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How Much Do Iguanas Cost in 2023?




A brown-orange iguana perched on a small branch inside a see-thru enclosure.

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Iguanas are fascinating creatures that make popular pets among reptile enthusiasts, but how much do iguanas cost to own one in 2023? The answer isn’t as simple as it may seem. In this blog post, we’ll explore the various factors contributing to the cost of owning an iguana, from the initial price of the animal to the ongoing expenses of providing proper care. So buckle up and get ready to embark on an exciting journey into the world of iguanas and their costs!

Short Summary

  • Iguanas can cost anywhere from $300 to over $10,000 depending on the species, age and gender.
  • Essential care costs include housing, feeding and veterinary expenses, which vary in price.
  • Breeding iguanas is challenging but offers potential financial rewards for those willing to take it on.

Iguana Price Factors: A Comprehensive Guide

Zoomed image of a captive iguana

Various factors, including species, age, gender, and rarity, can influence the initial price of an iguana. Some species are more expensive than others due to their unique characteristics and demand. Additionally, younger iguanas typically cost less than their adult counterparts, and males may have a higher price tag due to their larger size and distinct features.

Let’s dive deeper into these factors and see how they affect the overall cost of owning an iguana.

Species and Their Impact on Cost

When it comes to iguana cost, the species plays a significant role. Common species like the green iguana are often more affordable, ranging from $10 to $55. On the other hand, rare or exotic species such as the rhinoceros iguana, also known as the rhino iguana, can have a considerably higher price tag, with costs ranging from $350 to $500. Rhino iguanas are particularly sought-after due to their docile nature and adaptability to training.

Other species with varying costs include the blue iguana, which can range from $80 to $190, and the spiny-tailed iguana, with prices between $250 and $600. As you can see, the cost of an iguana can vary greatly depending on the species, with rarer and more exotic species commanding higher prices due to their unique qualities and limited availability.

Age and Gender Differences in Pricing

The age of an iguana also has an impact on its price. Younger iguanas, like hatchlings or juveniles, are generally less expensive than adult iguanas. Younger iguanas require less care, space, and resources, making them more appealing to first-time iguana owners. For example, a baby iguana’s adoption fee is around $75. However, it’s essential to remember that as your iguana grows, so will its needs and associated costs.

The gender of an iguana can also affect its price, with male iguanas sometimes costing more than females due to their larger size and distinct features. For example, male green iguanas can reach sizes of up to 5-6 feet in length and weigh up to 15 pounds, while females typically grow to 3-4 feet and weigh up to 10 pounds. These differences in size and appearance between male and female iguanas can result in a price variation, with males potentially costing more.

Rarity and Exotic Iguanas

Collectors and enthusiasts highly seek rare and exotic iguanas due to their unique appearance and limited availability. These iguanas can be significantly more expensive than their more common counterparts. For example, a rare multi-colored iguana might cost an astonishing $10,000! If you want to add one of these fascinating creatures to your collection, you might want to start looking for iguanas for sale.

Another example of rare or exotic iguanas, such as the red iguana, is the infant translucent albino scaleless iguana, considered the most expensive iguana species. As you can see, an iguana’s rarity and exotic nature can considerably impact its price, making these unique creatures a significant investment for those who choose to own them.

Purchasing Options for Iguanas

Iguana perched on a branch, displaying its large, beautiful dewlap.

When it comes to purchasing an iguana, you have several options to choose from, including breeders, pet stores, and online shopping. Each option has pros and cons regarding price, quality, and convenience.

Let’s explore each option in more detail to determine the best choice for your iguana purchase.


One option for purchasing an iguana is from a reputable breeder. Breeders often provide healthier iguanas and more accurate information about their care, making this a popular choice for those looking to ensure their new pet has the best possible start in life. However, purchasing from a breeder may be more expensive than other options, as the quality and care provided by breeders are often reflected in the higher price.

When purchasing from a breeder, it’s essential to obtain all relevant documentation and medical certificates for your new pet, especially if you plan to breed iguanas yourself. You can locate iguana breeders by searching for general reptiles or specific iguana breeders in your local area.

Pet Stores

Another option for purchasing an iguana is from a pet store, such as Petco or PetSmart. Pet stores offer convenience and accessibility, making it easy to pick up your new pet and any necessary supplies in one trip. However, pet stores may not provide the healthiest iguanas or the most accurate care information, as their primary focus is often on selling a wide range of animals and products.

