Do Iguanas Drink Water? Iguana Water Requirements

Do iguanas need water? How much water do iguanas need to stay healthy? What is the best way to keep them hydrated? Keep reading to know everything about iguanas’ water requirements.

In the wild green Iguanas get their water from the morning dew on the leaves they eat. Green Iguanas do not have any sweat glands, consequently, they do not need to drink nearly as much fluids as their mammal counterparts.

Furthermore, since they are cold blooded, and can regulate their temperature via their dewlap and the changing colors of their skin they do not need to sweat in order to stay cool. The lizard family is exceptionally adapted to dry dessert like environments due to their water tight design…

Just because they can get along basically without it, does not mean they can go without. They need water!

Iguana Drinking Water

For those who have had the privilege of owning an iguana, are likely familiar with how infrequently iguanas drink water in front of us.

Moved by curiosity, I resolved to devote an entire three days to observing my pet iguana. To my surprise, I was finally able to see the rare sight of an iguana drinking water from a bowl.

Iguanas drnk water in a manner similar to dogs and cats, utilizing their tongues to lap up water. They cleverly use their tongues to scoop up the water and guide it into their mouths. However, witnessing this event is quite the rarity.

How Much Water Do Iguanas Need?

It’s a fascinating fact that iguanas have a specific hydration formula; they require roughly 20 ml of water for every 1 kg of their body weight. To put that into perspective, imagine a mature iguana tipping the scales at 4 kg would require a daily intake of approximately 80 ml of water. Though this amount may seem surprisingly small, it’s perfectly tailored to their physiological needs.

However, this is not a cap on their water consumption; it’s merely the minimum. Interestingly, these vibrant creatures can never overindulge in water. There is no such thing as ‘too much’ when it comes to their hydration. It’s always better for an iguana to drink more water rather than falling short of their requirement.

How to Keep an Iguana Hydrated?

Encouraging your iguana to consume more water may initially strike you as a daunting challenge. At times, it can appear as though no amount of effort could convince this exotic creature to hydrate more frequently.

Here are a few methods that can help you make your iguana drink more water.

1. Putting Fruits In Water

A good approach is to put a piece of their favorite leafy green floating on the surface while they are hungry.

By the way, if you see your iguana licking its lips over and over, it probably means his real hungry, this is a great time to teach them!

You can also put some fruits in the water bowl in your iguana enclosure. The sweet taste of fruits will entice your iguana to drink more water.

Some of the safe fruits you can put in the water for your iguana include:

  • blueberries
  • strawberries
  • bananas

You can safely feed your iguana fruits once or twice a week. But remember not to overdo it.

2. Misting Iguana Food

Another great way to hydrate an iguanas is by misting their food. This way your iguana will get extra water in addition to the liquid they get from veggies. This might not look much but it can make a huge difference if you do it on a regular basis.

3. Misting Iguana Itself

Another way to keep your iguana hydrated is by misting them daily. You can use a spray bottle, or even better an atomizer mister. If inside a large enclosure a humidifier will make happy iguanas. Check these out here!

4. Get a Water Bowl

Another good thing to have is a water bowl, get the heaviest dog bowl you can find as they like to stick their front legs in it and tip them over. Iguanas need to be taught to drink from a bowl as this does not come naturally.

Every time you bring your Green Iguana Pet some food, show him the water bowl. Put it right in front of his face, tap the water with your finger so he can see it splash around, put his front feet in it if it’s large.

5. Monkey-Chow

Another good way to hydrate them is with Monkey-Chow. This biscuit, usually in the bird section of your local pet shop, should be soaked in water until it expands and becomes nice and soft, like a wet sponge. Iguanas LOVE monkey-chow, but don’t overdo it, they should only be offered as a treat.

I generally don’t give them more than 2 a week. Make sure to say the words “Monkey Chow!” as you offer them the treat, they will learn to associate the words and it can later be used to find your iguana if they are lost and hungry.

If you are feeling really advanced, you can teach iguanas to drink from water bottles (like the ones used for hamsters, rats, etc). Get the largest you can find, and save up so you can get the Glass bottle, the water will taste better, be healthier, and stay fresh longer.

These are great for when you leave the iguana unattended for extended periods of time. Begin training your pet iguana by putting the tip of the bottle within licking distance of the iguana, naturally, they will lick it, iguanas lick EVERYTHING.

I like to keep a full water bottle by their basking site (where they get hot and thirsty) and a large water bowl on the opposite corner.

Large water bowls are much loved by Iguanas. They love to sit inside them, and often poop inside them. So make sure to clean them daily and to have a cleaner alternative available for them. The advantage of their water poops is that it makes it easy to clean after them. Check water bowl prices on amazon.

How Long Can Iguanas Live Without Water?

An iguana, depending on its size and age, can survive without water for approximately 5 to 10 days. This means if an iguana doesn’t drink any water within this period, it would start showing signs of severe dehydration, and it could potentially die. This is because the iguana’s body would be unable to carry out the essential functions that it requires water for.

Iguanas, like all living organisms, require water for their bodies to function properly. Water is essential for many metabolic processes in the body, including digestion, absorption, circulation, creation of saliva, transportation of nutrients, and maintenance of body temperature. Without sufficient water, these processes can start to break down and eventually lead to organ failure and death.


All this being said, you may not see your iguana drink for years on end. So no worries, just make sure their food is nice and juicy and you should be safe. you should always look at their scat (poop) and see how watery it is, if it’s not wet and messy they are dehydrated.

If you are lucky you can get them to drink from your cupped hand!

Filled under: Lizards

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