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Friday, May 14, 2010

Iguanas as Pets - What to Expect From a Pet Iguana

Iguanas are certainly one of the most popular lizards to be kept as pets. There are a multitude of online resources available to iguana owners or potential owners.

The pages listed below cover the basics (and sometimes in-depth) considerations for iguana care, certainly far better than I could. There are a few points that I would like to cover before listing some of the better iguana pages on the Net.

Iguanas are one of the more recent "fad" pets, becoming readily available in many pet stores, often at very low prices. These are young iguanas that don't seem to be too difficult to care for, a myth often perpetuated by retailers hoping to sell them. Of course, they are very cute too! But, as with all reptiles, iguanas have fairly strict feeding and housing requirements. And they grow, often very large (if they survive) and they can be difficult to tame and become aggressive. This is not to say that iguanas cannot make good pets - but they need the proper care right from the start, and owners need to have the right expectations. Melissa Kaplan, who authors what I would consider to be the best reptile site on the Net, has written an article entitled "So, You Think You Want a Reptile." Although not specific to iguanas, this article examines questions and considerations for every potential reptile owner. As well, Jennifer Swofford has a nice article at The Basking Spot called "Should I Get an Iguana," which looks at the considerations specific to Iguanas.

Also, it has been found that many reptiles carry Salmonella, meaning it is present in the digestive tract without causing disease. Following common sense hygiene practices when handling iguanas should prevent problems, but if there are young children, pregnant women, immunocompromised people or elderly persons in contact with the iguana, extra care will have to be taken to prevent Salmonella infections, or perhaps a reptile isn't the right pet for your household.

Source: From Lianne McLeod, DVM, former Guide

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