If you choose to purchase an iguana from a pet store, it’s essential to carefully observe the animal and its environment before deciding. Look for signs of good health, such as clear eyes, healthy skin, and an active demeanor, and ensure that the store is providing proper care, such as clean enclosures and appropriate food.

Online Shopping

Finally, you might consider purchasing an iguana through an online retailer. Online shopping allows for a wider selection of iguanas and potentially lower prices, as online retailers often have lower overhead costs than brick-and-mortar stores. However, purchasing an iguana online has risks, such as shipping stress and difficulty assessing the animal’s health.

Some online retailers offer a one-week guarantee on their iguanas, ensuring that the animal is in good health upon arrival and providing a replacement at no additional cost if it passes away or becomes ill within seven days. While this can provide some peace of mind, it’s still essential to carefully research any online retailer before purchasing to ensure they have a reputation for providing healthy animals and excellent customer service.

Essential Iguana Care Costs

Young green iguana perched on a branch.

Owning an iguana involves various ongoing expenses, including housing, feeding, and veterinary care, which can add up over time. Let’s examine these essential care costs in more detail to help you better understand the financial commitment involved in owning an iguana.

Housing for a baby iguana, such as a desert iguana, can range from a simple iguana cage to a custom-built enclosure.

Housing Expenses

Providing suitable housing for your iguana can be a significant expense. A proper enclosure can range from $300 to $400, depending on the size and type of enclosure required for your particular iguana species. In addition to the initial cost of the enclosure, there are ongoing costs for electricity to maintain the appropriate temperature, humidity, and lighting.

The monthly cost of electricity for an iguana’s enclosure will depend on the geographical location and the electricity rate. A reasonable estimation would be between $10-20 per month if there is a need for extensive climate control. Remember that these costs may vary depending on your specific situation and the needs of your iguana.

Feeding Costs

Feeding your iguana involves providing a diet of leafy greens, fruits, and vegetables. The cost of nourishing a pet iguana may vary depending on the type of food and the quantity of food required. On average, you can expect to spend around $10 monthly on food for your iguana.

Some examples of foods that are suitable for iguanas include collard greens, kale, and various fruits. A well-balanced diet for your iguana is essential to ensure they receive the necessary nutrients to maintain their health. Be prepared to adjust the amount and type of food you provide as your iguana grows and its dietary needs change.

Veterinary Care

Regular veterinary care is essential for maintaining your iguana’s health and well-being. Routine examinations and preventive care can help detect and address potential health issues before they become more serious. The annual costs for veterinary care for pet iguanas are estimated to be between $200-$300.

However, additional costs may be incurred if your iguana experiences health issues. These costs can vary depending on the severity of the problem and the type of treatment required. Budgeting for potential veterinary expenses is essential when considering the overall cost of owning an iguana.

Additional Iguana Expenses

Large gray iguana resting on top of a container.

In addition to the essential care costs, you may incur several other expenses when owning an iguana. These include toys and enrichment items, carriers for travel, and decorations and accessories for their enclosure.

Let’s explore each of these additional expenses in more detail.

Toys and Enrichment

Toys and enrichment items are essential for stimulating and physically stimulating your iguana. Providing a variety of things, such as climbing structures, hammocks, and other engaging objects, can greatly improve your iguana’s quality of life. The costs of these items can range from $100-$200, depending on the specific toys and enrichment items you choose.

Investing in diverse toys and enrichment items can help ensure your iguana remains physically and mentally healthy. This investment improves your iguana’s overall well-being and helps prevent potential health issues related to a lack of stimulation and activity.

Carriers and Travel

Whether taking your iguana to the vet or traveling with your scaly companion, a carrier must transport your pet safely. Carriers should be secure, adequately ventilated, and of sufficient size to allow for comfortable movement for your iguana. The cost of carriers can vary depending on the size and quality of the carrier, with a wide range of options available to suit your specific needs.

When choosing a carrier, it’s essential to consider your iguana’s size and any specific requirements, such as additional ventilation or space to move around. Investing in a high-quality carrier can help ensure your iguana remains safe and comfortable during travel.

