As companion animals, pets provide their owners with both emotional and physical benefits. Iguanas are no exception. Due to their long life spanning 20 years, taking care of these dinosaur-like lizards can be a mind-boggling task for owners who aren’t adequately prepared.
A basic habitat, feeding program and the proper general handling of this reptile are essential for its survival outside its natural habitat. Remember: If not well taken care of, the iguana can die young and thereby not reach its full-scale potential.
Properly setting up an iguana’s habitat is crucial for its existence. Without one, sickness and early death are inevitable.
Whether male or female, the iguana is expected to grow large with time. However, they start out small. This requires constant adjustment of the habitat. For a young iguana, beginning with a 20-gallon aquarium is recommended. For an adult one, twice the size is paramount. Because of their arboreal instincts, vertical space of about 12’ x 6’ x 6’ is crucial.
The reptiles’ enclosure must provide the need to climb to mimic their natural habitat and give them a view from above. Therefore, natural perches (ex. a tree branch) will be effective.
How important is the home temperature?
To regulate their temperature, iguanas usually sunbathe. Too much cold can result in sickness, which can interfere with both the immune and digestive system.
Constant heating, a basking location, and ultraviolet lights are therefore important. Again, providing a background temperature can be a plus.
Adequate temperature also ensures strong bones and calcium breakdown for the iguana. Additionally, these scaly animals cherish distinct day and night periods. Consequently, turning off the lights when dark will catalyze a sweet slumber for the reptile.
What does the iguana feed on?
Food is a requirement for life. The iguana must be properly fed to ensure continuity of its existence.
Amazingly, the reptile is a vegetarian, which is convenient for the owner because they won’t be forced to buy their pet meat products.
For the common iguana, raw vegetables are good for its general diet. Green beans, dandelions, and turnip greens are just a few examples. Moreover, additional supplements can be obtained from known reptile companies.
Still, chopping the food for the young iguana is advisable since they cannot properly chew their food. A reminder is to ensure that the iguana doesn’t feed on meat foods which could be high in protein and thus plunge its kidney, resulting in renal failure.
Constantly spraying your iguana’s cage with water for relative humidity is a plus. To ensure it doesn’t overgrow its nails, they should regularly be clipped — usually on a weekly basis. Bathing should occur once a week.
The fecal matter should be disposed of within a few hours. General cleaning of the cage and floor should be regular.
Taking care of this creature requires a sharp focus, unwavering commitment and, most importantly, the willingness to bear frustrations that may arise. Basic needs like shelter and food must be carefully considered by the owner.
Despite the challenges that may arise, the iguana can be a remarkable member of the family due to its exciting and warm nature.