you can just throw in some food for the iguana and it will be all happy. You need to interact w/ your iguana daily. Males usually get 6ft tall. Females usually get 5ft tall. You will not know the sex until a year of age. Iguanas can give you some nasty bites, specially when they are older. Needs to have fresh food daily, usually more then 1 feeding a day. Read about them make sure that you are truly ready to own one.

    Here is some basic information about iguanas.
    Young iguana (8-12 months of age) should not live in anything smaller the a 55 gallon tank. Smaller the tank you can not process the correct temps threw out. Enclosure needs to be at least 1.5-2 times it’s total length … an adult you will need a space of 6-7ft tall x 8-10ft long x 4ft wide.
    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 (overall) 88-92F
    cool 75-84F
    at night 73-84F … having a temp gun works the best to know what your igs body temp truly is.
    *** NO HEAT ROCKS PLEASE … they can cause major burns on the under belly … igs dont feel heat from below so they will sit there not knowing they are burning themselves ***
    – Depending on enclosure size, depends on wattage, but for basking light (along w/ UVB tube) you can use a house bulb for heat during the day, you don’t have to use one of those costly basking bulbs you buy at the store (night if your house gets below 70 a CHE should be used – produces heat no light)
    – Stick on glass thermometers do not work, they can read incorrect, get a good thermometer w/ a probe at the end, and place where your iguana is basking under and at his/her level, you will get more of a correct temp reading
    Iguanas are tropical and do need humidity. Spraying/Misting a few times a day will help some, silk fake leaves (bigger then your igs head) will help hold some humidity, having a humidifier or vaporizer next to the tank will help (figure out a way to pipe inside would be better but think child proof also), daily baths will help and learn to go potty in the tub less mess in tank.
    UVB: (12 hrs on during day – 12 hrs off during night no light)
    US: ReptiSun 10.0 distance 8-10 inches from your igs body
    Repti Glo 8.0 distance 6-8 inches from your igs body
    ReptiSun 5.0 distance 6-8 inches from your igs body
    UK: Arkadia distance 6-8 inches from your igs body
    – You will need to adjust the distance as your ig grows
    – Using a shop light from a home improvement store works the best, get one that has 2 tube plugs and using 2 UVB tubes
    – The UVB listed are in tube form, using the 36-48inch tubes are the best more length for your ig
    – Surface under the UVB tube lights need to be a flat surface if at an angle your igs body will not get the proper UVB threw out
    – There are UVB’s out there on the market now that can cause eye damange to your ig (do not use the compact or the coil type – see the for further information)
    – W/out UVB your ig may end up w/ MBD (Metabolic Bone Disease)
    – UVB information that you may find interesting:
    Floor covering:
    BAD floor covering: bark, dirt, moss, sand, pellets are all bad … at some point your iguana will try and lick swallow and then possibly cause blockage which will then need to be surgically removed or possibly death … SAFE floor covering: newspaper (unprinted), paper towels, towels, vinyl flooring, indoor/outdoor carpeting – if you have any lose fibers from the carpeting or the towels please remove and replace – unprinted newspaper if you possibly can use is safer just in case your ig likes to try and eat the newspaper some ink may contain soy
    Daily food should have 5-7 good staple greens (2-3 cups a day if not more younger igs may eat less then 1/4 cup) … collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, dandelion greens (if you can find), endive, radicchio, arugula, mache (if you can find), watercress … some greens to give occasionally kale, bok choy, escarole … adding basil for young igs sometimes helps them eat … romaine is mostly water no nutrience, you can add small amount and occasionally in w/ the good staple greens (collard, mustard, etc) but do not make romaine just your iguanas choice of greens (or any other type of lettuce most of us humans eat) … 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 anything w/ small seeds like strawberries wait like 3 days before giving anymore … 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 … corn igs can not digest … carrots can block calcium absorption … bananas are low in calcium best to give another type of fruit … apples too much acid – appetite suppressant … rhubarb is poisonous … 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
    Animal protein:
    Iguanas are plant eaters, they should not be feed any animal protein. No meat/bugs, no dairy. If you ever give your ig iguana diet dried food, please read the ingredients there are so many products on the market today that clearly puts meat protein in there ingredients, usually w/ in the first 10 ingredients. Some that I am aware of that do MonsterDiet, TRex, Zilla, Wardley. RepCal Iguana pellets is one that is safe to use. Soak pellets before offering to help w/ hydration, only give a few pellets for you want the greens to be main diet.
    When you get an iguana you should take your ig to a herp/reptile vet that knows about iguanas. Just for a new pet check over. Your ig may have mites, parasites or other nasty things carried from the pet store. Plus if anything was to happen you know who to call w/out looking threw the phone book hoping you find a vet who knows something about iguanas.

