Iguana Cost

The Cost of an Iguana

Last Updated on September 27, 2023 | Written by CPA Alec Pow
First Published on January 5, 2021 | Content Reviewed by Certified CFA CFA Alexander Popivker

The Green Iguanas have actually been among the most popular reptile pets available for sale because of their somewhat small size.

These pets came from captive farming particularly in El Salvador, Panama, Colombia, and Honduras. If taken care of appropriately, they can live as much as twenty years.

On average, an Iguana can mature to 6 feet in length and weigh somewhere between 20 and 30 pounds depending upon its gender. A lot of healthy iguanas are extremely observant in nature, positive, and curious.

You might also like our articles about the cost of a penguin, praying mantis, or lion cub.

After the 5 to 10-year duration, they will usually be able to bond like other animals, however, they need continuous supervision. They also have the propensity to have separation stress and anxiety, so that is something you will need to think about before you choose to get one.

Iguanas and Their One-Time Needs/Expenses

There are 3 ways in which you can purchase an iguana; through a breeder, a family pet shop, or online. As a first-timer, it would be better for you to buy one from a breeder seeing that the costs can be usually lower.

Rates might also differ depending upon the breed of Iguana.

So, just how much do iguanas cost? Most typical costs vary from $19.99 to $599 depending upon the breed and gender. Backwaterreptiles has numerous alternatives to pick from. Green iguanas cost $19.99 depending upon the gender and size starting with lower prices for a younger specimen and going upwards for adult ones.

Here are some other one-time expenditures that you might need to be prepared for:

Shelter/Cage Expenses – For newbies who think about purchasing baby iguanas, a 20-gallon long fish tank is fine for baby and young green iguanas of up to 18 inches in length. They grow slowly so ultimately, you will have to purchase a larger enclosure.
For adult iguanas, they can not have a cage that small. They require a great deal of area to walk around. The objective here is to have a cage that is at least two times as long as the iguana. They also require a great deal of area to climb up. Because iguanas are tree-dwelling animals, they need a decent vertical space.

If you have more than one iguana, keep in mind that you can not house 2 males together since they tend to fight and hurt each other. Iguanas are not very friendly animals so it will not be a great idea to house 2 together in one enclosure.

Custom-made iguana cages have prices that start at $40 and can easily go above $1000 depending upon your taste. Also, keep in mind that reptiles can carry salmonella so their cages have to be kept tidy at all times and so do the iguanas.

Legalities and Licensing – Some iguanas can not be kept as home pets in some states like Hawaii and New York. Before purchasing one, you should make sure that you check out the guidelines and policies.
If you reside in a state like Hawaii, the laws are really strict when it pertains to owning unique family pets, and if you are caught keeping one without the legal documents and license, you can be fined $200,000 with a 3-year sentence in jail.

It’s safe to state that prior to you purchase any unique animal, you initially require to register them and get a license.

Shipping and Transportation – Depending upon the type of iguana you wish to own, delivery charges might differ in your location. If you are going to purchase your reptile online, shipping costs can be $65  to $200.
If you are going to purchase from a family pet shop, often it’s much better to purchase a little cage to house your iguana for the time being. Cages can cost $10 – $20 depending upon the size and age of your reptile.

What should be included?

Family pet shops will typically add a temporary cage for you to be able to bring home your brand-new animal with ease. Others might even offer some food to last a couple of days while advising you on permanent food sources, cages, medical products, and other required products if these are not readily available from them.

Some iguanas for sale online even have a one week warranty that guarantees the pet remains in the pink of health when it gets to you. In cases where the pet passes away upon arrival or gets ill within 7 days, they will replace it with a similar one at no additional expense. However, others might charge you for the shipping of the replacement.

If you are getting ready to purchase from a breeder, a few of them will usually add all the paperwork and medical certificates for your family pet.

Iguana’s Recurring Expenses

Diet plan costs – Iguanas are natural herbivores, so it will not be too costly to feed them if the number of minerals is accurate.

The good aspect about iguanas aside from being herbivores is that when you get them used to staying in a cage, they can also ingest a range of other food types.

If you do not know what to feed them, dark leafy greens are the very best, like turnip greens, collard greens, dandelions, and small portions of kale. Iguanas can also consume vegetables and fruits on occasions like parsnip, tomatoes, mangos, berries, watermelon, bananas, apples, and squash.

It’s much better to provide a healthy balance of vegetables and fruits, however, the dark leafy greens have to be given to them in higher quantities. Do not feed them anything that is high in oxalate like carrots, snap peas, okra, sweet potatoes, romaine lettuce, and broccoli.

Never feed them spinach or iceberg lettuce, as this could be fatal and can cause some complications or illnesses. Daily grocery shopping for their food can cost $1 to $50 depending upon just how much food you are purchasing.

It would be better to purchase at wholesale due to the fact that it will come out less expensive than buying daily or per meal. You can find numerous fresh leafy greens at Vmo.org if you do not want to go to the supermarket to purchase food.

