Iguana Bath: How To Properly Wash & Bath Your Iguana?

Bathing your pet iguana has lots of benefits. It will give it extra hydration, help it shed, and clean. You’ll learn everything you need to know about bathing an iguana in this post.

Do Iguanas Like Water?

Yes, iguanas do like water, especially Green Iguanas, which are known to be good swimmers. Iguanas, being tropical lizards, are often found in regions with lakes, rivers and ponds nearby. They use water to help regulate their body temperature, and can swim away to escape from predators if needed.

However, it’s important to note that while they may be confident in natural bodies of water, domesticated iguanas may initially fear artificial ones like bathtubs due to their depth and slippery nature.

Remember, not all iguanas are the same, and some may not show as much interest in water as others. Like many animals, individual iguanas can have their own unique preferences.

Also, remember that although they like water, iguanas are not aquatic creatures like turtles, and should always have places where they can fully get out of the water to bask and rest.

Can Iguanas Drown?


Yes, iguanas can drown. Although iguanas are excellent swimmers and can hold their breath for up to 30 minutes, they are not fully aquatic animals and do need to come up for air. If trapped underwater for extended periods, or in situations where they are unable to resurface, iguanas can indeed drown.

Like many reptiles, they are ectothermic, which means their body temperature is regulated by their environment. So, if the water is too cold, they can become sluggish or unable to move, which could also lead to them drowning.

What Helps Clean an Iguana in the Wild?

Iguanas are self-cleaning animals and can handle much of their grooming in the wild. Here are some methods they use:

  1. Sunbathing: Iguanas are cold-blooded reptiles, and they depend on their environment to regulate their body temperature. Basking in the sun not only helps in maintaining their body temperature, but the sun’s UV rays can also kill off bacteria and parasites on their skin.
  2. Shedding: Iguanas continuously grow and shed their skin throughout their lives. This process helps remove dirt, bacteria, and parasites that might have settled on their old skin.
  3. Rain and water sources: Iguanas in the wild will often use natural water sources to help keep themselves clean. This can include rainfall or bodies of water like streams and ponds. Rain or swimming in water can help rinse off dirt, debris, and certain parasites from their bodies.

Remember that domestic iguanas require additional care to remain healthy and clean, as their environment doesn’t naturally provide the resources they have access to in the wild. Providing UV light, regular bathing, a clean habitat, and vet check-ups for parasite control is crucial.

How Often Do You Need to Bathe an Iguana?

Bathing an iguana can be beneficial for various reasons such as promoting good hydration, aiding digestion, and helping to remove old skin during shedding. However, it’s not something that needs to be done daily. Typically, an iguana should be bathed one to three times per week.

How to Bathe and Soak an Iguana?


Here is the step by step guide on how to give your iguana a bath.

Step 1: Choose the Place for Bathing Your Iguana

To begin with, you’ll want to figure out where you’ll be bathing your iguana. For younger iguanas, plastic dishes or tubs work fine, but for adults, you will need a bath.

Don’t soak your iguana in the kitchen. If using the plastic tub, make sure it is only used for your iguana.

Step 2: Prepare the Bathtub for Bathing

The level of water should not exceed the height of iguanas recumbent position, especially if we have an iguana which is  not used to swimming. If we have iguanas that are used to swimming, we can have water so high that they can swim. But you have to be present at all times, that any accident does not happen! If iguana is not used to swimming, then you can begin with a little bit of water to adapt it and every time you bath him, add it a little more.

At the bottom of a bathtub can be installed against the sliding base (fabric, rubber, …) that iguana will not slip and will feel better. Only swimming could be something new for your iguana and you need to get used to water, since some iguanas not only show dissent when in contact with water, but literally go crazy! Some can, although, feel very good in water.

Step 3: Make Sure the Water is Warm Enough

The temperature of the bathing water must match with the iguana temperature. Make sure the water temperature is somewhere between 84 to 90 °F (29 to 32 ° C).

If, during the washing, water Cools down, remove some water and add some hot water, and mix it with hand. Do not pour water directly at your iguana. If iguana is in the bath, do not tap water in the tank from the pipe as the iguana can be scared by stream of water (unless it is already used to).

Step 4: Let your Iguana Soak

When you put iguana in the water you can pour it’s back with it, it will be calmer, and also give him a gentle touch and a nice word.

If it tries to get out of the water, let it calm down again and slowly put it in the water (do not force him and push him in the water bath because it will become very unpleasant for him).

Do not leave iguana alone in the bathroom in a tub or pool (or elsewhere)! Take all the time possible so no accidents can happen. Even if it is already used to a bath, do not leave it alone without supervision! Not only iguana can drown, but could be otherwise damaged or undercooled!

Step 5: Let your Iguana Leave

Once the soaking is done, let your iguana out. Set the towel on the side of the bathtub so your iguana can climb out. Your iguana will also feel better knowing there’s nothing to worry about. Next time, it’ll know the bathtub isn’t scary.

Wrap the iguana in a towel to dry. The iguana’s skin needs to be gently dried, so extra water can soak in.

Step 6: Wash Everything

Once bathing is done, and you have put the iguana back in the cage, you should disinfect the bath. Wash the iguana’s washcloth and the towel in the washer as well. Make sure you add some disinfectant to the washer. Make sure all the accessories are clean and dry before you use them again.


FAQs About Bathing Iguanas

Should I Use Soap to Bath My Iguana?

Don’t use soap on your iguana. You can use a couple of drops of baby soap and a washcloth or toothbrush if there’s dirt or feces stuck to your iguana, but otherwise, just use plain water. In the bathtub, your pet iguana can drink soap, which can be toxic, some scents can kill it.

How Much Time for Bathing?

It’s important to keep the iguana in water long enough for his skin to absorb water. Don’t let the water get too cold, because it’ll be uncomfortable for the iguana. An iguana can soak up enough moisture in 20 minutes.

How often should you bathe your iguana?

Iguanas like to soak in water, so if yours does, have fun! As long as it isn’t stressful, you can give them a bath every week, but make sure the water doesn’t rise above their stomachs.

Filled under: Lizards

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