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Thread: Suggestions Please

  1. #1
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Williamsburg,Ontario
    Posts
    2,736

    Suggestions Please

    We are in the midst of redoing our Basement,We are not even close to being done.

    Long story short we had a break in a little over a month in,The basement window was kicked in,As i am not down there every single day i did not notice a thing.

    Numerous male cats were found,They were all Barn cats,I took them to the shelter,We caught 2 with a live trap,They were too timid to catch.

    They had sprayed over everything we had to throw everything out,It was all ruined.

    Point to my long winded story,When the basement is finished it is going to be our main living area.

    My Husband wants to get a iguana,Something like that he wants to get a big encloser.

    I know nothing on reptiles.I was just wondering if someone could help me choosing the right animal.I want something that does not smell.(I know you have to clean up after whatever i choose)

    But with the kids and husband they are Lazy when it comes to our animals i do everything,And i love it i wouldnt want it any other way.

    So any suggestions on what is easy to care for the better,My husband wants a big Iguana.They fasinate me i just want to care for whatever we get the right way.

    This probably won't happen until June with the paste we are going at now i think it will take until then.

    Thanks in Advance!
    Lacy(Australian Shepherd)Doc(Border Collie and Tessa (Border Collie[B]


    Rest Well My RB angels,Bandit,Anna and Maggy

  2. #2
    Iguanas are wonderful animals and I love having one as a pet. They are a great deal of work though and very expensive to care for. I wouldn't recommend them to most people. So many iguanas end up in rescues or die premature deaths because people don't realize just how much work they are.

    If you decide you are truly interested in one as a pet let me know and I'd be happy to answer any questions you have. I'd also HIGHLY recommend getting the book- Green Iguana: The Ultimate Owner's Manual . It's a wonderful book and the only book I'd recommend. Get it now and read it cover to cover.

    You may want to consider is a bearded dragon. I honestly don't know much about them, but they seem to be an easier pet. They don't get near as large either (which is part of why iguanas are so expensive). Iguanas can also become rather aggressive (especially adult males) I don't think bearded dragons are aggressive the way iguanas can be.
    - Kari
    skin kids- Nathan, Topher, & Lilla


  3. #3
    Join Date
    Aug 2006
    Location
    Methuen, MA; USA
    Posts
    17,099
    You need to consider the adult size.

    My cousin's son brought home this cute little iguana. Four years later, it was 6 foot long! At that size, most people convert an entire closet for the iguana, if not an entire room. They LOVE to jump, and he could go up to the top of her entertainment center.

    She gave the iggy to iguana rescue. He is now owned by a person who has a total of 5; the entire basement is devoted to them, and a large outdoor enclosure for their use in summer weather. He is one of the lucky ones, he got a good final home.

    There ARE reptiles whose adult size is still in the inches - less than one foot. I would think you need to lean towards that type of pet!!!!

    Just my thoughts.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Williamsburg,Ontario
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    2,736
    Quote Originally Posted by Freedom
    You need to consider the adult size.

    My cousin's son brought home this cute little iguana. Four years later, it was 6 foot long! At that size, most people convert an entire closet for the iguana, if not an entire room. They LOVE to jump, and he could go up to the top of her entertainment center.

    She gave the iggy to iguana rescue. He is now owned by a person who has a total of 5; the entire basement is devoted to them, and a large outdoor enclosure for their use in summer weather. He is one of the lucky ones, he got a good final home.

    There ARE reptiles whose adult size is still in the inches - less than one foot. I would think you need to lean towards that type of pet!!!!

    Just my thoughts.
    You maybe right i dont want something that big i was looking at Gechos,Money is not an issue,I just want something that is easy to care for.

    And yes i have to do lots of research before deciding,I really know nothing about reptiles,I was looking at everything even frogs.

    Before i decide i want to know everything about the animal we choose,I do not want to take a life of something i have no knowledge up so off to the Books!
    Lacy(Australian Shepherd)Doc(Border Collie and Tessa (Border Collie[B]


    Rest Well My RB angels,Bandit,Anna and Maggy

  5. #5
    Everyone has warned you about certain characteristics of iguanas I was going to point out, so I won't repeat that. =D

    What are you looking at in a reptile? One you can handle? Or more of an observation pet? I don't know the most about reptiles and such, but I do have some experiance (I helped rehome a gecko once and I currently am providing a home for a White's Tree Frog). There are SO many species of geckos and frogs(if thats what you're interrested in), so I'm sure you'll find something that suits you.

