What Is The Monthly Costs For Keeping An Iguana? $500 Or Less?

Nowadays, iguanas are growing rapidly in popularity, and they are now regarded among the most beloved reptiles you can keep as a pet. They have a fun and interesting personality with a dinosaur-like appearance which makes them attractive. However, they can be quite demanding when it comes to caring for them. So, as a beginner, you may want to know “what is the monthly costs for keeping an iguana?”

Let’s find out together in this article!

You may be wondering just how much iguanas cost before you decide to get them as a pet. Knowing the cost of keeping an iguana is important for a first-time keeper as it helps to determine if you are financially ready to help avoid any unexpected cost.

In this article, we will highlight everything that you need to know about the cost of keeping an iguana, from how much they cost to the monthly cost of keeping them.

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Cute Reptiles as Pets

What Is The Monthly Costs For Keeping An Iguana? Iguanas One-Time Expenses

Iguanas are herbivorous reptiles that originate from Central and South America. They are becoming more popular as pets due to their stunning dinosaur-like appearance, which attracts many hobbyists. 

Furthermore, their popularity has to do with the dinomania phenomenon after the Jurassic Park movie was released.

When choosing an iguana as a pet, you will need to first choose between adopting or buying them from a breeder. It is usually cheaper when you are buying than when adopting an iguana. You can either buy your iguana from a breeder, pet store, or online.

However, it is best for beginner hobbyists to buy iguana from a reputable breeder as the prices are usually cheaper. Furthermore, you will have the opportunity to ask a question about caring for them and decide whether they are healthy before buying them.

Two healthy Iguanas
Two healthy Iguanas

The price of iguana usually depends on lots of things; some of them are stated below.

  • Age: The cost of a baby iguana is usually cheaper when compared to adult iguanas.
  • Breed: There are several species of iguanas such as the green iguana, blue iguana, red iguana, desert iguana, rhinoceros iguana, spiny-tailed iguana, etc. However, their prices usually differ from one species to another.
  • Sources: There is a wide range of places where you can buy iguanas, such as breeders, pet stores, etc. Each source usually sells their pets at different prices according to the cost of maintenance of the pet when it is under their care.
  • Location: the price of an iguana is usually affected by the location of the pet stores. This is because most pet stores do not allow online shopping, and breeders will charge you a different price if you are not from the same area.

The average cost of getting an iguana usually ranges from $19.99 to $599 based on the breed and gender. You can get a green iguana from $25-$40. The price of desert iguana is between $50-$80.

The cost of Yucatan spiny-tailed iguana is around $180-$230, while you can buy black spiny-tailed iguana for around $150-$200.

Monthly Costs For Keeping An Iguana

You may be surprised to find out that iguanas are not cheap pets, and you need a lot of money to house and care for them properly. You will need to pay for correct caging, lighting, diet, supplement, vets, and lots more. These things can add up pretty quickly if you are to think about it.

In the section below, we will highlight some of the monthly costs that you need to consider when keeping an iguana.

Cost Of Housing/Cage

The cost of the cage that you can keep your iguana usually depends on whether you will build it yourself, want a custom-made cage, or buy one. However, you should keep in mind that cages used for housing iguanas can be very expensive, especially the big cages.

You can keep baby and young iguanas that are about 18 inches in length in a 20-gallon long aquarium. However, you will need a lot more space for adult iguanas. Furthermore, iguanas are tree-dwelling creatures, and they will need vertical space for climbing.

The cost of an iguana cage can range from $150-$1000 based on your taste and the size of your iguana.

monthly costs for keeping an iguana
Iguanas are tree-dwelling lizards, hence, they need some branches in their cage.

Note: the housing costs cannot be considered as a monthly cost, but it requires changes. This means it cannot be considered as a once-in-a-lifetime expense.

Cost Of Habitat (Temperature, Humidity, And Amount Of Light)

Unlike conventional pets like cats and dogs that can easily adapt to the human environment, you will need to create an environment that will mimic your iguana’s natural habitat.

For instance, iguanas need sunshine to grow and stay healthy, and since you are keeping them indoors, you will need to provide them with a UVB light source. 

UVB light bulbs usually cost between $29 and $300 based on the type of bulb you want, and you will need to change it every six months to help preserve the temperature level.

You will also need to provide a heated rock that can cost around $20 and the electric cost of using these accessories. You will also need to fit an iguana’s cage with wood pieces, a hiding box, foliage, and other accessories to help keep your iguana entertained.

