When people talk about getting an iguana pet, they usually have in mind to the most common species, the Iguana Iguana or the green iguana.
It is a completely different situation for a green iguana to live in captivity than its natural environment. The most important advantage of raising a green iguana in captivity is that it keeps it far from predators. Even if it has become a popular pet nowadays this does not mean that it is easy to look after this kind of pet.
Here are some tips you will need to consider before having an iguana pet.
First of all, you will need to provide a large space for your green iguana. Given the fact that a green iguana may grow as large as seven feet, the pets habitat should be any owners top priority.
A small space can easily lead to sickness and even vulnerability to infections. The green iguana needs to be able to move around an climb, so make sure the space is large enough for the animal to do all these activities.
Another important thing you need to consider when deciding that a green iguana is the perfect pet for you and your family is the heating device. A green iguana needs to be warm enough in order to digest properly and be healthy. The source of UV light should provide a temperature lower that 26C, but at least one part should have a temperature as high as 35C. In order to reach this purpose, a spotlight would be perfect.
Even if heating and light are important, be sure that darkness is an important aspect too. Approximately 6 to 10 hours of darkness each night should be enough for your green iguana well-being.
Every pet need care and attentions from its owner, so make sure your will be able to watch over your Iguana pet. If you do not give your green iguana enough love and affection, it can get seriously depressed and eventually die.
These were just a few tips that need to be considered in taking care of a green iguana. However, it is better to consult a qualified veterinarian if you want your iguana to live a happy long life.
Many people consider having an green iguana, but first they need to overcome all the dangerous myths in order to succeed taking proper care of a green iguana! Here are the most common misconceptions about green iguanas that you should know about.
One of the common myths is that green iguanas can eat lettuce. This myth is not entirely false. Of course, since green iguanas are best kept on a vegetarian diet, you can feed it lettuce, but it would be better to avoid it since most types of salad lettuce have very little nutritional value. The best vegetables you can feed your with are collards, turnip greens and mustard greens.
Another myth says that iguanas will not outgrow their cages. Many people provide small iguana cages in order to keep them in a convenient size. You should not forget that a healthy iguana can reach up to six feet long. A small iguana cage will only make your pet feel very uncomfortable.
Temperature is a very important aspect in a green iguana’s life, given the fact that they are cold blooded. This is the reason why many people add hot rocks to a green iguana enclosure. These hot rocks are indeed great, but not recommended, therefore you should use the special lighting that is available in almost all the pet shops.
Regarding iguana food, there is a certain myth which says that iguanas can eat insects, pet food, and other animal products, there are however many sources today that still state that iguanas can given animal protein as part of their diet. The truth is that green iguanas are best suited to a vegetarian diet. On the other hand, consumption of animal proteins can cause your green iguana to develop gout and it can also lead to serious kidney problems.
There are of course many other myths about raising green iguanas, some of them being very dangerous. This is why you have to make sure you are well informed before having an geen iguana.
Hailing from South America and Central America, the green iguana can be easily found in Mexico, Brazil, Paraguay and the Caribbean. Some of the breeds of the green iguana are now also spotted in Hawaii and Florida. This green iguana is the largest type of lizard that happens to inhabit much of the territories of United States.
An interesting fact is that the term green iguana does not mean that all these reptiles are green. The majority of matured iguanas have uniform colors but the younger ones can have other colors, depending on their health, mood, temperature, and social statures.
In approximately three years, young twelve-gram green iguana can turn into a one kilogram adult green iguana. The majority of the well-fed matured green iguanas can weight about 4 and 6 kilograms but sometimes they can also reach the 8 kilogram weight.
green iguanas are known as arboreal lizards, therefore they enjoy living on top of tree canopies. When they are young, the green iguanas tend to stay in the lower portions but as they grow up they like it high above. They spend most of the time basking in the sun but the females sometimes go down in order to lay their eggs. Being great swimmers, they normally search for habitats surrounded by water in order to escape the predators.
Talking about distinct features, one of them is that they have a dewlap that can be found under their throats. This specific feature is mostly encountered in the male green iguanas rather than in the females. The parietal eye works like a sort of meter for the solar energy and contributes to the maturity of the endocrine and thyroid glands in these reptiles.
