What should i feed my baby iguana

What Do Baby Iguanas Eat?

As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.

Before you acquire an iguana, it’s important to remember that they are not as popular as other reptiles. Iguanas are reptiles, and properly caring for them takes time, patience, and money. Finding the proper food or veterinary treatment may be difficult in some areas.

Baby iguanas, on the other hand, seldom live longer than a year in captivity. They should be kept under constant watch and fed healthy food. As a result, if you decide to acquire a baby iguana, you must be very cautious. Stay with us at FeedingNature and learn all there is to know about feeding a baby iguana as well as how to do it effectively.

What Do Baby Iguanas Eat?

The average lifespan of a domestic green iguana is 15 to 20 years, although certain individuals can survive for up to 30 years. Green iguanas are herbivores, which means they consume plants. In the wild, iguanas eat flowers, leaves, and certain types of fruits.

A well-balanced diet of greens, vegetables, fruits, and other items will help guarantee that you have a happy and healthy iguana. Make sure your pet has a variety of different meals to eat. This is an excellent way for your pet to try new and interesting foods while also ensuring that the diet is well-balanced. The majority of the nutrients needed can be found in pet shops and supermarkets.

Vegetables & Fruit Vegetables & Fruits

Most of your pet’s food should be fresh greens and vegetables. To make eating the food easier, it should be chopped up. Mustard, collard, dandelion greens, kale, turnip greens, and romaine lettuce are some of the greens you could offer your pet. Shredded carrots, green beans, peas, and other legumes, squash, and bell peppers are all good options of vegetables you can feed them.

When fresh food is not available, frozen vegetables can be used instead. An excellent emergency meal is a mix of french-cut green beans, carrots, peas, corn, and lima beans. Before feeding your iguana frozen veggies, be sure they’ve been thoroughly defrosted. Thawing frozen food in a hot water bath is an easy method to do so.

Fruits can be given to an iguana as a pleasant treat. Strawberries, bananas, blueberries, cantaloupe, and apples are some of the fruits that your pet may enjoy. Chopping fruit for consumption is the same as with other foods; it should be chopped.

Iguana Food An Iguana About To Chow Down on Food

Commercial iguana food is available, which may be added to the diet of your pet. Iguana food is usually given in pellet form and can be mixed with other meals. Dry iguana pellets are more difficult to eat if they are not moistened before being fed. Your iguana should be fed only with food intended for reptiles. The primary diet of your lizard should not include iguana food.

Bread & Grains Bread & Grains

Grains and bread may be given to your pet on rare occasions. Pasta, rice, and whole-grain bread are all wonderful treats for your iguana. Make sure the meal is chopped into small pieces to make it more appealing to chew.

Insects Insects

Mealworms and crickets are frequently included in the diets of pet baby iguanas. Green iguanas, on the other hand, are herbivores and aren’t meant to eat insects.

Adult iguanas do not require a lot of protein, and insects are an excellent source of nutrients. Greens and vegetables provide the insect protein that adult iguanas require. A pet iguana may be harmed by too much protein.


A pet iguana requires a constant source of water, even if he receives most of his drinking from his diet. A big dish that is difficult to spill and brimming with clean water should be accessible at all times.

Supplements Vitamin Supplements

Reptile supplements ensure that your pet iguana receives all of the vitamins and minerals it requires. Vitamin D3 and calcium tablets can be given to your pet once a week. About once a week, a reptile multivitamin may be added to his diet.

Supplements generally come in the form of powder and are simply added to meals. Only a tiny amount is required. Supplements should be used in moderation with your iguana’s food. Excess supplementation can be dangerous.

What Do Baby Iguanas Eat in The Wild?

There are a variety of different iguana species, and each requires a distinct diet. We’ll look at each type of iguana’s natural food sources.

Green Iguanas

Green iguanas are herbivores that primarily consume leaves, which means they are folivores. In the wild, a green iguana will mostly eat fruits, flowers, and foliage in the jungle canopy where it resides.

Green iguanas in the jungles of Central and South America will primarily consume leaves off trees and vines. They will also eat fruits to a lesser extent when these are in season.

Red Iguanas A Red Iguana

The red iguana is a color variant of the green iguana, which means it must eat the same food like a green iguana. That implies that red iguanas should consume leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits in their diet.

