Bathing Your Iguana

Is there an iguana hanging out in your Treasure Coast home? Florida is a great place for iguanas. These tree-dwelling modern dinosaurs can do quite well here; so well, in fact, that feral iguanas are popping up all over south Florida.

The reason iguanas do so well in Florida is that our climate offers two things iguanas need to live: heat and water. If you have a pet iguana, you’ll want to give it regular baths. Wild iguanas stay clean by jumping into pools of water or rubbing up against trees and rocks. Since your pet iguana’s cage probably doesn’t have either a swimming pool or enough landscaping to double as a spa, you’ll need to take care of your pet’s bathing needs yourself, probably by giving him some tub time.

To give your iguana a bath, you’ll first want to fill the tub with warm water that is a few inches deep; no higher than your lizard’s chest. You may want to put some towels down on the floor around the bathtub, in case your iguana splashes around a lot. Go ahead and place Izzy in the water. If your iguana has never had a bath before, he may be frightened at first, and you can expect some thrashing and flailing. This should stop once he realizes that A) you’re not trying to kill him and B) baths actually feel pretty good. Be careful not to put too much water in the tub, as you don’t want your iguana to drown! Let your lizard soak for a while, but don’t let the water get cold, as your iguana may not be able to move.

Don’t use soap or bubble bath on your iguana. If your iguana has dirt or feces stuck to him after soaking for a while, you can use a few drops of baby soap and a washcloth or toothbrush on that area, but otherwise, just use plain water. Also, never leave your iguana alone in the tub.

Many iguana owners bathe their lizards daily. Soaking is really good for iguanas in a few ways. First and foremost, it moistens their skin, which can help prevent cracks, skin irritation, and infection. Your pet will also be breathing air that is higher in humidity while in the bathtub. Many iguanas also drink their bathwater, so it may also help keep him hydrated.

If you have a pool, and your iguana can swim, you can give your lizard a bit of swim time, so long as he is monitored. Be careful not to turn your back, because he might just climb out of the pool and take off to explore the rest of Treasure Coast!

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