After approximately 65 days upon the mating period, the female green iguana is ready to lay her eggs. In about three days, 10 to 30 pale-colored eggs get deposited into the nests. Some of the nests can be shared by many female iguanas especially when the space is not large enough for them. An interesting fact about females green iguanas is that they do not watch their nests, they just pay a few visits. green iguanas are exotic fascinating pets which reminds us of one of greatest prehistoric animals – the dinosaurs.
The term giant green iguana refers to the giant lizards. They are said to be giants because they grow up to five to six feet in a span of four to five years. If you prefer not to have a big lizard under your care, then do not opt for a giant green iguana. There are no dwarf versions of this species so you must understand from the very start that green iguanas by nature can grow really large. You cannot by all means make an iguana a dwarf version not unless you expose it to severe chronic malnutrition and then to continuous hypothermia.
Of course, when you do safe keep it on a tank that measures only up to ten gallons, its normal growth will be hideously hindered. Such kind of environment will also make the iguana sick and crazy to the highest level. If you are really serious in making the iguana appear small, then kill it slowly. Killing it slowly means keeping it in a very small-spaced tank container, giving it dull food to feed on, and then exposing it to extreme cold. You may likewise try to be humane and just simply buy a stuffed toy iguana.
The iguanas are naturally from the exotic tropical areas so when they are taken in as pets they must be fully maintained. Meaning, they must be catered with sufficient and healthy food, homey housing environment, proper lighting, and utmost tender love and care. In the absence of any of these factors, they can be subject to premature death. It is a must that you know for a fact if you will love to take care of a giant green iguana before purchasing one. They get extremely huge and live a span of twelve to fifteen years.
In terms of the breeding season, the mature male iguanas, which are then capable of mating with a female iguana, will usually appear rambunctious, mean, and grumpy. Meanwhile, the sexually active and mature female iguanas are able to lay eggs despite the absence of the male iguanas. More so, proper care should be given to the female iguanas so as they will be able to carry out a successful lying of their eggs. In truth, the giant green iguanas can be cared as pets both by the young and old.
Indeed, the giant green iguana ranks as one of the well-known and most sought-after lizards. Most of the buyers of the giant green iguana have no idea at all as to how huge the young iguana could grow when the right time comes. The full-grown giant male green iguanas measure up to almost seven feet. When it comes to feeding them, vegetables are a must. Pay particular attention to offering them the leafy ones since they are plant-eaters by nature. Fruits such as banana can also be included in the iguana’s diet. At a very young stage, it is important to feed the iguanas with diversified sorts of food because it is during this time that they learn to recognize the food preferences that they will go for. Once or twice in a week, the iguana should be given a small quantity of a vitamin and mineral supplement which is especially intended for reptiles. When all these insights are followed, you can be certain that your pet iguana will grow healthy.
Iguanas are usually seen in smaller sizes. But contrary to this, iguanas can be so large that you will need a whole room for it to be able to survive. This article will discuss on how to properly get or build a cage for you giant Iguana.
One of the most important things in building your pet’s cage is the SIZE – size does matter when it comes to your giant iguana’s cage.
There are common beliefs that an iguana’s growth size is only limited by the shape and size of their cage. But sad to say this statement is not true. Most iguanas continually grow faster on the first quarter of their life span and slower on the next half.
So before purchasing a giant iguana, make sure that you have the proper resources and space for a big cage for your iguana’s habitat. A newly hatched iguana can easily fill out a 60 gallon aquarium in just one year if properly and healthily taken care off.
A small iguana in the first 6 months of his life does not need a big cage. A large fish aquarium will do, but you should be ready to spend more after eight months because this is the time where rapid growth of your iguana occurs.
Another important thing to consider in building a cage for your giant iguana is the temperature and humidity of the cage. Iguanas are reptile and are cold blooded creature so they basically need an environment which is warm but not too hot.
A basking point should be installed which should have a temperature of eighty-nine to ninety-five degrees Fahrenheit and the total air temperature should be at least eighty degrees Fahrenheit.
Different temperature should be assigned on different parts of the cage to allow regulation of body temperature for your giant iguana pet.