    Good luck!

  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct 2002
    Location
    San Jose, CA
    Posts
    5,308
    Just a few I can suggest off the top of my head:

    Leopard geckos: Small ( a foot long or under...usually unser a foot), don't climb glass, usually very easy to handle, and very easy care.

    Crested geckos: about a foot long, they DO climb glass, they're also easy to handle. THere is a little more involved in their care than a leopard gecko but they're still pretty easy.

    Bearded dragons: friendly, pretty easy to care for, though the setup can be pricey (I know you said money's no object, I'm just using that as a comparison to the other two)

    If he really likes the LOOK of the iguanas, Chinese Water Dragons are similar looking but much smaller (I think they top out around three feet including tail) and generally friendly little guys. They still need a sizable enclosure, but not as large as an iggy.

    Thank you Wolf_Q!

  7. #7
    Iguanas are very demanding animals, you need to do alot of research before you make a final decision to get one. They certainly aren't what you would call "beginner" lizards either, although if you are dedicated, do your research and are ready, you can deffinitly manage just fine.

    Here's a copy/paste of one of my posts on another site to a kid asking about iguanas.

    Don't get an iguana, they're a pain in the you-know-what lol.

    1) They get HUGE. A male iguana can get 5, 6 feet long. When they get that big, they practically need free roam of a whole room. Either that or a custom built enclosure that takes up half a room. And custom built enclusures are not cheap, especially if you don't have a family member who will build it for you.

    2) They have an attitude. You can get an iguana, spoil it, give it an excellent diet, have a super nice enclosure for it....and it's not going to appreciate it one bit and it's still going to bite you, tail whip you, run from you and give you open mouth threats. Even once they are tame, they are still wild animals and can act like one at any given moment. Now take the fact that they get huge, and add it to the fact that they can be aggressive. What does this equal? It equals the possibility of a bite that will send you to the hospital to get stitches.

    3) Nutritional demands. Now this can get so complicated it's not even funny. You have to keep the diet varied so it doesn't loose interest. You have to remember that what iggy likes today, iggy might refuse to eat and suddenly decide it hates it tomorrow. There are foods you must absolutely avoid all together like apple and cabbage. There are foods that can only be given in moderation like carrots. Carrots are high in calcium oxalates which can crystalize calcium and cause MBD. You have to watch calcium. They must be supplemented with calcium or they will get MBD (metabolic bone disease) and their bones can literally turn into rubber and they'll die.

    4) Heating/lighting and humidity. You must have a UVA/UVB light for an ig. This light needs to be on for 8 to 10 hours a day and you have to either remember to turn it on and off, or buy a timer. They need a CHE (Ceramic Heating Element) to provide heat for them during the day . They need a nocturnal heat lamp to provide heat for them at night without disturbing their sleep (which isn't a wise thing to do because it makes them crankier than they already are to begin with). A heat pad is usually also necessary in the winter. Because iggies are from tropical rainforrests, there is alot of moisture in the air. So you need a humidifier to create some moisture in the air.

    5) Breeding season. During breeding season, you will have to deal with a gravid female laying unfertile eggs. This can make her either aggressive, or sweet, or completely unpredictable. Your suddenly sweet male will become totally aggressive and unhandlable. And you get to deal with this until breeding season is over (a few months later).

    And those are just the basics.

    If you want a simple, easy, fun lizard, then check out leopard geckos and bearded dragons. They are not nearly as demanding and they are alot tamer and friendlier.

    Don't get me wrong, they're great pets, but only if you can provide for them. Once you tame them (took me a year to tame mine), they can be quite affectionate and fun to have around.
    I'VE BEEN FROSTED!!!

  8. #8
    I find SunsetRose's post rather harsh and full of incorrect statements.

