Although owning and keeping a pet Iguana can be a very rewarding and fulfilling experience, Iguanas are not really the low maintenance, easy care pets that they are sometimes made out to be. Before getting yourself a pet Iguana, you really need to ask yourself a few questions to see if you really want to keep an Iguana as a pet and whether or not you can care and look after your new pet properly. There is a lot of Iguana information out there, and we’ve included a few basic points about Iguanas here, to help you with your decision.
Most people keep their pet Iguanas in an aquarium, and if you choose to keep your pet in an aquarium, you need to ensure that it isn’t too cramped for him. Iguanas are natural climbers and like to explore their environment. A better option for your new pet’s home would be a Basking Cage. You can buy either of these at a pet store or even make them at home, if you’re handy at that sort of thing! Whichever you choose, you need to ensure that it is big enough for him (at least 3 feet tall, with plenty of space for him to move around) and that you put in plenty of rocks and branches in there, to simulate his natural environment as closely as possible. Be careful with the decorations you add to his home though – don’t put in small pebbles that he could swallow and make sure that the rocks and branches you put in don’t have any sharp edges which he could hurt himself on.
You will also need to put in a “soaking tray” for him, as Iguanas like water. A shallow container, which is big enough for him to climb into, will do for this. Iguanas also do their ‘business’ in the water, so you will need to ensure that you clean this on a regular basis. With regards to hygiene, you will also need to clean out his enclosure regularly as well. The best thing to do is to line to bottom of his enclosure with old newspaper and change the newspaper on a regular basis.
Iguana Enclosure Heating and Lighting
This is another area which you really have to think about – Iguanas are cold blooded, and in the wild, they get their heat from the sun. The best way to simulate sunlight indoors is to fit a heat lamp above your Iguanas enclosure. You need to get him a proper heat lamp, such as a “vitalite” – if you don’t fit a proper heat lamp, your pet will not get the heat and UV rays he needs and his body will not be able to create the Vitamin D that it requires, which will in turn lead to other health issues. Make sure that you do not fit the heat lamp too close above his basking place though, or he will probably burn himself.
Your new pet will eat just about any fruit or vegetable you give him, even if it’s not good for his health. You really need to take care of his diet – some of the best foods you can give your pet include oranges, watermelons, cantaloupes, as well as greens such as spinach, mustard and beet. Iguanas are also very partial to Hibiscus flowers, if you can find some for him. Avoid iceberg lettuce.
General Iguana Care
Iguanas, like most other type of pet, need to be kept clean in order to ensure that they stay healthy and happy. Iguanas are very fond of the water, so the best thing to do is to half fill your bath and let him swim about and have fun, whilst cleaning himself in the process. Be sure to never use chemicals (especially chlorine) in his bath or to clean his enclosure, as Iguanas are very sensitive and even the smell of some chemicals will kill them.
In conclusion, Iguanas can be really great pets, but you need to be prepared to give them all the care and attention they need to stay healthy and happy, before you actually go out and buy one!