Iguana Cage Substrate: The Facts

Iguana cage substrate is not only the material your pet iguana will deal with on a daily basis, it is the material that can make the difference between a safe and happy pet iguana and a pet iguana who faces danger and discomfort. Read on to discover the facts on the most popular types of iguana cage substrates, so that you can make an educated decision about what kind of cage substrate is right for your pet and for you. With variables like availability, cost, ease of maintenance, and appearance to consider, the more you know about cage substrate the better the chance you’ll make the best choice for you and for your beloved pet iguana.

Iguana Cage Substrate And Toxins
When choosing an iguana cage substrate, your first priority should be to make sure that it’s entirely free of toxins. A curious iguana is likely to lick and may even attempt to ingest the cage substrate that surrounds them, so be sure it’s safe for your iguana to take a bite out of his or her environment. A paper cage substrate like newspaper or paper towels can be safe, so long as it is printed with exclusively non-toxic ink. For confirmation about the toxin levels of your iguana cage substrate choices, if you’re not using a commercially produced cage substrate guaranteed to be toxin free, be sure to research how the material you’re using is made, and what it contains. Also remember that any kind of adhesive, like glue or sealant, that you may use to secure your iguana cage substrate to the floor of the environment must be non-toxic. Anything that goes into your iguana cage goes into your iguana, whether it is ingested orally or by airborne particles, so make a toxin-free environment your top consideration when choosing a substrate.

Iguana Cage Substrate And Threads
Many iguana owners choose carpet or fabric scraps or remnants to line their iguana cages. As long as the textile is free of toxic dyes, this can be an excellent choice as an iguana cage substrate, as scraps and remnants are plentiful, affordable, attractive, and require very little maintenance. However, there is one potential hazard with a textile cage substrate: hanging threads. Be sure that the edges of your scraps are finished with tape for a smooth edge that won’t unravel, and clip away every single loose thread before you put your carpet or fabric into the iguana cage. If there are threads dangling off the substrate, they can wind their way around your pet iguana’s long, fragile toes, cutting off circulation and causing your pet iguana stress, pain, and potential long-term damage to feet and claws. Even if you’ve carefully tended the edges of your fabric cage substrate, covering them in tape to ensure there aren’t any visible hanging threads, check your iguana’s feet regularly in case your pet has dug up a stray thread or two.

Iguana Cage Substrate And Impaction
Avoid using any particulate matter as your iguana cage substrate, including sand, dirt, wood chips, or cat litter. Although these kinds of cage substrates may seem intuitively like safe choices for your pet iguana because they are natural, or because they are safe for other animals of similar size, they can actually be extremely dangerous for an iguana. Your pet iguana will explore cage substrate eagerly with his or her tounge, and anything that sticks will likely make its way into your iguana’s stomach and digestive tract. If the ingested particle can’t be fully digested, it can cause a painful and harmful bowel impaction that will demand an expensive trip to the vet for extensive surgery. To protect your pet iguana, choose an iguana page substrate like paper that will dissolve in your pet’s stomach if it does become eaten, or choose an iguana page substrate that can’t be eaten at all, like carpet. Some particulate cage substrates are controversial, especially corn cob and walnut shell cage substrates, which many pet care professionals feel are safe for iguanas. However, with so many cage substrates to choose from that are unquestionably safe, you may not want to risk introducing even these particulate materials into your pet iguana’s cage.

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