Iguanas Make Great Pets

An iguana is a smart creature with acute eyesight that can become a friendly pet. Depending on its history and background, a new pet iguana can be calm and peaceful or frightened and aggressive. Take your time with your new iguana and allow it to get used to you and its new surroundings. Here are some things you can do to feed and care for your new pet iguana: 

Physical Examination:  As soon as you get a new pet iguana, take it to a reptile veterinarian. The vet will examine your iguana and conduct a few standard tests such as blood and fecal tests. This will establish a health record for your iguana that subsequent exams and tests can use for a comparison. Take your iguana to the vet once a year to make sure it is healthy and growing at an expected rate. Your vet can tell you many ways that you can interact with your iguana to build a good relationship. 

Food and Feeding:  Each day, your pet iguana should be fed a variety of fresh and canned vegetables, legumes, and fruit. Fresh vegetables should be rinsed with clean water and allowed to drip dry. Except for lettuce or other leafy greens, all vegetables should be shredded. Canned vegetables should be rinsed well and shredded. Fresh fruit such as strawberries, mangoes, melons, and other berries should be washed and mashed. Feed your iguana at the same time and in the same place every day. If your iguana does not immediately eat its food, observe when it is hungry and feed it at that time every day. Ask your reptile vet for other vegetable and fruit suggestions to vary your iguana's diet. 

Cage:  Depending on species, an adult iguana can grow to be 12 inches to 60 inches in length. Before you get an iguana, research the particular species that you plan to get and build an adult-size cage for it. Furnish this cage with rocks to sit on and tree branches and other structures to climb on. An iguana should have a small enclosure inside its cage for sleeping and hiding. It should also have a pool of water for bathing. Twice a day, mist your iguana with plain water. This will keep its skin moist and soft, which will be helpful when it sheds its skin. If you are keeping your iguana indoors, attach a lamp to the top of its cage to give it a place to absorb warmth and light. Your vet can advise you of other cage additions and modifications that you can make for your specific location. 

Behavior:  Allow a new pet iguana to become acquainted with you by being near its cage every day. Once your pet iguana begins to trust you, it will relax and you can pet it. You can then hand feed it so that your iguana associates you with food and gentle touches. After a while, your iguana will allow you to pick it up. Speak gently to it and it will listen to your voice. Consult with your reptile veterinarian to interpret any unusual iguana behavior. Take your iguana to an animal hospital if your iguana exhibits any serious symptoms of illness or injury.

After a few months, you will build a trusting relationship with your new iguana and become friends. You will then know how to read your pet iguana's moods and behavior and your pet iguana will know it can trust you and will respond to your voice commands. With continued trust and interaction, you can build a good friendship with your pet iguana that will last for many years.