Are Iguanas Poisonous To Dogs?

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Iguanas are fascinating creatures that can make great pets. However, if you are a dog owner, you may be wondering whether iguanas are poisonous to your furry friend. While the answer is not straightforward, there are some important things to keep in mind to keep your dog safe around iguanas.

In this article, we will explore the potential dangers that iguanas can pose to dogs and what precautions you can take to protect your pet. From understanding the risks associated with iguana bites to learning how to recognize the signs of iguana poisoning, we’ve got you covered. So, let’s dive in and find out if iguanas are really poisonous to dogs.

Are Iguanas Poisonous to Dogs?

Are Iguanas Poisonous to Dogs?

As a dog owner, it is important to be aware of the potential dangers that your furry friend may face. One question that often arises is whether iguanas are poisonous to dogs. While iguanas may not be inherently toxic, they can still pose a threat to your pet’s health. In this article, we will explore the potential risks that iguanas pose to dogs and what you can do to keep your pet safe.

Understanding the Risks

Iguanas are not venomous, meaning that they do not produce toxins that can harm other animals. However, they do have a few defense mechanisms that can be dangerous to dogs. For example, iguanas have sharp claws and teeth that they can use to defend themselves if they feel threatened. If a dog tries to attack an iguana, they may get scratched or bitten, which can result in injury or infection.

Another potential risk is salmonella poisoning. Iguanas, like many reptiles, can carry the salmonella bacteria. If a dog comes into contact with an infected iguana or its feces, they may become sick with salmonella. This can cause symptoms such as diarrhea, fever, and vomiting, and can be especially dangerous for puppies, elderly dogs, and dogs with weakened immune systems.

To reduce the risk of injury or infection, it is important to keep your dog away from iguanas and to supervise them when they are outside. Additionally, you should always wash your hands thoroughly after handling an iguana or cleaning its enclosure.

Preventing Accidents

In order to keep your dog safe, it is important to take steps to prevent accidents from happening in the first place. Here are some tips to help you keep your pet out of harm’s way:

  • Keep your dog on a leash when you are outside together
  • Teach your dog to avoid wild animals and to come when called
  • Do not allow your dog to approach an iguana or any other reptile
  • Keep your dog’s vaccinations up to date, including their rabies vaccine

If you do have an iguana as a pet, it is important to take precautions to ensure that your dog cannot access their enclosure. This may involve keeping the enclosure in a separate room or using a secure lock to keep your dog out. Additionally, you should never leave your dog unsupervised with an iguana, even if you think they get along.


While iguanas may not be poisonous to dogs, they can still pose a risk to your pet’s health. By understanding the potential dangers and taking steps to prevent accidents, you can help keep your dog safe. Remember to always supervise your dog when they are outside and to take precautions if you have an iguana as a pet. With a little bit of effort, you can ensure that your furry friend stays healthy and happy for years to come.

Frequently Asked Questions

In this section, we will answer the most common questions about the potential toxicity of iguanas to dogs.

Are iguanas poisonous to dogs?

No, iguanas are not poisonous to dogs. However, they can transmit salmonella, a type of bacteria that can cause illness in both dogs and humans. It’s important to prevent dogs from eating iguanas or their feces to avoid the risk of salmonella infection.

If your dog has ingested an iguana or its feces and shows symptoms such as vomiting, diarrhea, and fever, contact your veterinarian immediately. Salmonella can be treated with antibiotics, but it’s crucial to seek veterinary attention promptly.

Can dogs get sick from eating iguanas?

Yes, dogs can get sick from eating iguanas or their feces. As mentioned earlier, iguanas can carry salmonella, which can cause gastrointestinal symptoms such as vomiting and diarrhea in dogs. Additionally, the spines on an iguana’s back or tail can cause physical injuries to a dog’s mouth or digestive tract, leading to further health issues.

If you suspect that your dog has eaten an iguana or its feces, monitor them closely for signs of illness and contact your veterinarian if any symptoms develop.

What should I do if my dog tries to eat an iguana?

If your dog tries to eat an iguana, it’s essential to prevent them from doing so. Iguanas can transmit salmonella and cause physical injuries to your dog’s mouth or digestive tract. Try to keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced area to prevent them from coming into contact with iguanas.

If your dog has already eaten an iguana or its feces, monitor them closely for symptoms of illness and contact your veterinarian if any issues arise.

How can I prevent my dog from getting sick from iguanas?

The best way to prevent your dog from getting sick from iguanas is to keep them away from these reptiles and their feces. If you live in an area where iguanas are prevalent, keep your dog on a leash or in a fenced area. Additionally, make sure to clean up any iguana feces in your yard promptly.

If you suspect that your dog has come into contact with an iguana or its feces, wash their paws and mouth with warm, soapy water to help prevent the transmission of salmonella.

Are there any other reptiles that are toxic to dogs?

Yes, there are several reptiles that can be toxic to dogs, including venomous snakes such as rattlesnakes and copperheads. Additionally, some types of lizards, such as the Gila monster and the Mexican beaded lizard, produce venom that can be harmful to dogs and humans.

If your dog has been bitten by a venomous reptile or has ingested a toxic reptile, seek veterinary care immediately. Prompt treatment can save your dog’s life.

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In conclusion, the answer to whether iguanas are poisonous to dogs is no, they are not. While it is true that iguanas have bacteria in their mouths that can cause infections if bitten, their saliva is not toxic to dogs.

However, it is important to note that iguanas can still pose a danger to dogs. Iguanas have sharp claws and can scratch dogs, leading to infections or other injuries. Additionally, dogs may try to chase and catch iguanas, which can result in injuries from falls or other accidents.

As with any interaction between animals, it is crucial to supervise your dog around iguanas and take appropriate precautions to prevent any harm. Keeping your dog on a leash and training them to leave iguanas alone can help ensure the safety of both animals. By being aware of the risks and taking steps to prevent them, you can safely enjoy the presence of iguanas and dogs in the same environment.

Aubrey Sawyer


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