How to Care for Green Iguana Pet?

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Green iguanas are especially appealing among pet lizard lovers. Green iguanas have become popular pets beyond their native habitats in South and Central America.  They can survive in virtually any environment, provided the owner takes good care of these pets. Before thinking of owning a green iguana, It would help to know everything about these pet lizards.

Every prospective green iguana pet owner would like to know more about these pets, starting from their appearance and behavior lifespan to taking good care of pet green iguanas. This guide will provide you with everything that you would like to know about green iguanas pets.

Green Iguana Appearance

Green iguanas are native to the Americas continents.  These lizards have noticeable color variations depending on their places of origin. Green iguanas can either have a reddish-brown, black, green, or lavender color in southern America.

Green iguanas from the northern part of the Americas have an orange appearance. Their counterparts from the northwestern regions of the Americas have a larger stature with a well-developed skin and dewlap than other iguana species.

These pets also have small scales at the back of their heads.  These lizards have sharp teeth on the inner part of their jawbone.  Green iguanas also have cream or white irises.  Some green iguanas also have yellow irises.

Green Iguana Behavior

Green iguanas are active arboreal lizards, and hence they stay active throughout the day, mainly feeding on fruits, leaves, and flowers.  Another distinctive characteristic of these lizards is that they are fantastic swimmers.

Wild green iguanas can jump from massive heights into the water when they are under the threat of predators. These lizards extend their dewlap once they face any possible threats. They can also enlarge their bodies or bob their heads once they face threats from predators or humans.

Wounded green iguanas can be more aggressive than their unwounded counterparts. These reptiles fight with their claws while biting their predators. Like other lizard species, green iguanas usually drop their tails once predators or other lizards threaten them.  These lizards exhibit this behavior to startle a potential predator while giving them a chance to escape from danger.

Nonetheless, domesticated green iguanas are unlikely to show any sign of aggressive behavior.  Green iguanas aren’t under any threat while living under human care. Hence, most pet green iguanas are less aggressive, unlike their wild counterparts.

Green Iguana Lifespan

Green iguanas can live for about two decades while living in the wild. Keeping these lizards under human care can be a challenge for most pet parents, particularly those that haven’t owned a pet lizard or a pet reptile before.

Young green iguanas can die within the first couple of years while they are under human care.  Most green iguanas die due to poor husbandry and severe malnourishment while living under human care.

Simply put, green iguanas can live for decades while living under human care, provided the pet parent can give the lizards proper care to help them live for as many decades as possible.

Green Iguana General Care and Requirements

Many people want to keep green iguanas as pets. However, most potential pet parents don’t know how to take proper care of these lizard pets. These general maintenance and requirements tips will help you take great care of your green iguana.

– Temperature

Temperature is an essential requirement for pet lovers seeking to own green iguanas as long-time pets.  Green iguanas are cold-blooded animals like other types of lizards. Make sure you keep your green iguana in a cage that has regulated temperatures.

Ensure one side of the cage has a cooler temperature while further ensuring that the other side of the cage has higher temperatures.  Make sure the cage has a temperature of between 27 degrees to 32 °C in the daytime.

The best nighttime temperature for your green iguana pet should be between 24 and 27 °C.  Place a couple of thermometers throughout the cage to ensure you get the temperature right.

– Humidity

Green iguanas thrive in warm and humid habitats, such as South America’s rain forests. Therefore the humidity levels in your pet’s cage should be around 80%.  Mist your pet’s cage at least twice a day to achieve high humidity levels.

Ensure you have a hygrometer to help you measure the humidity levels in the cage. Humidity is essential in protecting your green iguana pet from the risk of dehydration. Adequate moisture will also help give your pet healthy skin.

– Enclosure Size

Green iguanas are arboreal lizard species. These lizards are fond of perching on the highest perches. Hence, ensure you provide your green iguana pet with a tall cage when it can perch conveniently.

