Please Care Your Green Iguana Nicely

May 18th, 2009

It is not well known that iguanas are very sensitive and appealing animals capable of exhibiting very distinct individual traits. Each of them is unique and requires handling that is specific to their own requirement and that includes feeding them, taking care of their hygiene and also maintaining their enclosure such that there is no room for any infection to set in.

Green iguanas are no different from their other friends and take to greens and protein very well. While protein is good for overall health and can be found in tuna, chicken, it has been observed that green iguanas also prefer leafy greens like carrot tops, kale over lettuce and cabbage. Berries like raspberries and broccoli along with tofu also need to be an essential part of their diet. External vitamin supplements in powdered form can also be added to their diet. The importance of clean drinking water cannot be over estimated here. In addition to drinking purposes, it is required for the maintenance of hygiene. The temperature of water has to be lukewarm so that it does not cause any skin damage.

The terrarium of the green iguanas needs to be designed with a lot of care. You must have enough tree branches and space for the iguanas to move around. Moving and climbing are extremely important activities which help in the overall growth and development of iguanas. Iguanas look to perch higher up as it provides them a feeling of comfort and security. The body temperature of these animals needs to be maintained at a specific degree so that their body metabolism is not hindered. Hence adequate lighting and some electric heat rocks need to be placed inside the terrarium.

To summarize, it has to be said that notwithstanding the infrastructure arrangements, it is the time, effort and love showered by the master that will enable an iguana to lead a healthy life.

How do you ascertain the health of your iguana pet?

May 17th, 2009

iguana19If you are one of those who is well informed on how to attend to an iguana and has read the right literature on its upkeep, you would ensure that your iguana does not suffer from any ill health.  However, in the event of it falling ill, you should be able to quickly recognize any problem that it could be facing and take adequate measures to alleviate the problem.  This article is an attempt to share some of the tell tale symptoms exhibited by a sick iguana and what you can do to counter them.

Food Habits and Appetite

Over a period of time, you would definitely get to know about your pet’s eating habits and the moment there is a perceptible change in this schedule, you must realize that there is something wrong.  Typical signs are decreased intake of food or sometimes taking in more than normal, wishing to opt for something different than the usual menu and a reluctance to eat moist food.  These are sure signs that something is amiss and it is time to seek medical help.

External Look

You need to look for the texture of the skin and its color of your iguana to determine if there is any looseness or discoloration.  Though discoloration does occur occasionally due to change in temperature or stress, that condition is temporary and it is only when an iguana is really ill that the change in the skin color remains irreversible. It is worth mentioning that the skin usually takes on a brownish hue and that is a definite sign of sickness and time for you to rush him to the vet.

General Countenance

Your iguana’s behavior should also give you certain pointers on its health.  If it appears withdrawn and prefers to hide in a specific place within the terrarium, you should know that there could be something wrong with it.  The other scenario is when a normally passive iguana suddenly acts aggressive and that again is an indication that you need to show it to the vet at the earliest.

Iguana Health Care Is Important For Your Pet

May 15th, 2009

iguana feedind and healthThe health of your iguana can go for a toss if you do not adhere to certain recommendations about its care and you can do this easily by referring to some well known books on this subject. We will however, cover some of the problems that typically occur with an iguana.

You need to be very careful about the breeding of internal parasites and a condition known as the metabolic bone disease.

While the presence of internal parasites is difficult to detect without the assistance of a vet, taking the iguana for a check up as soon as you get it home should prevent the further breeding of any parasites that may be present within the iguana.

If for some reason, you are not able to visit a vet, then the tell tale signs of such a parasitic attack manifesting in your iguana is a lack of appetite, runny motion and sudden loss of weight. This should prompt you to immediately take him to the vet.

The second condition of the metabolic bone disease is far more worrying as if they are not getting fed right proportions of calcium, phosphorus and UV light, they could exhibit stunted growth and would not be able to show the correct development. The ideal proportion of calcium: phosphorus should be 1:1. Growth deficiency in an iguana is serious as they tend to exhibit quick growth and rapid development if taken care of properly.

The deficiency starts showing in the manner the iguana attempts to move around and you will observe that the bones can crack quite easily resulting out of swollen joints in the hind legs, which tend to exhibit weakness immediately. This is a sure sign of deficiency as the iguana is an active reptile that likes to climb and keep moving.