You can use mercury vapor lamps or fluorescent tubes in this kind of situation though some pet shops may recommend the use of hot rocks. But veterinarians are definitely against this idea. Hot rocks can burn your giant iguana’s skin and can cause wound which would lead to infection and death.
The humidity of the cage should also be taken into consideration. A sixty-five to seventy humidity rate should be observed for a proper iguana cage. You can have this by installing a humidifier into the cage or if you find too expensive you can just manually spray water on the cage a few times everyday.
You can also try to put a large bowl of water on the cage so that it can add up to the humidity inside the cage.
Lighting is also essential so make sure that your cage has the proper lighting in order for your giant iguana to survive.
An iguana needs a good dose of UVA and UVB lights. This is because UVA lights kindle their natural behavior and UVB on the other hand helps them in producing Vitamin D3 which is an essential component of their digestion process.
The most cheap and accessible way to get this UV rays into your giant iguana’s body is by exposing them to sun rays regularly or by building their cage near a window where sunlight is abundant.
It might be quite hard for you to be able to build such a complex man made biodiversity on your own place but these are essential needs for you giant iguana to survive under your captivity.
So this is a matter of life and death, if you think that you cannot provide the listed requirement for your iguana then you should think twice and lay out your terms and reconsider your option about owning a giant iguana.
So, you’ve decided to get a pet.
But you don’t know what kind yet.
You leave the comfort of your home sweet home and go to the local pet shop. After looking at several types of dogs, cats, birds, and even fish, you suddenly realize that you want something out of the ordinary; something that would definitely turn heads.
You look around, wary that you might not find the perfect pet, when suddenly you chance upon a tank or two of very green lizards with dewlaps hanging from their chins. Some are just hatchlings, while others look somewhat old. You get excited and want to know what the animals are. You ask the clerk or pet shop owner about them. He/she tells you.
He/she also gives other interesting information, like the reptiles came from Peru, Surinam, Honduras, Columbia, or Mexico; there are more than 700 species of these animals; or the lizards are called “Bamboo Chicken” in some places.
You listen more and nod your head in agreement while telling yourself that you must get this animal for a pet. At long last, you tell yourself. You’ve found the pet of your dreams – the iguana.
However, you want to make sure that the animal is healthy. You are not just willing to spend your money on an animal that would die quickly. So, what are you supposed to do?
The answer is easy: conduct a touch test.
The shop owner must allow you to hold the chosen iguana in your two hands. You may use the finger of one hand to inspect the different body parts of the animal.
What things do you look out for?
In terms of its common appearance, consider the following:
• The skin should be firm, clear, clean, and free of bites and scratches. (Bites and scratches might get infected later on.)
• The stomach should be free of burns. (Burns may eventually heal, but the skin would always be very sensitive to heat.)
• The stomach has no ground-in stool. (A dirty stomach indicates that the animal is living in an unhygienic environment which can make it sick and weak.)
• The opening is free of dried stool and urine. (The presence of these shows that the lizard might have parasites and protozoa in its stomach.)
• The iguana resists strongly when its body parts are moved. (Weakness and instability may be a sign that the lizard is injured or suffering from calcium insufficiency.)
• The limbs, tail, and the whole body have no lumps, bumps, or swelling. (Cysts, infections, and fractures need veterinary treatment.)
• The rear legs and thighs are shaped normally. (A swollen leg may indicate a fracture; two legs or thighs, an insufficient supply of calcium.)
• The limbs are sturdy and full while the body is smooth and vibrant looking. (If the limbs are very thin, the lizard may be starving or dehydrated. If the body looks wrinkled and dull, there may be bacterial or parasite infections.)
For its head, eyes, ears, nose, and mouth, you may take note of the following:
• The eyes should be clear. (If they are bleary, crusted, or weepy, there might be an infection in the respiratory system or inflammation of the eyes.)
• The nose has no dried or wet mucus. (Dried or bubbly mucus is an indication of infection in the respiratory system.)
• The insides of the mouth should look healthy. (Infections would cause rotting of the insides of the mouth.)
• The jaw is not swollen. (If it is, then, the animal might have a metabolic disease.)
• There are no swellings or lumps on its face, dewlap, or neck. (Swellings may indicate abscesses.)
In terms of behavior, observe the following:
• A healthy baby would try to get away.
