September 14th is Iguana Awareness Day. There are a few reasons why it’s good to spread some information about iguanas. There are a lot of misconceptions about these popular lizards! As your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, I discuss some things people should know before adopting iguanas below.
Iguanas Get Big
Baby animals are always adorable, and iguanas are no exception. However, that super cute, tiny little lizard you can hold in the palm of your hand will eventually get very, very big. Fully-grown iguanas can be as much as seven feet long. That’s a lot of lizard! Your tiny dinosaur will eventually need a sizable enclosure, or perhaps their own room.
Iguanas Can Be Feisty
Iguanas all have their own personalities. In fact, they can be much more charismatic than many people realize. While some are pretty affectionate, others can get a bit rowdy, particularly when they’re ready to mate. Do some research before adopting one, so you know what to expect.
They Have Specific Diets
Iguanas are vegetarians, so they need lots of fresh produce. Some of the things Iggy can eat include dandelion greens, kale, and spinach. Your reptilian pal will also need some colorful veggies, and a bit of fresh fruit. You’ll need to chop your pet’s food into small pieces. It’s also not a bad idea to mist it with water, to help keep your lizard buddy properly hydrated. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice.
They Need Baths
Iggy will need to bathe several times a week in shallow, lukewarm water. You’ll need to supervise his swim sessions carefully, as iguanas can drown in just a few inches of water. Don’t think of this as a chore: it can be a fun way to spend time with your pet, and maybe relax and enjoy some music or a podcast.
They Can’t Survive In Cold Climates
You may have heard that iguanas are sometimes considered a nuisance in tropical climates, where they can thrive naturally. However, that doesn’t apply here. Iggy can’t survive on his own in colder climates. He’ll need special heating and lighting equipment to keep his enclosure environment just right. Ask your veterinarian for more information.
Iguanas may not be everyone’s ideal pet, but they really are quite charismatic. Iggy is actually really cute!
As your Cedar Rapids, IA veterinarian, I’m dedicated to offering great care. Contact me anytime!