4 Important Things to Consider Before Adopting an Iguana

Iguanas are popular as pets in the United States and some parts of the world for about 20 years. Even so, caring for iguanas is very different from caring for cats and dogs. Iguanas have special needs and habits that you, as a prospective iguana owner, should be aware of. Thus, you should give it a careful thought before you even consider going to a pet shop to choose an iguana.


Here are some factors you have to consider carefully before adopting an iguana as a pet.

Your knowledge about iguana care

If you are not that confident to take care of an iguana properly, then that is a sign that you are not yet ready to own one. You need to educate yourself first about iguanas, their diet, habitat, health, and other essential information before you can finally adopt one as a pet.

Your long-term commitment

You cannot just adopt an iguana one day and dispose of it weeks later when you have grown tired taking care of it or when it has grown too big for you. Decide if you can commit to taking care of an iguana for a long time, about 20 years, without any regrets.

Your lifestyle

Does your schedule permit enough time for taking care of a pet iguana? For example, if you travel frequently, it is not advised to leave your pet iguana for days or weeks and just leave its food and water in its cage. Iguanas need to be fed, watered, and potty trained routinely. If your lifestyle does not suit iguana care, then consider getting another pet.

The available space for the iguana enclosure or cage

Since iguanas grow rapidly at a length of 6 ft., you need ample space in the backyard for the iguana cage. Iguanas may become stressed and have health and behavioral problems if they cannot freely move around in their enclosure.

You may have heard that taking care of iguanas is an easy task. That is simply not true because, even if taking care of an iguana is a rewarding experience, it involves a lot of effort to ensure that your iguana is in good condition at all times.


What are the Various Types of Iguanas? A Wildlife Animal Guide

The family of iguanas consists of the biggest lizards in the world. All iguanas have whip-like tails that compose about half of the length of their body. However, the appearance and behavior of different iguana species are varied, so it is not easy to identify them as members of one iguana family.


Rock iguanas

These ground-dwelling and herbivorous iguanas, which resemble dinosaurs, are also called West Indian iguanas. They come in different sizes and colors. Rock iguanas may be brown, gray, blue, red, or green.



Land iguanas

They can be found only in the Galapagos Islands. That is why these iguanas are also commonly known as Galapagos land iguanas. Land iguanas are classified into two species: Conolophus pallidus and Conolophus subcristatus.



Marine Iguana (Amblyrhynchus cristatus), Galápagos Islands, Ecuador – foraging under water

Marine iguanas

Like the land iguanas, marine iguanas can be found only in the Galapagos Island. Marine iguanas are the only modern lizards in the world that can survive and hunt for food in the sea. They usually stay in rocky shores, beaches, and mangrove swamps. These iguanas have different appearances, and they are collectively called the Galapagos marine iguanas.



Spiny-tail iguanas

The iguanas are members of a family of lizards known as Ctenosaura, which are unique because of their huge spiny scales that surround their tails, hence the name spiny-tail iguanas. Living in Central America and Mexico, spiny-tail iguanas can grow from 5 to 48 inches long.



Desert iguanas

They are among the most common lizards that thrive in the Sonora and Mojave deserts in Southwest America as well as in the Gulf of California. The scientific name of desert iguanas, Dipsosaurus dorsalis, comes from the Greek term Dipsa meaning thirst and sauros meaning lizard.


Chuckwallas iguanas

These iguanas comprise the genus Sauromalus, which means flat lizard. Indeed, chuckwallas iguanas look like flat lizards—they have flat midsections and a striking paunch or loose skin on their necks and side of their bodies. Their broad tails have tiny spiny scales, and their skin is covered with small grain-like scales.

To sum it up, iguanas vary in appearance and habitats. The species of iguanas are typically determined according to their natural environment.

What to Do When You Find an Injured or Sick Wild Animal

Have you recently found a wild animal that is injured or sick and you do not know what to do? Much like humans and domesticated animals, wild animals in bad conditions need immediate medical attention. Read on to learn how to deal with situations when you come across a wild animal that has to be treated right away.


Handle the wild animal very carefully

Only trained specialists know the right way to handle a sick or injured wild animal. Never attempt to touch it as much as possible, lest its condition will get worse. Keep a safe distance and contact a wildlife rehabilitation center or hospital like the Lower Moss Wood Wildlife Hospital.

Also, keep these tips in mind:

  • Under any circumstance, do not lift the animal to avoid risking your safety.
  • Call for help if the animal is stuck and you cannot reach for it.
  • If you really have to handle the wild animal like when it’s trapped in a dangerous or toxic area, wear a pair of gloves before doing so.
  • When holding the animal, keep it away from your face.
  • After handling it, wash your hands.
  • Never touch animals like dolphins and whales because they are delicate and you might do them more harm than good.

Place the animal in a secure box

If you can and if it is safe to handle the wild animal, put it quickly into a box. Before you do so, line the base with newspaper or clean cloth. Create some holes on the box for ventilation.

Take the animal to the wildlife hospital

You can call us at 078 8121 4821. But the faster option is to take it personally to our center for immediate treatment.

When you find a sick and injured wild animal, do not panic and just keep calm—this is for your own and that of the animal’s safety.

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