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Pet Iguanas: Everything You Need To Know

Iguana as a pet can be great! But, only for the right owner. They are unique creatures that are relatively low maintenance. Iguanas also have a long lifespan, which means you can enjoy their company for many years to come.

However, there are some things to consider before adding an Iguana to your family. For example, Iguanas require a large enclosure and they can be expensive to care for properly.

Additionally, Iguanas are not recommended for families with small children because they can be aggressive when they feel threatened.

iguana as a pet


Can You Train a Green Iguana?

With patience and consistency, you can train your Iguana to do some basic tricks. For example, you can teach your Iguana to come when called, to sit on command, and to stay in its enclosure.

Additionally, you can train your Iguana to use a litter box. However, it is important to note that Iguanas are not as easy to train as other pets like cats and dogs. Therefore, it is important to be prepared for a bit of a challenge when training your Iguana.

iguana as a pet

Image: Pinterest

Iguana as Pets: What do I need to know about Iguana care?

If you think Iguana ownership is right for you, there are some things you need to do to set your Iguana up for success.

First, you will need to purchase a large enclosure that meets your Iguana’s needs. Iguanas require a warm and humid environment, so your enclosure will need to be equipped with a heat lamp and a water bowl.

You will also need to provide your Iguana with plenty of hiding places and climbing surfaces. Additionally, you will need to feed your Iguana a diet that consists of vegetables, fruits, and insects.

Caring for your Iguana can be rewarding, but it is also important to remember that they are a commitment. If you are not prepared to care for your Iguana properly, they may become sick or even die.

So, if you are considering adding an Iguana to your family, be sure to do your research and make sure you are prepared for the responsibility.

iguana as a pet

Image: Pinterest

What Should You Feed A Pet Iguana?

A well-balanced diet is critical for a pet iguana’s health and longevity. Providing a variety of the right foods can help ensure your iguana gets the nutrients it needs. Here’s a list of some nutritious foods that should form part of your iguana’s daily diet:

  1. Leafy Greens: Collard greens, mustard greens, watercress, and dandelion leaves are all excellent choices for your iguana. Avoid iceberg lettuce as it has very little nutritional value.
  2. Vegetables: Bell peppers, peas, okra, cucumber, and squash can be added to your iguana’s diet. They should be chopped into small, manageable pieces.
  3. Fruits: Fruits should make up a smaller portion of an iguana’s diet — around 10%. You can offer bananas, apples, strawberries, and mangoes.
  4. Calcium Supplements: Sprinkle a calcium supplement on the iguana’s food a few times a week to ensure they get sufficient calcium.

Remember, it’s essential to vary the diet and the presentation of the food to ensure the iguana does not get bored and remains interested in its feed. Always check with a vet or a pet specialist if you’re unsure about which foods are safe and beneficial for your iguana.

Are Iguanas Dangerous for Kids?

Iguanas can be dangerous for kids because they can be aggressive when they feel threatened. Additionally, Iguanas have long claws that can cause scratches and their tails can deliver a painful sting.

Therefore, it is important to supervise any interactions between your Iguana and small children. Additionally, you should teach your kids how to properly handle an Iguana so that everyone stays safe.

Are Iguanas Friendly to Humans? Which Temperament Pet Iguanas Have?

Iguanas can be friendly to humans, but it depends on the individual Iguana’s personality and how it is raised. Some Iguanas may enjoy being handled and interacted with, while others may prefer to keep their distance.

It is important to remember that Iguanas are wild animals at heart and should always be treated with caution and respect.

To ensure a positive relationship between you and your pet Iguana, it is important to socialize them from a young age and handle them gently.

It is also crucial to provide them with a proper and comfortable living environment, as well as a healthy diet. With patience and love, you can have a friendly and lovable Iguana companion.

Do Iguanas Like to be Picked up?

Iguanas have unique attitudes toward being picked up, which can vary based on their individual nature and the trust level they have developed with their human caretakers.

