Are Iguanas Dangerous

Iguanas are big lizards that may grow to be 5 feet long and up to 17 pounds in weight. Because they are readily available and marketed in pet stores, these reptiles have become popular pets. However, because they are exotic reptiles, only those with the necessary skills and training should keep them.

Many people are unsure if these animals are hazardous because they may get so big. Any time you maintain an animal as a pet, safety precautions should be taken to protect both you and the animal. Iguanas are also affected by this. They may pose a threat to people, but only under specific conditions. These lizards can become deadly if they receive improper care or treatment.

The iguana’s temperament varies from person to person. When maintained as pets, some grow fairly docile, while others never truly warm up to people. Understanding your iguana’s personality, body language, and likes and dislikes will help your lizard remain satisfied and, as a result, prevent it from being hazardous to you. The degree to which your iguana is harmful depends on how well you treat it.

It is difficult to ensure that an iguana won’t hurt you or another person. As long as you keep this reptile, there is a constant possibility of it occurring. Although they are rare, unprovoked bites can nonetheless occur.

Do Iguanas Have Teeth?

Iguanas do have teeth, despite the fact that you’ve probably never been near enough to one to see them. They have a ton of them, in fact. They are born with fully developed teeth that are equipped to rip through dense plant growth right away! They may also shred apart insects and other animal things with their teeth if they are one of the more uncommon omnivore species.

The mouth of an iguana has four equal quadrants. There are between 20 and 30 teeth in each quadrant. All the while, those teeth are developing, wearing down, and getting replaced by new ones. A single iguana has between 80 and 120 diamond-shaped teeth in its mouth. These teeth are tiny, transparent, and acute. They resemble a serrated edge, something like the steak knife’s “tooth.”

We’ll next go deeper into the intricacies of how reptile teeth are built and discuss the special category that iguana teeth belong to. Additionally, we’ll discover more about how these teeth are replaced throughout time and why they are ideal for an iguana’s diet and way of life.

Are Iguanas Venomous?

When pondering whether a reptile is harmful, many people first consider if it is poisonous.

Iguanas are among the poisonous reptiles, however they are not very threatening. Both their upper and lower jaws are equipped with venom glands. This venom is discharged into their victim when they bite. However, it is weak and non-toxic to people. They can still bite you and hurt you rather badly.

How Iguanas Can Be Dangerous?

Iguanas are large reptiles that, as everyone is aware, have a number of lethal defense systems, including powerful jaws. Their bites may be extremely damaging and result in severe damage. In addition, they could scratch, whip their tail, and perhaps infect people with Salmonella germs.


Even while iguanas don’t often bite, they will if they sense danger.

Iguanas naturally prefer to run away from danger rather than engage in combat. Of However, running away isn’t always an option, and an iguana could believe that biting is their last chance to get away.

It’s crucial to keep in mind that as an owner, you should never corner your iguana or give it a “reason to bite.”

Biting is quite uncommon and won’t happen if they are properly handled.

You must keep in mind that if a bite does happen, it will probably be quite painful.

Iguanas can rip, shred, and break down diverse plant materials with the use of their strong, serrated teeth.

They must break down the many strong fibers in their food since they are vegetarians.

As you might expect, the skin may sustain serious harm from these pointed teeth.

Even if you have had a pet iguana for many years and have earned their confidence, you must always be on guard.

Although the idea of being bit might be terrifying, keep in mind that it seldom happens.

However, even the most placid iguanas have been known to bite when provoked, so it is advisable to be aware of this and take precautions to avoid doing so.


Iguanas are renowned for having pointed claws that are helpful for climbing. They utilize these claws for climbing, but they also use them to defend themselves from danger.

They can seriously harm both people and animals, and believe me, they are not scared to use them. In addition, when they strike, their claws may quickly contaminate an open wound with germs.

Tail Whip

Iguanas will utilize their tail as their final line of defense. Iguanas may reach heights of 5-7 feet on average, of which their tails can account for 2-3 feet. Iguanas are a sizeable kind of reptile.

Iguanas frequently whip their long tails, and they are capable of whipping very hard (the breaking of human bones has even been reported).

As you’ve undoubtedly figured by this point, whipping doesn’t happen randomly. Once more, it’s always an effort to get away from a bad circumstance.

If they don’t have the natural ability to bite or scratch you, they could feel the urge to whip their tail at you if they feel threatened.


You can see, smell, or taste salmonella, a form of bacterium. Diarrhea, an upset stomach, a fever, and stomach discomfort or cramping are possible side effects.

Young children, the elderly, and those with weakened immune systems are most vulnerable to the dangers of salmonella. Iguanas may carry these germs on their skin, which is frightening.

Salmonella may be spread by iguanas everywhere they go. Nevertheless, you are still permitted to touch and converse with your iguana. Just be careful to properly cleanse the area of your body that came into contact with the iguana.

You must presume that all iguanas have Salmonella on them, even if not all of them do. Don’t kiss them or let them get close to your face.

The Reasons Behind Aggressive Iguana Behavior

Iguanas’ behavior is determined by a variety of psychological factors and underlying patterns of instinct. Iguanas frequently react differently to the same things from day to day, and there are frequently valid explanations for this.

The following are the primary causes of an iguana’s anger, tension, or anxiety:

They have a strong sense of territorial instinct; some iguanas seem to have it more than others. They could respond hostilely if people enter their territory.

Males tend to be more aggressive than females, and there is an alpha male streak of dominance. Additionally, bigger men tend to become more furious than smaller men. This dominant urge of the alpha male might manifest in aggressive actions.

