Iguanas are magnificent reptiles and owning them means knowing them. Knowing about them will make caring for them so much easier. I strongly recommend doing your own research as unfortunately some pet shops will tell you what you would like to hear in order to make”the sale”.
Here are 5 quick and easy iguana care tips:
- I highly recommend beginning your iguana out in a 20 gallon aquarium (or its equivalent ). Before bringing him/her home, ensure the enclosure is ready for housing. Make sure that your iguana enclosure has UVA and UVB lighting, heat lamp (I do not recommend”heat stones” as reptiles in general tend to stay on them and can burn), hide box (infants will conceal ) and a water container large enough for your iguana to completely submerge in (they love water).
- After bringing your iguana house , put it in it’s already prepared enclosure and let it settle in for a day or so. It’s imperative to permit your new addition to acclimate to its new surrounding. This can help”tame” your iguana making him/her more secure and trusting.
- Being a tropical to sub-tropical species of reptile, high humidity within the enclosure will be essential (80% or higher), as is appropriate temperature. Temperature during the day will need to be around 88 – 93 degrees (f). At night, lower the temperature to 75 – 78 degrees (f). Use a UVB”black light” to accomplish this and place it on the opposite side of this”afternoon” lamp.
- Do not be alarmed if your iguana shy’s away from food for the first couple of days. This is very common until acclimated to its new environment. It’s still crucial to put their food inside their enclosure. Start them out with finely cut romaine lettuce and red cabbage (they adore romaine lettuce) for a few days. This will”break them in” and prompt them to feed.
Iguanas can and will become”lettuce junkies” which can lead to malnutrition which causes Fibrous Osteodystrophy (metabolic bone disease) so its important to feed them a variety of different vegetables, fruits and flowers and in the percentages given below:
*10% fruits (melons, bananas, grapes, strawberries, apples and pears).
*10% flowers (hibiscus, roses, carnations and even dandelions). One flower to prevent is the azalea. Though beautiful, the azalea is poisonous (toxic) to iguanas, so avoid this flower.
In its simplest form: 80% vegetables + 10% fruits + 10% blossoms = 100% nutrition!
- Keeping your iguana enclosure clean is very important! If their enclosure is dirty, your iguana can become susceptible to parasites. Parasites can and eventually will cause sickness or worse kill your iguana (s). If you see fecal matter, rotting food, or clouding in their own water, clean the enclosure immediately.
In conclusion, Mimicking nature is the surest method of keeping your iguana healthy and happy.
As time goes by, you won’t think that your once little lizard is now so long as you. Once your iguana matures, you will feel as if he/she is part of the family!
The final step is to find a excellent exotic veterinarian for your iguana. It’s wonderful to know that if something should go wrong, you have an exotic vet who knows that your iguana and what is needed to keep them happy and healthy.