    Sites for you to read:
    A great book to read and have on hand:
    Iguanas for Dummies by Melissa Kaplan
    Yahoo has some great sites for Iguana owners… these groups helped me and still help w/ questions .. if you’d like to join:

  • ⓒяαڒ ⓓ --ⓒⓞⓓⓔ ⓖⓔⓐⓢⓢ-- レラウチュ:

    A few things you should know about your iguana – There’s a lot of things you’ll need to do to take care of your iguana properly. To get you started, here’s some stuff you may not know about your iguana….

    – Iguanas are arboreal, which means that in the wild, they live in trees. This means that your iguana will want some stuff to climb around on.

    – Iguanas are herbivores, which means that in the wild, they eat plants. This also means that you should try to avoid feeding them stuff like meat, dog food, cat food, eggs, cheese, and other foods that are bad for your iguana. (You’ll learn more about the right foods later.)

    – Iguanas need special ultraviolet lighting, which is also called UV lighting. They can get this with special light bulbs and by sitting in direct sunlight.

    – Pet iguanas and their cages should be properly cleaned on a regular basis.

    – Pet iguanas that are kept in a cage, need to be in a cage that is VERY big. Your iguana will not be happy or healthy in a cage that is too small.

    – Iguanas are cold blooded, which means they need to be in a warm environment. This means you’ll need to provide heat for your iguana. (You’ll learn more about providing heat later.)

    – Iguanas need to have proper humidity to help them shed and help them stay healthy. You can give your iguana proper humidity several ways, which we’ll talk about later.

    – Iguanas should see a good veterinarian at least once a year. Just like people, iguanas should get a check up every once in a while, to make sure they’re healthy.

    Taking care of your iguana – Okay, so here we go! It’s time to learn how to take care of your iguana. This is just the basic stuff you’ll need to know, so it’s important that you keep learning as much as you can about iguanas and iguana care. Feeding your iguana – You’ll need to feed your iguana every single day. Choosing the right foods can be hard to do, so you may want to ask your parents to help you with choosing, buying, and preparing the food you’re going to feed your iguana. The most important part of feeding your iguana is choosing a wide variety of good foods. Let’s face it, you wouldn’t want to eat the same thing everyday, so your iguana probably wouldn’t either. Just like a kid, an iguana will probably want to eat stuff that isn’t really good for him. You have become the parent of your iguana, so it’s going to be your responsibility to make sure your iguana eats healthy food. Below is a list of a few foods that you may want to feed your iguana….
    – Greens such as collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens and dandelion greens. (If you’re using dandelion greens from your yard, make sure they have never been sprayed with bad stuff like weed or bug spray…this will not be good for your iguana and may make it very sick!) Lettuce is not a green, doesn’t have a lot of nutrition, and shouldn’t be fed too often. The greens should be chopped up into small pieces.

    – Squash such as butternut squash, acorn squash, yellow squash, zucchini, and a few other kinds of squash. Squash should be cut up and shredded into very small pieces.

    – Green beans, peas, parsnip, asparagus, okra, onions, mushrooms, bell peppers, sweet potato, and carrots. All of these foods should be cut up into very small pieces and/or shredded.

    – Fruits such as figs, blackberries, strawberries, raspberries, grapes, mango, melon (cantelope, honeydew, watermelon), papaya, bananas, and apples. Fruits should only be a small amount of your iguana’s food, so don’t feed it too many fruits. Most of these fruits can be peeled, cored and cut into very small pieces or shredded.

    – Cooked rice or pasta. This can be a good treat or something you can give your iguana every once in a while.

    Those foods are the good stuff. You can feed your iguana other foods, but it’s important that you don’t feed it too much. There are a lot of foods that can be very bad for your iguana if you feed these too much or too often. Don’t worry if your iguana sneaks a piece of the dog’s food, or snags something you’re eating, but don’t let it do it very often.

    You’ll need to feed your iguana every single day. Try to feed it an hour or so after you turn its lights on and it’s had a chance to wake up, warm up and get ready to eat. Not only will you need to feed your iguana every day, it’s important to give your iguana fresh, clean water every day too. This means you’ll need to give it a water bowl of some kind, and make sure the water is changed every day

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