Iguana as pets :
Are You Prepared to own an iguana :
courtesy : www.greenigsociety.org/credentials.htm
If you are thinking about getting an iguana, it's very important that you know what it's going to involve on your part. The following is a list of questions that you should ask yourself before you go get that iguana, to see if you have the "credentials" to own one....
Credentials needed to be an iguana owner
1. Are you loving?
Iguanas need love, just like a dog or a cat would. They are not creatures happy to be stuck in a cage, fed, cleaned and ignored. They need contact, interaction, and yeah, love.
2. Are you patient?
The average iguana can take a VERY long time to tame, and the iguana will need consistant guidance and interaction to become tame.
3. Are you committed?
An iguana in ideal circumstances can live to be 20+ years old! Are you ready to see that committment all the way through until the end, or would you prefer to think that you can sell or adopt out the iguana with no negative consequences? It's not true; I have personally seen broken hearted iguanas.
4. Are you stable?
Are you going to take off constantly, leaving the iguana to fend for him/herself? Are you a traveling sort? Will you be moving a lot? Iguanas should have as stable and consistent of a life as possible.
5. Are you financially secure?
Raising a healthy iguana costs a lot of money! For an adult iguana, you'll need to buy fresh food every few days, provide a HUMONGOUS cage (or an entire room), and buy other necessary supplies. Vet trips - iguanas need to see a qualified vet regularly. Are you prepared for that expense? Are you prepared for emergencies? Are you prepared to drive a distance to find a suitable herp vet?
6. Are you willing to work to find good, correct information, and to continue learning?
Learning how to care for iguanas properly is a job that is never done. Information is always changing. There is a lot of research that must be done before you even bring an iguana home! Are you willing to wade through many good websites and read a few books, or will you be content with what the pet store tells you? Will you take the first website or book you find as the be all, end all of iguana care? Or you will continue to research and learn?
7. Do you have time for your iguana?
Not just time to feed it, clean it and give it water. Do you have time to talk to your iguana, pet your iguana, play with him/her? They need it! They can't be stuck in a cage and ignored!
8. Are you empathetic?
Will you do your best to put yourself in your iguanas shoes? Can you comprehend that an iguana is trying hard to be a part of your world, despite the massive differences? If your iguana is grouchy about something, can you put yourself in his/her place and try to understand what the problem is?
9. Are you consistent?
Iguanas need routines, stablilty, regular feedings, regular potty times, regular play times, etc. Do you have the sort of lifestyle in which you can do that? Are you even willing to?
If you can honestly answer yes to all of those questions, then, perhaps, you have the "credentials" to be owned by an iguana. Now, before you go and get that iguana, you need to learn as much as you can about iguanas and what you'll need to do before you bring one home. The following is a list of things you should learn about, decide upon and do before you get an iguana....
What to do and learn before you get an iguana
1. Learn all you can about iguanas and iguana care.
You can start by reading all about iguana care here on the Green Iguana Society website. But don't stop there...keep reading and learning all you can before you make the committment!
2. Where are you going to get your iguana?
There are hundreds to even thousands of iguanas that are in need of a good home. Adopting or rescuing an iguana can be a very interesting and rewarding experience. Visit our Rescues & Adoptions page for more information on adopting an iguana. Buying or "rescuing" an iguana from a pet store may be an easy place to getting an iguana, but it's not the best place. Make sure you visit our Before you adopt an iguana page to find out why pet stores aren't the best place to get an iguana.
3. Is your home ready for an iguana?
It's very important to be ready before you bring a new iguana home. You must have a habitat (cage or enclosure) that is set up properly. Visit our Habitat page for more information on providing a suitable habitat for a pet iguana. You will also need to make sure your family is prepared to live with an iguana as well! Some states, counties and cities have laws and ordinances against keeping iguanas as pets. Also, many apartments and townhomes do not allow pets or they may only allow certain pets. Make sure it's legal and that you have permission to own an iguana where you live.
4. Find a vet in your area that treats iguanas
It's very important that you have a good herp vet before you get your iguana. Finding an experienced vet that treats iguanas can be difficult, so while you're looking for the right iguana, you can be looking for the right vet as well!