Heat & Lighting – Iguanas require sunshine to grow and stay healthy. Seeing that a lot of iguanas can not get natural sunlight while being captive as family pets, they require a UVB source to help them grow and get the natural vitamins they require to keep their bones healthy.

UVB provides Vitamin D3 which enables them to absorb calcium.

Bear in mind that iguanas can not stay in locations without heat. Iguanas that stay in a cold environment will quickly get ill. So, if you are going to house them as your pets, they will have to be in an environment that is at least 75 to 95 degrees F (24 to 32C).

Many UVB light bulbs have to be changed every 6 months to preserve the temperature level and this can cost $29 to $300 depending upon the kind of bulb that you are getting.

Toys and harness – Even though iguanas are not all that friendly animals, they still like to have fun and play. Even reptiles as huge as these need to get rid of their dullness every once in a while.

Iguana SpecimenIguanas are really solitary animals. When they are not doing anything, they like to have fun with various things or take part in activities that will help them get away from their monotony like climbing, swimming, diving, jumping off of trees, and leaping from one tree to another.

Remarkably enough, these animals are extremely simple and will take pleasure in a used-up old rag, old clothing, swimming pool toys, gloves, or anything inflatable. Plus, they likewise like the color green.

Iguanas are not extremely particular with toys, however, they like anything that is soft. For newbies, it would be better to purchase a green iguana stuffed animal. It does not need to be an iguana; it can be a dinosaur, a bear, or any sort of stuffed animal as long as it is color green.

Stuffed animals can cost $5 to $15 depending upon the size. You can replace their toys every once in a while so that they do not get too familiar with them and don’t get too tired.

Iguanas are also really trainable. Utilizing a harness will provide that liberty to walk around outside and indulge in the natural sunshine for a few minutes every day.

Bear in mind nevertheless, that training your iguana will take a great deal of effort and perseverance to get them used to their harness. The perfect harness to get is the generic kind. If you own a little iguana, the chest length must be less than 23 cm.

Some generic harnesses will come with a 40cm adjustable cable and this is the very best kind for newbies.

Medical Costs – As pointed out above, healthy iguanas are naturally extremely curious animals. Here are some indications you might need to keep an eye out for when your reptile is not in good shape:

  • Weight-loss
  • The color is dark and dull
  • Modifications in bowel movement and/or odor since the last time it had its diet plan changed
  • Having problems passing bowel movements for more than 3 days
  • It has bumps and swellings on its body and not regularly the same in size, place, and number
  • Inflamed abdominal area
  • Indications of blood in the cage
  • Not responsive
  • Sluggish
  • Having an issue closing its mouth
If you see that your pet iguana is starting to have all of these symptoms present, take it to the veterinarian as soon as possible. Depending upon the seriousness of the issue, medical care can cost around $100 to $125.

Elements Affecting Iguana Costs

  1. Age – baby iguanas cost less when compared to adult iguanas.
  2. Type – Besides the typical type of iguana which is green, there are also the red Iguana, Blue Axanthic Iguana, Rhinoceros Iguana, Desert Iguana, Spiny-tailed Iguana, Chuckwalla, and Club Tail Iguana which are all priced in a different way.
  3. Source – When it comes to purchasing iguanas from various locations and from different breeders or pet shops you will find these animals at different costs depending upon the expense of upkeep of these family pets while under their care.
  4. Area – The geographical area also makes a big difference in rates due to the fact that a lot of pet shops do not work with online shopping. Breeders will typically set a different rate if you are not from the same location. That’s apart from the expense of living and expense of doing business in a specific state which generally affect the costs the most.

Fun Facts and Extra Tips

Now that you already have a basic idea of what you will have to spend before you acquire an iguana, here are some other helpful tips and fun facts to bear in mind:

Iguanas can be potty trained – Iguanas are remarkably clever animals, and with sufficient perseverance and effort, you can train them to poop or pee in the toilet or anywhere you want to.
Green iguanas are not ideal for newbies – Although these reptiles might appear mild, they might not be the very best animals for a newbie. Iguanas need continuous attention and care, and if you were to give this reptile to a 10-year-old kid, they will not have the training to look after it correctly.
Iguanas will only end up being comfortable after a couple of months – When looking after an iguana for the very first time, do not make it do anything at first. Let it get accustomed to its brand-new environment and surroundings. A lot of iguanas will take a couple of months to get used to their owners and their cage. However, once they have actually made a connection with you, there will be no trust issues. This is why they require continuous nurturing and care.
Iguanas are naturally positive – They have their own individuality. It would be much better to buy a baby iguana if you are a first-timer due to the fact that it will be easier for you to bond with it. The baby iguana costs might differ depending upon the kind of iguana you go for. If you need it to be totally socialized with other animals and not just with you as the owner, this might take up to 5 to ten years before they can fully adjust to their fellow animals and people.

Alec Pow
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