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Why an Iguana Needs Lighting

By John Simmons TEXT SIZE Minus Plus

First off, your iguana will depend on the source of UVB that it gets to help it to synthesize Vitamin D. Without Vitamin D, they can't take in and use the calcium they get. In fact, their bodies turn against them and will get the calcium from their bone structure when it doesn't get enough or can't use enough in other means.

When that happens, your pet iguana will not be able to actually maintain his health. The bone structure can become weakened. What's worse is that he will likely suffer from one or more illnesses including malnutrition. The end result is a sick iguana that will die before he should have.

The very best way to get this source of UVB is directly from the sun. That sounds easy, but there are several things you have to keep in mind when you consider this method of providing UVB.

First, just putting your pet near a window is not nearly enough. The glass of the window pane will filter out most of the UVB lighting. In addition, opening the window isn't enough either, because mesh screens or any type of blocking between your iguana and the sun is going to filter out too much of the all important UVB lighting.

But, you can create a second habitat, a sun basking habitat outdoors if you like. If you decide to do this route, you'll need to make sure it is done carefully. For most, this will allow you to place your pet outdoors for a few hours to absorb the right amount of UVB lighting.

But, remember these things when building or placing your pet in an outdoor sun basking location.

The outdoor temperature should be no longer than 80 degrees. Anything lower is not safe for your iguana to be exposed to.

Don't allow the iguana to be exposed to more than 100 degrees of heat, either.

Insure that there is no possibility of anything getting into your pet's habitat to hurt them or that he can in some way find a way out. Unfortunately, birds and other animals will use him for dinner if you allow it. In addition, most iguanas that get out just once are never found again.

Provide supervision to the iguana any time that he is outdoors. Water is mandatory for your pet when outdoors. He can lose a lot of fluids basking in the sun. So, provide a cup full of clean water for him to drink from.

You must also provide him with an area that is shaded that he can hide in when you feels the need. Most iguanas will move in and out of the light as they need to.

The good news is that your pet only needs about an hour a day of this type of UVB light to fill its needs. As long as it is direct lighting, your pet will be set. Don't forget to provide this lighting, though.

About the Author
Information on iguana facts can be found at the Iguana Care site.

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