5. Do you have everything else you need?
Along with all the proper habitat supplies (UV lights, heat sources, etc.) you'll need some other things such as food and water bowls, spray bottles (for misting), a first aid kit, something to trim claws with, a reliable source for fresh vegetables and fruit that you'll be feeding your iguana, and many other things that you'll know after you learn more about iguana care.
6. Buy a reliable book on iguana care.
Although there is much to learn on our website and other reliable sites, having a reliable iguana care book on-hand will be very helpful. There are many unreliable iguana care books available. We recommend Green Iguana: The Ultimate Owner's Manual by James W. Hatfield III. It can be found many places online for about $25-$30 (U.S.), is well worth the price, and will be an invaluable item to have around!
As you can probably tell, there is a lot that needs to be done and learned before you get an iguana...and these are just the basics! So many people jump into the committment of iguana ownership and then they find out that it was more than they can truly handle. We aren't trying to talk people out of owning iguanas, we just hope to teach people more about iguanas before they go and get one. Now, after all that we've told you about what it takes, we hope you have the answer to the question, "Are you prepared to own an iguana?" Good luck!
11 Things to Consider Before Adopting a Pet Green Iguana
Updated on October 18, 2016
Thinking about adopting your very own pet green iguana? That's awesome--if you're ready for it, and you have all of the appropriate resources needed to prepare for a life of reptilian parenthood. Unfortunately, green iguanas are often misrepresented in popular pet stores, and many potential domestic iguana keepers have no idea what they're getting into. As the old saying goes, with great iguana comes great responsibility, and it's important to fully understand the requirements and implications regarding iguana ownership. To get you started on this wonderful cognitive journey, here are eleven things to consider before deciding as to whether or not a pet iguana is right for you.
Behold, the Green Iguana!
1. They Get Really Big
Green iguanas are tiny and cute in pet store displays, usually barely the size an iPhone, but they don't stay that way forever. Next thing you know they’re sizing up to Galaxy S5 lengths, then they’ll be rivaling a Galaxy Note, and before you know it, you can start measuring it with an iPad! And they get bigger still! We're running out of lame technology metaphors, so let’s just cut to the chase: in captivity, a healthy green iguana can reach over 6 feet in length and can weigh up to 20 lbs…those are alligator standards, friend. Think about that before you even consider housing a green iguana, and know this: they grow fast. That adorable little green guy won't be gecko-sized for long, and by the time he's a full-blown adult, you'll have your very own Godzilla. Which sounds cool until you realize that Godzilla is best known for destroying Tokyo--not very cool, after all, huh?
2. They Need a Lot of Space
Okay, they get big, so what? Maybe you have plenty of space in your house, or maybe you can adapt apartment life to living with an iguana. Hate to break it you, but adult green iguanas take up more space than you probably imagined, and they absolutely must have their own dedicated territory to roam freely. Oh yeah, green iguanas are also arboreal, so they’ll need height in order to satisfy a natural urge to climb. Pet store terrariums work fine for infants, but they'll grow out of them within a year. That means you're going to have to prepare a safe enclosure for your adult green iguana sooner rather than later. Bare minimum requirements: the enclosure has to be at least 6 feet in length, 6 feet in width, and should be at least 6 feet in height. An entire small room is even better, as long as it has been modified appropriately. Other ideas: a dedicated sun room will probably works great, and in some strange cases a redesigned, heavily modified bathroom may even be an option.
A dedicated sunroom is a wonderful place to house your green iguana
3. They're Native to Tropical Climates
Green iguanas you find in pet stores are usually imported from South America, and are native to regions that are rich in heat and humidity. Long story short: green iguanas in captivity have to live in similar environments, and their enclosure needs to emulate a natural habitat. This means you will have to make sure that their environment needs to consistently be heated between 80 and 90 degrees during the daytime, and around 75 degrees at night--year round. They retain most of their hydration through skin, so controlled humidity is also a big must. Another biggie: they require an additional basking heated lamp and a special UVB light source in order to prevent calcium deficiency.