• An unresponsive iguana in your hands may be extremely ill.
These are just some of the things you have to look out for when buying a pet iguana.
Now that you know how to spot a healthy iguana and you have already spotted a healthy one, you leave the store with a smile on your face. It will not be an easy job to raise your newly bought iguana, but it is sure worth a try.
To maintain the health of your iguana does not mean that you need to take it out on regular walks on the park, or have him groomed in your local pet center. These are the things you would do for your pet dog but not for your iguana.
Keeping your iguana healthy is a matter of knowing its basic needs. With all the information about these reptiles already available, there is no reason why you cannot have them growing big and healthy.
Some people prefer to have iguana for their pet because they think that taking care of one is not as difficult compared with other kinds of pets. But then, iguanas can also be sensitive if you do not know what you are doing.
Unlike pet dogs or cats, there is really no high maintenance needed to keep your iguana healthy. All that is needed are some basic necessities that may seem unimportant yet will prove vital in keeping them healthy and fit.
Iguanas are like human. They are fully awake in the morning but needed the darkness of the night to be able to sleep and rest. This is one of the things you have to consider if you have an iguana.
In pet stores today, you will be able to find an assortment of iguana shelters that are complete with the necessary equipments that you pet will need. For example, there are cages available that comes with a bulb that serves as light as well as a heat source for your iguana. Heat is vital in maintaining the body temperature of an iguana. Some owners go to the extent of monitoring temperatures and providing heaters for these pets.
Those who cannot afford these things opt for the more conventional approach of turning lights off in the evening so the iguana can rest. But the problem with this set up is that there is no additional source of warmth supplied to the iguana. In these cases, you may find drifting off to a corner or a place where these reptiles find the heat that their body needs.
For those who want to maintain an orderly temperature monitoring, there are timers that they can buy to ensure that everything is kept well in order. Keep in mind that iguanas thrive mostly on outdoor forest temperatures. That was their home before they were in captivity. It is therefore important that you maintain what they have gotten used to so that they will not find it hard to adapt to their new environment.
First aid is also necessary if you notice signs of illness of skin diseases. Be sure that you have antiseptics or iodine ready for use. If your iguana appears to have an infection, you will notice dark spots or scratches that were not there initially. The best thing to do is to note if these things are starting to get worse or not. Check out the surrounding areas around your pet. Some of these things are caused by the environment that they are exposed to.
If the problem persists, then it is time to consult an expert iguana veterinarian. They will be the ones who will give you advice on what to use on your pet to stop whatever symptoms of illness it is experiencing.
If the health of your iguana is important to you, then you should prepare yourself for the necessary measures in maintaining and keeping them.
How much do you know about green iguanas?
Here are some fast facts about these animals:
• Green iguanas are also called common iguanas.
• They are so “common” that many people like them for a pet.
• Though green iguanas are expected to be green, they may also be brown in color.
• Iguanas are herbivores, eating fruits, flowers, growing spurts, and leaves of trees, on which they usually live.
• They can be found in South and Central America, some islands in the Pacific, and Florida, United States.
• If well taken care of, a green iguana in captivity can live for more than 20 years. The oldest pet green iguana on record lived as long as 29 years.
• Green iguanas are considered as a threatened species because its habitat is slowly disappearing.
There are a lot of other things that one can know about the green iguana. Bearing the information above and much more in mind, three individuals decided to form an organization of online volunteers that will provide accurate information, such as the ones above, to people who want to learn about the iguanas.
And so, in the fall of 1999, the Green Iguana Society was born.
Green Iguana Society
The founders of Green Iguana Society had the following goals for the organization’s website:
• It will be a venue for finding out how to feed green iguanas and how to become an owner of one, as well as the kind of veterinarian one should consult.
• The website will serve as a valuable and convenient source of information, such that enthusiasts need not go through tons of reptile writings, or frightened away by overzealous crusaders.
• It will be an important provider of correct information anytime interested people need or want any information about the green iguana.
• And last, but not the least, the website will encourage people to move toward improved caring for the iguana and a greater comprehension of the issues involved with owning one.
