Another unique creature that has been a recent fad for pets is the iguana. This seemingly fragile reptile can grow to be a huge one and requires very specific feeding and housing requirement. Proper husbandry should include providing the appropriate heating, lighting, and humidity for a pet iguana.
Data shows that this interesting creature usually grow to as long as 6.6 ft. and can weigh to about 6 kgs. However, there are more recent reports indicating that they can grow to even larger than that, such as the one found in Fiji, which is said to be about 7 ft. and another as long as this marine iguana found a couple of years ago foraging underwater by some divers. They are known to be herbivores, so even if they do grow bigger than the regular-sized iguana, there is really no reason for you to fear. Still, you have to make sure that you have provided your pet with a room or an enclosure big enough to allow it to roam around without restrictions.
It is also worth noting that an iguana lives more than a decade. Online research indicates that these gentle giants can live to varied ages. Some have even live beyond 20 years. So, if you are planning to have one of these unusual creatures, make sure that you are thoroughly educated and quite dedicated so that you can provide the appropriate care that your pet will need.
One of the essential needs of a pet iguana is the right amounts of heat, light, and humidity. The design of the heating/lighting devices that may be appropriate for your pet will also depend on other factors as the size of the enclosure or habitat, the placement of the enclosure, the surrounding room temperatures, etc. There are several options available online and even in local pet stores. When choosing the right elements for your pet’s housing, consider the following guidelines provided below.
Heat is an essential element that contributes to an iguana’s health. These docile reptiles are cold-blooded, hence would need supplemental heat to digest the food that they consume properly. They also need heat to help regulate their internal body temperatures. Your pet will need to best heat lamp source to warm its body so that all its organs will function well. Heat should not be provided in the same wavelength within the reptile’s enclosure, however. A range of temperatures (also called gradient) should be provided so that the iguana can regulate its body temperature by moving back and forth between cooler and warmer areas of the enclosure.
There are a number of ways to provide an appropriate basking area for an iguana. Note, however, that the heat and light source should be set up above the enclosure as these iguanas are used to basking in the wild. Ordinary incandescent light bulbs will also work just fine to provide both heat and light. Another good option are hooded clamp fixtures as they work well when used as basking lights. They come in a variety of sizes and can be placed in a variety of ways within your pet iguanas cage.
Like other animals, iguanas also have a day/night cycle. This allows them to regulate their physiological behaviors and rest when needed. Failing to provide a day/night light cycle can create stress to an iguana, which may cause behavioral changes when feeding as well as an unnecessary aggressive behavior.
To provide nighttime heat for the iguana, you may use Ceramic Heat Emitter (CHE). CHEs are screwed into an incandescent light fixture to give off heat not light. Iguanas need cooler temperatures at night, so the CHE should be of an appropriate wattage and should provide enough warmth throughout the night. Be reminded, however, that heat rocks should not be used inside an iguana enclosure. They can cause a short out resulting to an uneven heat. This can also burn the reptile as they do not know when it’s time to get off of the heat rock.
Generally, an iguana should be kept in a habitat with an ambient temperature of around 77-80°F, and with a basking area of about 95°F. temperature at night should be set NOT lower than the mid 70’s F. You will need to set up a couple of thermometers (one for the basking area and one for the cooling area) to accurately monitor the temperatures within the reptile’s enclosure. As temperatures can fluctuate at any time, it is critical that you give attention to the changes in the temperatures within your pet’s enclosure. You will also need to check the bulbs as they may need to be replaced after some time.
Iguanas need high humidity as much as they need high temperatures. These reptiles abound in geographic locations that have high humidity level. However, it can be difficult to keep the humidity in its enclosure at appropriate levels (between 65-75%).
There are several ways to increase the humidity level inside your pet’s housing. One way to do that is to spray your pet’s cage a couple f hours a day. You may also place a best reptile humidifier where your pet’s housing is located together with huge tubs of water. Giving your pet iguana a daily bath will not only help keep your pet clean but will also help it retain moisture. Proper humidity levels will help keep your pet hydrated. It will also make shedding easy as it helps keep the iguana’s skin soft and moist.
Fresh drinking water should also be made available every time. During the winter season, when the humidity is low, you will need to mist your pet with water several times each week. You will also need to provide a large container of water as iguanas love to immerse themselves in water. Just make sure that the container is not too large to allow the reptile to get in an out of it with ease. You will also need to clean the container regularly as the iguana may urinate or defecate in the water.
Iguanas can also carry disease-causing microorganisms that can also make humans sick, so you need to make sure to keep your pet, its enclosure, and everything in it properly clean to ensure that both you and your pet will enjoy more days happy together.