Iguana held in towel on Jennifer's shoulder

Reptile Care Basics

Reptile Care

Housing – Set up the cage with the animals natural behaviors in mind.For example:

  • Provide climbing trees for arboreal lizards such as iguanas
  • Provide sand for ground dwellers such as bearded dragons (they burrow at night)
  • Provide layered rocks for rock dwellers such as leopard geckos
  • Provide a hiding spot as either thick foliage or and enclosure
  • Iguanas are not a social species and should be housed individually.
Many reptiles will pace and bash their noses on the front of the enclosure.  To avoid this problem provide plenty of hiding spots, make sure the enclosure is big enough, and make the enclosure out of material that will be the least traumatic.  (The salt rings on this iguana’s nose are normal).Lighting Iguanas, Agamas, Bearded Dragons, Water Dragons and many other reptiles require UV B light to activate vitamin D3 for calcium utilization.This is provided in the form of:

  • Direct Sunlight. Glass and plexiglass will block the beneficial UV rays.
  • UV B reptile florescent lights
  • Screen in a window well for easy access to sunshine.
  • Try building an outdoor enclosure for when its warm enough outside.

*Hint: Sunshine Sunshine Sunshine

For this iguana, a window well was screened in for easy access to sunshine.  Remember UV light is filtered through glass so putting a lizard in front of a closed window won’t help.Heating a daytime basking area should be maintained around 85 to 95 F with the use of a heat or basking lamp.  At night the temperature should not drop below 75 F.*Avoid using hot rocks.