Going Outside ...


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How old should a panther chameleon be for their first journey into the back yard for some sunshine?
Sunshine is good for a panther of any age! :) I'd highly recommend that you are with him/her at all times when you take them out, unless you have a caged area for them to not get lost. Also, make sure the temperature outside is warm enough for them (mid-70s and higher). Be sure they have a place to cool down should the sun be too warm for them. Additionally, don't leave them outside too long without a water source as well. If your panther chameleon is a baby, be very careful of dehydration. I'd recommend only taking babies out for some short intervals at a time.

When I take my panthers outside, I place them in a potted tree I have on my deck. This gives them the choice to bask or find some shade if they need it. It's also pretty easy to attach a dripper onto a branch (I use a large ficus tree). Be careful that you don't leave them out in temperatures that are VERY hot for too long (90+ degrees). Panther chameleons can get overheated. When I put my chameleons in my Ficus tree outside, I take that time to relax and sit on the deck with them so I can keep an eye on them.

Also, watch for BIRDS!!!! I have heard stories of people losing their chameleons from a bird up above coming and snatching the poor thing. :(
Ok thanks Jenna. I was wondering when I could take my four month old panther outside as it's already warm here in Florida.

I do have a screen outdoor cage for him already to be in and was going to put in a piece of grape vine wood and some silk vines for climbing. (It would be a real struggle to get his ficus tree out of his inside cage to the outside cage so not worth tearing up the plant). I do have some herb plants I could use instead though but they may have some bugs from outside and they are in the soil that came with them so that's probably not a good idea.

I hadn't thought about watering for him while he's outside but I could keep misting and just let him go out for maybe half an hour. I hope he doesn't get too stressed this first trip and likes seeing the backyard. :^)
Taking him out in his cage is perfect. Don't worry about the tree method if you have a cage that you are able to carry outside easily. As far as water is concerned, if you have a plastic disposible cup, paper cup, or even one from like McDonald's or something, you can place a pin prick on the bottom of the cup and fill it with water and just set it on top of the cage for him to get drinks. You won't have to worry about water getting all over the place because you will have the cage outdoors anyway.

He is sure to enjoy it I am sure! I can't wait till my weather is warm enough again to take my chameleons out. You will have a happy chameleon :D .
Another thought to keep in mind. I learned this lesson the hard way with a veild.
If your using a supplement with D3, which is sounds like you are, than you want to stop all vitamin D3 supplementation before taking your cham outside. Not all calcium supplementation, but definately all D3 supplementation. I had a male veiled that was roughly 6 months old that I had been giving Miner-All I to about twice a week along with a vitamin supplement that I use that has no D3 in it. I took him outside for about a half hour and everything seemed great. He basked in the sun to whole time. This guy was the absolute picture of health. I was planning on using him as a future breeder. Then that night when I went up to his cage he was dead on the cage floor with what looked to be like foamy spit all around his mouth. Later I would find out from a vet that in all probability he died of a D3 toxicity. And veileds live on the edge of the desert in Yemen, so their D3 threshold is probably a bit higher than panthers. This is why sticky tounge farms makes an indoor formula and an outdoor formula. Same for Repcal. They make a calcium without D3 and a calcium with D3.
D3 is a fat soluble vitamin. Water soluble vitamins like B and E are easily passed through the system if any amount of excess has been given. Fat soluble vitamins like D and A on the other hand are a completely different story. With these vitamins, the animals store what they're given. If too much is given, it can become toxic enough to actually kill your cham.
Just some food for thought. I dont want anyone to run into the problem that I had. Just for the record. In the summer time, I completely discontinue all D3 supplementation for at least a couple weeks before I start taking my chams outside. But when you discontinue D3 supplementation, you definately want to make sure your cham gets outside for at least an hour or more a week just to make sure he's absorbing enough D3 through the sun.
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