The website tackles many aspects of taking care of the green iguana. From approved pieces of information and recommended products, myths and common misconceptions, kind of food and feeding, health and safety issues, to veterinarians and related societies, the website is indeed a reliable source of information for the green iguana aficionado.
Here are some of the frequently asked questions about the Green Iguana Society:
• Why should I involve myself with the Green Iguana Society?
According to the founders of the Green Iguana Society, through joining the organization, you would put across the message that you love green iguanas, you want to keep on learning on the subject of green iguanas and the kind of care they need, and the ways by which you can help share your knowledge in caring for the wonderful animals.
• How much will it cost me to become a member of the Green Iguana Society?
There is no membership fee needed to be a part of the organization. Fees for newsletters and other benefits may be sought later if there would be adjustments in the level of membership in the future.
• Will I be included in a list of members in the website?
Years ago, the founders of the organization started a listing of members in the website. However, as the years went by and many people from all over the world joined the Green Iguana Society, the founders were no longer able to keep track of all those who took part in the organization’s mission and had to remove the list of members.
• How old should I be before I can join?
You should be fourteen years old or more in order to become a member of the Green Iguana Society. Thirteen year old kids or younger may join the Kids Club however.
• What should I do to join?
The website instructs potential members to fill out a form. You should provide as many information as you can and hit the Send button. That easy.
There are still lots more to learn about the green iguanas and the Green Iguana Society. Why not try to find out more? Do some Internet surfing now and be a part of the society that cares!
When people talk about getting an iguana for a pet, they usually refer to the most common species, the “Iguana Iguana” or the green iguana.
Found in South and Central America, as well as other parts of the Pacific, the iguana has become very popular among pet owners in the United States and Europe in the past few years.
Active in daytime, the young iguana is usually bright green in color, helping it to hide itself from predators in the green vegetation of the forest. With its quick movements and sharp eyesight, the green iguana avoids capture quite easily. As the iguana grows older, its color changes from bright green to a muted green.
An iguana in the wild spends its day trying to find a sunny spot to lie on, feeding, and trying to escape from predators.
Of course, an iguana in captivity is a different case. Though there are no more predators to escape from, an iguana should be well taken care of by its owner. It maybe a popular pet, but taking care of it is by no means an easy task.
Let’s talk about some things to do when taking care of an iguana.
1. Provide a large enclosed space for your iguana.
Since a green iguana may grow as large as seven feet, the pet’s enclosure should be any owner’s top priority.
It may seem that the iguana is contented with a small pen; however, without ample space, it will grow listless and will be stressed, resulting to sickness and even vulnerability to infections.
The enclosure should be a few times the iguana’s length in either depth or width or one and a half times in height since the animal needs to move around or even climb.
Later on, the pet iguana should be given privileges to roam around the house, as long as the owner will make sure that it won’t be able to get out or feed on important stuff around the house.
2. Provide big branches or synthetic structures for your pet’s enclosure.
Not only will the enclosure look more pleasing to the eyes with the addition of the things mentioned above, but they will also make the pen a better place for the green iguana to live in. It will be a good habitat since it will provide a venue for climbing and basking – two activities that contribute to the iguana’s emotional and psychological growth.
For the flooring of the enclosure, one may use mulch (a material designed to keep hold of moisture, prevent weeds from growing, and keep the earth from being eroded) or simply sheets of your daily newspaper.
3. Make sure to provide the enclosure with a good heating device.
You should not overlook this since an iguana not properly heated will not be able to digest its food well.
An owner should provide a good source of UV light for the iguana. The enclosure should not have any part with a temperature lower than 26°C while at least one part should have a temperature as high as 35°C. A spotlight is good for this purpose.
4. While heating and light are important, provide darkness, too.
Six to 10 hours of darkness each night is also important for the iguana’s well-being. The enclosure should be shielded from streetlights or lights from appliances.
5. Pay attention to your pet iguana.
Any pet animal deserves care and interaction from its owner. Just like your regular cat or dog, the green iguana deserves love and affection. If not given the attention it deserves, an iguana may grow listless, sick, and eventually die.
There you go. The tips mentioned above are just some of the things that have to be considered in taking care of an iguana. These are not to be used as a substitute for a consultation with your trusted veterinarian. Professional help is still needed in order to make sure that your iguana will live for a very long time.