Raising Iguanas: Everything You Need to Know

December 13, 2019
Raising iguanas properly is important if you have them as pets. These animals can live up to 20 years in the right environment.

Exotic animals have become quite fashionable as pets. However, ignorance in regard to the proper way to care for them often leaves the owners of these creatures with too many unanswered questions. Worry not, today we’ll tell you all about raising iguanas. Would you like to find out more about it? Well, stick around!

You must know a few basic steps in order to raise iguanas. Here’s a list.

Raising iguanas, step by step

As we said above, you should have no problem raising iguanas by following a few simple steps. It’s really simple to have a very special exotic animal as a companion.

A pet iguana.

A lot of light

Iguanas require exposure to natural light for proper development, UVB light in particular. This is because it provides them with vitamin D, something we all need to live. You may not know it but we wouldn’t be able to absorb calcium without it and it would lead to serious health problems.

So, fluorescent mercury lights are an ideal way to provide it in the animal’s terrarium.


Like all tropical animals, iguanas need heat, among other things, because they’re cold-blooded. If they don’t live in a tropical country then you must install a heating source in their “home within your home”. They need a warmer climate than the one you may have at your home.

For example, they’ll need 75-81 degrees Fahrenheit in a cooler area, and 95-100 Fahrenheit in a warmer zone.

Adjust the thermostats of the iguana’s heater to make sure their temperature is always adequate.

Resting quarters

The terrarium for your iguana must have enough space for them to move around and rest, as these are both vital to their well-being. So, a heating rock, a light, and a place to lie down are essential to raising iguanas.

Their quarters should measure at least 9 by 3 by 7 feet. Even if you think it’s too big for your current iguana, keep in mind they’ll grow fast. Also, why invest in a smaller one when you’ll eventually have to get a larger one? So, just get a big one from the beginning!

Raising iguanas – the terrarium

Don’t incorporate pieces of wood or plastic into the terrarium, despite what you may have heard. Instead, use a substrate throughout the base and a carpet just for reptiles as a bed. If you can’t find it, just use newspapers or something similar and absorbent.


Iguanas are climbers, so place some objects for that purpose inside their terrarium. A branch or perhaps some rocks would work. In addition, you may also place some ramps and flat rocks where the animal can rest.

An iguana on a rock.

Plants for raising iguanas

The best way to raise iguanas is to keep them in an environment that’s similar to their natural habitat. Because their terrarium must be as natural as possible, plants will play an important role in its design. Be careful with the ones you select, as the reptile might like to eat them.

The most recommended plants are:

  • Acacia
  • Aloe
  • Bamboo
  • Thistle
  • Jade tree
  • Dandelion

Hiding place

Iguanas get frightened, easily even if they don’t seem to. So, they need a hiding spot to feel protected and less vulnerable in their homes. It’ll help them feel safe from any threats such as a stranger approaching to look at them or any unexpected sounds.


Iguanas aren’t picky eaters and you can feed them fruit, iguana food, and leafy greens. There are also some vitamin supplements for reptiles that will provide your pet with all the nutrients they need.

As much as any self-proclaimed “experts” tell you to, don’t feed insects to your iguana. These are herbivorous animals and don’t need animal protein. In fact, an excess of it could be harmful to their health.

If you follow these tips you’ll have a happy iguana who’ll lead a long and prosperous life.