4. They Can Break Your Arm
It’s not the most pleasant thought, but if threatened, green iguanas can do some serious damage with their de facto defense system: their tails. They appear to simply dangle around and move only as an afterthought, but don't let looks deceive you: getting whacked by an iguana tail isn't fun for anyone, and you're bound to get a good whipping during the required taming months. In extreme cases, an adult iguana tail is strong enough to break human bone. Devastating and fatal consequences ensue when you throw a human child or other small pet into the mix. Granted, you'll really have to do something terrible to your beloved green friend in order to feel the true wrath of an iguana tail scorn, but it’s not something to take lightly—iguanas are not domesticated house pets like cats and dogs, and therefore will always have an inherit wild streak to them, and that includes what they do with their tails. They also have sharp teeth, and iguana bites do indeed suck, but a flesh wound is nothing compared to what they are truly capable of.
5. They Live a Long Life :
The standard lifespan of a well cared for green iguana in captivity usually ranges from 12 to 15 years, but green iguanas are known to live upwards 20 years in some cases. Either way, as an iguana owner, you will be responsible for your favorite lizard for a good chunk of time—these things aren’t hamsters, people. Also important: you will have to have the financial means to care for your iguana throughout its long lifespan, which includes making sure it access to a proper diet, and that bulbs for various required lamps are effectively replaced every six months. Heated bulbs aren’t cheap either—and the overall price will add up to hefty sum over time.
This iguana is old and cranky, as shown with the protuted dewlap
6. They're Not Cuddly
Though their pudgy little bodies may scream a variation of "cuddle me, human," iguanas are not cats, and most aren't going to be keen on cutesy snuggling. This doesn't mean that contact is forbidden; on the contrary, household iguanas need to be picked up and held daily for ritualistic taming purposes. Properly holding an iguana is an art form in of itself, though, and it's going to take a while before it submits to such unnatural contact. Some iguanas may even be fond of climbing their human captors, though their sharp claws aren't the greatest thing to have digging against skin. Always keep this in mind, though--unless you have the coolest green buddy on the block, most iguanas are going to try to get away from you, and if you aren't listening to its reptilian wisdom you are probably going to have to pay the price (see point number 4 for additional clarification).
Climbing iguanas can be fun to watch, but be careful of those sharp claws!
7. They're Kind of Boring :
Baby iguanas are quick little buggers and they can be extremely entertaining to watch, but just like your favorite 1970s action hero, they become docile over time and transform into extremely lazy creatures. Adult iguanas will spend a good majority of their time either basking in the sunlight or sleeping on
a tree branch-like object. They won't play games with you, they won't dance for you. They probably won't want to go for walks either, so that fancy iguana harness you were suckered into buying was pretty much a waste of money (good luck getting your iguana to wear it, by the way). Yes, it's true: at the end of the day, iguanas in captivity will ultimately resort to a life of just "being there," and since that's how they act in the wild, it's not a behaviour you're going to be able to change. There's nothing wrong with that, mind you, but set your expectations to iguana reality: they're boring.
Your iguana will spend most of its adult life lazying away
8. Their Tails Can Fall Off
You should be effectively scared of iguana tails by now, but there's no harm in admiring them, is there? They are rather glorious, after all, and would probably strike the envy of their smaller brethren if such emotion were a possibility in the reptilian classification. They're powerful things, these iguana tails are, so it may be shocking to learn that, just like gecko tails, they can fall off in cases of extreme stress and/or threat. It seems a little gruesome, but it's absolutely for the best, since it could mean life or death if your iguana is ever in confrontation with a larger, scarier animal. Rest assured, they do indeed grow back, but they're never quite as wonderful the second time around.
9. They're Strict Vegetarians
Green iguanas are natural herbivores, requiring a daily diet of fresh leafy greens and fruit. Great examples include everything your mother told you to eat: kale, collard greens, mustard greens, turnip greens, green beans, and asparagus, among other salad bases. Iguanas also enjoy fruits, especially bananas, but a majority of their diet should consist of vegetables. They aren't the brightest lizards on the block, though, and in some cases may eat meat products in an accidental capacity, and you should never let this happen. Their bodies aren't designed to digest anything out of an herbivorous diet, and kidney failure is a sure bet if your iguana acquires a taste for dried cat food. This can be really bad news, since kidney failure is a leading cause of iguana related death in everyday households. If you love your iguana, you'll feed it a delicious salad daily, and you'll keep it away from accidentally eating any type of meat. One more thing to note: iceberg lettuce does not cut it, since it has absolutely no nutritional value, and iguanas need plenty of calcium and phosphorus to keep their bones healthy.