It is therefore important to provide the right lighting, diet and temperature conditions so that these problems do not manifest themselves and your iguana can lead a healthy life.

Green Iguana Facts Sheet

May 13th, 2009

16You cannot find something more wonderful than an iguana as a pet but you need to be aware that they require tremendous attention and knowing more about them should help you give them that care and attention.  Some of the facts that you should be aware are as under:

1. They are vegetarians.

You do not have to visit a pet shop and feed your iguana with worms, crickets or any such creatures since iguanas are vegetarians and they are content feeding on greens and vegetables that you can pick from your garden or grocery

2. Iguanas are easy to build a rapport with.

Contrary to some other variety of snakes or lizards, iguanas are friendlier and take to their owners quite easily, to the extent that they are comfortable sleeping next to the owners.  They are so friendly that anybody can hold them and they even allow their masters to dress them as per their choice.

3. Iguanas have a long life.

As human beings, we tend to become attached to our pets and would like them to be with us for a long time.  That is because we invest our time, effort and money in providing them the best of care.  The good news is that iguanas can live up to 20 years and thus outlive other pets like rats, hamsters.

4. Iguanas do not cause allergy

Unlike some other pets with fur or hair, the iguana has none of these and hence is absolutely safe for even an asthmatic to handle and maintain one as a pet.

5. Iguanas can be very useful for your children.

Besides the companionship provided by the iguana as a pet, the iguana also allows for a good learning experience to children when they learn to take care of the reptile and get to know more about its physiology.

The above facts are useful in taking an informed decision to go for an iguana as a pet and how to take care of them.

Pet Iguana Care

May 11th, 2009

15The commonest of pet reptiles purchased today are the Iguanas.  These animals grow about 4-6 feet in length.  They reach a weight of about 10-15 pounds maximum and live for about 12-15 years.  With proper care and attention, iguanas can live up to 20 years.
Housing for Iguanas:

A young iguana can be housed in a 30 gallon to 50 gallon aquarium.  But within a few months, this housing would have to be changed.  Enclosures of different shapes and sizes of different materials like glass, wood or Plexiglas can be used.  Make sure that sand, bark or oil are not used as iguanas tend to eat them and are sure to experience stomach problems.  Branches and pieces of drift wood, rocks and bark can be used for climbing and this keeps them active.


Iguanas require water to survive.  They like to be in and around water areas.  They enjoy drinking water from the dishes provided.   The dishes have to be cleaned regularly and disinfected so that they do not suffer from bacterial infections.

Your iguana needs to be bathed twice daily.  Some iguanas love to bathe, while some are scared and panic when bathing.  Understanding their psychology helps.

Outdoor Sunlight

Iguanas are very active during day time. Iguanas love to bask in outdoor sunlight for about 5 to 10 hours weekly.  Make sure while selecting the cage that, other wild animals are not able to enter the cage and also your iguana is not able to escape from the cage.  Glass cages should be avoided as far as possible.  Make sure that you provide proper diet consisting of wholesome and nutritious diet and water.

Handling with care

Regular handling of iguanas helps in taming them.  Iguanas also are able to express their emotions if they are handled properly with care and affection.   Iguanas can be aggressive sometimes, so take care while handling them.


Basic Info On Green Iguanas You Need To Know

May 10th, 2009

141Geographic Range:

Green iguanas are found in South and Central part of America.  This huge sized lizard also lives in islands through the Caribbean region and also in coastal eastern Pacific.

Green Iguanas inhabit at tree tops.  Younger iguanas live in the lower canopy areas.  This typical tree type habitat helps them in sub basking.  They come down only when they have to dig burrows for laying eggs.
They are superb swimmers and they prefer to stay in and around water areas, so that they are able to fulfill their requirements of swimming and diving deep beneath the water.  Even though they prefer the forest environment, they are pretty adaptable and they adjust very well to an open area as well.

Other information:

A three year old Iguana weighs about 1kg.  When the egg hatches, the length of the iguana measures from 17 cm to 25 cm.  Well formed mature iguanas weight about 4 to 6 kgs.  When fed and looked after properly, they also weigh close to 8 kgs.

