Emotional Support Reptiles
Pet Blue Iguana Care
We’ve all heard of cats and dogs as emotional support animals but you don’t hear much about lizards.
I like animals and each of them have different things to offer.
What’s nice about having a pet Blue Iguana over other animals?
- They stay in a confined space
- They don’t have fur
- They’re quiet
- They’re unique
- Their food is cheap
- They look like dragons
They’re not for everyone but if you’re thinking about trying it,
Here are some things you should definitely know before getting a pet Blue Iguana;
- They can bite, scratch, and tail whip
- They can live for 40 years!
- They get big, up to 5-7 feet long
- If you want them to hang out with you, you’ll have to put some work into it
- There is some cost upfront if you don’t have any supplies
- Tank ($100 or more)
- Lights ($20 or more)
- Reptile carpet or other substrate ($10)
- The actual Iguana (100$ price varies quite a bit though)
- Vitamins ($15)
- Temp/humidity gage ($15)
- Humidifier ($30 optional usually)
- Food/water bowls ($10)
- Things for them to climb ($20)
If you’re looking for how to care for an iguana, below is some info on iguana care for beginners,
Where do I get a Pet Blue Iguana?
You can find them at some pet stores.
You can also buy them online, here are some sites below that have Pet Blue Iguanas for sale.
Their price ranges from $100-$300
What To Put in Your Pet Blue Iguana Tank
These lizards like a temperature of 80-92F with a basking spot that’s 110-120F and they require UVA & UVB lighting.
5.0 linear fluorescent bulbs work well for Iguanas.
You should have about 12 hours of the light on and off, some owners also do 13 on and 11 off.
Here is just one example of lighting
Paper based bedding or alfalfa based bedding works best. You could also buy a reptile substrate approved for Iguanas at the pet store or reptile carpet.
You’ll want to change the bedding or clean the carpet at least every few months.
Keep humidity levels around 50-70% and you can buy a hygrometer to test the humidity.
Having a humidifier nearby is one idea to keep them moist or you could mist their tank with a spray bottle daily. They generally are tolerant of humidity changes.
It’s a good idea to have a couple different basking spots that range in temperature from 110F-120F.
Make sure your lizard is always at least 6 inches from their light to avoid injuries.
Hygrometer & Thermometer
They are ground dwelling lizards so prioritize having crevices and rocks. I would use smooth stone just for the sake of safety.
Climbing branches are popular for Iguanas. You should have surfaces on the ground and surfaces for climbing.
You can have live or fake plants in the tank as well as logs or other artificial decorations.
You can use a glass, wire or plastic container.
Tank should be double the length of your lizard.
Glass container are nice because you can see your lizard, but they will grow to be long lizards so be prepared for the space you will need.
A full grown Iguana needs a minimum space of 6F in height x6F in width x12F in length.
You can experiment with different plants and decorations. You will want to provide them a source of water and change it weekly or whenever they dirty it.
They can be pretty messy with the water and will bask in it & go to the bathroom in it.
Tubes and tunnels are another important addition. Corkwood tubes are a popular choice but once they’re larger you’ll need hollow logs, or even tree stumps.
Natural Cork Bark Tube
Provide a source of calcium & sprinkle the dust on their food 1-2 times per week.
*When they’re younger they’ll need this a bit more frequently.
*It is possible for them to have too much Vitamin D. The symptoms aren’t very obvious; usually lethargy is something seen in a lizard with too much Vitamin D.
Some supplements have calcium and Vitamin D, but you only need the dust with calcium for an iguana.
They get Vitamin D from the UVB light.
Having climbable surfaces is a good idea; cork sheeting or garden lattices are just a couple ideas.
If you’re going to have multiple iguanas you’ll want to have multiple water bowls and basking areas, etc.
I really wouldn’t try it unless you have experience and enough space and supplies to have them completely separate; because they usually don’t get along.
They get territorial which can really limit the less dominant of the two, so be sure to provide alternative areas.
Many owners end up with DIY enclosures just because of how much space they need.
*If you are considering a DIY enclosure, make sure to use untreated wood since the chemicals used to treat wood can be harmful.
Even though they’re ground lizards they are still good climbers so be mindful of escape routes and space for climbing.
Reptile carpet is a popular substrate for Iguanas. They won’t tolerate some substrates (they give them gastrointestinal problems).
What to Feed Your Pet Blue Iguana
- Collard greens
- Florette mix
- Red cabbage
Pet Blue Iguanas should have a varied diet to get enough vitamins and minerals.
Also, they’re herbivores; they eat plants!
They will eat other things but I’d just avoid it because sometimes they have trouble digesting bugs/meat.
How Often Do Pet Blue Iguanas Eat?
When they’re young you can feed them as much as they’ll eat.
Once they’re two years old you will want to move to feeding 2-3 times a week.
Some owners will feed their lizard every 1-3 days for about 5-10 minutes per feeding. That ensures they get enough without overeating.
It’s a good idea to stick to the same time because Iguanas like routines.
Are Pet Blue Iguanas Dangerous?
Blue Iguanas usually don’t carry diseases, but are prone to parasitism.
They have sharp teeth and can certainly bite.
They are not poisonous or venomous.
They can scratch with their claws so be mindful of those.
They do have the potential to tail whip; while unlikely to injure you, it’s usually startling.
It’s always a good idea to wash your hands after handling any animal.
If you do get bit or scratched be sure to wash the wound since they could have bacteria in their mouth or on their claws.
Wash the wound daily until it has scabbed over since any open wound has the potential to become infected.
Where do Blue Iguanas Come From?
Blue Iguanas can be found on the Grand Cayman Island, Little Cayman Island and Cuba; all within the Caribbean.
They can be sold at pet stores and can also be shipped from sites online.
How do Blue Iguanas Reproduce?
A female is able to reproduce after about 2-9 years & will lay up to 25 eggs about 40 days after mating.
The incubation period varies based on conditions, specifically temperature but 60-90 days is the incubation period.
They do not look after their hatchlings.
How Long Do Pet Blue Iguanas Live?
A pet Blue Iguana lifespan can be up to 40 years.
Parasites in Pet Blue Iguanas
It’s not uncommon for these lizards to have parasites. Try to get one that’s already been tested before bringing it home and test them on a regular basis afterwards.
Unless you obtained the lizard from someone you know, and know they adequately test and treat parasites in their lizards; be on the look out.
Some symptoms of parasites are a lack of appetite, fatigue, respiratory infections, weight loss, and excess mucous.
Pet Blue Iguana Care and Temperament
They are usually skittish and even aggressive at first, but they can get use to handling.
You’ll want to ease into handling them and gain their trust, using a routine can help tremendously.
If you’re going to have multiple pet Blue Iguanas be careful introducing them to each other. You’ll want to be able to watch them interact with each other for at least a few hours after placing them together, but 1-2 days is even better.
They are very territorial so be aware of this before trying to put two together.
Some pet Blue Iguanas will tolerate sharing their enclosure and others will not.
Some owners only allow them to be together when the female is ready to mate since pheromones will encourage mating instead of fighting.
Be cautious every time you reintroduce them.
Pet Blue Iguana Care Tips
- Blue Iguanas are diurnal, meaning they are awake in the day and sleep at night
- They enjoy rocks and crevices
- Iguanas enjoy soaking in water
- They will be long, growing to 7ft in length
- Try to slowly gain their trust when it comes to handling your pet Blue Iguana
- Do not approach them from above
- Do not force them out of their hiding spots
- They are prone to parasites
- Limit their time out of the enclosure as they want to be humid and warm
Hopefully this information helps, if you have any insight to add, please leave a comment!
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