Some iguanas may tolerate and even seem to enjoy being held, while others may be more resistant, exhibiting stress or discomfort. It’s crucial to approach this gradually, allowing your pet iguana to get accustomed to your touch gradually.

Always ensure that your iguana is supported fully, especially its belly, when picked up. Quick or sudden movements can frighten them, leading to potential injury for either party. Remember, patience and gentle handling are fundamental in creating a comfortable environment for your pet iguana.

What Iguanas Can Be Kept As Pets?

There are several species of iguanas that can be kept as pets, each with their own unique characteristics and care requirements. It’s essential to research thoroughly before adopting an iguana to ensure that you can provide the proper environment and diet.

  1. Green Iguana: The most common type of pet iguana, green iguanas are known for their vibrant color and large size. Despite being popular, they require a significant amount of care and a spacious enclosure.
  2. Blue Iguana: Known for their unique blue color, these iguanas are quite rare and can be a bit more challenging to care for than the green iguana. They require similar care, but their striking appearance makes them a favorite among reptile enthusiasts.
  3. Desert Iguana: Smaller and more manageable than the green or blue iguana, desert iguanas are a good choice for those new to iguana care. They thrive in a dry, warm environment and have a relatively easy-to-meet diet.
  4. Spiny-Tailed Iguana: With a unique, spiky tail, these iguanas are more active than other species. They require a lot of interaction and a diverse diet.
  5. Rock Iguana: Known for their ability to adapt to different environments, rock iguanas are a unique pet. They require a large enclosure with plenty of space to climb.

Remember, owning an iguana is a long-term commitment, as they can live up to 20 years or more with proper care. It’s crucial to be prepared for the responsibility that comes with owning one of these unique creatures.

25 Facts About Iguanas

Now that you know everything you need to know about Iguanas as pets, here are 25 interesting facts about these fascinating reptiles:

  1. Iguanas originate from South America and are among the most popular pet lizards globally.
  2. A typical green iguana can grow to be a very large lizard, with adult iguanas reaching lengths of up to six feet from nose to tail.
  3. Baby iguanas are much smaller and can initially be housed in a small reptile enclosure.
  4. However, as your pet iguana grows, you’ll need to provide a very large enclosure, sometimes as big as an entire room.
  5. Iguanas are tree-dwelling species in the wild, so their enclosure should include basking ledges and climbing structures.
  6. Iguanas are strict herbivores and thrive on a diet of dark green leafy vegetables, fruits, and the occasional treat of flowers.
  7. Unlike most commercially available pet reptiles, pet iguanas should avoid eating animal protein, as their digestive tract is not designed to process it.
  8. A calcium supplement is essential for a healthy iguana, and should be dusted on their food a few times a week.
  9. Maintaining the right humidity level in an iguana’s enclosure is critical, as it promotes healthy skin and proper shedding.
  10. Unlike truly domesticated animals, iguanas retain many of their wild instincts and can exhibit a varied temperament.
  11. Baby iguanas are often shy, but with regular gentle handling, they can become comfortable with human interaction.
  12. Adult iguanas, particularly males, can become territorial and aggressive, especially during mating season.
  13. An adult iguana’s tail can be used as a defense mechanism and can cause significant harm if they feel threatened.
  14. Iguanas swallow their food whole, so all food items should be chopped into small, manageable pieces.
  15. Iguanas have a high need for natural sunlight or an equivalent UVB substitute in captivity.
  16. Many iguana owners opt for outdoor enclosures to meet this need, but be sure to provide plenty of shade to prevent overheating.
  17. It’s a lesser-known fact that iguanas carry salmonella in their digestive tract, so thorough hand-washing is essential after handling.
  18. Iguanas have a lifespan of up to 20 years in captivity, making them a long-term commitment as a pet.
  19. Unfortunately, metabolic bone disease and kidney failure are common health issues in pet iguanas, often due to improper diet or care.
  20. Iguanas are not typically good pets for families with young children or other pets due to their size, dietary needs, and potential for carrying salmonella.
  21. If you’re considering getting an iguana as a pet, avoid pet stores selling them as babies; the tiny, cute baby iguana will quickly grow into a large, demanding adult.
  22. Despite being a tropical animal, with the right care and environment, iguanas can thrive in a variety of climates.
  23. The vast majority of iguanas in captivity are green iguanas, but there are several other colorful and exciting species available for the dedicated hobbyist.
  24. Captive iguanas require a clean environment, and their food and water dishes, along with the rest of the enclosure, should be cleaned regularly.
  25. Lastly, a healthy iguana is an active one, so ensure your pet has plenty of room to move and climb to maintain a healthy weight.

