Oh, You Shouldn’t Have: Reasons to Think Twice Before Giving a Pet as a Gift

With the holiday season in full swing, you may be running out of steam when it comes to gift ideas. Then, you remember that friend or family member that expressed so much interested in your chameleon and you wonder, “Should I give them a chameleon as a gift?”

While the idea of giving someone a chameleon (or any pet) as a gift initially seems like an awesome idea, it is better to think twice before going forward. To help you determine if giving a pet as a gift is a good idea, consider these points first.

Do They Want a Pet?

The first step before giving a pet as a gift is determining if the recipient even wants one in the first place. Just because a person admires and enjoys your pet doesn’t mean they want one in their own home. Some people aren’t in the best place for bringing an animal into their lives, while others may have no interest in actually owning a pet at all. You don’t want to give a pet to a person that doesn’t actually want one, as that can be unfair to both the recipient and the animal for which they will soon have to care.

Are They Allowed to Have a Pet?

Rules about pets in rental properties can be very strict. Some types of pets will be banned outright, while others must meet certain restrictions. Sometimes, the information is covered clearly in a person’s lease, especially when it comes to common pets like cats and dogs. However, more exotic pets, including chameleons, may not be covered as explicitly. That means a call to the landlord may be in order. Since it would be inappropriate for you to take this on yourself, it is better not to surprise any renter with an unexpected pet.

Can They Afford the Costs?

A pet costs more than its purchase price. You may need to get a suitable habitat, and you will definitely need to pay for food and other basic necessities. While relieving someone of the cost associated with buying a pet can be helpful, the gift essentially saddles the person with a long-term financial obligation. If you don’t know for a fact that this is a burden they will happily take on, then bypass this gift idea, at least for the time being.

Do They Have the Time?

Even if they want a pet and are allowed to have one, that doesn’t mean the timing is right. If someone travels a lot for work, having a pet at home may not be practical. Even though some pets, like chameleons, don’t require a lot of interaction, that doesn’t mean it should be left unattended long-term. This is particularly the case if the local climate doesn’t resemble the chameleon’s natural climate, as greater care is required to ensure the environment meets their needs.

Similarly, if the recipient may be moving soon, giving them a pet may make that process more complicated. This is especially true for anyone who may move to a state or country where exotic pets aren’t allowed or people who may find themselves in a college dorm soon.

Did You Check with Them (or Their Parents) First?

Before giving a pet as a gift, it is better to get permission than to hope it will work out. For adult recipients, consider asking them directly. While you may think it spoils the surprise, they will be elated if the gift is the right choice for them and their life now, and may be relieved that you didn’t surprise them with a pet if it isn’t a good time.

When it comes to giving pets as gifts to children, always check with the parents before going forward. While a child may promise to manage all of the associated care, unless they have their own source of money, at least some of the support will be coming from another member of the household. You want to make sure that they are onboard with the idea before even suggesting it to the child.

The Decision

If everything reviewed above checks out, then giving a pet as a gift might be the right choice. However, if there is any hesitation, it is better to go with plan B. A pet is a huge responsibility, and it shouldn’t be given to another person lightly. When in doubt, consider giving a book about the care of their ideal pet, or a gift certificate that can be used to help them prepare for bringing a pet into their lives. This is an area where it is better to be safe than sorry.

 

 

 

http://www.petguide.com/tips-advice/dog/why-you-shouldnt-give-pets-as-gifts-this-christmas/

http://www.bhg.com/pets/adoption/the-best-gift-you-can-give-waiting-to-adopt-until-after-the-holidays/

https://www.paws.org/get-involved/take-action/explore-the-issues/pets-as-gifts/

 

No Place Like Home | Creating Your Chameleon Habitat Part 4

This is part four of a multipart series about creating an ideal habitat for your chameleon. The previous parts covered choosing an enclosure, selecting a room for the habitat to reside, and the addition of plants.

In this section, we will provide an overview of lighting needs (for more complete information, see the Let There Be Light post) as well as watering and misting systems. Additionally, appropriate climate control monitoring equipment is explored to make sure the environment is comfortable for your chameleon.

Lightingchameleon-1240928

To ensure the health of your chameleon, certain lighting must be included in the enclosure. Aside from having enough light in the space to simulate the changes between night and day, your chameleon’s enclosure will likely need a UVB light and a basking bulb.

Chameleons, like people, need vitamin D. The easiest way to meet this need is through contact with UVB light. While UVB light naturally occurs in sunlight, having an enclosure indoors may limit the amount that the chameleon actually receives. By including a UVB light that is focused on the enclosure, you can make up for what is not present in the space.

Your chameleon needs approximately 10 to 12 hours of exposure to UVB on a daily basis. Often, the easiest way to meet the time requirement is to have the light on during the day and simply turn it off at night. If you want to make the process easier, you can event set the light on a timer, so that it automatically turns on and off at the correct intervals even when you are not home.

Basking bulbs provide an additional heat source in the enclosure. While you should ensure your room is kept at an appropriate temperature at all times, the basking bulb gives your chameleon an extra warm spot to help regulate their overall body temperature. In contrast to the UVB light, which should cover the vast majority of the space, a basking bulb only needs to heat a specific area.

As with the UVB bulb, basking bulbs should also be turned off at night. This allows your chameleon to feel the extra warmth traditionally experienced during the day time, while also simulating the cooler nights they would have in the wild.

Watering and Misting

If your enclosure includes live plants, then you will need to make sure and meet their watering needs. Each type of plant may have different requirements, but care instructions are often included when the plant is purchased. You can choose to hand-water plant soil as needed, or check into automated watering systems.

Misting systems benefit your chameleon directly. Unlike many animals that drink from water bottles or dishes, chameleons get their water off of the environment. In the case of enclosures, this often refers to droplets collected on plants and surfaces as the result of misting the space. Not only is this required for needed humidity, but it also provides a necessary source of fluids for your chameleon.

You can mist an enclosure by hand using a suitable spray bottle, but investing in an automated misting system may be wise. This ensures that all of the misting needs are met whether you are home to manage the task or not. You can set the misting system to spray at specific intervals, creating a routine upon which the chameleon can rely.

Climate Controls

It is critical to check the temperature and humidity levels on a regular basis to ensure all of these needs are being met. This means you will need to invest in a thermometer to watch the temperature, and a hygrometer to monitor humidity.

thermometer-428339While most home heating and air conditioning systems have thermostats, you still need to check the conditions within the enclosure itself. This helps you compensate for variances based on the enclosures exact locations within the home. For example, a habitat near a window with direct sunlight might actually get warmer than the temperature set on a thermostat. Investing in a high-quality thermometer specifically for the enclosure ensures your chameleon’s precise needs are being met at all times.

Once your lighting, watering and misting, and climate control systems are in place, you have all of the components required for a suitable chameleon enclosure. Research the specific needs of your chameleon’s breed to ensure the environment is kept in a way that meets those standards. Monitor the status of the habitat on a regular basis, especially when there is a significant or seasonal change in your home area. Then, you can simply enjoy your chameleon knowing that everything is set how it should be.

 

 

http://www.reptilesmagazine.com/Reptile-Health/Habitats-Care/Create-a-Habitat-for-your-Chameleon/

http://www.muchadoaboutchameleons.com/2012/04/how-to-set-up-proper-chameleon.html