How To Feed Baby Iguanas? A Green Iguana in The Wild

Some individuals become frightened if they find out that their baby iguanas are refusing to eat the food they are being offered. However, keep in mind that iguana hatchlings consume the yolk sac up to two weeks after they are born. So, once the two weeks are up, you may start feeding them a little bit of food.

It’s much easier and more effective to feed a baby iguana after it has basked. You must maintain temperatures in the mid-80s °F for these animals, and the basking temperature should be at least a hundred degrees Fahrenheit (between 100 and 110 °F), or they won’t develop their metabolism.

Remember, in the wild, iguanas live on hot rocks that comfortably warm our lizards. They’ll then go looking for leaves, weeds, and fallen fruit once they’re nice and toasty. Keeping temperatures high enough to pique their desire is critical.

Prepare some collard greens, shredded carrots, and yellow squash for the primary dinner. Because of their bright color, shredded carrots and yellow squash are a good choice.

An important step to consider is to make sure that the food is not supposed to be too cold. If you’re using frozen veggies, allow them to sit out for a while before feeding your pet baby iguana.

As a first step, remove your baby iguana from his cage since you can’t feed him inside it. Now, change how you’re holding it by softly grasping his mouth with one hand. On the other hand, you’ll offer him food.

Hand feeding an iguana entails using one hand to hold him and the other to feed him. It would be much easier just to offer food while he’s standing free, but keep in mind that we’re dealing with a newborn, unruly iguana here.

Following that, put a little meal on the tip of his nose. He may become irritated and open his mouth, which is precisely what we want. Remember, we took the warm iguana right after his basking session, so he’ll be very active and aggressive. Most likely, he’ll try to protect himself by opening his mouth, which is why we’ve planned it that way.

You just apply a little pressure to the edge as he opens his mouth. Fill his mouth with this food gently. You can’t choke him unless you tube-feed the animal, but that’s a different story altogether. They will swallow their own food when it reaches a specific point in their throat.

As your baby iguana begins to taste it and pull it down on his own, watch as he learns the flavor of what he’ll eat. He’s learning the flavor of the meals he’ll consume. If he keeps his mouth open, you can provide him with a tiny bit more. Don’t be concerned about the quantity of food you’re providing him; his own teeth will fight it off, and we may simply let him finish swallowing it after a little struggle.

If your iguana refuses to open his mouth, try pushing the tip of your index finger against the base of his snout and gently encouraging him to do so. Patience is sometimes required.

Tell them that it is not something that will harm them. Hand feeding is a fascinating procedure that helps to connect you and your pet together. So, making a few efforts over time may result in considerable benefits.

What Are The Natural Predators of Baby Iguanas?

The word “iguana” is a catch-all term that refers to a wide range of lizards and lizard-like animals. The most prevalent is the green iguana, which may be found in parts of North and South America and is utilized as a pet by many people. Other varieties include the oceanic and desert iguanas. The iguana has a variety of predators because there are so many various types of iguanas, as well as numerous distinct individuals, in the wild.


One of the major predators of iguanas is the eagle. Birds such as eagles, hawks, and owls regularly consume both adult iguanas and unhatched eggs. Iguanas are also eaten by herons, other water birds, and several species of seabirds. These iguanas are most vulnerable just before giving birth and after they have completed their growth.


Snakes are a significant predator of both desert iguanas and green iguanas and their relatives, including guanay. Venomous snakes consume desert iguanas, while boa constrictors and near relatives devour green iguanas. Other reptiles, such as ground lizards, may also eat them.


Iguanas are not naturally preyed upon by mammals, however invasive species such as dogs, cats, and rats take them out of their natural environments. This is also true in places where the iguana is an invasive species, such as in Florida, where green iguanas abound. Mammalian animals such as household pet raccoons and rats prey on these iguanas.


Green iguanas are sometimes preyed upon by crocodiles and alligators. On the other side of the coin, black iguanas have been observed digging up and consuming these amphibians‘ eggs. The assaults by alligators and crocodiles on black iguanas may be defensive in nature, rather than a typical predator-and-prey scenario.


