The Iguana Den




HotRocks - Just Say NO!

HotRocks and similar products are one of the biggest dangers to iguanas in captivity. These items are most often sold to new, inexperienced herp owners by the staff at pet stores. They are often marketed as a 'Must Have' for new owners. They are widely available, relatively inexpensive, and many even state on the label that they are perfect for iguanas.

Unfortunately, as in a lot of reptile merchandise, the label lies. HotRocks are notorious for overheating or developing hotspots without any warning. Even the newer models with thermostats STILL overheat and burn reptiles. The most common cause of burns in iguanas is the dreaded hotrock. Iguanas have very poor pain receptors in their bellies. They literally do not know when they are overheating on a hotrock. They are arboreal creatures, designed to get their heat from above. An iguana on a malfunctioning hotrock can literally cook itself to death.

There are many, much safer ways, to provide supplemental heat. Ceramic heat emitters are one, and human heating pads set on low are another. If you already have a hotrock, you can still use it...simply cut off the cord and you have a lovely cage decoration!

We often hear people ask why they sell them in pet stores if they are so dangerous. The reason is simple. Because people still buy them! There are no regulations on the herp product industry, no safety regulations such as human products must meet. It all boils down to the almighty long as people buy them, they will keep selling them.

HotRock Burn on Iguana
(Click for full sized photo)



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