Care Sheet For Green Iguanas

March 19, 2017

Care Sheet For Green Iguanas

Among the popular and easily recognizable domesticated large breed reptiles is the gorgeous Green Iguana. The Green Iguana is a very spirited reptile and they can be tough to handle at first but they will soon adapt to captivity when they are supplied with a good habitat and handled regularly. They are a quite popular reptile breed and intermediate reptile owners love them for their size. The average length of a fully grown adult Green Iguana is about 4’ on the small side and over 6’for the larger ones. They can live between 15-25 years.

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HOUSING

 

The Green Iguanas are intermediate-sized reptile pets and as such, they require larger accommodations. For starters, a 20-gallon secure enclosure will be able to house baby Green Iguanas but they grow fast and will need ever growing enclosures that can fit twice the length of their bodies and at a minimum width of the length of their body. Basically enough room to move about freely. Green Iguanas are arboreal so perching areas must be included. It may be best to choose a larger, rather than a just right enclosure, to make them happy. Break up fights before they start and house male iguanas separately.

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SUBSTRATE

 

To avoid the possibility of your Green Iguana including the substrate in its diet, a “solid” substrate must be chosen. Non-particulate substrates like large ceramic tiles, linoleum, large river stones are all OK but Zoo Med Eco Carpet is recommended. Particulate substrates are not recommended at all because they can cause health problems for your Green Iguana when the substrate is accidentally ingested.

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HEATING

 

Green Iguanas need an enclosure that is between 70°F-90°F. They also need to bask in an area that is between 90°F-100°F. thermostat controlled Infrared Ceramic Heat Emitters can keep the enclosure warm and toasty but Zoo Med Basking Spot Bulbs and other incandescent bulbs illuminate and heat at the same time. Also, place thermometers in a few places to keep an eye on the warm and cold spots of the secure enclosure.

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LIGHTING

 

Green Iguanas need full spectrum UV light for at least 10 hours every single day but you can go up to 12 hours a day for them to be really healthy. A Mercury Vapor Bulb kept 8”-12” from the Green Iguana should keep them in optimal health. UV bulbs should be changed 2X a year or every 6 months to maintain optimal UVA/UVB delivery.

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SHELTER

 

Hides and basking sports are a must for every Green Iguana enclosure.

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SHEDDING

 

Shedding is part of life for a Green Iguana. A humid enclosure helps them shed. To make sure moisture is sufficient in the air, a bit of misting is all it takes so you get a humidity range of 70 to 90 percent. A dip in their drinking/water bath is sometimes required so keep that clean and filled. Get them a shed box if you want to really pamper them, it is a hide with damp sphagnum moss.

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WATER

 

A tip-proof water bowl large enough for the Green Iguana to soak in is a must. Maintain humidity with regular misting and the ideal range should be between 70 to 90 percent. If you find your Green Iguana frequenting the tub, increase the misting to avoid dehydration.

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FOOD

 

Since Green Iguanas are herbivores, a diet free from animal products is a must. A purely vegetarian diet of about 70 percent leafy greens, 20 percent other veggies, and a 10 percent composed of fleshy soft fruits should ensure the proper nutritional requirements for a green Iguana. Keep it nutritious and please don’t be boring by serving the same meal all the time. Do try, once in a while, to include ready-to-use iguana food like Zoo Med Green Iguana Foods Sampler Pack. After they eat, clean up any leftovers immediately.

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VITAMINS

 

Just to make sure your Green Iguana gets their daily nutritional requirements, you need to dust their food everyday with Rep-Cal Calcium or Zoo Med Repti Calcium. Herptivite Vitamins should also be given 2X per week to ensure the other vitamin requirements are met. Fun fact, sneezing helps Green Iguanas remove excess salt from their bodies.

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CAGE MAINTENANCE

 

Leftover food should be cleaned up after green Iguanas eat Dirty substrate must be cleaned everyday. Give enough clean water for them to drink and soak in. The tub must be tip proof, deep enough for soaking and have easy entry and exit locations. Weekly washing of the entire enclosure, including the accessories/furnishings must be done with detergent, rinsed well and dried before putting it all back together.

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