Before you decide to get a pet iguana, you should have some basic information so you know whether or not an iguana is the appropriate pet for your home. Don’t get an iguana because your friend has one and you think it’s ‘cool’. And don’t get an iguana because you think it’ll be a cinch to take care of – it’s NOT. Read on for some tips that may actually help you decide that an iguana is not the right pet for you.
1. Iguanas are not inexpensive pets. While baby and juvenile iguanas can be bought fairly cheaply, that initial price is only the start of an up to 20 year responsibility. There are many other costs involved in caring for an iguana. Iguanas grow up to 6 feet in length, and you need to be able to afford a cage that will house your pet when it reaches that size. They also need to special lighting and heating to maintain their health – and that costs more money.
Since iguanas are natural born climbers, it’s important that their home has branches and shelves that allow them to climb and stretch out. As a cold blooded creature, they need heat lamps to help them regulate their body temperature, plus room to move away from the heat source if they want to cool down. You must provide them with the correct diet, rich in green leafy vegetables so that they get the necessary vitamins and minerals to maintain their health. And if your iguana becomes ill, you’ll need to arrange veterinary care, which can be quite expensive. If these costs seem more than you can afford, then you need to rethink getting a pet iguana.
2. Along with high cost, iguanas can be high maintenance. Juvenile iguanas aren’t too bad, but they grow quickly – and they grow up to 6 feet in length. Housing for a pet that size can be a real problem space-wise, as well as cost-wise. Keeping your pet iguana’s home maintained can also become a real time-consuming chore – it must be kept clean of feces and uneaten food, or it can cause health problems for the iguana. The iguana itself might also need baths in order to stay clean and well hydrated. And if you want to be able to handle your iguana easily, you’ll need to start taming it early on, while it’s quite small – that means daily interaction. Once the iguana has grown, it will be much more restless and more difficult to tame.
3. Iguanas aren’t a good pet for young children. If your child is begging for a pet iguana, don’t agree unless you’re prepared to care for the iguana yourself. Iguanas simply aren’t a suitable pet for children who don’t know about proper handling and caring. An iguana can and will bite or lash with it’s tail if it becomes frightened, and will grow large enough that it can injure a small child. And small juvenile iguanas can also be injured BY children and other pets.