Caring for an Iguana

Are you looking for a pet that is a little bit unusual, but lots of fun? An iguana may be a good choice for you. These little dinosaurs require a lot of care, however, so you’ll want to do some research before adopting one. Below, an Upper Arlington, OH vet discusses basic iguana care.


If you get a baby iguana, your pet may not take up much room at first, but this won’t be the case for long. Iguanas can grow up to seven feet long! Before adopting Iggy, make sure you’ll be able to care for him when he reaches his full adult size. This may entail devoting an entire room to your scaled pal. For now, you’ll need a tank or an enclosure. For a baby iguana, start with a 20-gallon tank. You’ll need to add a good substrate or flooring, such as butcher paper. Your cute lizard will also need food dishes, a hidey-hole, and climbing branches.

Environmental Conditions

Iguanas have some very specific needs as far as lighting and heat. You’ll need to provide your reptilian buddy with both UVA and UVB lights. You’ll also need to make sure that Iggy’s tank stays between 80 and 90 degrees during the day, and doesn’t go below 75 at night. Your iguana’s tank will need to be set up with different temperature zones, so your lizard can regulate his temperature by moving back and forth between them. Avoid using hot rocks or under-tank heating, as these can be dangerous. Ask your vet for specific instructions.


Iguanas are vegetarians by nature. Your scaled friend can eat some commercial food, but your pet will also need fresh produce every day. Green leafy veggies should make up a significant part of your reptilian pal’s diet. Some suitable options are mustard greens, alfalfa, dandelion greens, and collard greens. Iggy can also have some other veggies, such as squash, beans, and berries. Ask your vet for nutritional recommendations.


Keeping your iguana hydrated is very important! Iggy will need fresh water at all times. He’ll also need to soak regularly in a kiddie pool or bathtub. This can actually be quite fun to watch. It also offers you a great chance to spend some quality time with your pet!

For more information on iguana care, contact us, your Upper Arlington, OH animal clinic. We’re here to help!