English 23

Iguanas for Pets?

While Hollywood likes to show iguanas crawling alongside dusty Mexican roads, in the wild, green iguanas are typically found, in1 the rainforest and spend most of their time in the forest canopy. Being tree dwellers, it’s obvious that2 they are excellent climbers, but less known is the fact that iguanas are also excellent swimmers. When an iguana perceives that a predator is approaching, it will often attempt to dive into a nearby body of water that it is close to.3

While most reptiles and amphibians have diets consisting of: insects and other small creatures4, iguanas are vegetarians, eating leaves, flowers and some soft fruits. They should not be fed anything containing animal protein, which can be hard with5 their delicate digestive systems. They typically get their water from the vegetation they consume but will take the occasional drink.

Iguanas – and many other reptiles for that matter – which have6 very special living requirements in terms of housing, temperature, humidity, lighting and diet. While you may think that an iguana in a pet store for $25—$50 is a good price for a pet, one can expect7 to initially spend at least another $300 in housing and climate control equipment for starters8And once you bring home your new pet, you need to be ready for years of preparing food and cleaning and disinfecting the cage.9

If you’re still ready for a vegetarian lizard in the family, a couple more items might change your mind. Those cute little iguanas you see in the stores are probably less than a year old. A few years from now, though10 that little guy will be five to seven feet long and weigh up to 20 lbs! This basically calls for a cage the size of your bathroom. [11]

And healthy iguanas can live up to 20 years of age or longer. Unfortunately12, a lot of iguana owners fully13 are not prepared for the responsibilities of this increasingly popular pet, and many ill and dying lizards end up in the care of humane societies. [14] [15]