You can get these accessories from $8 to $40.

Cost Of Feeding

Iguanas are herbivorous lizards which means the cost of feeding them is not that costly. Iguanas can eat dark leafy greens, vegetables, and fruits once they are used to staying in a cage. However, you will need to feed them with dark leafy greens in higher quantities than vegetables and fruits.

The daily cost of feeding iguanas usually ranges from $1 to $50 based on how much food you are buying. You can also save more money if you buy their food wholesale than buying daily.

Iguanas reading
Iguanas reading

Cost Of Veterinary Care

This is another cost that you need to put into consideration when it comes to keeping an iguana. However, this is going to depend on the way you care for your iguana’s health and your luck. 

The cost of vet care will not be costly if your iguana rarely gets sick but can add up pretty quickly if something is wrong with your iguana.

For instance, you may need to pay more than $3000 if your iguana has an infection and needs vet care urgently. However, you can budget about $200-$300 per year as vet cost per iguana.

Miscellaneous Costs (Toys, Decorations, Carriers, Etc)

You will need to provide your iguanas with some toys to help prevent them from getting bored. Furthermore, you will also need to provide food dishes, a water bowl, and other accessories to keep them happy.

One of the best things you can buy is a small pool where your iguanas can swim as a natural swimmer. They will also use the pool to cool down in hot summers. A small pool can cost about $25 to $40.

You will also need to provide a feeding bowl and water bowl, costing up to $25 and $10, respectively. You will also need a carrier for cases where you need to take your iguana somewhere, and this will cost about $30 – $40.

You can budget around $100-$200 as the total miscellaneous cost for raising an iguana.

Ideal way to setup an iguana habitat [bear Arms Tactical]

Complete Cost

In this section, we will help break down the complete cost of owning a pet iguana.

We will first calculate the upfront cost and then the cost of keeping an iguana every month.

The upfront cost of owning an iguana

Iguana: $10-$600

Cage: $150-$1000

Miscellaneous cost: $200

This shows that the total upfront cost of owning an iguana is $360 on the cheap and $1800 on the expensive end. There is a great difference between them, and this is because some species of iguanas are more costly than others.

Furthermore, you can use different types of enclosures to keep your iguana, and you can easily choose how much you want to spend.

The monthly cost of maintaining an iguana

Food: $10-50 a month

Vet costs: $20 a month

Electricity: $10-20 a month

This shows the monthly cost for keeping an iguana is about $40-$90 based on how much you want to spend on heating their cage.

Fun Facts

Now that you know the basic idea of how much you will have to spend before you can buy an iguana. Let’s talk about some fun facts about iguanas.

Iguanas Can Be Potty Trained.

Iguanas are regarded as clever animals, and with time and effort, you can train them to pee or poop anywhere you want.

Iguanas Acclimatize After A Couple Of Months.

Once you get an iguana, you should first allow it to acclimatize to the new environment before you try to make it do anything. However, it can take them a couple of months before they acclimatize to their owners and new environment.

You Cannot House 2 Male Iguanas Together.

Male iguanas are quite territorial and tend to fight and hurt each other. It is best to keep two male iguanas far away from each other.

Green Iguanas Are Not Suitable For Beginner Hobbyists

Although iguanas have mild temperaments, they are not suitable for beginner hobbyists. This is because they need continuous attention and care. However, newbies do not have enough training to help care for it properly.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

How much does an iguana cage cost?

The cost of an iguana cage usually ranges from $150-$1000 based on the size and your preferences.

How much space does an iguana need?

Baby and juvenile iguanas that are not up to 18 inches in length can be kept in a 20-gallon long aquarium. However, they will need a bigger cage once they grow past 18 inches because they need a lot of space to roam around. You can then go for a cage about twice as long as the iguana and have vertical space.

Do iguanas bite?

Yes, iguanas can bite people but only in self-defense. They have sharp teeth used for tearing plants and can be quite painful to humans as well. However, they usually give a warning sign before they bite. They usually give warning signs by standing on their leg, leaning forward, and bobbing their head.

Are iguanas expensive to keep?

Iguanas are considered an expensive reptile to keep as a pet. You will need a lot of money to properly house and care for them, which can rise to about $1000 per year. However, this can be less depending on the number of times you visit a vet.

Wrapping Up

Iguanas are regarded as an expensive reptile as the cost of getting and housing them can add up pretty quickly. We hope that this article will provide you everything you need to know about the cost of buying and rearing an iguana.