Larger predatory fish are a threat to marine iguanas. Sharks, in particular the tiger shark, which feeds on a wide range of prey species, eat iguanas on a regular basis.


A human is by far one of the most frequent predators an iguana may encounter. It’s surprising to learn that humans are a significant killer of iguanas, but they are eaten frequently in many regions due to their popularity as food. They’ve been given the name chicken of the trees since they’re frequently hunted.

Green iguanas are eaten throughout Central and South America. To meet the high demand, they are bred and raised on farms.

Are Baby Iguanas Healthy To Eat?

Green iguanas are hunted and eaten in several Latin American countries, according to National Geographic. In some countries, the species has been classified as endangered since people have been eating them for such a long time.

At least 10,000 years ago, Iguanas first entered human consciousness as a food source owing to their accessibility. It was also less hazardous for early man to capture than other creatures he encountered.

The meat of an iguana is prized in Mexico, Central, and South America for its high protein content and low-fat content.

Some restaurants in the United States will even provide iguana-based recipes on their menu. The flesh is incorporated in meals like tacos, stews, burritos, and soups and provides a mild flavor. This may be strange to some of us, especially for those that keep iguanas as pets, but we must be conscious that there are cultural differences that may exist, depending upon the region.

Amazon and the Amazon logo are trademarks of Amazon.com, Inc, or its affiliates.

How to feed baby iguana

Sometimes people get freaked out because their baby iguanas haven’t eaten any food, but have in mind that iguana hatchling absorb the yolk sac up to two weeks after they’ve been born. So, after that period you can start to give them a little bit of food.

Some links in this post are affiliate links. We get money if you buy something or take an action after clicking one of these links on our site.

Hand feeding is much easier, and more successful, if you do it right after iguana’s basking. You’ve got to keep these guys temperatures in the mid 80s °F (30°C ) and you have to provide basking temperature that’s at least a hundred degrees (between 100 and 110 °F, or 37-43°C) to raise their metabolism. Remember, in the wilderness, iguanas live on rocks which heat up on the sun, comfortably warming our lizards. After that, they are ready for some snack, start moving around, they’re looking for weeds, leaves and fruits that have fallen on the ground. In short, you have to keep those temperatures high enough to stimulate their appetite.

For the main meal, prepare some collard greens, shredded yellow squash and shredded carrots. It’s good idea to use yellow squash and shredded carrots because of their bright color, which makes this food attractive.

Food must not be cold – if you use frozen vegetables, leave them outside of the fridge long enough to reach the room temperature. For detailed info about iguana food, what is good, what is  bad and what is absolutely forbidden in their diet, check out our article about iguana diet.

As a first step, get your baby ig out of his enclosure (you can’t hand feed him inside the enclosure.) Now, adjust the way how you hold it, gently hold his mouth with one hand. You will feed him with another hand.


As you see, in this approach, we will use both hands to hand feed an iguana – one hand to hold him, the other one to offer him food. It would be easier just to give him food while he’s standing free, but remember – we’re talking about newborn, untamed reptile here.

Now, let’s put a little food right on the tip of his nose. He might get annoyed and open his mouth, which is exactly what we want. Remember, we took the ‘warm’ iguana, right after the basking session, so he will be active, a bit aggressive, most likely will try to defend himself by opening his mouth, which is our plan.

As he opens his mouth you just put a little pressure on the edge. Gently push this food into his mouth.  Don’t worry, you can’t choke him (this can happen only if you tube feed the animal, but that’s totally different situation.) Once the food gets past a certain point in their throat, they will swallow it on their own.

Observe as he starts to taste it and pulls it down on his own. He starts to learn the taste of the food he’s going to be eating. If he keeps his mouth open, you can give him a little bit more. Don’t worry too much about the amount of food you’re offering to him, his own teeth will fight it off and we can just let him, after a little struggle, to finish swallowing it.

If iguana doesn’t want to open his mouth, try this: instead of food, place the fingernail, of your index finger, right against the tip of iguana’s mouth and push it gently, a bit by bit, and try to make him open his mouth. Sometimes patience is involved.

You don’t want to do this with the adult iguana. It’s a little bit more difficult if you have a sick adult iguana since they can really give you a good bite.

When you’re done with hand feeding, you will place this plate into iguanas’ enclosure and give them the chance to sniff it later, on their own.

