An iguana is not exactly a pet you can train to bring you
your slippers. But it is a fairly easy pet to take care of
as long as you have all the necessary gear that goes into
Iguanas can live as long as 20 years and grow
quite big in that length of time. It won't be easy for you
to sell or put your iguana up for adoption, so your commitment
to caring for an iguana has to be firm.
Desert iguanas, spiny-tailed iguanas and green
iguanas are some of the different types around, but the green
iguana is the one most often kept as a pet. The others are
left to exist in the wild.
Tierra Griffiths, spokeswoman for the American
Pet Products Manufacturers Association, says this lizard is
the most expensive reptile to care for with a total annual
cost of $238, but of all the pets you could choose, a reptile
is pretty economical.
The Green Iguana Society suggests that a pet
store is not the ideal place to get an iguana. Often they
are not healthy or well bred. Its Web site, Greenigsociety.org,
offers information for buying and adopting an iguana.
According to the American Society for the Prevention
of Cruelty to Animals, iguanas seldom need to see a veterinarian
unless something goes terribly wrong. In the event there is
an emergency, a checkup with a herpetologist will be necessary,
and based on the nature of the ailment, very expensive. Iguanas
eat easy-to-find vegetables and should be fed about three
times a week. It's best to clean them at least once a week,
according to the Green Iguana Society, to prevent the spread
You will need to have a very large terrarium
to house your reptile. It must be equipped with a heat source,
water bowl and hide rock to survive. But, iguanas also need
to be allowed to roam outside of their cages.
UVB lighting should be provided to aid in the
digestive process of the lizard and keep its body temperature
normal. A heat rock shouldn't be its only source of heat,
because your pet might get burns from resting too long on
A hide rock provides a private space for your
pet that allows it to operate the way it would in the wild.
It'll be able to retreat from your constant scrutiny and that
makes it feel secure.
Iguanas are not a pet for children. By nature
they will bond with one person and might be hostile to others.
During mating seasons, they will become aggressive, bite,
lash or grab.