Considering Chameleons...

WhereIsWaldo

New Member
Hello out there!

I've been considering a chameleon for a few weeks now as there is a gorgeous one at my nearby Petsmart. Partially, I think he (or she) is beautiful and I consider them to be unique animals so I am very interested. On the other hand, it doesn't seem to be in a good enclosure and if there's any chance I can make it happier, I'd love to.

My boyfriend has several bearded dragons that I adore and he loves to pieces, so he knows all about exactly what reptiles would need for enclosures, heating, food, etc, and he would love to adapt his knowledge to chameleons as well, I'm sure.

Could anybody get me the pros and cons of owning a chameleon? I've heard it's minimal handling (more of a viewing animal), which is alright with me, how large of an enclosure have you seen greatest happiness with, do you enjoy owning them, etc.

Please and thank you! Would love to hear back.
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
What type of chameleon are you looking to purchase?. If you look on the home page to the far right, there is a box which say Chameleon Care Start Here. Click on that and then the care sheets and the chameleon species you are considering. That will give you everything you need to know and what you basically need to purchase. The biggest downside I find is keeping a variety of insects(which can be costly if you do not breed your own) and they all have to be fed and their containers or habitats cleaned and maintained as well. They are prone to a lot of illnesses and diseases so you need to have money put aside for vet visits. This is a must. I disagree with the handling part as I handle mine everyday, moving them from outside and in and they are not bothered by it at all.
 

WhereIsWaldo

New Member
I was looking to purchase a veiled chameleon, if I decide to do so. I hear that they like to eat crickets, things like that? What do you feed yours, typically? Agree with the vet visits, for sure. Has yours ever experienced an illness or anything of the sort, what would I most likely need to be watching out for in the first month or so? Thank you for your reply!
 

carol5208

Chameleon Enthusiast
I was looking to purchase a veiled chameleon, if I decide to do so. I hear that they like to eat crickets, things like that? What do you feed yours, typically? Agree with the vet visits, for sure. Has yours ever experienced an illness or anything of the sort, what would I most likely need to be watching out for in the first month or so? Thank you for your reply!

Yes crickets, but you really cannot just feed those as they really need a varied diet. People also feed dubia roaches, mantids, moths, grass hoppers, a variety of worms...silk, phoenix, super, meal, horn, butter. Wild caught bugs can be used but beware of pesticides that they may have been exposed to. I feed mine crickets, silkworms, hornworms, moths, dragon files(when I can catch them!) and super worms. I had a chameleon that got a foot injury. All the meds caused his kidneys to fail and he got gout. Theyget gout just like people and edema like people too. Eye infections, skin growths, Metabolic bone disease(even not supplemented correct and lack of uvb light) proplapse(where their private parts come out and won't go back in), problems where they cannot shoot their tongue, nail infections, mouth rot, parasites...there are more but these are some of the things I can think of off the top of my head. One thing to watch out for is when a chameleon closes its eyes. They never should be doing this unless at night when sleeping. They never sleep or nap during the day. If this happens then they are usually ill.
 

WhereIsWaldo

New Member
Oh, man... That's a little scary. Great information, though! I really appreciate it. We have a large colony of dubia roaches and when properly gutloaded, I hear they are pretty good for them. But varied insects sound alright enough, crickets, roaches, worm-types, moths... etc. Gotcha! Are chameleons known to need a little bit of vegetables and/or fruits or no? I believe supplements are something I should be looking at as well. I appreciate your replies so much.
 

vgaines

Member
My male veiled Rebel eats the leaves off of his two hibiscus plants and I put cut up fruit (apples, raspberries) and vegetables (collard greens, carrots) and he ate almost all of them.

Also, another thing you should be aware of is that females will lay eggs even if they are not bred so a laying container must be in their cage at all times in case you miss the signs of a gravid female. (use search and you can find great information on how to set one up)

I know that all of this information on what can go wrong seems overwhelming but having a chameleon as part of your family is so rewarding. Make sure you read the care sheets provided from this forum and do not hesitate to ask questions. The members here have helped me so much and I have learned a ton. (do not listen to what employees at pet stores tell you. Most of the time they do not know what to do to have a happy and healthy chameleon...I learned the hard way)

Hope this helps... PS I have both a chameleon and a beardie. They are so different but they both make me laugh every day.:D
 

bradley

New Member
They are stunning animals and are great to keep.

Personally as it is your first chameleon I would suggest you get a well established baby from a breeder and not a shop like the one you mention. Although he may be in not the best conditions they will only replace him with another. There is less chance of any problems when buying from a trusted breeder too.

I agree with the above advice. Lots of research is key. they are very different to bearded dragons but need the same uv and heat as basics.
 

WhereIsWaldo

New Member
They are stunning animals and are great to keep.

Personally as it is your first chameleon I would suggest you get a well established baby from a breeder and not a shop like the one you mention. Although he may be in not the best conditions they will only replace him with another. There is less chance of any problems when buying from a trusted breeder too.

I agree with the above advice. Lots of research is key. they are very different to bearded dragons but need the same uv and heat as basics.

Excellent! That's what I was thinking.. My boyfriend and I often feel bad for the reptiles at the stores but refrain from getting too involved with them as we know it really wouldn't change much around there. Are there any good breeders you would suggest? :)
 
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