Don’t forget to remove any leftovers later – fungi can appear and make you big problems. Remember to keep iguana’s enclosure clean all the times.

Just reassure them and let them know that this is not something that’s going to hurt. In some way, hand feeding is a really cool process and helps bonding you and your animal together. So, a little bit of effort will pay off eventually.

Author Iguana HutPosted on Categories Iguana CareTags hand feeding

Iguana: feeding and maintenance - CityVet Veterinary Clinics

  1. Accommodation
  2. Lighting
  3. Water
  4. Temperature
  5. Humidity
  6. Bedding
  7. Diet
  8. Handling
  9. Iguanas and other domestic animals
  10. Treatment

Iguanas are one of the most popular lizards kept as pets. In nature, these reptiles live alone in tropical rainforests in a very limited area, converging with a partner only during the rutting season, which usually occurs in the summer. Males are distinguished by a brighter and more patterned color. The average life span of a green iguana in captivity is 15 years. With careful care and proper feeding, these reptiles can live up to 20 years. However, they require different conditions of detention than furry animals, which we will discuss below.


Do not let the iguana roam the house. Otherwise, the following will happen: your house will be destroyed, and the iguana will be injured. Most often, a lizard breaks its tail. Most often, the tail then grows back, but it will never look as beautiful. Also, the iguana can swallow small objects, which only a surgeon can subsequently remove. Well, and besides, a long stay outside the cage will negatively affect the temperature state of your animal, it may become cold.

An iguana needs a large and spacious terrarium or a polyurethane or glass cage. It should be borne in mind that iguanas can reach a length of 1.80 m and a weight of 8 kg. The terrarium should be about three times the length of the lizard itself. You should not choose a wire house: many iguanas have a habit of rubbing their noses against the bars and injuring themselves. The cage should be cleaned at least once a week, but more often is better. When cleaning the terrarium, never use soap, liquid cleaner, etc. One chemical smell can kill your iguana. You can clean the cage only with a sponge or cloth dipped in warm water. As a last resort, use baking soda.

Be aware that iguanas carry Salmonella bacteria. For the animals themselves, they are not harmful, but can cause a serious eating disorder in humans. Be sure to wash your hands with soap after every contact with your pet.


In the wild, iguanas spend much of their time basking in the sun. Sunlight is essential for the production of vitamin D, which iguanas require just as much as humans do to produce calcium in their bodies. Therefore, UV lamps can become an analogue of sunlight. However, your iguana needs a few hours a week, if possible, to be in natural sunlight. With the lamp timer, you can create a 12-hour day and 12-hour night for your pet.


In nature, iguanas always live in close proximity to water, so it is very important to provide the lizard with enough clean water for drinking and washing. Iguanas just love to swim and can do it for hours. Bathing helps them moisturize the skin, exfoliate the skin scales and remove bacteria from under the nails.


Improper temperature in the iguana's cage interferes with digestion, suppresses the lizard's immune system and can lead to lethargy. The temperature should be within 30-35 °C. At night, the temperature should not fall below 23.4 °C. As a heating device, you can use a conventional 60-watt incandescent lamp.


Iguanas need high humidity. Try to keep your pet's cage at 65-75% humidity. An ordinary hygrometer will help you determine this level. Spray the cage and the lizard itself more often with a spray bottle. Place small containers of water in the cage, decorative fountains - this will also help maintain the required level of humidity. If you have a very dry house, you may want to use a humidifier as well.


The bedding in the cage should be changed daily, small and large coconut can be used as it. Stay away from corncobs, sand, rocks, earth, sawdust, bark, newspaper, or cat litter: all of these materials your iguana can accidentally swallow and cause harm to himself.


Iguanas are herbivores. They really like finely chopped kale, lettuce, Chinese cabbage, chicory, arugula, mustard and turnip tops, dandelions, hibiscus. Small amounts of chard and spinach can be given. You should never offer your iguana animal protein: this lizard's digestive system is not designed to digest animal protein, which can kill your pet. Also, store-bought fruits are not always useful - they have too high a sugar content. Small amounts of banana, apple, mango or papaya can sometimes be given. Sprouted sprouts of beans, alfalfa, radishes are very useful. Try to diversify your iguana's menu as much as possible. Existing dry food for iguanas still cannot replace natural products, no matter what they say on the packages, so you can use such food as a top dressing.

