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Ask Your Pet

by Jennifer Dickman

Dear Jennifer,

Last year I adopted an iguana named Kyle at the SPCA. I’ve heard about iguanas that are like family pets and very interactive, but Kyle wants nothing to do with us. He hisses and swats his tail at me, and tries to scratch or bite me if I try to pick him up. What should I do?


Dear Martin,

Before even connecting with Kyle, I need to tell you that the first thing you should do is take Kyle to a veterinarian who works with exotic pets. If you cannot catch him to get him in a carrier, call your local exotics vet and see if he or she can do a house call. There may be something medically wrong with Kyle that the SPCA vet missed. Exotic pets have very special needs in terms of diet and habitat, and if Kyle’s needs aren’t being met this may be the reason for his unfriendly behavior.

When I tune in to Kyle, I sense a great deal of anger and confusion. He was very close to his former person and thought he would be with him forever. There was a sudden change in the family that led to his being surrendered to the SPCA, and Kyle was very much taken by surprise. In many ways, he is still reeling from this experience. He is not unlike a person with post-traumatic stress disorder.

It is not that Kyle doesn’t like you or your family, but he is very traumatized and stressed, which can have a quite negative effect on his health. I would contact customer service at www.GreenHopeEssences.com and ask them if their "Abandonment and Abuse" formula is safe for iguanas. If so, I would put it in Kyle’s water. Give him a lot of space and be patient with him. Let him approach you when he’s ready. Don’t try to push him to interact or initiate physical contact with him unless it’s completely necessary. Give him a safe space to retreat to if he wishes. Radiate reassurance and love and calm from a distance. Tell him that he will always be with you and you will always love him and care for him. Tell him and show him that he can trust you without question.

If you take this approach, combined with the care of a good veterinarian who specializes in exotics, Kyle should become friendlier. I wouldn’t expect him to act like a cat or dog, but at least he will become friendlier and less aggressive towards you.

As a gentle reminder to my readers: before you adopt any animal or breed, always do your research and think about whether that animal would be a good fit for your family. Exotic animals, like iguanas, require a great deal of special care, and while they do very well in some homes, they are certainly not for everyone.

Many Blessings,

Jennifer Dickman

Jennifer Dickman is an Animal Communicator, Reiki Master-Teacher specializing in Animal Reiki, and Intuitive Counselor. She conducts phone and email sessions worldwide. She may be contacted at Jennifer_Dickman@ymail.com  or through her web site, www.JenniferDickman.com, where her MP3 journey to contact your animals in Spirit is also for sale. To subscribe to Jennifer’s newsletter and receive a free copy of her essay, "Five Tings Your Cat or Dog Wants You to Know", please email Jennifer with the word "Newsletter" in the subject line.

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