To take good care of your chameleon, you need to ensure a nutritious diet, make their enclosure livable, and learn how to avoid or treat common diseases.
If you are enthusiastic about keeping a reptile pet for the first time, you might want to consider the lovable Chameleon. Chameleons are very resilient and do not fall sick easily.
They can also adapt to various situations (hence the colloquial use of the word chameleons). This makes them the perfect pick for someone who is adopting a pet for the very first time. . No matter what pet you keep, you should take good care of them to keep them in optimal health.
To learn how to care for a chameleon, you need to understand the different types of chameleons and which ones you can keep as pets.
Different Type Of Chameleons
Out in the wild, there are about 171 species of chameleons. But not all of them can be kept as pets. About 11 of these 171 species are commonly kept as pets. These are Veiled Chameleon, Meller’s Chameleon, Panther Chameleon, Four-Horned Chameleon, Oustalet’s Chameleon, Carpet Chameleon, Senegal Chameleon, Jackson’s Chameleon, Fischer’s Chameleon, Flap-Necked Chameleon, and Pygmy Chameleon.
The Veiled Chameleon and the Panther Chameleon are two of the top picks for pets because they are very friendly and can bond with humans.
The best part about chameleons is that they are neither venomous or poisonous. This makes them very safe. Since they are calm creatures, they also hardly attack humans. So if you have little kids in your house, you do not need to worry about your chameleons harming them.
Almost all of the chameleons require the same type of food and enclosure. They mainly eat insects, so feeding them Dubia Roaches would be a good choice.
The Cost Of A Chameleon
Chameleons are amazing animals that have an array of colors and also have their unique camouflage characteristic. And so, the prices can be amazingly high too.
Depending on the species, the price of a chameleon can range from as low as $30 to more than $300. Out of the popular 11 species, the Panther Chameleon is the most expensive, whose price can go as high as $300.
On the other hand, the cost of a veiled chameleon can go up to $100. So the cost ultimately depends on the species.
Prepare A Natural Habitat For Your Pet Chameleon
Chameleons are reptiles, meaning they are cold-blooded. This means they need to stay in warm weather so that their body can function correctly. If their body temperature falls, their bodily functions will stop working, and they will die.
So, the first thing you need to prepare for your pet chameleon is a warm habitat. You need to prepare a small container. To keep it warm, you need UV lights, lights that emit UVA and UVB rays.
They need to be exposed to UV lights for about 10 hours a day. Then, put some small plants and soil inside so that the chameleon can feel that they are out in the wild, in their natural habitat.
You can do it by yourself, which will cost you about $50-$100. You can also buy them from chameleon breeders at a slightly higher price of $70-$150.
The Food For Chameleons
Chameleons love eating small insects. Their favorite insect is the small crickets, as they are very rich in protein and perfect for your chameleons’ growth.
Apart from crickets, you can also feed them wax worms, mealworms, cockroaches, and moths. They can also eat small bugs such as flies and mosquitoes.
But since these foods are primarily protein-based, your chameleon will lack other nutrition. So, you need to provide them with calcium supplements for a balanced diet.
Some chameleons will also eat leafy green vegetables like spinach, lettuce, and cabbage. Provide them with leafy green vegetables so that they get the proper vitamins and minerals as well.
And as for the diet routine, it mostly depends on the age of the chameleon. Young chameleons need a more protein-based diet, while adults should be given less protein and more vitamins and calcium.
A young chameleon needs to eat about two crickets twice a day, while adults only need to eat one cricket once a day, with some vegetables.
Treatment For Pet Chameleons
Even if you take good care of your reptiles, they can fall sick – it is natural. Some diseases are very common in pet reptiles. A list of these common diseases is given below-
1. Calcium And Vitamin Deficiency
Many people believe chameleons are just insectivores and feed them only insects. This is a very unbalanced diet. Because insects only provide protein and some other nutrition, they lack calcium and vitamins. And so, your chameleon suffers from calcium and vitamin deficiency.
To treat this, you need to give them a nutritious, balanced diet. A balanced diet should include insects, calcium supplements, and other green vegetables like squash, pumpkin, and sweet potatoes. This will ensure that your chameleon is getting all the necessary nutrition for its natural growth.
2. Metabolic bone disease
This is a disease that is not only specific to chameleons but all lizard-like reptiles such as geckos and bearded dragons. If your chameleons suffer from this, you will notice that they will have some mobility issues, and their bones will start to deteriorate, causing them to be soft like a sponge.
You will notice that your chameleon will limp, and they will look lethargic. When you see such symptoms, you need to take them to the vet immediately.
While on the topic of vets, you need to understand that a traditional vet might not be able to cure the sickness in your reptiles. This is because most vets are trained to treat traditional pets such as dogs, cats, rabbits, birds, and rodents.
So, you need to look for a vet who is specialized in treating reptiles. Only then can you get the help your pet chameleon needs.
Chameleons are fantastic pets. They can be a great addition to your house, and since they are very sturdy, they will easily adapt to the environment of your home. This makes them amazing for first-time reptile keepers. Although they have a short lifespan, their personalities and unique features make up for it.