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Iguana as a Pet: Guide to Housing and Feeding Iguanas

By Ellie Schneider TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

Keeping iguanas as pets has become very popular recently. A hasty, irresponsible treatment in iguanas often causes them to die at early age. This basic guide will teach you about the housing and feeding conditions the iguana requires.

The iguana has a reputation of being as an easy pet to take care of, which requires low costs and minimum treatment. Believing in this myth causes hundreds and even thousands of iguanas to die every year as a result of inadequate treatment. Taking care of an iguana may be less demanding than keeping a dog, but iguanas do require special feeding and housing conditions.


The type of iguana that is traded as a pet is called the green iguana or in its bionomical name Iguana iguana. Naturally, the green iguana can be found in central and south America. Since it became a popular pet, about 800,000 iguanas are being imported to the US every year. The green iguana is a large lizard; it can be as long as 2 meters and as heavy as 5 kg. Their life expectancy outside their natural habitat can range from 8 to 20 years.

Housing Conditions

The iguana has to live in very high temperatures. Therefore, the room in which the iguana will be placed has to be heated to at least 75 degrees and maximum of 90 degrees. Additionally, the iguanas must have an adequate source of light. Otherwise, the iguana would suffer from metabolic bone disease that can shorten its life.

Pets supplies stores offer variety of heating and lighting solutions in range of prices. An easy and inexpensive solution is to install an incandescent spotlight at the iguana cage. The incandescent spotlight will provide the iguana proper heating and lighting conditions.

Speaking of cages, the iguana cage or aquarium has to fit the lizard size. Basically, the cage has to be about 1.5 times the iguana size, so it will be able to turn around freely and have enough room to walk and climb. It is also recommended to install shelves or branches inside the iguana cage, which will allow the iguana to climb. Denying your iguana from the ability to walk and climb will cause it to be bored, depressed and most likely will not live long.


Green iguanas are herbivorous, which means that their nutrition is based on leaves, flowers, vegetables and fruits. As easy as it may sounds, it does not mean that the iguana nutrition is something you can be hasty about. The difference between the iguanas natural habitat, where they could easily fed of wide variety of leaves and flowers and the captivity, where they are given insufficient selection of vegetables, is one of the main causes to iguanas early deaths.

The most recommended food for iguanas consists of the widest selection as possible of vegetables, green leaves and fruits such as collard greens, mustard greens, parsley, green beans, figs, green peppers, raspberries, leeks, blackberries, grapes, radish, okra, pears, etc. It is possible to add cats or dogs food to their diet as a protein supplement. Feeding iguanas with insects is not recommended and even dangerous.

About the Author
Iain Shimmy has a love for tropical fish and Online Casinos. His favorite type of fish is the Paroon Shark and Online Craps is how he like to relax after work.

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