My Iguana…her name is Cosmo

January 29, 2008 at 9:56 pm 14 comments


I know…Cosmo is a masculine name…but we named her long before we knew she was a female. She’s been a good pet…she’s never bitten me, nor whipped me with her tail. She likes me 🙂

If you’re thinking about getting an iguana, give it some serious thought…they really are high maintenance. They require a special diet, which consists of a 2:1 ratio of calcium to phospherous fruits and vegetables….they require ultraviolet rays and Vitamin D for proper metabolic bone growth. They also need to be very warm…all the time. This requires heat lamps,,,and special tube lights which are expensive. Improper care results in a painful existence for the poor creature.

We’ve had our girl for a little over eleven years now. My son brought her home…told me he was going to take care of her for a friend while this friend was on vacation. After about a week, I googled ig’s on the internet, and came across a site run by a woman of the name of Melissa Kaplan. I’ve been following her advice…and things have gone swell. Oh…the girl my son was watching the ig for? She gave up all parental rights when I discovered that green iguanas require more than just romaine lettuce to survive!

You may have noticed that Cosmo doesn’t have a tail. Poor baby fell in her cage…broke her tail…it got infected…and the reptile vet had no choice but to amputate. It never grew back.

In my prior post, I mentioned that I had to make her vegetables.


The bowl on the left consists of chopped up collards with a large tablespoon of vegetable mix from the bowl on the right. It is also Cosmo’s dinner. The bowl on the right is chopped up green beans, acorn squash, alfalfa pellets, a few orca pods, some mustard greens, and several California mission figs…all chopped up in the food processor. I prepare the vege mix, put it in freezer bags…freeze it…and thaw one at a time…as needed. I mix greens with the vege mix…and that’s what she eats every day. Spinach is a no no….Collards, and Dandelion greens is what she likes best. No crickets…ewwwww.

As soon as the weather gets warm, I take Cosmo outside so she can get some rays…like I said, it’s good for her. She needs it to stay healthy. We usually put some warm water in a kiddie pool…where she sometimes poops. During the winter, she poops in our bathtub. Because Igs can carry salmonellae…we use bleach and water when cleaning up after her. Like I said, high maintenance.


This past October…we experienced an exceptionally warm day. I decided to take her out front for a walk. I always put her on a leash (it’s actually a rabbit or a ferret leash…I guess it doesn’t pay to advertise them as iguana leashes)…haha…don’t laugh. Anyway,,, whenever I take her outside to our front lawn,,, I get some strange looks from people passing by in their cars. One man stopped on this particular day…rolled down his window, and asked me what the heck I had on the leash. My reply, “It’s my dog…dressed up as a lizard for Halloween”. He drove away laughing and shaking his head. By the way, lizard poop makes great fertilizer 🙂

Of course I’ve done a scrapbook page on our Cosmo…and here it is


She’s such a good girl.


Entry filed under: Pets. Tags: , , , , , , , , , .

Ahhh…it’s the weekend RAK for Me!

14 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Zuleika Torres  |  June 12, 2008 at 9:32 pm

    WOW she is beutiful i have an iguana just like her but mine is smaller . i would love for you to talk to me @ my email adress so we can chat about our iggys.LOL anyways i would love to chat with you asap thanks

    ps how old is your iggy?

  • 2. Ida  |  June 23, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Cosmo is lovely! I had a rabbit once which I named Cosmo, only to find out that it was girl as well!

    My female iguana is named Esmerelda and I have a blog on my site dedicated to her. I found this blog of yours doing a google image search for iguana cages. I intend to build or buy a nice roomy cage for her this summer. I got her in March and she is growing all the time. Such a wonder! I can’t wait until she is big though.

    This is a good source of info. They are a big pet that need extra special care. Cosmo is lucky she came into yours. 🙂

    Love the pics.