The ideal size of your green iguana pet cage should be around 8 ft. long x 6 ft. x 8 feet high.  Your green iguana cage should be constructed from mesh and wood due to the significant size needs for green iguanas.

– Lighting

Lighting is essential for green iguanas because helps these pet lizards synthesize vitamin D. UVB lighting is the best type of lighting for green iguanas.  Without UVB lighting in your green iguana’s cage, your pet lizard stands the risk of developing a calcium deficiency.

Calcium deficiency causes bone deformities among green iguanas. It can also lead to seizures and tremors, and eventually death.  The best way to provide UVB lighting in your pet’s cage is by installing incandescent bulbs throughout the cage. These bulbs don’t just offer UVB lighting in your green iguana’s cage. They also help keep the cage warm, especially during the night.

Green Iguana Food and Nutrition

Food and nutrition play a vital role in the lives of green iguanas. An improper diet can lead to several health problems in green iguanas.  Therefore, ensure your green iguana has proper food and nutrition to help safeguard its health in the long run.

– Feeding

Green iguanas are vegetarians like other iguana species. That means these pets thrive well on a plant-based diet. Green iguanas are folivores, which means they feed on leaves. Wild green iguanas feed on leaves, flowers, and vines.  Consider feeding your green iguana with a plant-based diet since even domesticated green iguanas also feed on leaves and various types of plants.

Avoid feeding your green iguana with any types of foods that have animal-based proteins. Avoid dry foods since green iguanas depend on food items that provide them with moisture.

The absence of water in your pet’s diet could lead to dehydration.  Feed your green iguana with calcium-rich vegetables such as beet greens, collard greens, alfalfa hay, romaine, and dandelion, among other vegetables.

– Supplements and Vitamins

All green iguanas have dietary requirements that they can’t meet from feeding on their everyday diets.  Green iguanas, for instance, need plenty of calcium and phosphorus to maintain good health.

Green iguanas also need additional vitamins that they may fail to get from their plant-based diets.  Young green iguanas particularly need supplements to support their development, especially in the early growth stages.

Consider purchasing supplements and multivitamins for your green iguana pet. You can talk to a vet and ask them to recommend suitable supplements for your iguana pet. Consider purchasing calcium supplements for your young green iguana pet to support its bone development process.

Furthermore, consider purchasing vitamin D supplements to prevent your pet from suffering from vitamin D deficiency, which can threaten and low its lifespan in the long run.

– Hydration

Your green iguana pet can die due to dehydration, and hence you need to keep your pet lizard hydrated throughout. The best method to ensure proper hydration in your green iguana’s cage is by misting the cage regularly.

You can also consider misting the pet itself if you notice any signs of dehydration.  Provide some water in the cage where your pet can take a cold bath, mainly when the temperatures are high.  Green iguanas love to bathe as a way of cooling down, ultimately staying hydrated.

However, ensure the water in your pet’s cage is clean all the time. Green iguanas drink water a lot to help them digest food and remain hydrated.

Green Iguana Breeding

Breeding in green iguanas usually starts when these lizards reach sexual maturity after three to four years. However, some green iguanas can reach sexual maturity earlier. These lizards typically breed during the dry season.  Some lizard pet lovers may consider breeding green iguanas to have more of these pets or for sale.

Breeding green iguanas shouldn’t be a challenge since you need to keep a male a female green iguana in the same cage. However, make sure the two lizards have reached sexual maturity.

The female green iguana will lay eggs around 60 days after mating.  Eggs can take bet 50 to 80 days to hatch. Incubation among female green iguanas usually takes between 80 to 120 days. Provide your green iguana with proper hatching conditions if you are thinking of breeding green iguanas.

Wrap Up

Green iguanas are incredibly social and friendly pet lizards. These pets are the best choice for pet lovers seeking a pet they can remain with for decades.

Plus, green iguanas are easy to maintain since they only need the right living conditions. Consider bringing a green iguana home if you are a pet lizard lover.

Iguanas, Reptiles

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