Young iguanas should be fed small meals several times a day. Adult iguanas (greater than 26 cm in length) every other day. Start feeding after turning on the daylight, and your pet will warm up a little after sleeping. Be sure to change the water every day and remove any leftover food.

Multivitamin preparations and calcium should also be added to the iguana's food. In Russia, such drugs as Reptilife (Agrovetzashchita), Reptolife (Tetra), Wordley (Calcium and Multivitamin) are common.


To tame an iguana, it must be handled frequently and regularly. Iguanas quickly learn to show affection to their owners. It is advisable to pick up young lizards 2-3 times a day for about 15 minutes. Stroke his back and neck, let your iguana get used to being picked up. It is very important to remember that these reptiles can be aggressive in situations they consider dangerous for themselves: when their food is attacked, their territory is attacked, during the mating season. They can bite quite painfully, as well as use extremely sharp claws. In case of a bite or scratch, this place should be treated with some kind of antiseptic. Always be extremely careful when handling an iguana. For the same reason, you should not have such an animal as a pet for children under 12 years old.

Iguanas and other pets

Many iguana owners have other pets at the same time. Whether your iguana will peacefully coexist with other animals depends on many factors, in particular, on its personality, the nature of other pets and the environment. Here it is very important not to speed up the process of rapprochement and to give the animals the opportunity to get to know each other, while carefully monitoring the behavior of each of them.

You shouldn't have two iguanas at the same time. These lizards are loners, tied to their territory. They can converge only for reproduction. Even eye contact between two iguanas can be painful stress for each of them.


If your iguana naps frequently, develops bumps on his body, begins to lick himself, refuses to eat for too long, his stomach is swollen, his mucous membranes are dull - contact your veterinarian immediately. All of these can be signs of a disease. Most often, iguanas get sick with a violation of bone tissue metabolism, abscesses, their paws become inflamed, parasites start, and stomatitis is observed. A healthy lizard should be seen by a specialist at least once a year.

Captive green iguana

The green iguana is by far the most popular reptile kept as a pet in the United States. Every year, huge numbers of this species are imported into the US from iguana farms in Central and South America.

The green iguana can be found in almost every pet store, and some shows have even given away these animals as prizes as if they were goldfish.

Unfortunately, with such popularity, the market price of iguanas has fallen so low ($15-$50) that many people began to buy these animals, having neither knowledge of the necessary conditions of detention, nor an understanding that the costs of properly accommodating a new pet will be 10 times higher than its price.

Some pet shops that sell iguanas compound the problem by selling completely inappropriate equipment with them and giving incorrect care and maintenance advice. This has led to a huge number of dead or homeless iguanas and the disappointment of their owners. The best way to avoid this outcome is education.

Buying or "adopting" an iguana

There are several factors to consider before making a final decision to purchase an iguana, number one being its size. Iguanas are large lizards. A healthy iguana can easily reach a size of 1.8m, so he needs a huge terrarium.

Iguanas are not easy to keep, they have very specific dietary preferences and environmental requirements, so it will be necessary to thoroughly prepare before acquiring an animal.

Children of any age will not be able to care for an iguana, and parents should understand that all responsibility for the care of the animal will fall on them.

Iguanas can also carry salmonellosis. With insufficient hygiene, Salmonella can be transmitted to humans and cause a serious bacterial infection. The risk of infection is especially high in children, the elderly and those with weakened immune systems. The chance of contracting salmonellosis from a carrier iguana is low if every time after contact with an animal, cleaning the terrarium, wash hands, and isolate the terrarium and the animal itself from food preparation areas.

Iguanas can be great pets, but they require a lot of attention. If you are just considering adopting an iguana, first contact your local reptile societies to adopt an iguana that has been abandoned by its owners. Many reptile communities have homeless animal adoption programs, and an iguana can be loaned to you for a small fee.

Because of the amount of misinformation about iguanas in the animal trade, many iguana owners do not know what they are getting into when they buy an iguana. And often, these owners end up abandoning the animal because they can no longer or don't want to take care of it. As a result, reptile housing agencies are overrun with stray iguanas (they share this fate with the tiger pythons who are there for the same reason).

