With a gentle disposition and calm nature, iguanas are a popular pet choice when it comes to reptiles. Even though iguanas can make incredible pets, it is not uncommon for people to jump into iguana ownership without being informed. This can lead to a lot of unexpected work for you and an iguana who may be in danger of losing a home. Here are a few of the most common questions concerning basic iguana care and ownership.
Do iguanas like to be held and petted?
This can depend on several different factors. If your iguana has been socialized and is accustomed to human interaction, there is a good chance he will love any kind of attention you can offer. However, if the iguana that you obtain has previously been in the wild and did not come from a captive breeder, it can take a lot of work to get the pet used to you. Look for signs that your iguana wants your attention, which may be marked by a curious look in your direction or showing a relaxed state when you stroke him by closing his eyes.
How often should the iguana eat?
In the wild, iguanas eat regularly throughout the day. This is because the majority of their diet comes from available vegetation and may not boast a lot of fulfilling nutritional value. As a pet, the iguana will still show a tendency to want to eat several times per day as well. You should offer your iguana food regularly to see if he is hungry, but do not be alarmed if he does not eat for several hours, or even an entire day, which can be common with full-grown adults.
What are some of the health problems that iguanas can develop?
Iguanas are generally healthy as long as they are given the appropriate environment and care. However, even simple mistake can lead to serious health conditions. A few of the conditions that would lead you to a full-service vet for attention would include:
- Vitamin deficiency and dehydration from poor nutrition
- Pneumonia and respiratory problems related to unsanitary living conditions
- Inability to digest food because of improper availability of UVA and UVB light sources
Iguanas are not the type of pet that you can bring home and give food and water and see it thrive on that alone. They require a great deal of attention and can grow into a large responsibility, with some iguanas reaching lengths of as much as six feet long. Full service veterinarians like the one at Rivers Animal Hospital are typically the only professionals familiar with caring for reptiles, which may mean you will have to travel if your lizard gets ill. Make sure that you do your research in advance to make sure you can give an iguana all it needs in order to be a happy and healthy pet.