The Cost of an Iguana

Iguanas have become increasingly popular as exotic pets in recent years, no doubt because of easier access to pet care information, and seemingly stable prices. Iguanas started to explode onto the exotic pet scene in America in the early nineties, and around that time, believe it or not, over a million iguanas had already been imported and sold in the country.

Reptiles (which include iguanas) are the fourth most popular group of pets in the United States, right after birds, cats, fish, and dogs. Over 15 years ago, people still needed to drive to exotic pet shops and private iguana breeders to purchase these magnificent reptiles.

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But because of a boom in online commerce, people can now buy their reptiles from the comfort of their living room. The price of an iguana is determined by three things: the species of the iguana, the size of the reptile, and the iguana’s age.

Generally the more exotic an iguana, the pricier it will likely be. If the pet shop had to import it from Central America, the price will probably be between $400 to $3,000. If you don’t have the budget for these expensive reptiles, you may want to focus on purchasing a common iguana, or a green iguana.

Green iguanas are just as beautiful as their wild cousins being imported from South or Central America. These reptiles can still grow to an impressive size – if you know how to take care of them. Young green iguanas are usually sold for $30 to $50.

When you decide you want a large adult (around five feet in length), you might possibly have to spend at least $200 for each iguana. Now, it should be noted that the cost of buying an iguana doesn’t mean you will be spending less on ideal reptile care.

If you want your iguana to live for more than a six months or a year in captivity, you have to invest in the proper habitat, and the right equipment, to keep your reptile alive.

It pays to note that iguanas are tropical reptiles and, in the wild, these creatures are used to regular temperatures between 95 – 104 degrees Fahrenheit. Iguanas also require a varied diet, because in the wild, a healthy iguana can eat plant matter from as many as fifty different plant species.

These spectacular reptiles have no problems with balancing their dietary requirements in the wild, because they are free to roam and find the plants that they need to survive.

In captivity, iguanas are limited to what the owner can provide on a daily basis, and this alone can mean the difference between having a healthy and happy reptile, and a very sick iguana one with countless health problems.

Unfortunately in the United States the average lifespan of an iguana in captivity is only six months, because people rarely take the time to understand what iguanas need to survive.

Healthy adult iguanas have been known to live for as long as twenty years! If you want your own iguana to enjoy a long life, you need to educate yourself as to what type of food it needs, and what equipment you should be adding to its terrarium or habitat.

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