The Iguana Den




Bathing & Potty Training

Regular baths can be very beneficial to your iguana. Bathing is a great way to both hydrate and potty train your iguana.

Depending on the size of your iguana, you can use either the tub or the sink for bathing. The sink is best for young igs because it is smaller and more shallow than the tub. To bathe your ig, begin by filling the tub or sink with some warm water. Do not use soap or other cleansers. The water level should be no higher than your ig's shoulder. Once you have the water ready, place the iguana carefully into the water to soak. A good soak should last about 20-30 minutes. Monitor the water temps to make sure they do not drop too low. If the water starts to cool, let some drain and add some more warm water.

The tub can be a scary thing for many igs at first. The shape and color of many tubs seem to throw off their depth perception. After several baths, most igs become used to it and don't panic as much. Some igs love baths, some learn to tolerate them, and still others are stubborn about hating them. As with many facets of ig care, a lot depends on the individual ig.

For baby igs, you may want to float a washcloth in the tub for them to hang onto, or put a large rock in for them to climb out on. Sometimes with larger igs, starting them in a plastic rubbermaid box in tub with a few inches of water in the box is easier. Some igs even prefer the shower over the tub!

Because water stimulates many reptiles to defecate, tub time is a good way to 'potty train' your iguana. Potty training, like taming and socialization, requires patience and consistency. To potty train your ig, begin by placing them in the tub first thing in the morning, just after their lights go on. Put a few inches of warm water in the tub and place the iguana in it. They then need to stay in the tub until they defecate. Remember to keep an eye on the water temps!

Once they defecate, remove the ig, clean out the tub, and refill with a few inches of clean warm water. Let your ig back in the tub for a good soaking. Most igs catch on to the idea fairly quickly. Once they start using the tub as a potty, you can place a cat litterbox or rubbermaid tub with a few inches of water in it inside the tub and place the iguana in the box in the morning. (Never use kitty litter in an ig box, just water!) Once they get used to this next step, you can move the box into their cage with them. Once they are used to the idea, most igs will use their box consistently, making cage cleaning much less of a chore. Of course, the minute you do something to annoy them, they will break potty training to let you know how mad they are. ;)

Tub training is also a great way to make sure your ig doesn't cause major messes while having free roam time. Tub them before they come out for playtime. If they do not use the tub, they cannot come out to play. Again, most igs catch on pretty quickly! Tubbing is also great for getting fecal samples prior to vet visits!

After tubbing it is a good idea to disinfect the tub with bleach or a veterinary disinfectant such as Nolvasan.



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