I love reptiles. Right now, I do not have an iguana, but I have had some really big ones and I do have to say that they love to slap you with their tails and they do hurt. Also, you do not want to be bitten by them, especially when they are bigger. Of course, you don’t want to be bitten by any of your pets, because it hurts! I have seen these being given out as door prices at the fair and I have to say that this is not right. Despite what some of you may think, an iguana is NOT for beginners. Iguanas are NOT for kids. They require a lot of care and if you do not do it right, you will kill them. Below, I am going to give you 10 tips on caring for an iguana…
10. Learn about Your Iguana before You Get Them
Photo Credit: José Luis Luque
It is important that you do some reading and learn about the iguana before you decide to get them. You do not want to get the pet and then read about them. Take note that there are many books and information that are outdated. Make sure you read different sources.
9. Do Not Give Them Lettuce!
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I went into the pet store the other day and guess what! They were feeding their iguana lettuce! Do not do this! It’s not good for them, they are not getting any nutrients out of it.
8. Do Not Give the Iguana Dry Food
I look in the reptile aisle for some calcium dust for my lizard and see dry food for reptiles. You know, it’s kind of like dry dog food and cat food. This isn’t good for them, so you should avoid feeding them the dry food and go with fresh food.
7. Avoid Feeding the Iguana Frozen Food
Photo Credit: *ian*
Many people love to chop the greens, strawberries and all the staple foods up, put it in a baggy and freeze it. This isn’t a good idea. I love preparing fresh food for my lizard every day. When you freeze the food, you are getting rid of the nutrients in it.
6. Keep a List of What to Feed the Iguana
It is important that you keep a list of food that they can eat. You should also keep a list of food to avoid. This is a site that will give you a list of staple (food they can have all the time). They also give a list of foods you can give as treats and that you should never give them.
5. Do Not Feed Your Iguana Meat!
Photo Credit: Heather Leah Kennedy
With some of the other lizards, you get to feed them mice, pinky mice, crickets, meal worms and all that good stuff, but iguanas are not meat eaters. Feed them fruits and vegetables only.
4. Make Sure You Can Afford to Have an Iguana
It is going to cost you money to own an iguana. On a weekly basis, you will need to get them fresh food. You will also need to build them a good habitat and get some fluorescent light bulbs, which you will need to replace every six months. Vet bills can also be costly.
3. Mouth Rot in an Iguana
Photo Credit: SummerTX
Iguanas, just like any other lizard builds up bacteria in their mouth. Many beginners find mouth rot on their iguana. It will kill the lizard if you do not properly take care of it. Some early signs include change in appetite, thickening of the saliva and change in color of the inside of the mouth. Treatment usually includes cleaning the mouth to clear the pus out. Some use peroxide or mouth wash to do this. You should ask your vet if you suspect your iguana has mouth rot.
2. Cleaning Your Iguana
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It is important that you clean your iguana on a regular basis. They are famous for spreading bacteria known as Salmonella and you can avoid this by properly cleaning the iguana and the habitat they live in.
1. Iguanas Are Prone to Certain Diseases
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Iguanas are prone to certain diseases such as metabolic bone disease (they need calcium!), paralysis of the rear legs, thermal injuries, nose abrasions, dry gangrene infections, skin infections, mouth rot, internal and external parasites, egg binding and bladder stones. You should schedule regular vet visits to get checked out. Blood work and stool samples should be taken.
It is also important to make sure your iguana has proper sunlight and warmth. Speaking in warmth, DO NOT get your iguana a heat rock! I do not know why they still sell these things in stores these days. They can cause your iguana to be burned as they will just sit there on it. So, do you have an iguana?
Top Photo Credit: MiqsPix