Which Iguana Makes the Best Pet?

Choosing a pet is a big decision. Our detailed article answers your question: 'which iguana makes the best pet?' Learn about different iguana species, their diets, and care needs before adopting

Table of Contents

Have you ever looked at an iguana and thought, “I wish I could have one as a pet?” Well, you’re not alone. The fascination with these majestic creatures is widespread.

Iguanas, with their regal appearance and exotic allure, have increasingly found their way into homes as pets. But which iguana makes the best pet? Let’s delve deeper and find out.

In this article we are going to look at the differences between different iguanas species, and answer your question which iguana makes the best pet.

Understanding Iguanas

To choose the best iguana for a pet, we first need to understand what iguanas are and the different types available.

What are Iguanas?

Iguanas are large, herbivorous lizards native to tropical areas of Central and South America. Renowned for their striking appearance, iguanas possess a row of spines along their back and a formidable dewlap.

Iguana Types and Species

There are various types of iguanas, each with its unique characteristics. Let’s look at the four most common types, in order to understand which iguana makes the best pet:

Green Iguana

The Green Iguana is the most common pet iguana due to its vibrant color, docile nature, and relatively low maintenance. However, they grow large, requiring ample space.

Blue Iguana

The Blue Iguana, also known as the Grand Cayman Iguana, is a critically endangered species with a striking blue color. They’re less common as pets due to conservation efforts.

Desert Iguana

Desert Iguanas are one of the smaller species, making them easier to accommodate. They have a love for warm temperatures, reminiscent of their native habitats in the Mojave and Sonoran deserts.

Marine Iguana

Native to the Galapagos Islands, Marine Iguanas are unique as they are the only lizards that swim in the sea. However, their specialized needs make them unsuitable as pets.

Iguana TypeAverage Lifespan (Years)Average SizeSuitability as Pets
Green IguanaUp to 20Up to 7 feetMost Common
Blue IguanaUp to 205 feetLess Common (Endangered)
Desert Iguana10-15Up to 16 inchesMore Independent, Easier to Accommodate
Marine IguanaN/AUp to 5 feetNot Suitable (Specialized Needs)
Table 1: Iguana Species Overview

Comparing Iguana Types as Pets

Choosing the best iguana for a pet involves assessing their lifespan, size, personality, diet, habitat needs, and health considerations.

Lifespan, Size, and Personality

Green Iguanas live up to 20 years, grow up to 7 feet, and are generally docile. Blue Iguanas have a similar lifespan but are endangered. Desert Iguanas live about 10-15 years, grow to 16 inches, and are more independent. Marine Iguanas are unsuitable as pets.

Diet and Habitat Needs

Iguanas are herbivores and need a varied diet of greens, fruits, and vegetables. The Green and Blue Iguanas need a large habitat with climbing space, while the smaller Desert Iguana requires less space.

Health and Care Considerations

Iguanas need a warm habitat, and all species require UVB lighting to synthesize vitamin D3. They may also need a vet specializing in exotic pets.

Care FactorGreen IguanaBlue IguanaDesert IguanaMarine Iguana
DietHerbivorous (greens, fruits, vegetables)Herbivorous (greens, fruits, vegetables)Herbivorous (greens, fruits, vegetables)Herbivorous (algae, seaweed)
Habitat NeedsLarge habitat with climbing spaceLarge habitat with climbing spaceSmaller habitat with warm temperatureSpecialized needs (Marine environment)
Health ConsiderationsRequires UVB lighting, potential health care costsRequires UVB lighting, potential health care costsRequires UVB lighting, potential health care costsRequires specialized care, unsuitable as a pet
Table 2: Iguana Care Considerations

Which Iguana Makes the Best Pet: Choosing Wisely

Compatibility with Lifestyle

While the Green Iguana is the most common pet, it’s essential to assess if your lifestyle and resources align with their care needs. Are you ready for a 20-year commitment and the resources for a spacious habitat?

Your Preparedness as a Pet Owner

Owning an iguana requires preparation. Are you equipped to provide the specific diet and environment, not to mention the potential health care costs?


In this extensive exploration of the world of iguanas, we’ve sought to answer the question, “Which iguana makes the best pet?” As we have discovered, there is no one-size-fits-all answer to this query. The decision lies at the intersection of the iguana’s needs and the capabilities and preferences of the pet owner.

Green Iguanas, with their relative adaptability, stunning colors, and docile nature, are the most common choice. They can make fantastic companions, given you are prepared for a long-term commitment, and can provide ample space and a suitable diet. However, every iguana species carries its unique charm and traits, with Blue Iguanas exhibiting striking hues and Desert Iguanas offering a smaller size for easier accommodation.

Still, it’s important to consider that not all iguanas are suitable for a pet-keeping environment. The Blue Iguana’s endangered status and the Marine Iguana’s specialized needs highlight the need for responsible pet ownership and respect for the diverse lives in our ecosystem.

Choosing the best pet iguana is a significant decision that hinges on understanding each species’ characteristics and weighing them against your lifestyle, preferences, and readiness to meet their needs. It’s about aligning their diet, habitat, health considerations, and lifespan with what you can consistently provide.

As potential pet owners, it’s incumbent upon us to educate ourselves, not just about “which iguana makes the best pet,” but also about the commitment that owning such an exotic pet entails. They are not just showpieces to be admired but sentient beings deserving of compassionate care and a fulfilling life.

So, if you are attracted to the enigmatic appeal of these exotic creatures and are willing to invest in their wellbeing, one of these fascinating iguanas might just become a part of your family. Remember, the best pet is not just the one that adds to our lives, but the one whose life we can enrich in return.

Frequently Asked Questions

Which iguana is easiest to care for?

The Green Iguana is generally considered easiest to care for due to its adaptability.

How long do pet iguanas live?

Depending on the species, iguanas can live from 10 to 20 years in captivity.

What do iguanas eat?

Iguanas are herbivores and thrive on a diet of greens, vegetables, and fruits.

Do iguanas need a special habitat?

Yes, iguanas require a warm habitat with UVB lighting and climbing space.

Can I keep a Blue Iguana or Marine Iguana as a pet?

Blue Iguanas are endangered, and Marine Iguanas have specialized needs, making both unsuitable as pets.

Share the Post:

Related Posts