Iguana Care Sheet (Complete Guide)

In this guide you will learn how to properly care for your pet iguana in captivity.

Housing

Iguanas grow very quickly their first 3 years and then slowly after that. A proper cage should be at least twice the length of the Iguana and no less than three times the height. Iguanas are arboreal and love to climb so provide branches for them to climb and lay on. Make sure the branches are sturdy and safe and are at least the width of the Iguanas abdomen. If using real plants be sure they are non-toxic to your Iguana. If you choose to use fake plants make sure your Iguana does not eat them as it could cause problems with digestion.

Iguanas do not require substrate but if you choose to use substrate make sure it is not something the Iguana can or will ingest. Do not use hot or heat rocks in your cage. These types of rocks get really hot and could burn your Iguana. You may also want to provide a small water dish. Iguanas typically do not drink from standing water but it is there if they want to drink or soak. Just keep the dish clean. Once a week cleaning is also recommended for the Iguanas cage.

Lighting

Iguanas need UVA and UVB lighting. Use a timer and set your lighting on a 12 hour cycle to mimic the sun. You will need both lights. The UVA bulb is used for heat and light and the UVB is needed to help your Iguana properly digest its food and maintain the calcium it needs. Without the proper calcium your Iguana can develop Metabolic Bone Disease and this can lead to an early death. Replace your bulbs every 6 months.

Temperature

It is important to setup your cage with a good temperature gradient, meaning during the day one side of the cage should be cooler than the other side, which should be between 80-85 F with a basking spot temperature of 95 F. Night time temperature should not reach below 75 F.

Humidity

Iguanas come from very warm and humid climates. The humidity in your Iguanas cage should be around 80%. It is important to have a humidity gages to ensure you have the right amount. Do not guess! Misting twice a day will help reach the required humidity. The proper humidity for your Iguana will keep it from becoming dehydrated and will also help them shed their skin.

Diet & Feeding

An Iguanas diet should consist of 40-45% Greens, 40-45% Vegetables and 10% or less Fruits. Greens to use are collard, turnip, mustard, dandelion, and water cress. Vegetables to use are yellow squash, snow peas, green beans, and parsnip. Fruits include mango, melons, strawberries, raspberries, figs, papayas, pears, plums, blackberries, and grapes.

Fresh food is recommended and frozen/thawed should only be used during emergencies. Under no circumstances should you give your Iguana animal protein. Iguanas can’t be overfed but once a day feeding is recommended. We recommend feeding early in the morning so your Iguana can digest its food over the course of the day.

I am the editor-in-chief at MyPetReptiles.com. I have been a reptile enthusiast for over a decade, and during this time I have kept and bred a variety of different reptiles such as bearded dragons, geckos, and chameleons. I am passionate about sharing my knowledge and experience with others to help them provide the best care possible for their pet reptiles.

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