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Animal Care Hospital

1146 Blairs Ferry Rd NE
Cedar Rapids, IA 52402

Adopting an Iguana

July 15 2017

Are you considering adopting an iguana? You may not think that lizards are very personable, but these pretty reptiles are actually quite fun to watch, and can make great pets for the right person. However, iguanas do need quite a bit of care. As your local Marion, IA veterinarian, I am here to help! I discuss basic iguana care in this article.


If you get a baby iguana, you can start the little guy out in a tank, but be prepared to move him to a larger enclosure as he grows. Iguanas can get to be about 7 feet long! As one can imagine, an adult iguana will need quite a bit of space. In fact, it isn’t uncommon for people to dedicate entire rooms to their pets. That said, not matter what size your iguana is, he will need climbing branches and a good hidey-hole. You’ll also need to line your pet’s habitat with a suitable substrate, such as butcher paper.


Iguanas require both UVA and UVB lighting. Your pet will also need his environment to be kept within a specific temperature range. Generally, that should be between 80 and 90°F for daytime, and around 75°F at night. The cage or tank should be set up so that one end is warmer than the other. That way, your lizard can keep himself comfortable by moving back and forth. Since this equipment is a one-time expense, and is so crucial to your pet’s health, I advise investing in quality products. Ask your vet for more information.


Fresh produce and commercial iguana food should make up the bulk of your iguana’s diet. Your iguana will need lots of leafy greens, such as dandelion greens and mustard greens, as well as colorful veggies, like squash or red bell peppers. You’ll also need to offer your pet some fresh fruit. Ask your vet for specific nutritional advice.


Keeping your iguana hydrated is very important! Your iguana should always have lots of clean, fresh water. Your vet may advise misting your iguana’s food to increase his water intake. You’ll also need to let your lizard soak in a kiddie pool or bathtub several times a week. Be sure to supervise your pet’s baths closely!

Please feel free to contact me for all your pet iguana’s veterinary care needs. As your Marion, IA veterinarian, I’m happy to assist!