Wednesday, December 5, 2012

Pet Iguana Care, Maintenance, and Training - Is an Iguana the Right Pet For You?

By []Jesse Kincaid

A pet iguana can make a wonderful companion. If you are considering getting an iguana for a pet, there are a few things to consider beforehand. Iguanas are very interesting creatures and can provide you with hours of enjoyment and entertainment. If you decide to become an iguana pet owner, take time to understand what an iguana needs and be prepared to provide it so that your iguana experience is a rewarding one.

The most popular pet iguana is the green iguana. Iguanas are herbivores, or vegetarians. You need to establish a well balanced nutritional diet for your iguana early on. If a young child is asked to plan his diet, he might tell his mother he'd prefer a diet based on sugar, candy, sodas, and ice cream. His mother, however, knows very well that is NOT what he needs, and it is her job to teach him early in life how to eat properly. It is no different with your green iguana. Your iguana's diet should be rich in carbohydrates, high in fiber, and low in fat. Get your iguana on a proper diet in the beginning.

When you hold a hatchling iguana in your hand, it seems harmless enough. How much space could he possibly need? How much could he possibly eat? Iguanas get big. There is an old wives' tale that you can control the size of your iguana by limiting the size of his enclosure. Nothing could be farther from the truth. Attempting it is not healthy for your iguana.

When setting up the initial habitat for your pet iguana, allow for future growth. An iguana's habitat should be at a minimum 1.5 times the length of his body. Remember that other things have to fit into his living space besides him, such as lighting, feeding dishes, water bowls, heating equipment, and iguana "playground" accessories.

Your little hatchling will grow at least a foot per year and eventually reach five or more feet in length. Your iguana needs room to move around in his enclosure. There are many choices when it comes to iguana enclosures. Just keep size in mind when setting up your iguana's living area.

Using a smaller enclosure in the beginning is fine. Just bear in mind that your iguana will continue to grow, and he needs sufficient space to do so. Be prepared to modify or replace the enclosure if you choose to start out small.

Green iguanas are natives of a tropical climate, specifically South and Central America, and they require tropical living conditions. The amount and type of lighting and heat required for your iguana depends partly on your specific geographical area.

There are many products available for providing proper heat and light for your iguana. Do not assume that just any light or heat source is safe for your iguana. There are certain ultraviolet light sources that are not safe for your pet iguana, including specific types of fluorescents. Be sure to provide iguana safe heating and lighting sources to avoid problems.

Pets usually require some type of training. They also need socialization. Just like a devoted dog yearns to be petted and loved, your iguana needs attention, too. Just as the devoted dog has to be trained to behave properly, your iguana needs to be trained, too. You will have to work with your iguana regularly to gain his trust.

Your iguana will respond to touch, snacks and treats, exercise, freedom from his enclosure, and your love and attention. You might be finding this hard to believe. You are thinking this is an iguana, right? Yes, it is an iguana, and while iguanas are rarely domesticated and socialized in their natural wild habitat, they can be tamed. It is up to you to do it properly.

If you do not tame your iguana early and regularly, you will end up with a wild uncontrollable iguana that won't allow you near him. There is, unfortunately, no guarantee that every single iguana is capable of training regardless of the time and effort you invest. That is a chance you take when you decide to own an iguana.

It is similar with dogs. Dogs in the wild are similar to wolves and rarely trained or domesticated. Dogs respond to touch, snacks and treats, and your love and attention. Dogs require early and regular training in order to become well behaved, controllable animals. A dog treated badly, cruelly and totally ignored has the potential of becoming uncontrollable.

An iguana can make a great pet for you. It is best that you know up front what will be required of you to be a responsible iguana pet owner. Owning an iguana as a pet is not for everyone. If you are willing to follow iguana pet care guidelines properly and give your iguana the care and attention he deserves, you will have a very adventurous and rewarding relationship with a wonderful animal.

Jesse Kincaid is an avid iguana enthusiast and enjoys helping others learn how to properly and humanely care for pet iguanas. Jesse enjoys working outdoors as a kayaking, fly fishing, and rafting guide. You can read more about pet iguana [] care and needs at his website, []

Article Source: [,-Maintenance,-and-Training---Is-an-Iguana-the-Right-Pet-For-You?&id=2927182] Pet Iguana Care, Maintenance, and Training - Is an Iguana the Right Pet For You?

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