Collard Greens--Iguana Food at its Finest
10. You Have to Perform a Lot of Research
Iguana care isn't something we typically learn growing up, and since they are a rather unusual pet to have, common knowledge within the topic is in short supply. You are going to have to perform plenty of research before adopting an iguana, and this article can only be the tip of the iceberg. Before you throw your arms in the air and get a turtle instead, keep in mind that there's some good news on the horizon: information written by passionate, educated iguana experts is readily available, and lots of it can be obtained for free. A wonderful resource you should absolutely consider looking into is The Green Iguana Society, a website that provides a wealth of information related to consumer-level iguana keeping. It's also not a bad idea to have a physical book on hand--Iguanas For Dummies by Melissa Kaplan is an awesome, easy to read, extremely informative all-in-one iguana guide, and it covers just about everything you would ever need to know about this topic.
11. They're Not Dinosaurs
No matter how much you want them be, green iguanas are not, and never will be, dinosaurs. Dinosaurs have been extinct for roughly 65 million years, and your green iguana will always be a common lizard, nothing more and nothing less. Besides, if having a pet dinosaur is what you're after, then you may want to consider getting a bird instead, since they're probably more related to a tyrannosaurus than an iguana would be.
We'll leave here on a more serious note: please do not adopt an iguana on a whim, and never, never get suckered into an impulse buy at your local pet store. Iguanas are amazing animals, but the act of taking them into your home inhibits a great many of their naturalistic habits, therefore rendering you as their sole provider and only true means of survival. Unless you are well read on the topic, have all the resources needed to care for an iguana readily available, and are dedicated to provide for your iguana with utmost care, consider a cat instead.
Tips for Iguana Owners :
courtesy to : www.greenigsociety.org/firsttimers.htm
So, you just got your first green iguana and you have lots of questions. Well, you're not alone. When most people get their first iguana, they know very little about them. Many people know only what the person in the pet store told them (which is many times very poor advice!). You may also be wondering why that little lizard is acting the way it is. Hopefully, this little page will get you started off on the right foot and pointed in the right direction to learn more about your new pet. These are only the very basics of what you need to do and learn about when you first get an igauna. If you want your iguana to be healthy, you will have to learn more than the quick help that is listed here!
1-Learn more about iguanas - The most important thing you can do with your new pet is to learn more about it. This will involve quite a bit of reading, both online and in the few quality books on iguanas that you may find. The Green Iguana Society website has plenty of information to properly care for your iguana, but we also recommend that you learn and read as much information as possible. On our Approved Information & Products page, we list links to other websites, quality books and publications, and other places you can learn more about iguanas. If you're here reading this, then chances are you want to care for your iguana properly and it will take quite a bit of reading to do this.
2-Bad information warning - It can be difficult to learn the right way from the wrong way of caring for iguanas with so much information available. Many iguana owners, especially new iguana owners, quickly get confused and frustrated with so many books, websites and people telling them different things. There are many books that are outdated and full of bad information. There are many very reliable websites that offer quality information, but there are also many that are not. Along with books and websites, there are many people that offer advice to new iguana owners that simply do not know proper ways of caring for iguanas. There are also many popular myths and misconceptions about iguana care. Once again, make sure you visit our Approved Information & Products page and make sure you check out our Myths & Misconceptions page to learn more!
3-Leave your new iguana alone for a while - The best part about the fact that you need to read up on your new pet, is the fact that you really should leave your new iguana alone for a few weeks after you brought it home. Your new iguana must get acclimated (used to) its new home. This time is very stressful for it and having some big human trying to "play with it" or "show it off" to friends and family will only make taming the iguana much more difficult. For about one to three weeks, the only contact you should have with your iguana is when you feed it, water it and clean its habitat (cage or enclosure). Very gradually, over those first few weeks, you can increase the amount of time you're with it. Over-handling a new iguana is a very common mistake most new iguana owners make. It's natural for people to want to handle, "play with", or "show off" a new pet. Avoid the urge and after a few weeks of gradually letting the iguana get used to you and its new home, you will have far less trouble taming it.
