Proper maintenance of an iguana at home - features and recommendations

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Proper maintenance of an iguana at home - features and recommendations
Proper maintenance of an iguana at home - features and recommendations

Pet lovers are now moving away from keeping their usual cats or dogs in favor of more exotic options, especially since getting a guest from the tropics in pet stores is quite simple. That is why snakes, raccoons, bats, fennec foxes and even miniature donkeys and kangaroos become residents of ordinary city apartments. Fans of exotics and all kinds of reptiles fell in love, so we offer you to get acquainted with the features of keeping an iguana at home.

Keeping an iguana in a terrarium
Keeping an iguana in a terrarium

A Brief introduction to the animal

Green lizards as pets were first used in the United States, but gradually the fashion for cold-blooded exotics spread throughout the world. The features of these creatures of nature are:

  • Mostly herbivores.
  • With proper care, they can grow to an impressive size (about 2 meters), therefore, before acquiring such an animal, you should figure out if there is a place for its terrarium in the home?
  • Life span is 15-20 years. Need before buyinganswer the question - is there a desire to take care of a constantly growing lizard for such a long period, because if the reptile gets tired, it will be very difficult to attach it to "good hands", and it is unacceptable to drive it out into the street - the animal will be doomed to death.

Iguana is not a cat, she will not become an affectionate pet, rushing at full speed to meet her owner who has returned from work. Therefore, one must understand that it is useless to expect bright manifestations of love and devotion from her.

Iguana looks funny
Iguana looks funny

Pros and cons

Before you decide to buy a beautiful lizard, you should familiarize yourself with the pros and cons of keeping an iguana at home. The information is presented in the table.

The specifics of keeping an iguana

Dignity Difficulties, shortcomings
The pet is very unusual, exotic Requires a lot of space for a terrarium
It is interesting to observe the peculiarities of the life of an unusual creature Maintenance will require a significant financial outlay
The calm nature of the pet will not interfere with rest after a hard day's work. The iguana will not go all out to seek attention to his person

Some individuals may be carriers of salmonellosis, dangerous for humans as well

Does not need much food An animal accidentally escaping from a terrarium canbecome a real disaster for the apartment: ruin the wiring and furniture, climb into a hard-to-reach place and hide there, forcing the owner to look for himself for hours
Long life. If the animal is loved, the owner will not soon have to say goodbye to him forever, the pet will delight with his company for at least 15 years Some species are poisonous, although the poison is harmless to humans, but can cause allergies

These pros and cons should be remembered by those who decide to get a guest from the tropics as a pet. Below we will consider how to keep an iguana at home, what this creature of nature prefers to eat, what conditions will have to be created for it. If there are children in the family, you should discuss with the baby in advance that the iguana is a living creature, not a toy, careless handling can harm the lizard or cause its aggression.

Rules for choosing a pet

To successfully keep an iguana at home, you should correctly approach the purchase of an animal. The birth of these animals falls on the period from May to June. It is preferable to purchase a lizard at the age of 2 months, which is why the purchase in July-August will be optimal. In order not to become a victim of deception by an unscrupulous seller, it is important to remember that the body length at this age (excluding the tail) is 15-17 cm.

Iguanas are very beautiful reptiles
Iguanas are very beautiful reptiles

Note that even professionals cannot always correctly determine the sex of a young reptile, this will become completely clear after her sexualripening, not earlier than 8-9 months.

What should I look for before buying an exotic creature? There are several signs of a he althy lizard:

  • Reddish tongue and soft pink mouth. Any other color is a sign of calcium deficiency or other serious abnormality.
  • Neat fingers and limbs without traces of edema. At the same time, the absence of claws is not an alarming signal, because they grow back rather quickly.
  • The tip of the tail and the crest are evenly colored, the presence of dark areas on them is undesirable.
  • There are no spots or dots on the skin.

Knowing these subtleties will help you avoid mistakes and get a he althy pet that will become a true friend for many years.

