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I love reading stories and information about pets which could help both owners and animals.  

Saturday, November 2, 2013

Are Iguanas a good choice for a pet?

So, this weekend at Snaggle Foot Dog Walks and Pet Care, we have our very first Iguana that we are taking care of. His name is Maxwell and he is about 3 feet long.  Since we were going to be taking care of him, I decided to do a little research on them and that had me thinking about whether Iguanas are a good choice for a pet.

So I did some more research and found that yes, they can be good pets, however, there is some information every potential Iguana pet owner should know before purchasing their new Iguana.

So below is some information about Iguanas.  Hopefully this will help in your decision on whether to get one as a pet or not.

  1. Iguanas can grow to 5-6 feet long.
  2. Iguanas must be fed a variety of dark leafy greens, with some fruits and veggies added for variety.
  3. Iguanas need 2 types of light lamps.. a heat light and a UVB light.  The UVB light helps them process calcium in their diet.  Without it, they can develop metabolic bone disease and die.  Also, the UVB light tube should be replaced every 6 months.
  4. Iguanas cannot process animal protein... never feed them any type of animal protein.  They are herbivores and require dark leafy greens, vegetables and fruits.
  5. Iguanas need a very large cage with height for climbing. They are tree dwelling animals and their environment should match what their "natural" environment would be.  An adult iguana requires a cage that is at least 6 feet tall, 5 feet long and about 3 feet deep.
  6. Iguanas prefer not to share their areas with other iguanas.  They are solitary animals and two or more in a cage can cause dominance issues.  Also it is not a good idea to cage different specifies in the same cage.  So don't add any turtles or any other reptiles in your iguanas cage.
  7. Make sure you find a veterinarian that specializes in reptiles.  They do need vet care just like any other animal.  A once per year visit to the vet is recommended.
  8. You can get salmonella from an Iguana, so make sure you keep their enclosure clean and wash your hands after handling him/her.
  9. Iguanas do have teeth and can hurt you or your family if you are ever bitten.
  10. Iguanas do not make good pets for children.  They grow very large and it takes a lot of time and work to tame/socialize your Iguana.
  11. If you do purchase an Iguana and you don't want him anymore, PLEASE do not "set him free" he/she will most likely die in the wild.

If you are thinking about getting an Iguana as a pet, PLEASE, do your research first to make sure you are ready to take care of him/her.  They are living breathing animals and they need you to take care of them so if you can't, please do not get one.

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