If you are toying with the idea of buying an Iguana (Click here for my best Iguana guide & see the price on Amazon) its critical to get an idea of costings before you commit. Let me help you now.
how much do pet iguanas cost? You can expect to pay anything from as low as $15, right up to $600 for an Iguana (this is just for the lizard itself). But, understand there many different types. Also, you have to mindful that there are various other related costs, such as one-off costs for their housing, etc. And, ongoing maintenance costs.
Now you know the actual cost of an Iguana, let me break down the factors that affect their varying valuation and the related costs that you also need to consider.
Why do their costs vary so much?
If you are looking forward to picking up a Pet Iguana it is good to get a range of costs, to help you understand the cost. Therefore in this section, we will look at some costings.
Firstly, Iguanas have a big range of prices. Why? There are many different types. Also, beyond that factor, there is age, condition, etc.
However, as a general rule of thumb, you can expect to pay anything from $15 to $600+ (for the actual Iguana itself). I know, the range is massive. But, this is reality.
What Fixed Costs Do Iguanas Have?
The initial cost of owning an Iguana is one thing, but there are also other related fixed costs to factor in. As well as ongoing maintenance costs (more on these later). For this section, I will focus on the fixed costs that you will need to consider.
Here are some of the fixed costs you can expect:
- The enclosure, to house your lizard.
- License fees (Applicable in some states in the US).
- Shipping costs (to get your lizard delivered to you).
- Enclosure accessories (This varies).
- Lighting Costs
- Environmental control (e.g. Humidifiers).
This is an idea of each one. Be mindful, depending on how extravagant you wish to be, this list could be longer, are you with me?
Let me break down some of these costs now, to give you an idea…
The Enclosure Costs
The enclosure is critical, and one of those fixed costs that can’t be avoided. Initially, depending on which Iguana you have, you can start with a smaller enclosure of approx 20 gallons.
License fees may or may not be applicable in your location. But, if they are applicable you need to check with your local authorities to verify their latest license fee prices.
However, make sure you check with them and don’t think about going ahead without a license. Why? Because in some locations, for example, Hawaii, they can be very strict. In fact, you can receive substantial fines (in the hundreds of thousands) and prosecuted.
The cost of shipping is mainly linked to the housing/enclosure I mentioned earlier. This depends on what enclosure you select and materials, etc (Click here for a range of costs and enclosures on Amazon).
There is a range of accessories you can use for your Iguana. Such as a lizard lounger for your lizard to relax on, decor (Such as plants), Substrate, etc.
Again, this largely depends on your personal choice and budget. Prices for these change on a regular basis, hence the reason why it’s better to visit the link above and get the latest prices.
Lighting can be broken down into fixed and maintenance. Why? Because the actual initial kit, such as light fixtures are one-off. However, there are ongoing costs, such as replacing the bulbs.
What Maintenace costs are associated with Iguanas?
In this section, I will break down the ongoing costs (Maintenance costs). To be honest, these are more costly in my opinion. They do not seem so on the surface. But, you know, $1 here, $5 there, it all adds up to a large long term cost…
So, in my opinion, it’s better to get these under control as much as possible. Let me break down some typical maintenance costs you can expect:
Food & Water
Fortunately for you, Iguanas are not too costly in this department. Why? Because they are herbivores. Meaning, they expect to eat fruit and veg on a daily basis.
Obviously, this is significantly cheaper than providing live insects or other small animals that other lizard, such as the Tegu lizards (Click here to see how often and what Tegu’ss eat).
To put their grocery costs into perspective, you could easily get away with as low as a couple of dollars a day, or up to say, forty dollars. Give or take a few dollars. For other countries, you can convert this into your local currency. But, either way, it is regarded as a low cost.
As discussed earlier, the initial purchase of light fittings is a one-off. But there ongoing costs for the bulbs. For example, they need UVB bulbs. These need to be replaced at least every 6 months or so (Click here to see a range of UVB bulb costs on Amazon).
Iguanas are not great at mixing. So, you need to make sure that they have fun and keep stimulated on their own. Therefore, in my opinion, toys are critical.
The great thing is, they are not too picky, and these toys or activities do not need to be too much. They prefer toys that are soft, so have that in mind.
Unfortunately, from time to time your lizard will need some assistance. Hopefully, this will not be a regular occurrence. But if or when it happens you could be looking at a cost in the region of $100 (give or take $20 or $30 dollars). And also, this is a rough guide, because the more serious it is, the greater the costs.
As a general rule, look out for obvious symptoms ahead of time, to help reduce the costs. What? Well, if you notice some blood in the enclosure, for example, don’t just clean it up and move on, it could be something serious brewing, you with me?
Personally, I would jump on the issue right away, even if its a precaution. Take your lizard in for a check as soon as possible. The reason is, if you can get it sorted before it develops, it will be cheaper and less painful for your lizard in the meantime.
Are there any potential “Hidden Costs”?
I would be lying if I said this is the entire list of possible costs. Treat this as a guide of the main things. However, there are some costs that you could never expect. Such as being told such as an increase in rent!
Well, for example, Iguanas are not loved by everyone. Especially other homeowners. Therefore you may find that you could be charged more rent to keep the Iguana. Or, in some cases refused to stay in some places. Meaning, you will need to seek other, potentially more expensive accommodation.
This is just one example to consider.
Is it easy to rehouse an Iguana?
If you are the type of person that likes regular changes, such as moving home every 2-3 years, etc. Then, I need to explain why having an Iguana may not be ideal for you…
Earlier I explained that you encounter higher costs, due to the perceived inconvenience of having an Iguana in the house. Well, another thing to consider is the commitment you need to make.
Iguanas will get big and unfortunately, sometimes they get aggressive. On top of this, you will find that they are not easy to give away. Not even zoos will take them in some cases.
Therefore, if you are not committed and feel this is a short term fad, then this one is not for you.