The Care and Feeding of Iguanas

Our hospital is one of the few veterinary practices in this area with a special interest and broad experience in treating reptiles. As your veterinary practitioners, we hope you will come to us with any questions about proper care of your pets. While the Internet provides numerous pet websites, we have discovered a great deal of incorrect information, particularly about reptiles. Therefore, we will be featuring reptile articles in our newsletters.

The Most Common Pet Reptiles

Many pet iguanas die each year because their well-meaning owners don't know how to care for them. The two most frequently kept are the "Desert Iguana" and the "Green Iguana". Following are their characteristics and important tips to give them a long, healthy life:

Desert Iguana

Description: Light brown, some dark brown bands; short crest; spines down to base of tail

Size: Usually about 14 inches long

Environment: Needs to live in desert-type terrarium

Temperature: 80-85 degrees F during daytime; 70F at night

Feeding: Vegetable mix; can possibly eat commercial lizard feed

Companionship: Peaceful nature; several can live together at one time

Green Iguana

Description: Varies from brownish green to bright blue-green; soft spines on back of neck to base of tail

Size: Males can grow to lengths of 6 feet

Environment: Needs tropical habitat; likes to climb needs tall terrarium; requires large space due to potential size

Temperature: 85F heat required during daytime; 75F at night

Feeding: Vegetable mix or commercial iguana feed; need vitamin supplement with twice as much calcium as phosphorous for bone development

Companionship: Males should live separately but thrive on a lot of attention

Your Pet is Our Priority

Please feel free to call our office with any questions or concerns regarding your special companion. Remember that our veterinarians and staff are experienced in treating numerous types of pets.