Terrarium requirements

In order for the animal to feel comfortable, it is necessary to choose a suitable terrarium or aviary for keeping an iguana at home. Its features are as follows:

  • Length - at least two lengths of the animal's body. For example, if an adult male can grow up to two meters, then a dwelling for him will require at least 4 meters. Width and height - 2 meters. The lizard in nature is used to climbing trees. Therefore, with a low height of the terrarium, it will feel uncomfortable.
  • Lighting. An animal needs 12 hours of daylight, which a UV lamp can provide. Experts advise abandoning the tempting idea to save money by placing the terrarium under the direct rays of the sun - this can lead to overheating of the animal.
  • Organization of heating. Guest fromthe tropics will feel comfortable only at high temperatures, so it is necessary to equip the lizard's dwelling with heating lamps, which will require 5-6 pieces. The daytime temperature should not be below 35°C, one of the corners of the terrarium should be cooler (about 28°C). At night, the thermometer drops, the permissible temperature regime is 23–25 ° С. An ordinary thermometer will help control compliance with the temperature regime.
  • Humidity. For a tropical lizard to feel comfortable, it is necessary to provide its dwelling with a pool and spray the animal daily.

These are the basic requirements for organizing a home for an iguana at home.

Terrarium design option
Terrarium design option

Substrate selection

What to lay on the bottom of the terrarium for an exotic lizard? Several options are possible:

  • Tree bark.
  • Lawn grass.
  • Newspapers.

You can put a rubber mat on the bottom, this will make cleaning the terrarium easier. But a fine substrate (sand, sawdust) will not work, as the animal may accidentally swallow the particles.

Eating mode

Let's consider how to feed the iguana at home so that the lizard gets everything it needs for full development. It is quite unpretentious in food, but must regularly receive the most important components - phosphorus and calcium. Most of the green iguana's diet at home should be:

  • Dark leafy greens (chicory, cabbage, dandelion leaves and flowers, watercress, hibiscus). She ishelp you get the calcium you need.
  • Vegetables in a puree state (carrots, zucchini, pumpkin).
  • Grated fruits and berries (apples, pears, strawberries, melons, raspberries).

The regular inclusion of special complexes enriched with calcium in the diet will help to improve the well-being of the pet.

Feeding green iguanas
Feeding green iguanas

Eating Rules

We looked at what the iguana eats at home. And in what mode should she be fed? It depends on the age of the reptile:

  • Young animals need to be fed twice a day, adults need only once.
  • Before feeding, the "dish" should be heated under the rays of the sun or a lamp.
  • Food should be balanced and varied, but do not overload the lizard with a large amount of unfamiliar food. She is suspicious of strangers and may experience stress.

Having considered what the iguana eats at home, we note that this lizard cannot be fed with food from the human table. This can adversely affect the digestive tract and cause illness in the animal.

iguana living at home
iguana living at home


How long an iguana lives at home directly depends on the proper care of a tropical lizard, one of the most important elements of which is the organization of bathing. Its benefits are very high:

  • Improves metabolic processes in the animal's body.
  • Helps pet shed.

Most commonly used for bathingan ordinary bathroom, which is filled with water (temperature not lower than +35 ° C). A snag is placed in an impromptu reservoir, which will give the animal the opportunity to get out onto land and take a break from swimming. You can build a pet and a small raft for the same purpose. The duration of bathing should be half an hour twice a week, then the animal is gently wiped with paper towels and transferred to the terrarium. During the molting period, it is recommended to increase the number of baths, this will help the reptile to evenly cover with new skin.

Iguana - exotic pet
Iguana - exotic pet

Major diseases

When deciding to breed or simply keep iguanas at home, every responsible owner should be aware of the diseases of these animals. In the table we present a description of the main diseases and methods of treatment.

The most common diseases

Disease name How to help
Pneumonia, rhinitis Animals should be given antibiotics
Salmonellosis Virkon, Chloramine (2%) will help to cope with the disease
Fractures Give the lizard 1 drop of mummy solution daily, this will speed up the healing of bone tissue
Deviations during molting It is necessary to increase the humidity in the terrarium
Fungus Ointments are used"Tetracycline", "Clotrimazole".
Pincers You can get rid of skin parasites by wiping your pet's body with a mixture of alcohol and sunflower oil in equal proportions

The best treatment, as you know, is prevention, so you need to properly feed the animal, keep the terrarium clean, and create the necessary conditions. Then the pet will not get sick.

Iguana at home
Iguana at home

According to reviews, iguanas at home are capricious and capricious, care for them cannot be called simple, spoiled residents of the tropics can get sick even if the temperature has dropped at least a couple of degrees. But the owners note that it is very interesting to watch them, unusual pets will amaze every day with their amazing coloring and unusual behavior. An additional plus is that they do not require constant attention to themselves and will not make noise.

We looked at how to keep an iguana at home so that the pet feels comfortable. It is important to understand that, unlike a cat and a dog, a cold-blooded creature will hardly give warmth and love to its owner, but affection and recognition are characteristic of him.