They possess hormones. From one day to the next, some iguanas change. The cause of this is presumably due to hormonal fluctuations.

They may be feeling irritated – Your iguana may occasionally just be grumpy! Keep an eye out for the warning signals and wait a while before acting.

Out of season – Iguanas, both male and female, have a defined breeding season. This lasts for thirty days in the wild, but it frequently lasts longer in captivity. They may be hormonal or occasionally seem a little off when they are out of season. It is only another consideration.

How Dangerous Are Iguanas?

Iguanas, like many, if not all, pets, come with their own set of risks and hazards if maintained as house pets. With proper husbandry techniques, they are not, nonetheless, regarded as severe.

The risks that may be present for other pets may be a little more overt and clear.

One such instance is having a dog; you automatically understand that there is a chance of a bite.

It becomes a little trickier with iguanas.

These are incredibly distinctive reptiles with individual wants and preferences.

Iguanas may be maintained as pets in complete safety if you have the necessary information, are proactive, and take good care of them.

It’s critical to keep in mind that iguanas have not historically been tamed or kept as pets.

This is distinct from many other animals that are offspring of previous pets.

As a result, they have the skills necessary to manage and comprehend their surroundings in a human home.

They have evolved and grown into their inherent inclinations, comprehending their place in the family system.

They are completely at ease and at ease in social situations.

Iguanas are not the same as reptiles, though.

Iguanas can be trained, but it will be difficult to make them completely at ease and accustomed to living with people.

No matter how much you care for them, they will always have a wild instinct. This must always be considered.

This is significant because it has an impact on how you treat and communicate with them.

It implies that they are more likely to act violently to defend themselves. Despite your best efforts to interact and spend time with them, it implies that they are more susceptible to feeling intimidated and worried.

Iguanas primarily behave instinctively, as determined by the DNA of their prehistoric, wild ancestors.

They naturally desire to flee and avoid predators. Iguanas have therefore evolved to be nimble, nimble, and able to avoid a threat when and if one comes.

Thus, your pet iguana will naturally want to do this whenever they feel nervous. They’ll want to get away from the danger.

Attacking could be the only or next choice, though, if escape is not an option. When they do this, they become dangerous.

Iguanas may readily pierce your flesh with their strong fangs. With open wounds, there is a chance that germs will get inside and cause an infection.

The greatest technique to make sure that attacks don’t happen frequently is with sufficient and suitable training.

But there are other risks to think about. Let’s now examine each one individually.

How Bad Is Their Bite?

The discomfort of an iguana’s bite should be considered when evaluating how hazardous they are. This lizard may cling to your hand, finger, or wrist and refuse to release itself.

More harm may result if you fight and attempt to draw your hand back. There may be ripping and tearing, and the wound may get much worse. Iguanas may be able to gnaw through to the bone.

Your iguana could bite you again right away if it releases you. If you don’t get out of the way quickly enough, iguanas frequently bite again.

In order to release an iguana that has hooked onto you, you must first get them to do so without yanking them away from you or yanking your hand away. They could loosen their grip if a handkerchief dipped in rubbing alcohol is waved in front of their face. Ammonia could have the same effect. Have these beverages on hand in case someone bites you.

To put them in the dark, you may also try tossing a rag over their heads. They could feel secure enough to loosen their grasp when it’s dark.

Iguanas may become sufficiently disoriented to loosen their grasp if you hold them upside down and carefully tug on their dewlap, a flap of skin on their necks that resembles a half-moon.

Salmonella is among the germs that iguanas have in their mouths. After being bitten, you should cleanse the wound with soap and water. Obtain medical care if the wound requires it. Keep the area as spotless as you can.

It’s crucial to wash your hands after each interaction with your reptile since iguanas can carry salmonella on their skin.

How to Avoid Attacks From Iguanas

Iguana strikes can occasionally be surprising, making certain attacks just impossible to dodge. Even the most well-behaved iguana may occasionally act inappropriately.

Preventing Their Bite. There are two techniques to keep iguanas from biting you. First, avoid placing them in a vulnerable or confined situation. Keep in mind that iguanas won’t bite unless absolutely necessary. Whenever feasible, they choose to flee.

Using falconry gloves is the second method. These are more for preventing injuries from iguana bites than for avoiding them. Nevertheless, having this choice is an excellent idea.

You will get bitten, whether it’s a little or significant bite, if you care for an iguana.

How to Avoid Scratches. Trimming their nails every few weeks is the simplest and most effective approach to prevent iguana scratches. Falconry gloves, though, can also work.

Although they are advised, falconry gloves may be excessive. Any heavy-duty gloves will do, including welding gloves.

However, there are benefits and drawbacks to this. The benefit of leaving the claws intact is that your iguana will be able to climb on you much more easily, aside from avoiding scratches.

The drawback is that if your iguana grows accustomed to having gloves on it, it could never feel at ease with human beings stroking it with their naked hands.

Stay away from tail whips. Iguana tail whips may only be avoided by being familiar with their attitude, conduct, and, most importantly, body language. Iguanas frequently use body language to communicate.

Pay attention to their behavior and you will eventually learn to know your iguana’s nature well enough to determine if it is calm or aggressive.

Salmonella avoidance Maintain excellent hygiene habits and routinely clean your iguana to reduce your risk of contracting Salmonella germs. After touching an iguana, make sure to properly wash your hands with soap.

Despite your best cleanliness efforts, there is no guaranteed method to eradicate all Salmonella germs from an iguana.