If you have not found an iguana in a shelter, then you can buy one.

Most iguanas found in pet stores are young or juvenile and it is important to choose a healthy animal. Healthy baby iguanas are energetic, when someone tries to grab them, they run wildly around the cage and often whip their tail. If the animal does not try to resist, continues to sit or lie down when picked up, this does not mean that it is tame. This means it hurts.

Eyes should be bright and clear. There should not be any external parasites on the skin such as mites. There should be no traces of hardened feces on the anus. There should be no traces of pus or trailing mucus in the nose and mouth. Avoid adopting animals that have similar symptoms.

The iguana should be brightly colored, alert, active and eager to eat. Iguanas that are kept in proper conditions almost never refuse food. Ask to show you how she eats.

It is important to pay attention to the conditions under which animals are kept. It pains me to remember how many times I have seen shops or wholesalers selling iguana babies stuffed into a 40 liter aquarium, each trying to warm up on a single tiny heating stone.

Avoid places like the plague. They don't know how to care for an iguana themselves, and they can't help you provide the animal with the right conditions. Such stores contribute greatly to the emergence of homeless iguanas.

Ask the seller to tell you about the necessary conditions for keeping an iguana, and if he cannot answer you correctly, look for another place to buy a pet. It is possible to purchase a healthy, well-cared for animal from a well-informed and experienced seller, but this often requires some effort.

Terrarium Required

Iguanas are large animals and require large spaces to keep. The normal size of an adult iguana is 150-180cm. An adult iguana should live in a terrarium with a minimum size of 120*120*180 cm (L*D*H).

Iguanas require a vertical cage because they are aboreal (arboreal) animals and prefer to spend most of their time climbing as high as they can. Branches of trees with a diameter slightly larger than the thickness of the animal itself should be provided for him to climb. Branches can be bought or collected from the forest, but in the latter case, they must be sterilized using chlorine bleach (1 part bleach to 10 parts water), and then rinsed thoroughly with clean water.

A young iguana can be kept in a smaller terrarium, but the minimum recommended size for a temporary (nursery) terrarium is 200l. Within 4 months (assuming you bought an iguana 1-3 months old), your iguana will outgrow the temporary terrarium and should be placed in a large one. The industry today does not make terrariums large enough for an adult iguana, so the only way out is to build a house for it yourself or order it according to an individual drawing.

Many companies that advertise in reptile magazines can make a good size terrarium.

Terrarium substrate can be soy-based newspapers, bark chips, or green plastic lawn mat. Newspaper is by far the most practical, albeit the least aesthetically pleasing, backing option.

Do not use wood shavings, corn-cob bedding, sand, or crushed walnut shells in an iguana terrarium. Wood sawdust (especially cedar) gives a specific odor that irritates the sense of smell of reptiles, which can harm the respiratory system of the animal. The remaining substrates are not digested if they are accidentally eaten and can cause intestinal obstruction.

Iguanas naturally live in tropical forests, so terrariums require high humidity. Air humidity of 75% or more can be obtained if the terrarium is sprayed abundantly once or twice a day.

A word or two about walking iguanas

Don't let your iguana roam freely around the house without supervision. More than one fire in the house was started by a treacherous, free-roaming iguana, which dropped the lamp on which it climbed to warm itself.

The free-roaming iguana will also have Salmonella variance everywhere, which should be avoided at all costs. A stray iguana can also damage furniture, wiring, and carpet. Iguanas are also masters of climbing into completely unexpected and hard-to-reach places. This can lead to injury when trying to get it out of both the animal and the owner.

Required heating

It is essential that the iguana is properly warmed up. Reptiles are cold-blooded, which means they don't produce their own heat. Iguanas are forced to regulate their body temperature using their surroundings through a mechanism called extrinsic thermoregulation.

Thermoregulation means that when the reptile is cold, it moves to warmer areas, for example, to a well-heated area, when it is hot, to cooler places. When we confine a reptile's freedom to a terrarium, we must provide it with conditions so that it can regulate its body temperature in the same way as it does in nature. Iguanas need a "warm-up point" with a temperature of 35-38°C, and a "cool-down point" with a temperature of 27-29°C. The night temperature should not fall below 21-24°C, provided that the animal can warm up during the day.