    They get HUGE. A male iguana can get 5, 6 feet long. When they get that big, they practically need free roam of a whole room. Either that or a custom built enclosure that takes up half a room. And custom built enclusures are not cheap, especially if you don't have a family member who will build it for you.
    Agreed. My iguana has a whole room to himself. Justin built him an "iguana jungle gym" to climb and "play" on and it certainly wasn't cheap. They also need a large enough water "container" to fit completely inside of. They love to swim, but they also poop in their water. We keep a dog water bowl in his room filled with clean drinking water in addition to a horse trough that he poops in. The poopy water needs to be very well cleaned out after every poop. He doesn't know that he shouldn't drink poopy water so getting it cleaned out as soon as possible is important.

    2) They have an attitude. You can get an iguana, spoil it, give it an excellent diet, have a super nice enclosure for it....and it's not going to appreciate it one bit and it's still going to bite you, tail whip you, run from you and give you open mouth threats. Even once they are tame, they are still wild animals and can act like one at any given moment. Now take the fact that they get huge, and add it to the fact that they can be aggressive. What does this equal? It equals the possibility of a bite that will send you to the hospital to get stitches.
    I agree with very little of that. If you properly care for your iguana it won't bite or tail whip you, actually the opposite- they can be rather sweet. My iguana love to be with us (he can be timid around strangers though). If you neglect your iguana than there's a good chance it will do those things. Yes a bite can and probably will send you to the hospital for stitches.

    3) Nutritional demands. Now this can get so complicated it's not even funny. You have to keep the diet varied so it doesn't loose interest. You have to remember that what iggy likes today, iggy might refuse to eat and suddenly decide it hates it tomorrow. There are foods you must absolutely avoid all together like apple and cabbage. There are foods that can only be given in moderation like carrots. Carrots are high in calcium oxalates which can crystalize calcium and cause MBD. You have to watch calcium. They must be supplemented with calcium or they will get MBD (metabolic bone disease) and their bones can literally turn into rubber and they'll die.
    Yes their diet can be complicated at first, but once you learn what they need it becomes rather simple. Yes their diet needs to be varied, just like people. They will have their favorites, but that doesn't mean they should only get that. They CAN have apple! They can also have cabbage in small amounts and not too often. Carrots are fine, it's the carrot tops that need to be given in moderation. The largest part of their diet should consist of leafy greens -collards, mustard greens, turnip greens, etc. (no lettuce, except for the occasional treat). They should also have a good amount of other vegetables- green beans, carrots, peas, sprouts, etc. They should also have some (not too much) fruit in their daily diet- banana, apple, berries, etc. We use a food processor to finely chop the fruit and vegetables. The leafy greens we tear into bite-sized pieces.

    4) Heating/lighting and humidity. You must have a UVA/UVB light for an ig. This light needs to be on for 8 to 10 hours a day and you have to either remember to turn it on and off, or buy a timer. They need a CHE (Ceramic Heating Element) to provide heat for them during the day . They need a nocturnal heat lamp to provide heat for them at night without disturbing their sleep (which isn't a wise thing to do because it makes them crankier than they already are to begin with). A heat pad is usually also necessary in the winter. Because iggies are from tropical rainforrests, there is alot of moisture in the air. So you need a humidifier to create some moisture in the air.
    This is really a pretty easy part of owning an iguana. Simply keep the iguanas lights on a timer, just adjust the timer according to the time of the year, but other than that you don't really have to worry about it. The humidity is easy too, just don't let it get too humid or that can get a fungus.

    5) Breeding season. During breeding season, you will have to deal with a gravid female laying unfertile eggs. This can make her either aggressive, or sweet, or completely unpredictable. Your suddenly sweet male will become totally aggressive and unhandlable. And you get to deal with this until breeding season is over (a few months later).
    Breeding season takes place during the winter months- approximately October through February. During this time feeding often becomes a bit frustrating as males often eat very little during this time- it's totally normal though. Males often dcan become a bit agressive (though mine luckily never has). Our male is totally handleable during mating season, we've never had any problems with that at all. Sometimes a pretend mate (made out of a sock) is recommended for males, we've never had one though.
    - Kari
    skin kids- Nathan, Topher, & Lilla


  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb 2007
    Location
    U.S.
    Posts
    680
    Might I sugest a Bearded Dragon, if you're not too keen on Iguanas? They're really nice.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Nov 2005
    Location
    Williamsburg,Ontario
    Posts
    2,736
    I have been researching on everything,And i am growing fond of the Geckos,They are beautiful,Hubby still wants a Iguana,But i do not think im ready to take on something as big as that at the moment.

