Iguana Pet Care and Facts About Iguana Natural Habitat

Written by Dorothy Miller  |  Updated 01/20/2020

Even before you consider Purchasing an Iguana, you must consider its needs for a proper home. Since the iguana’s health is dependant on the actual environment that he lives in, it is essential that this part of the process happens first, before anything else.

Iguanas use their homes for more than just shelter. It is imperative that his home provides the necessary protection but also the right heat for his well being. Unlike the dog or other mammals, if you are having a pet iguana, you must have a well-maintained climate for your new friend in order to stay healthy.

This is due to your pet’s need for the wavelengths of the light within its home. They will use these wavelengths to aid in their metabolism as well as in their body chemistry.

If you consider the Iguana natural habitat, you can see what his needs will be in the climate that you create for him. The extreme temperatures of that environment were also fairly humid. This combination is what his body is conditioned for and therefore must be replaced in the shelter you’ll provide for him if he is to survive and be as healthy as he can be.

Without an environment that is conditioned for the right temperature and humidity, your pet will become ill, it will suffer and it may even die because of this one simple factor.

What does he need, then? There are several key pieces of information to consider. We’ll break them down for you right here.

Do you need lots of room? The iguana is so small, how can they even imagine needing so much room? No matter what you thought about his size or the room he needed, this is an important consideration.

First, they aren’t small. In many cases, an iguana will grow up to six feet in length. That’s a lot of iguana for you to provide shelter for. There is one misconception out there about this, though. Many think that if they limit the room that they provide to their pet, they will be safely protecting it from getting extremely large. This is not true. He will continue to grow.

Iguanas start growing at a faster rate then they will down the road. But, he will grow his entire life. Within your first year of owning an iguana, your pet will likely grow out of the 55-gallon aquarium that you bought it. For this consideration alone you should carefully decide on whether this is the right pet for you. Space is necessary for the animal.

 The habitat or cage that you create for your pet should be carefully designed and built to provide your pet with a healthy living environment. If you do not provide a high level of attention to this part of the process, you can’t provide the proper care for your pet that he or she deserves and needs. 

One thing that can’t be stressed enough is the need to educate yourself before purchasing your habitat for your pet. Since this is so important for a decision, you don’t want to make costly mistakes. The fact is that most people purchase a habitat only to determine that they should have purchased something else. The best lesson to learn, then, is to keep learning!

Buying Or Building?

You can build your habitat. There is no doubt that this is a great way to go. Or, you can buy a pre-made cage for your pet. Take that one step further and you can have someone else make a habitat for you and then buy it from them. In any case, what you have to determine is the correct way to build or buy one.

The largest drawback of purchasing your own, pre-made habitat is cost. They are by far expensive homes to purchase for your pet. Sometimes, they are well designed to provide for most of your pet’s needs. But, most of the time, they aren’t. In fact, most of what you will find in your local pet store is far too small for your pet. Sure, it’s a great habitat until they grow to their full adult size!

There are a number of great locations online that can help you to design your own custom made iguana habitat. Purchasing one is not a bad idea, but it will have to be done with a full understanding of what you need that habitat or cage to provide for your pet. Don’t underestimate the size of your new pet!

In case, you are considering to buy your Iguana habitat/cage: Buy Here

Now, its time to think about the heating and lighting within your iguana’s habitat. Even if you purchase a pre-made habitat, you’ll still need to find ways to keep him warm enough and to keep him getting the necessary light he needs.

Why They Need Heat?

The first consideration that you have is just why the iguana needs heat and what that level is. We’ve already mentioned that providing heat is required to maintain its health.

Within your habitat, you’ll need to provide a location that can provide basking heat to your pet. Generally, this area should be able to get to the middle 90’s in temperature. (All temperatures are listed in Fahrenheit.) The rest of the air within the habitat should be maintained no less than 75 degrees, but better if it is closer to 80. The final need is to offer a range of temperatures within the habitat to allow him to move around as he feels comfortable.


Now, to accomplish this, purchase several attachment thermometers. Place these in various areas of the habitat so that they can be easily read by you from outside the enclosure.

Get UV Lights, Heat Lamp & Climate Control Equipments: Buy Here

Iguana Native Habitat: What Was Home Like?

Size: How Big Do Iguanas Get?

Planning A Comfortable Habitat For Your Iguana

Heating And Lighting For Your Iguana

Maintaining The Habits Humidity

Now that you have your habitat built and set up with the right amounts of heat and light, the next part of the three-part equation for your iguana is that of humidity.

Humidity is the amount of moisture that is in the air. Since iguanas come from areas that are generally very high in humidity all the time, you’ll need to mimic that here in your habitat. But, how in the world do you create the right amount of humidity?