The best way to set up a heating point is to use heating lamps. The tallest branch should be placed under the heat lamp so that the animal has a place to warm up. Make sure the lamp is out of the iguana's reach, as the animal may get burned. Proper warming is very important for a healthy immune system and good digestion.

Please note that heating stones are not suitable for iguana terrariums. In nature, arboreal reptiles do not lie on their stomachs on warm surfaces to warm up, nor should they be forced to do so at home.

The right lighting

Iguanas need so-called full spectrum radiation that mimics natural sunlight. Iguanas especially need 290-315 nm ultraviolet (UVB) light to produce provitamin D3.

Provitamin D3 is essential for the absorption of dietary calcium. Without ultraviolet radiation, iguanas develop metabolic bone disease caused by a lack of calcium (rickets). Full spectrum radiation is provided by ultraviolet fluorescent lamps, which are manufactured specifically for reptiles.

When buying a UV lamp, make sure that there is a peak in the spectrum in the UVB region, some "full spectrum lamps" do not have it. It is very important to place the place of heating at a distance of 25-30 cm from the ultraviolet lamp. At a distance of more than 30 cm from the source, the intensity of UVB waves is significantly reduced.

The UV lamp in the iguana terrarium should be on for 10-12 hours a day and off at night. If UV lighting is left overnight, the iguana will not be able to sleep, will become stressed and become inappropriate in behavior.

The UV lamp must be replaced every six months, even if it has not burned out by then. The intensity of ultraviolet radiation decreases over time, and after 6 months of use, such lamps become ineffective.

If possible, provide the iguana with access to sunlight, but provide a place where the iguana can cool off in case of overheating. Sunlight is the best source of ultraviolet radiation, but window glass does not transmit enough of it. Do not expose your iguana tank to direct sunlight as it will the glass of the aquarium will heat up quickly and the iguana may die from overheating. Do not take your iguana outdoors if the temperature is less than 21°C.


No aspect of keeping iguanas is more misleading than nutrition. Iguanas are fully herbivores from the moment they are born, and do not require animal protein at any point in their lives.

Previously, researchers have noted that if an iguana consumes a large amount of animal protein, it grows faster, which is true. However, it is also true that iguanas that consume large amounts of animal protein do not live very long, which is often the result of gout or metabolic bone disease.

It is important to make an iguana's diet rich in calcium-rich greens, fruits and vegetables. Herbivorous reptiles need a 2:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorus in their food.

A diet that will provide this combination typically consists of:
70-80% dark leafy greens that are rich in calcium (collard greens (collard greens, a close relative of broccoli), mustard greens, chicory, watercress, dandelion greens) . Mulberry and hibiscus leaves make excellent base food if available.

Avoid diets based on iceberg lettuce. it has very low nutritional value. Spinach should either be given in limited quantities, or completely eliminated, because. it contains oxalic acid, which binds calcium in the intestines and prevents its absorption.

20-30% of the diet should be grated vegetables such as carrots, squash, squash, thawed mixed vegetables or de-thorned prickly pear cactus. Broccoli, Brussels sprouts, white cabbage, kale (also some kind of kale with curly leaves), escarole (one of the varieties of chicory), cauliflower should be avoided or limited. These vegetables contain iodine-binding substances, and excessive consumption of them can cause thyroid problems.

10-20% fruits or flowers such as strawberry, raspberry, mango, papaya, kiwi, melon, apple (without seeds), prickly pear cactus flowers and fruits, hibiscus, nasturtium, dandelion flowers. Iguanas love bananas, but they should only be given as a treat, as contain the wrong ratio of calcium and phosphorus. Make sure all fruits and vegetables are mashed or cut into small pieces.

In addition to a properly formulated diet, iguanas require calcium supplements, which are available from pet stores. Calcium powder should be sprinkled on food three times a week for juveniles and once or twice a week for adults.

A swimming pool can be placed in the terrarium, but daily spraying is still necessary to maintain high humidity. Often iguanas can lick drops of water directly from the bottle when spraying or from the walls of the terrarium.


The green iguana is the most popular reptile in the home today.

Learn more