    Also i have dogs i would not want the Iggy in a cage 24/7,im not sure what the dogs will do,We found a blue spotted salamander in our yard a few years back and they were fine with that for the couple days it was her until a rescue came and got it.

    I do not know how they would react if it was out and about,I would not want anything happening,My dogs are harmless but i dont know how they would react.

    Does any one else have a Iguana around there dogs?How do they get along,also i have cats,They would most likely run the other way.
    Lacy(Australian Shepherd)Doc(Border Collie and Tessa (Border Collie[B]


    Rest Well My RB angels,Bandit,Anna and Maggy

  11. #11
    I agree with very little of that. If you properly care for your iguana it won't bite or tail whip you, actually the opposite- they can be rather sweet. My iguana love to be with us (he can be timid around strangers though). If you neglect your iguana than there's a good chance it will do those things. Yes a bite can and probably will send you to the hospital for stitches.
    Iguanas are wild animals. Very, VERY rarely will you just happen to come across a completely tame, sweet iguana that somebody hasn't been working with. They don't tame themselves, if you come across a sweet, friendly iguana, then it came from somebody who spent alot of time with it. It doesn't matter how well you provide for an iguana, you can't expect them to just be sweet because of it. They aren't like children who you can pull a guilt trip with and say "oh I've provided food for you, a roof over your head and the clothes on your back, you need to listen and behave". Once your iguana is tame, then they are deffinitly sweet for the most part. I bet you spent alot of time playing with and interacting with yours. But again, they can still get hormonal during breeding season and they have bad days just like you and I so even with a tame one, there is still the possibility of being bit or whipped.

    And about my post being harsh, I wouldn't call it harsh, just blunt. Honestly people NEED to do research before getting one and most people dont. I will give them every single troublesome and bad aspect of owning an iguana if that will get them to think twice about wanting one so the poor ig doesn't get stuck in a neglectful home. If you can read something saying that iguanas can be the meanest lizards possible to own before they get tame, they're hard to tame and they're just as demanding as a dog and not be put off by it and are still dedicated to owning one, then that deffinitly makes the experienced iggy people feel better about somebody getting one as their first lizard.

    And about iguanas a dogs, I can have mine together no problem. The dog just needs to respect the ig's space, so you do need to have a well behaved dog. But a dog with a high prey drive might have more of an issue.
    I'VE BEEN FROSTED!!!

  12. #12
    Join Date
    Sep 2002
    Location
    Wyoming, USA
    Posts
    4,102
    Quote Originally Posted by KBlaix
    I agree with very little of that. If you properly care for your iguana it won't bite or tail whip you, actually the opposite- they can be rather sweet. My iguana love to be with us (he can be timid around strangers though). If you neglect your iguana than there's a good chance it will do those things. Yes a bite can and probably will send you to the hospital for stitches.
    I had a six foot long male iguana for many years. While he could occasionally be sweet and friendly, for the most part he was aloof.

    He was not overtly aggressive unless threatened, however, his perception of "being threatened" involved anyone wearing a hat into the house, for example. He would club anyone with his tail that made the mistake of not believing when I told them they better take that hat off. He, for the most part, ignored the dogs. But, he would not hesitate to bat them across the room with his tail, either, if he thought they were getting too close to him, too loud or rambunctious, etc.

    He never bit, thank goodness, because bites of a large iguana are extremely nasty. But his claw were lethal weapons, and I trimmed and filed them regularly ... wearing leather cat gloves and a leather coat, BTW.

    He was an interesting, beautiful, amusing pet. He was not cuddly or friendly. He had the potential to do a lot of physical damage. And he was most definately properly cared for and never neglected every day of his entire life. A lizard is not going to be appreciative of good care, and reward it with affection and good behavior, the way a well-trained dog might. A lizard is not a domesticated animal. It can be tamed, to some degree, but there is a wild creature right under the surface. Not a big deal when you have a lizard the length of your hand. A very big deal to the inexperienced reptile owner when you have a lizard the length of your entire body.
    "We give dogs the time we can spare, the space we can spare and the love we can spare. And in return, dogs give us their all. It's the best deal man has ever made" - M. Facklam

    "We are raised to honor all the wrong explorers and discoverers - thieves planting flags, murderers carrying crosses. Let us at last praise the colonizers of dreams."- P.S. Beagle

    "All that is gold does not glitter, Not all those who wander are lost; The old that is strong does not wither, Deep roots are not reached by the frost. From the ashes a fire shall be woken, A light from the shadows shall spring; Renewed shall be blade that was broken, The crownless again shall be king." - J.R.R. Tolkien

  13. #13
    I totally forgot about the "killer claws". I have to clip my guys' claws regularly or my skin will be shredded with just them climbing, I don't want to know what my hand would look like if they were thrashing around.