  • 3. Marcelino  |  February 19, 2009 at 7:04 pm

    what else can you feed your iguana

  • 4. retta519  |  February 19, 2009 at 7:30 pm

    GOOD choices: Collard greens, dandelion greens, green beans, turnip greens, rapini, escarole, green peppers, snow peas, leeks, okra, parsnips, prickly pears, figs, raspberries. A variety. Make sure you chop up the veges really fine….IGUANAS DON’T CHEW their food…THEY JUST SWALLOW IT. You don’t want your iguana to choke to death! I rip the leaves up..they end up about the size of her head…if not smaller.

    NO NO NO’s include: spinach, rhubarb, beets, broccholi, cauliflower, rutabega, kale, swisschard, cabbage, bok choi, celery, beet greens..BAD…BAD….BAD

    Green Iguanas are vegetarians…so they don’t eat meat or bugs. I also mix/chop iguana pellets in with her vege mix.

  • 5. Iguana Care  |  May 6, 2009 at 10:00 am

    Hi, interesting post. I have been wondering about this topic,so thanks for blogging. I will probably be subscribing to your site. Keep up great writing

  • 6. Paige Hammond  |  August 1, 2012 at 12:13 am

    Why is spinich a no no?? We were given an iguana a few months ago and that is the main thing I have been feeding her because that’s what they said she liked. I also feed her cole slaw mix and grapes, blueberries, and bananas.

  • 7. Paige Hammond  |  August 1, 2012 at 12:22 am

    I just noticed someone put cabbage on the no no list – which is the other main thing (cole slaw mix) we feed our 4 foot iguana.

  • 8. retta519  |  August 1, 2012 at 1:07 am
    Paige…How long have you had your iguana? I was always told that they have specific dietary needs…and too much spinach is not good….too much calcium, I guess. It’s okay to give them spinach…just not alot of it. Go to the link I posted up above….it gives excellent advice. There’s a basic salad you can make….I used to make a batch, and split it up and freeze it in freezer bags…taking one bag out a week…and add the basic salad to broken up leaves of escarole, and collards. Iguanas can get a painful metabolic bone disease if not properly fed, and given proper UV rays…which helps in their digestion. Go to the link…it’ll explain a lot.

  • 9. retta519  |  August 1, 2012 at 1:10 am

    You don’t have to answer…I just saw that you were given the ig a couple of months ago. Igs need proper heat and lights too…to keep them from getting sick. Please..please do some research. And if I can answer any questions you have, I’d be happy to.

  • 10. Paige Hammond  |  August 3, 2012 at 9:13 pm

    Thanks for your help. Yes, we have only had her since the end of May and she is about a 4 ft. female. I have a reptile light on her all day, but I understand she needs heat at night too, so I need to get to a pet store and get some more stuff. Thanks again.

  • 11. retta519  |  August 3, 2012 at 9:30 pm

    My pleasure. Yeah…I used to buy the ceramic heater bulbs for nighttime and put it on top of her cage. Careful she doesn’t get burnt. I’d actually had the lights and ceramic heater on all day and night…but turn the lights off at night. I also had a ceramic bathroom heater in the room set at about 80 degrees. I have central air, so I’d close off the vents in the room, and close the bedroom door. We’d put a birthing type box in her cage during breeding season…she’d dig, but she never laid any eggs. The vet said they were re-absorbed.

  • 12. Theresa  |  February 21, 2013 at 12:00 pm

    My iguana eats cat food when I leave him out . Is that bad for him ? he’s growing like a weed lol

  • 13. retta519  |  February 21, 2013 at 2:51 pm

    I wouldn’t think that cat food is good for an iguana. Please feed your iguana a proper diet…a variety of fruits and vegetables. Please download and refer to this .pdf file by Melissa Kaplan. She knows what she’s talking about….unlike the guy at the pet store who says that all iguanas only need those little pellets.

  • 14.  |  May 4, 2013 at 6:48 am

    Therefore, make sure you set the system up correctly.
    For each egg in the ootheca, there is a compartment-like space.
    The amount of time it will take to go from liquid food to solid food will depend on the
    condition of the iguana.

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