Common Health and Behavior Problems

Iguanas are susceptible to several health and behavioral problems that potential owners should be aware of:

  1. Metabolic Bone Disease (MBD): This is a common health problem in iguanas, usually resulting from a diet lacking in calcium. Symptoms include lethargy, soft bones, and a rubbery jaw.
  2. Kidney Disease: Iguanas are prone to kidney disease, often due to a diet too rich in animal proteins, which they cannot process effectively. Manifestations might include loss of appetite, lethargy, and frequent urination.
  3. Respiratory Infections: These can occur if the iguana’s habitat is too cold or poorly ventilated. Symptoms include difficulty breathing, mucus discharge, and loss of appetite.
  4. Fungal and Bacterial Infections: These can occur from an unclean environment, resulting in skin issues and overall illness.
  5. Aggression: Iguanas can exhibit aggressive behavior, particularly during the breeding season. This includes whipping their tails, biting, or clawing.
  6. Stress: Changes in environment or diet, or lack of hiding spots, can lead to stress in iguanas. This might be manifested in unusual behaviors and loss of appetite.
  7. Parasites: Like other reptiles, iguanas can be affected by external and internal parasites, which can cause a range of health problems if not treated.

Understanding these common health and behavior problems can help ensure your iguana remains healthy and happy for many years. It’s always recommended to consult with a vet experienced in treating reptiles at the first sign of any health issues.

Iguana as a Pet: Pros & Cons

As with any pet, there are both pros and cons to owning an iguana. Here’s a list to help you decide if an iguana is the right pet for you:


  • Iguanas are fascinating creatures that can provide endless entertainment with their unique behaviors and personalities.
  • They are low-maintenance pets when it comes to grooming.
  • With proper care, iguanas can live up to 20 years in captivity.
  • They are herbivores, so their food is relatively inexpensive and easy to obtain.
  • Iguanas make low-noise pets, perfect for those living in apartments or shared living spaces.


  • Iguanas require a significant amount of space and a properly-sized enclosure, which can be expensive and take up a lot of room.
  • They have specific dietary needs, which can be challenging to meet for some owners.
  • Iguanas are not recommended for households with young children or other pets due to their size and potential for aggression.
  • Some iguanas can carry salmonella, so proper hygiene is essential when handling them.
  • They require specialized care and can be prone to health issues if not provided with the right environment and diet.

Ultimately, owning a green iguana requires a significant commitment of time, space, and financial resources. However, for those willing to provide proper care, they can make unique and rewarding pets.

If you’re considering adding an iguana to your family, do thorough research beforehand and consult with a vet experienced in reptile care to ensure you can provide the best possible environment for your new pet.

So, if you’re up for the challenge, caring for an iguana can be a truly fulfilling and enriching experience. Happy iguana parenting!


In conclusion, owning an iguana as a pet can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience for those willing to put in the time and effort to properly care for these unique reptiles. It’s essential to do thorough research and understand the commitment that comes with owning one of these creatures before bringing one into your home.

However, with proper care, iguanas can make great pets and provide a fascinating glimpse into the world of exotic animals. Whether you choose a green iguana or one of the other exciting species available, an iguana can make a wonderful addition to any reptile-loving household.