Even though they are described as green iguanas, they vary in colors.  As they grow older, their color is uniform.  Younger iguanas have both green and brown color shades.  The color change assists them in thermoregulation.  Especially during the mornings, when the temperature is low, the skin grows darker so as to easily absorb heat from the sun’s rays.  These color changes are identified especially in males and they are due to the sex steroids present in their body.  6 to 8 weeks before courting, the males pose a bright gold or orange color.  Fully grown and mature females adorn the green color.
Development of the Iguana:
Close to 65 days after they have mated, the female iguana lays eggs.  The number of eggs laid depends on the size of the female iguana, her health condition and her maturity.  The egg of the iguana measures about 15.4 mm in diameter.  These dull cream colored eggs are deposited by the female in the nest.   Once she has laid the eggs, the female goes back to have a look at the nest to ensure that the eggs are safe, but she does not necessarily stay back to guard the eggs.

The incubation process takes about 90 to 120 days.  The temperature should be around 85 degrees to 91degress Fahrenheit.

Green Iguana Care Tips

May 10th, 2009

Little Green IguanaGreen Iguanas have gained popularity off late. They have not been effectively managed due to improper education. Here are some basic care tips which can be followed so that the iguana lives for a standard life span of 13 to 15 years are as follows:

Diet – Make sure you provide a healthy and wholesome diet; otherwise your iguana would either die or attract some disease. Young iguanas need to be fed with 2 feeds daily comprising of 1 part of protein and 2 parts of plant food. The ideal diet should comprise of lots of fresh fruits and vegetables like carrots, lettuce, apples, tomatoes, turnips and hibiscus flowers.

Make sure the fruits are organic in nature. Ideal calcium to phosphorus ratio needs to be maintained. Do not feed your iguana with iceberg lettuce, since it is devoid of nutritional value. It is advised that you do not feed non vegetarian food like meats in excess, as they would have a harmful effect on the bones and kidneys of your iguana and could also result in kidney stones formation.

It is important that you need to chop, grate and grind the food in your food processor. Mix the calcium and vitamins along with the mixture and then deep freeze portions in ice trays. In case your iguana has not eaten the food kept in the cage for more than 4-5 hours, then change the food, lest your iguana could have stomach problems.

Your iguana should be fed with fresh water, a place to defecate and also some regular exercises for it to remain fit and healthy.

Give them a bath twice with each bath of about 20 minutes. Iguanas tend to shed in bigger patches which starts from the head portion and proceeds to the tail. Provide a tree branch so that they are able to rub up against.

Lighting /Temperature- Iguanas do not need light for 24 hours. They need light only for 12 hours in a day.

Bedding and cages- Make sure to change the bedding daily, so that they do not attract germs. Cleaning the cages with warm soap water and then using a disinfectant is helpful.

Iguana Care – What Is Important

May 10th, 2009

Green Iguana CareIntroduction

Iguanas are found in the forests of South and Central America.  They are wonderful adaptable creatures. They live on trees; deep inside the thick foliage and their places of habitation are close to sources of water.

Close to 30% of iguanas which are sold in pet stores are able to survive till they attain maturity.  This is due to the stress they have to undergo during transportation and also because of insufficient care and nourishment.  The ones which survive are rescued by agencies; some of them are left to their fate due to their large size, ferociousness and activity.  A good environment and proper diet and care would be of great help and they can be tamed into pets.

Housing Requirements

While buying a cage, be sure that you buy a cage much larger than required.   For a small iguana, you would need to buy a cage which is 3 feet in length and 1 ½ feet in width and 1 ½ feet in height.  The growth of an iguana is very fast in the first 3 years, so you need to buy or construct housing accordingly.

Temperature requirements

The cage should be made in such a way that your iguana is comfortable with the changes in the temperature.  Make sure you have placed thermometers so as to monitor the temperatures. Ideally the night time temperature should be maintained between 23.8 to 26.6 C.

Cage Furnishings

A good sized cage with plenty of warmth and lighting is ideal for a young iguana.  Make arrangements for some climbing areas.  If you place some real plants, the iguana would just trample it.  Real plants which are non toxic like philodendron, spider plants and pothos can be placed so that they do not cause harm to the iguana, even if eaten.   Make sure you create more green foliage with lot of leaves and branches, within the cage to make the iguana feel comfortable.

Food and Diet

Place a water bowl so that your iguana can drink fresh water.   Moisture requirements of an iguana are fulfilled from the food it eats; hence make sure the food you give him has lot of water content.

