September 8th is Iguana Day! These lizards are very charismatic, but they also need lots of care. While it’s important to do research before adopting any reptile, this is particularly important with larger ones. A Tumwater, WA vet lists some things you should know before adopting an iguana in this article.
They Get Big. Very Big.
The first thing that you should know about iguanas? They get extremely large. Iggy may reach over 6 feet. A large outdoor enclosure is ideal, but we’re not really in the right climate for that. However, you will need a very large habitat. If possible, you may just want to give Iggy his own room. A single adult iguana needs a space that’s at least 8 x 12. For materials, you can use wood, mesh, or plexiglass. As for substrate, you’re best off sticking with things like reptile carpet, paper towels, or butcher block. If you go with the whole-room option, linoleum flooring can be a good bet.
Entertainment Is Important
Iguanas aren’t super active, but they do need stimulation. You’ll need to provide plenty of toys and branches for Iggy to play with and explore. Be sure to only use woods that are safe for iguanas. (Note: always check branches for parasites before offering them to your reptilian buddy.)
Training Is Key
Iggy may be small and cute when you bring him home, but he won’t stay that way. It’s important to train Iggy, and let him get used to being handled. An angry or frightened full grown iguana can be very dangerous!
They Need Baths
Iguanas should be soaked a few times a week. This helps with hygiene, hydration, and shedding. Use lukewarm water, and make sure it doesn’t go any deeper than your reptilian friend’s chest. Supervise these sessions carefully. This is a good chance to hang out with Iggy.
They Need Proper Conditions
Iggy’s enclosure will need to be kept at proper temperatures. This should be a gradient, with the cooler end between 85 and 90F during the day, and 75 and 90 at night. He’ll also need a basking spot, which can be between 90 and 105. Iguanas also need fairly high humidity levels. This will require specific equipment, which you’ll need to monitor closely.
As your local Tumwater, WA animal clinic, we’re dedicated to offering great care. Contact us anytime!