These lizards may be kept in groups or solo. The larger the enclosure, the better. Enclosures should be furnished with numerous rocks for basking and hides. Make sure ample cave space is available, both on the warm side and cool side of the enclosure. Substrate choices can include playsand and bed-a-beast (coconut fiber). You may opt to house these lizards outdoors if you live in the right climate. Make sure your outdoor enclosure is can keep out most bugs and any cats or birds.
A range in temperature is much appreciated by these lizards so they may thermoregulate. Temperatures should range from basking zones above 100 degrees to cooler areas in the 80s. Night temps may drop quite low (60s). We suggest overhead bulbs for heating. Place the heat source on one side of the tank only. Do not use electric heat-rocks. Chuckwallas and Desert Iguanas also have high UV needs and require a full spectrum UV light. Because of their high heat and UV requirements, these animals do quite well in outdoor enclosures in many parts of the country.
You may opt to include a water dish inside the cage and provide light misting the enclosure a few times per week. Make sure the substrate is never wet for long. Remember, these are desert lizards and the humidity should not be allowed to get high for very long.
Chuckwallas and Desert Iguanas are primarily vegetarian. Young lizards of these species appear to be more omnivorous eating a variety of insects such as crickets and mealworms as well as greens. Suggested greens to be offered daily include a combination of collared greens, mustard greens, dandelion greens, turnip greens, and romaine lettuce. You may add other vegetables such as carrots, peas, squash, and green beans. These lizards relish edible flowers such as dandelion, hibiscus, and rose petals. Fruits such as cactus, strawberries, mango, grapes, and kiwi may be offered as well. We suggest feeding a green mix daily and tapering off on insects with age, except perhaps with gravid females. Adults may be offered insects as an occasional snack if desired.
Be sure to supplement the diet with calcium and D3 and vitamins. We suggest a 1.3 ratio of herptivite to repcal calcium with D3. Place crickets in a tall cup, add the supplements and shake to coat crickets. Do this every day for hatchlings and then taper off to once or twice a week for adults (especially reduce the vitamin supplements). Make sure to offer more calcium to gravid females. If you are housing your lizards outdoors, you will need to offer calcium without the D3 supplement.