The Iguana as Pet

The Iguana as Pet

Are you thinking of keeping an iguana as a pet?

As with all animals, each species needs special care and the same is true for the iguana. You must take into account its food, its terrarium, even the temperature of its environment so that it is healthy and happy.

The iguana is one of the favorite animals of reptile lovers and the one with which they are usually initiated into this world. However, it is not exactly the easiest one to keep in captivity because, although when we catch it is small, it grows a lot and very fast so it needs a big space at home to be well.

What are pet iguanas like?

Iguanas are like small dinosaurs that come from Central and South America. They live about 13 years and can weigh up to 8 kg (some even more) and measure more than 2 meters in length.

The iguana has a bright green color when young, which as it grows into an adult, turns gray. It is an arboreal reptile and a good swimmer that moves among tree branches and always lives near water.

Iguanas can shed their tails as well as lizards if they feel attacked, growing back again (but never as long as before). However, if they lose it again it will not grow back, so they will only release it if it is strictly necessary to escape from a predator.

Iguanas are solitary and territorial so, if you want to have two, it is better not to have two males as they can be aggressive and fight each other. You should choose to have a partner of different sexes.

The most important thing you should think about before choosing the iguana as a pet is whether you will be able to recreate the climate conditions she needs and provide her with ample and adequate space as an adult.

How should you handle a pet iguana?

Yes, it is possible to educate and domesticate an iguana. It will never be a dog as its instinct and behavior are different, but you can also have a strong bond with it if you put your mind to it and learn how to treat it.

You should never grab it by the tail, especially at first, as it will feel threatened and may even become detached. Always grab it by the belly, just behind the front legs.

Whenever you interact with or manipulate your iguana, pay attention to its reaction. If it tries to run away or whips its tail, it is not comfortable with the situation and it is better to leave it alone at that moment. Do not force her. However, if you stroke her and close your eyes, it means that she is enjoying it.

The interaction should be short so that she doesn’t get tired, but be constant every day. Lack of contact and never taking her out of her terrarium can lead to wilder and more aggressive behavior. With patience and kind treatment, you will get her to trust you and you will have an incredible companion.

What do pet iguanas need?

If after reading this article you have decided to keep an iguana as a pet, here are two more that may interest and help you:

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10 Tips on caring for your iguana


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Iguana terrarium heat, light & humidity


You’ve heard and read many times that taking care of an iguana is no easy task. Why is this? The main difficulty is that these animals, being cold-blooded, require an environment with a certain temperature, humidity, light radiation and . . . . Read more