How Long Do Iguanas Live? Iguana Lifespan

Iguanas are some of the most affectionate pets in the world. These pets can easily recognize their owners and people around them, thanks to their excellent memory.  If you want to bring an iguana to your home, you could be wondering how long this pet will live.

Will it be a compassionate companion for long?  Or, is it just a pet you can own for just a few months. We shall look at the lifespan of iguanas and the factors that affect these pets’ lifespan.

How Long Do Pet Iguanas Live?

Wild iguanas have a shorter life span than domesticated iguanas since they are under threat of marauding predators. But in captivity or living as pets, these creatures can live between 12 to 15 years.

These pets need to have proper care for them to live more than a decade. Iguanas that are well taken care of can live for more than two decades.  An iguana pet can live for many years if it takes an herbivorous diet and if the owner takes proper care of the pet.

Factors which Impact the Lifespan of Iguanas

Iguanas can be one of the long-living pets in the world. However, these reptile pets succumb to multiple diseases, including kidney disease, even before they are one decade old.

Apart from conditions, many factors affect the lifespan of these pets. Below are some factors that impact the lifespan of iguanas.

– Genetics

Genetics have a direct impact on the lifespan of iguanas. Iguanas whose parents had a predisposition for diseases are likely to have a short lifespan, compared to the iguanas that healthy parents sired.  The type of species also affects the lifespan among iguanas. Green iguanas, for instance, have a longer lifespan compared to other species.


Iguanas are cold-blooded creatures, and hence they thrive well in habitats with warm temperatures. That means that these creatures depend on external temperature to keep their bodies warm since they don’t have a way of regulating heat within their bodies.

Iguanas that live in favorable environmental conditions can live for many years, unlike their counterparts that live in harsh environmental conditions.

Pet iguanas need plenty of space for exploring and climbing to live many years. If you keep your iguanas in a cage, make sure they don’t live in the cage for too long.

Give them a few hours per day to be out of their cage. Proof your home to prevent these pets from escaping and protect them from any potential dangers or risks that can threaten their lives.

Food and Diet

Iguanas are naturally herbivores. These creatures strictly feed on vegetation consisting of fruits, flowers, and buds. The wild iguana will get its food by feeding on algae on rocks or eating seaweed.

Iguanas that don’t have access to the right food and diet live a shorter lifespan. Pet iguanas that feed on a diet comprising crickets, worms, and vegetation are likely to live longer than their wild counterparts that depend on a vegetarian diet.

– Stress

Iguanas are social pets that like living and eating together. Stress can thus affect the lifespan of these pets if they don’t get the companion they need to thrive accordingly.

Iguanas that are susceptible to stress due to lack of companionship or loneliness have a short lifespan.  Iguanas are likely to live several years while living in a group rather than living individually.

– Breeding

Iguanas lay eggs like most lizards. However, the number of eggs that an iguana lays can vary depending on the species. A female rock iguana can lay five to twenty eggs, while a green iguana can lay about twenty eggs.

Iguanas lay their eggs in warm, sunny areas.  The mother leaves the eggs after covering them in readiness for hatching. The lifespan of these lizards can matter significantly depending on the breeding trends. Usually, eggs with a hatching temperature of between 25 to 35 degrees Celsius have a high chance of hatching successfully.

The mother iguana leaves the babies independently, and she doesn’t return to take care of her offspring. The post-hatching period can significantly affect the lifespan of iguanas since not many baby iguanas survive the past three years after hatching.

Thus, the breeding pattern among iguanas can affect their lifespan depending on the number of offspring that will survive three years after hatching.

– Diseases

Iguanas are susceptible to diseases like other creatures, pets, and reptiles.  These diseases can lower their lifespan and cause early death, especially among baby iguanas.  Below are some of the conditions that usually affect pet iguanas.

  • Kidney disease– Iguanas succumb to kidney disease due to insufficient access to water daily. Kidney disease is the leading cause of death among iguana pets. Therefore, ensure your iguana pets have access to water and a healthy diet to promote the proper functioning of their kidneys, ultimately extending their lifespan.
  • Metabolic disease-Iguanas need a calcium-rich diet. Their diet should also be low in phosphorus. Nutritional deficiency can lead to metabolic disease among pets and wild iguanas. This condition is not just painful. It can also shorten the lifespan of your pets. Feed your iguana pets with leafy greens such as spinach, kale, and other leafy vegetables to provide them with enough calcium to lower their risk of metabolic disease.
  • Abnormal shedding-Iguanas shed their skins during the molting stage. Failure to shed their skins during this process can lead to irregular skin shedding. Insufficient humidity, lack of adequate hydration, and low temperatures are some of the leading causes of uncommon shedding among iguanas.

Male or Female Iguanas Live Longer?

Ideally, iguanas have the same lifespan, notwithstanding their gender. However, male green iguanas tend to live longer than their female counterparts, especially when living in good living conditions.

Warp Up

Iguanas can make some of the friendliest pets if given proper care. These pets can live for decades as long as you keep them under the right conditions. If you consider keeping an iguana as a pet, make sure you have everything that your pet needs to live long enough.

avatar William
William is a respected pet enthusiast with expertise in reptiles and birds. With extensive experience caring for these animals, he shares his knowledge through engaging and informative articles in various publications. He is an active member of pet-related organizations, volunteering regularly at shelters and promoting animal welfare and conservation. read more...

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