Are you thinking about adopting a pet green iguana? If so, you are likely excited. However, before you bring your new friend home, you need to make sure you are ready, which requires careful planning and preparation. There are also a few things you need to know. Keep reading to learn what these things are.
They Get Big
In the pet store displays, green iguanas are small and cute. Usually, they are hardly the size of your phone. However, they do not stay this small for long.
Green iguanas get big. In fact, when fully grown, they can be more than six-foot-long and over 20 pounds. Be sure to consider this before you adopt a green iguana. If you are not going to have the space or the ability to care for them once they reach full size, you may need to consider a different pet.
Green Iguanas Require Space
Now that you know how big the iguana gets, it should be clear they need a lot of space. While you may think you can keep them in a small tank, this is not a good idea. Iguanas require a dedicated area where they can roam around. Also, these reptiles are arboreal, which means they need some type of height to satisfy the urge they have to climb.
While the smaller tanks in the pet stores are great for babies, they will outgrow these in just a year. You need to make sure you have enough space for a large enclosure in the future. At a minimum, the enclosure should be six feet in height, six feet in width, and six feet in length. However, having a small room for your iguana is even better.
They Like Heat and Humidity
The iguanas that you see in most pet stores have been imported from South America. They are native to areas that are high in heat and humidity. This means if you get a pet iguana, you need to create a similar environment, and the habitat you create should mimic what they would have in the wild.
What does this mean? You need to make sure their space is heated between 80 and 90 degrees during the day and about 75 degrees at night – throughout the year. Most iguanas get the hydration needed through their skin. This means you also need to control the humidity levels. You will have to purchase a basking heated lamp, too, along with special UVB light sources to help ensure they do not become calcium deficient.
Iguanas Are Strong
When threatened, an iguana can do a lot of damage. Their tails are their built-in defense system. While they may seem unthreatening, don’t let them fool you. If you are whacked by the tail, it is not fun. In fact, the iguana tail may be strong enough to break a human’s bone.
As you can see, owning an iguana is something that requires you to get to know the species and what is required to care for them. Keeping the tips and information here in mind will help ensure you can care for your pet, regardless of how big they are when you adopt them.