    A really good book to read would be Iguanas for Dummies by Melissa Kaplan. It covers everything you need to know.

    And another note regarding iguanas and other animals, they won't hesitate to swat a dog or cat if they feel threatened. Cats will usually take the hint and leave the iguana alone in the future, but some dogs can percieve the tail swat as an invitation for play. And once again, the iggy swatting your dog or cat really isn't a big deal when they're younger and small, but when they get bigger, a tail swat can cause injury to a cat or small dog.

    I would really suggest either getting a hatchling or juvanile iguana so that way you can get used to handling it and it will be easy for you to control. And it won't be a big deal if it bites or swats. By the time it gets big enough to cause injury, it will probably be tame for the most part. A large one that is tame may not remain tame after being moved and you certainly don't want a large one that has never been worked with or handled to try and tame it yourself.
    I'VE BEEN FROSTED!!!

  14. #14
    One of my friends had a dinos - I mean an iguana that she took very good care of. She's a biologist. Last I saw the two of them he weighed more than she did, and she said she was spending more on him than on herself (if she split the rent evenly between them). We've fallen out of contact, but I was really impressed with how, as she learned each new facet of keeping an iguana healthy, she complied with it and just bore the expense. It's that kind of commitment.

  15. #15
    Quote Originally Posted by SunsetRose
    And about my post being harsh, I wouldn't call it harsh, just blunt. Honestly people NEED to do research before getting one and most people dont. I will give them every single troublesome and bad aspect of owning an iguana if that will get them to think twice about wanting one so the poor ig doesn't get stuck in a neglectful home. If you can read something saying that iguanas can be the meanest lizards possible to own before they get tame, they're hard to tame and they're just as demanding as a dog and not be put off by it and are still dedicated to owning one, then that deffinitly makes the experienced iggy people feel better about somebody getting one as their first lizard.
    They do need to know all of the cons of owning an iguana or any pet before they decide on getting one, however they should know the pros too. Iguanas are one of my favorite animals- no doubt my favorite reptile. They can be great pets. If all you only tell someone the bad aspects of owning an iguana they could be missing out on a really special pet that they may really enjoy. The need to know both the pros and cons to make the best decision for their family.

    To me proper care is more than just knowing how to correctly feed him. Spending adequate time with him is also part of properly caring for an animal. Proper care is also knowing how to read your iguana. You can read your iguana just like you can any pet. When a cat arches its back and hisses you know he wants to be left alone. Iguanas give you warnings the same way any other animal will. They will usually stand up, stick their dewlap out and usually close their eyes. As a show of dominance they may bob their head. They will usually give you plenty of warning before whipping or biting. If you ignore the warnings he gives you or if you approach him too quickly in a manner he's uncomfortable with then you may get bit or whipped. They absolutely can be aggressive, but a properly cared for one is much, much less likely to be aggressive than a not properly cared for one.

    Also iguanas recognize familiar sounds- including voices. They are often frightened by new people with new unfamiliar voices. Taking a group of guests to meet your iguana is not usually a good idea. If guests come and want to see him we'll tell them to look but not to get too close. We will ask them to be quite too. If it's just one or two people my husband will usually hold our iguana and if Izzy seems comfortable with them then we'll let them touch him.

    You also have to remember that they are a reptile- not a dog or a cat. They don't desire to be with you all of the time, they need time to themselves too. My iguana has days when he wants to climb up us (though he's a bit too big for that now) and he has days when he prefers to just hang out. You have to respect that.

    They do indeed have sharp claws and they love to climb! Scratches will most likely happen. Clipping them often does help though. Izzy often wants to climb up us, he's too big though so we don't let him. We just pick him up instead.
    - Kari
    skin kids- Nathan, Topher, & Lilla


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