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Caring For Iguanas During Summer and Winter

Inuanas Summer Winter

Iguanas do not handle temperatures that are too hot or too cold.  They are very sensitive to variations in temperature.  Iguanas can only stay healthy if they have a constant temperature.  If they don’t, they will face serious health issues.

Iguana care during Winter

Iguanas don’t like cold.  During the winter in Florida, iguanas are seen frozen and dropping out of trees.  They become helpless and are unable to move their body.  The outdoor climate cannot affect your iguana if they are placed inside your home, so it’s best to keep your pet iguana indoors.

How cold is too cold for Iguanas?

Iguanas are cold-blooded reptiles, so they can’t tolerate cold weather.  When the surrounding temperature reaches 45 degrees Fahrenheit or lower, they are too cold.  Their body will gradually become inactive.

Cold Iguana

How to protect pet Iguanas from the cold

If your pet’s iguana gets too cold, it can end up sick.  To avoid this, you need to provide them with the following assets:

  • Constant heat
  • A basking spot – iguanas can sit under the basking spot to warm up.  It should be about 120 degrees Fahrenheit in this spot.
  • UVB lights

Provide a temperature of 80 to 88 degrees Fahrenheit during the day and 75-80 degrees overnight.  Temperatures should be even warmer for youngsters.

How do you keep your Iguana warm during cold nights?

Iguanas can’t handle cold nights, so you need to use a ceramic infrared heat-emitting light bulb to heat their enclosure.  These bulbs produce heat but not light.  Be careful not to use heating rocks as they may burn your pet iguana’s skin while they are lying under them.

Iguanas need 14 hours of light and 10 hours of dark.  UVB lights and heat-emitting lights should be turned off overnight to maintain the iguana’s normal dark-light cycle.

Can Iguanas freeze?

Yes!  Iguanas can freeze because they can’t maintain their own body temperature as cold-blooded animals.  If you don’t keep them warm, they can freeze at temperatures below 32 degrees Fahrenheit.

Iguanas can only tolerate their body being frozen for 40 to 100 days (depending on the species).  If they are frozen for too long, they will die.

Frozen Iguana

Why do Iguanas fall from tree branches when they are frozen?

When your pet iguana freezes, its blood flows very slowly, so their body stiffens, and they lose their grip on branches. This is why iguanas fall from trees after they freeze and appear dead.

How do you bring your Iguana back after they have frozen?

Your iguana will stop breathing when they are frozen.  You need to pour warm water on your pet.  Don’t pour hot water on them as it will shock them.  Just like warming up frostbite, you should gradually increase your iguana’s temperature.  They should soak in warm water for 15 to 20 minutes.

Once your iguana is warmed, it will start to move its legs, start breathing, and open its eyes.  Then wipe your pet’s iguana and place him at room temperature in his cage.

You can also take your iguana to the basking spot and let them stay for 15 to 20 minutes.

Frozen Iguana Warming

Humidity during winter

Humidity is low during winter compared to summer.  You will need to mist your iguana with water several times per week.  Some iguanas like to dip themselves in water, so for them, you will need to provide a container full of water.  Make sure you clean the container regularly.

Iguana care during summer

Too much heat is also not good for iguanas as they are sensitive to hot temperatures.  They can feel a burning sensation when exposed to too much heat, so you have to protect your pet’s iguana in summer as well.

Do iguanas like sunlight?

Yes!  They like to bask under the sunlight.  Instead of providing artificial UVB lights, it’s healthier to take them outside to sunlight where they can get natural UVB light.  UVB light helps iguanas produce vitamin D, but you will need to move them to a cooler place if they get too hot in the sun.

Iguana Summer

Do Iguanas sweat?

No, iguanas don’t sweat.  They do not excrete salt through their skin, but they can excrete salt through sneezing.

How hot is too hot for Iguanas?

Iguanas can handle temperatures up to 80 to 110 degrees Fahrenheit.  If it rises above this, they may not tolerate it.

Signs of overheating in iguanas:

  • Panting
  • Open mouth
  • Feeling hot to the touch
Iguanas Summer

How to protect iguanas from high-temperature sunlight

  • If you find your pet’s iguana is overheated, take them to a cooler place.  Make sure it’s not too cold and don’t put them in cold water.  If you are feeling too hot outside, the iguana will feel hotter than you.
  • Mist them with lukewarm water.  Once they’ve cooled down, bath them with lukewarm water.
  • Keep them hydrated
  • Sunlight is good for iguanas because it provides UVB light.  When the temperature is around 70 degrees, place your iguana outside with a secure screen and locking door.  Provide them shade and a place to hide in their enclosure.
  • Check the enclosure’s temperature regularly.

What cages are bad for Iguanas during the summer?

Glass cages!  Glass captures heat and raises the temperature inside the cage.  Your pet iguana can get burns from being in a glass cage during the summer.  They also don’t get fresh air in a glass cage, so it’s best to use a mesh cage or screen cage in the summertime.

Final thoughts

Iguanas are sensitive to temperature changes, and you need to monitor them.  They cannot handle temperatures that are too hot or too cold.  Fluctuations in temperature will affect your iguana’s health and can result in their death.  As their guardian, you have to closely maintain and monitor your pet’s environmental temperatures and take respective precautions.