The right level of humidity will be between 65 percent and 75 percent, which are fairly humid conditions. There are several ways for you to get this high of a humidity level within your habitat.

There are simple methods for doing this. You can just spray the habitat down with water throughout the day. Don’t spray less than an hour before the lights go

out for the night though. You can also place large containers of water in the habitat, which will help to make for the right amount of humidity within the habitat, too. If you built your pet’s habitat correctly, the heat and humidity levels will remain high enough with these methods as you’ll have a pretty decent way of keeping it in (Plexiglas is a great option for this.) But, it may not be enough.

You’ve designed an amazing habitat, like iguana's natural habitat but there are still a few things you’ll need to take into consideration beyond just the construction and the environmental issues.

What will you put into your habitat? You should pay some attention to the details of this area of your habitat. Now your pet has all he needs in a clean and organized habitat. Now, here are several things that you’ll build or add to your habitat.

Flooring Covering

Now, when it comes to your habitat’s flooring, take this consideration closely. You want to have something that is easy to replace or at least to clean. But, you don’t want to have anything that your iguana can pick up with his tongue or even worse get wrapped around his toes.

You’ll find many materials available in the pet stores but don’t waste your time on them. Instead, consider other easier to afford materials. Here are some options you have.

Floors of:

  • Newspaper, ensure that it does not have any type of toxic ink on it.

  • Paper towels work just fine, too.

  • Plain papers without any type of toxins in them.

  • Indoor/outdoor carpeting.

The carpeting is a great choice but if you purchase it, make sure it has nothing that can get caught on your iguana’s toes. You’ll want to wrap it around the edges and tape them underneath to keep them from being torn up or getting caught on his tongue.

What You Need To Go Into Your Iguanas Habitat

Some Accessories You Should Include In Iguana Habitats

So you have an iguana and you have met its basic needs: light, heating, space and even humidity. So this is all that is required for the iguana's cage? You might think this is all you need to do. But this is untrue! Those needs are only just the beginning of what the iguana need. Light, heating space and humidity are the basic requirements that mean the iguana will survive but it does not mean the iguana will thrive.

To ensure the iguana's health, the habitat should have the following four accessories:

  1. Substrates

  2. Basking and Climbing Accessories

  3. Food and Water Dishes

  4. Hiding Places

1. What Can I Use For Iguana Bedding: Substrates For Iguanas

The surface of the iguana's bedding is composed of substrates. You need to remember that iguanas will continuously flick their tongues. Why do iguanas do this if they can see?

By flicking their tongue, it gives the iguana information about their immediate environment. As such, do not use wood chips, sand or gravel since wood chips can cause a choking hazard and the sand or gravel is overly dangerous if they are ingested by your iguana.

Are you wondering then what you should choose if anything at all? Should you choose to use a substrate, you can try using newspapers where some offer non-toxic ink. Any kind of paper that is not toxic to animals can be used. Indoor and outdoor carpeting can be used as a substrate for the iguana's habitat.

You Can Buy Substrates For Your Iguana's Bedding Here: Buy Now

2. Basking and Climbing Accessories For Your Iguana

Iguanas spend more of their time in trees so placing some kind of climbing material in your iguana's environment could make them feel more at home as if they were in the wild. This leads to them leaning on you more for their needs.

Shelves from an old bookshelf or shelf that is not going to be used from a computer desk can be an acceptable substitution for tree branches. Regular branches may not always hold your iguana.

Understand if you do include branches in the habitat, provide enough of them and some that are big enough for the iguana to lay on during their resting times. One of the ways you can do this is to place carpeting on the branches. These will also serve as a basking place for your iguana.

3. Food and Water Dishes

Like any other animal, iguanas need to have food and water. Even though iguanas don't need to drink often, it is still vital for them to have fresh water on a daily basis.

Get a water dish that is the right size for your pet because they love to lay in it. It should be one that won't easily tip over and it should be shallow for them not to drown in.

Iguanas are very meticulous about the water. After they are done soaking in it, iguanas will tend to poop in the water. This means as an iguana owner, you need to change the water often so it will need to be sanitized on a daily basis to avoid germs that can make your iguana sick.

Buy Food and Water Dishes Here: Buy Now

4. Hiding Places Inside Iguana Habitat

Like many people, iguanas want to be left alone. This means they will hide so it is imperative to make a place in the habitat for a place for them to retreat. It could be a log or rock or anything of that sort.

Should you do these little things for your iguana, you can bet that your iguana's health will be maintained.

Buy Your Favorite Iguana Here: Buy Now


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