The diet of an iguana should consist of 35% of fresh greens.  The rest of the diet could be made from shredded and finely chopped fresh vegetables.  Fresh fruits can also be added to the diet.  Some of the greens like turnip greens, dandelion, collard greens, fresh hibiscus leaves may be offered.  Herbs like cilantro, oregano and basil may also be fed.  They also like to have carrots and oranges.    Make sure you feed your iguana with protein rich food like alfalfa tablets, powdered alfalfa and alfalfa food pellets.  Add these to the salad.    Fruits like strawberries, raspberries, plums, dates, grapes, soaked raisins etc are enjoyed by iguanas.

Personal hygiene of your iguana

Make sure you provide a large Tupperware basin or container where the iguana’s body can fit. He may want to defecate in this water area and cleaning becomes easier for you.  Encourage your iguana to defecate in this water area, so that maintaining the cage becomes hassle free.

Iguana Care Sheet

May 9th, 2009

111This brief iguana care sheet would help you understanding how to take care of your young iguana.  Make sure you understand about your pet so that you are able to do justice to your pet.

1) Make sure you do your research and homework and do not rely on your pet store fully.  Sometimes, it so happens that even pet stores do not have the complete information.

2) Ensure you buy the right set before you get your iguana home.   You need to keep the cage ready before you get this mammal home.

Plan ahead so that you do not end buying a smaller size aquarium. Your iguana would grow very quickly and you would have to reserve a separate room for him.

3) Your iguana would require a basking lamp, fixtures like tube light for keeping the cage well lit.  An under tank heating pad would also be required and this would depend on the iguana’s size.

The iguana’s cage would include basking limb, water, hide box.  Young iguanas like to drink fresh water.

4) The diet would include fresh greens like collards, mustard, turnips, dandelion greens.  You could also feed him a salad made from peas, green beans, sweet potatoes.

Enough amounts of calcium supplements without adding D3 should be fed.  Make sure you read the labels on the supplements.  Make sure you do not overdo the supplements.

5) Ensure that the lights are not on even during the night time.  Just like humans, iguanas do not need lights all night.  Make sure to place at least 2 thermometers in the cage to monitor the temperatures.  Thermostat devices are helpful since they help in controlling the temperatures.

Ensure that your iguana is receiving the right amount of warmth.  This is important for it to help in digestion and the temperatures needs to be maintained at 85 degrees. The temperatures can be correctly monitored if you use the thermometers.

6) Iguanas should be fed a proper diet.  Do not be slack in this.  Make sure you chop the pieces of food, so that it is easier for your iguana to eat the food.    Iguanas do not have the habit of chewing the food; instead they gulp it down completely.

Make sure you take your iguana to a qualified vet in your locality for regular check-ups.

7) Do your own research and find out facts for yourself.  Also get in touch with other people who own iguanas.  They would be able to guide you properly.

Iguana Feeding Information And It’s Eating Habits

May 8th, 2009

Proper nutrition is crucial factor for iguanas, because many diseases occur because of incorrect nutrition. Iguanas are exclusively herbivorous throughout their life, so don’t be fooled that juvenile iguanas can eat various insects, because it is not true and may even harm your pet!

In one of the shops of small animals in the terrarium of iguana i have even saw the inscription: “… the juveniles consume insects, with age they become strictly vegetarians  ….” Can you think of that? And then you buy iguana in such shop, which probably has already some health problems (if they are feed with such food), and you get a stupid advice that you need to feed iguana with the animal food until it’s young (with that kind of diet you make the maximum damage to iguana) ….

Iguanas daily menu sheet must consist of:

* 45% of multiple leaf vegetables
* 40% of diversified vegetable
* 10-15% of fruit

Feed him 1-2 times a week, however,  you can add cereals to to menu, which should not exceed 5% of the total ration.

It is important that iguanas menu is as diverse as possible! In drawing up the menu, you must use as many different types of leaf vegetables and plain vegetables, also use different fruits but do not overdo it, just keep it in little amounts!

Also important is terrarium temperature of iguana: Iguana digest it’s food the best if the temperature in the terrarium is at least 29 ° C and therefore must be taken into consideration that the temperature during the day, in a certain parts of terrarium, doesn’t not fall below this limit! The fall in temperature below 29 ° C strongly inhibit digestive process!

And do not forget to UVA and UVB light (natural and / or artificial).