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Summer   Care   Tips

With summer fast upon us, I would like to address some common problems with herps and summer. Now this is not just for Iguanas, but basically for all reptiles as well as mammalian pets. With summer comes high temperatures and hot sun. Many people think this is perfect weather for reptiles and in a way it is. But there are a few considerations to look at. Everything can get over-heated if left out in the sun for too long and that includes reptiles. If you are looking at using an outdoor tank, please be sure to provide an area that is always out of the direct sunlight. Reptiles thermoregulate and therefore need to escape to a cooler area occasionally. Be sure that the enclosure's sides are not made of glass, Plexiglas, plastic or anything else that is transparent. This can raise the temperature to dangerous levels and can cause death. It is the same as a car that has been in the sun with the windows closed. Move any glass enclosures out of direct sunlight in your home as well to prevent overheating. Be sure, no matter where the cage is that you supply a decent amount of fresh water. Iguanas need water at all times. Check all screens in your home to be sure they are strong and secure before you leave your iguana free roam. I get about 15 or so reports of Iguanas falling out of windows in summer months. Their nails are also capable of tearing through the screening very easily leaving an easy escape. If you choose to use a leash, be sure to work with the iguana for several weeks before taking them outside with it. Take the Ig in an enclosed, quiet area and begin getting them just to wearing it. Iguanas are still basically wild animals and they do not take to restraint well. If you feel you just MUST take Iggy in public, please know the laws in your area as well as consideration for those not comfortable with reptiles. Lastly, above all else the single most important rule of summer is DO NOT LEAVE YOUR IGUANA UNATTENDED ANYWHERE! As I stress regularly, they are wild animals, and therefore the need a bit more attention than domesticated pets.

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