Decorations and Accessories

Decorations and accessories for your iguana’s enclosure can help enhance their environment and overall quality of life. Examples of decorations and accessories include plants, rocks, and other items that provide a naturalistic environment for your iguana. The costs of these items will depend on the specific decorations and accessories you choose.

By providing a well-decorated and accessorized enclosure, you can help recreate your iguana’s natural habitat and ensure they have a comfortable and stimulating environment in which to live. Investing in your iguana’s enclosure improves their quality of life and overall health and well-being.

Iguana Breeding Considerations

Several young green iguanas inside a display case, potentially available for purchase.

Breeding iguanas can be challenging and costly, but it may also provide potential rewards for those willing to invest the time and resources. This section explores the considerations of breeding iguanas, including the challenges, costs, and potential rewards.

The first challenge is the cost of setting up a suitable environment for breeding iguanas.

Breeding Challenges

Breeding iguanas can be difficult due to their specific mating requirements and long gestation periods, with the entire process taking up to six months from start to finish. In addition, female iguanas can lay between 30 to 70 eggs at a time, making proper care for the eggs and the eventual hatchlings a time-consuming and labor-intensive task.

To successfully breed iguanas, it’s essential to consider their age, habitat, temperature requirements, and selection of a suitable breeding partner. This process requires significant time, effort, and dedication, but the rewards can be worth the investment for those willing to take on the challenge.

Breeding Costs

Costs associated with breeding iguanas include purchasing a breeding pair, providing appropriate housing and care, and potential veterinary expenses related to breeding and offspring care. The cost of purchasing a breeding pair of iguanas can vary depending on the type, age, and rarity of the iguana, with prices ranging from around $50 for baby iguanas to potentially $2,500 or more for rare and exotic species.

In addition to the initial cost of purchasing a breeding pair, ongoing housing, care, and veterinary expenses must be considered. These costs can be significant, particularly if any health issues arise during the breeding process or in the care of the offspring.

It’s essential to weigh the potential costs and rewards before embarking on a breeding endeavor.

Potential Rewards

Vibrant young green iguana perched on a log inside its enclosure.

Successful breeding efforts can result in the sale of offspring, potentially offsetting some of the costs associated with breeding and providing a unique opportunity for iguana enthusiasts. In addition to the financial rewards, breeding iguanas can positively impact their gene pool by contributing to a more robust and adaptable population that can better withstand changing environments.

However, it’s essential to remember that breeding iguanas have challenges and costs. Those considering breeding iguanas should be prepared to invest significant time, effort, and resources, focusing on the animals’ well-being. For those willing to take on the challenges, the potential rewards of breeding iguanas can be both financially and personally gratifying.


In conclusion, owning an iguana in 2023 involves various costs, ranging from the initial price of the animal itself to the ongoing expenses of providing proper care. While species, age, gender, and rarity can significantly impact the initial cost, it’s essential to consider the additional fees required for housing, feeding, veterinary care, and other essentials. Whether you’re a first-time iguana owner or a seasoned enthusiast, being well-informed about the costs involved in owning and caring for an iguana will help ensure that you and your scaly companion can enjoy a happy and healthy life together.

Frequently Asked Questions

Is an iguana a good pet?

Iguanas can make wonderful pets when cared for properly. However, it is important to understand that they require substantial care and commitment from their owners. They need specific diets and housing and may become aggressive if not handled regularly.

Iguanas are not the best pet for everyone, but those prepared to meet their needs may be rewarded with a loyal and devoted companion.

Are pet iguanas safe?

Overall, it is not recommended to keep pet iguanas due to the potential dangers involved. While they can be tamed with adequate daily care, they remain powerful creatures, and their tail is strong enough to break a human bone.

Therefore, great care should be taken when handling them, especially when children or other pets are present.

Do iguana bites hurt?

Yes, iguana bites can be quite painful. They have sharp teeth specifically designed to tear apart plants, but they can cause significant discomfort when they latch on.

Fortunately, they warn before biting so that their owners can act accordingly.

How long do iguanas live?

Iguanas can live for 20 years or more when well taken care of. Therefore, with proper care and dedication, your iguana has the potential to stay with you for a long time.

What is the price range for a green iguana?

The cost of a green iguana can range from as little as $10 to up to $55, depending on the size and breed.

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