4-Leave your new iguana alone for a while - The best part about the fact that you need to read up on your new pet, is the fact that you really should leave your new iguana alone for a few weeks after you brought it home. Your new iguana must get acclimated (used to) its new home. This time is very stressful for it and having some big human trying to "play with it" or "show it off" to friends and family will only make taming the iguana much more difficult. For about one to three weeks, the only contact you should have with your iguana is when you feed it, water it and clean its habitat (cage or enclosure). Very gradually, over those first few weeks, you can increase the amount of time you're with it. Over-handling a new iguana is a very common mistake most new iguana owners make. It's natural for people to want to handle, "play with", or "show off" a new pet. Avoid the urge and after a few weeks of gradually letting the iguana get used to you and its new home, you will have far less trouble taming it.
5-Find a quality vet that treats iguanas -While you're letting your iguana acclimate to its new home and learning more about how to properly care for it, you should also take some time to find a quality veterinarian that treats iguanas. Most people will take their dogs and cats to a vet, but most people that own iguanas don't even think about it. There is information on our Veterinarians & Societies page about finding a vet, why you need a vet for an iguana and what to ask your vet when you get there. You will probably encounter many situations where you will be concerned about the health and safety of your iguana. It's also very important that you visit our Health & Safety page for lots of information on the health and safety of your iguana.
6-Food - There is a lot more to properly feeding an iguana than just giving it "iguana food" from the pet store. They need a wide variety of certain vegetables and fruits. There are many foods that you should absolutely not feed your iguana and many types of foods that you should only feed occasionally. For more information on properly feeding your iguana, visit our Food & Feeding page.
7-Habitat -A habitat (cage or enclosure) will be needed unless you plan on letting your iguana free roam (which really isn't recommended for first time iguana owners). The habitat will need to be very large. Your iguana will get very large and it will absolutely need a large place to live and still be healthy. For more information on proper habitat requirements, visit our Habitat page.
8- Sun and lighting -It's very important that you give your iguana access to natural unfiltered (not through glass) sunlight. You will also need to provide special UV lighting in its habitat. For more information on sun and lighting requirements, visit our Habitat page.
9- Humidity -It's also very important that you provide your iguana with the proper humidity it needs to be healthy. This includes providing fresh water, misting of the iguana and its habitat, or providing proper humidity by many other ways. For more information on humidity requirements, visit our Habitat page.
10-Cleanliness - It will be very important for you to properly clean your iguana, its habitat and yourself on a very regular basis. Iguanas are infamous for spreading a bacteria called Salmonella and can be best avoided by practicing proper hygiene. For more information, visit our Cleaning and Cleanliness page and make sure you read our page on Salmonella.
11-Affording an iguana -It will cost money to own an iguana. It will cost money on a weekly basis to buy fresh food. Buying or building a habitat can be relatively cheap to very, very expensive. Fluorescent light bulbs must be replaced every six months. Vet bills can be costly, but necessary. These are only a few of the things that you will need to be able to afford to properly care for your iguana.
12-What does that word mean? There are many words and terms that are associated with iguanas and iguana care. We have taken some time coming up with a glossary of iguana terms to help people understand the meaning of these words and terms. There is a link to our glossary of iguana terms located at the bottom of nearly every page on our website. If you're ever confused about the meaning of a word, click on the link and see if it's in the glossary, then click on your back button of your web browser to go back to the page you were reading.
Lost? If you are ever lost on our website or can't find exactly what you're looking for, there is a link to our site map at the bottom of every page on our site. There you will find an outline of all the pages on our site, where you can use the links to easily get around the site.
Still confused? Many people won't take the time to read up on how to care for their iguanas, and simply start asking questions. Please try to find what you're looking for on our site and the other places we recommend. If you still can't find what you're looking for, click on the graphic below to visit our message board, where you will find many helpful folks who can point you in the right direction.
7 Care Tips for Green Iguanas | Pet Reptiles
Iguana behavior - Friendly versus Territorial
Dealing with Iguana Aggression
Are iguanas dangerous?
Basic Iguana Care
Iguana Care -Housing
Please select or follow below :
IGUANA -- Introduction
IGUANA -- Introduction