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Meet The Iguana

September 1, 2021

Iguana Awareness Day is September 14th. You may have heard about Miles, the teenage iguana who was found alone in Eleven Mile State Park. It’s very fortunate that this guy was found, as iguanas can’t survive here in the wild. In this article from Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO veterinarian, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, a vet offers some key information about iguanas.


Basics

Iguanas aren’t the largest lizard out there: that honor would go to the komodo dragon. However, they are definitely one of the bigger pet lizards. These guys can grow to about 7 feet long! Before adopting one, it’s really important to understand that the cute little pet who fits easily into your hand will not stay that size.


Eyesight

Iguanas have very, very good eyesight. This comes in handy when looking for food in thick jungles. They often use eye movements to communicate with other iguanas. (They also have a tendency to look rather unimpressed.)


Behavior

Iguanas are quite personable, and they can be very charismatic. However, sometimes they do get quite rowdy, particularly when they want to mate. Do some research, and follow safe handling practices for your little (or not so little) buddy.


Food

Iguanas are actually vegetarians. You won’t be able to pop open a can of pet food for Iggy or just pour kibble into his bowl. Your pet will need lots of fresh produce, including leafy greens, brightly-colored veggies, and small amounts of fruit.


Longevity

Another thing that is often misunderstood about iguanas is their longevity. These guys can live up to 20 years with proper care! If you want something with a shorter lifespan, get something smaller, like a green anole.


Habitat

A full-grown iguana will need a fairly big enclosure, or possibly his own room. This is really important to consider if you have a small space. This enclosure or habitat will need safe, suitable flooring that’s easy to clean; a hide box; climbing branches; and, of course, sturdy dinnerware.


Tips

As with any animal, it’s important to do lots of research before adopting an iguana. You’ll also need a great animal clinic that handles lizards. A good herp vet is both a crucial ally and a wonderful source of information.


Please contact Arapahoe Animal Hospital, your Boulder, CO veterinarian, serving Louisville and surrounding areas, with any questions about iguana care. We’re here to help!

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