Thinking about buying a chameleon?
Chameleons are beautiful reptiles that can be wonderful pets, but owning a chameleon is not the same as owning a cuddly dog or bunny. If you’re thinking about buying a chameleons, here are some things you should consider before making your decision.
- Chameleons do not like company. Most chameleons like to be left alone (by their owners and by other chameleons), although there are some species that are a bit more social than others. This means if you purchase more than one chameleon, each chameleon should have its own cage. For those species that are more social and will tolerate living in the same cage as another chameleon, you must make sure the cage is large enough to provide each with enough personal space; you should also provide large plants to block their view of each other. Ask when purchasing multiple chameleons if they prefer to be caged alone.
- Chameleons need large, well-ventilated spaces. While chameleons are mostly sedentary, they need large spaces because small spaces cause them stress. They also need ample climbing space and proper ventilation to be comfortable and to regulate their body temperature.
- Chameleons can appear content but actually be stressed out. Chameleons instinctively freeze or drop to the ground when scared or threatened, giving them the appearance of being calm. This makes them easy to pick up and carry around, and handlers often think the chameleons are content because they are not trying to get away; however, that is their freeze instinct kicking in. Be careful when handling chameleons because you may be causing them undue stress which will have negative impacts on their health. You should also avoid placing their cages in high traffic, noisy areas because this also causes them stress.
- Chameleon cages require lots of maintenance. You must make sure their cages are properly cleaned on a regular basis. Temperatures must be regulated to keep your chameleon comfortable, and the plants you have in the cages must provide chameleons with the ability to climb around (and don’t forget to make sure the plants are not toxic!). Reptiles also require UV rays to regulate their body temperature, so you should consider having a special light available for this. You don’t want to keep the cage in constant, direct sunlight, though, because your chameleon needs dark spots in the cage to conceal itself (the plants help with this, too) and cool down its body temperature.
- Chameleon nutrition is important. Chameleons eat insects, so if you don’t like bugs then a chameleon may not be your best option for a pet. Also, you do not place a water dish in a chameleon cage. Chameleons can only see moving water, and having a dish with standing water can be a safety hazard. You should spray your chameleon with fresh water regularly; if this is not possible, provide a suspended bottle of water that regulates the flow of water drips. Make sure the water is not too hot and not too cold, but is just right.
If you still want a chameleon after reading this, that’s great! Your next step is learning about the different types of chameleons you can buy and more details about caring for them. Contact Canvas Chameleons to learn more.