Help!! I'm in WAAY over my head.

Crystal87

Member
OK. 3 days ago, my ex husband bought my 8 year old son a veiled chameleon at Petco here in Chattanooga, TN. I did NOT authorize this transaction. However, I am now the proud owner of a veiled chameleon (which I know NOTHING about). I think they are cool, but I would have preferred to have done some research and been better prepared BEFORE having one. So, all that being said, He brought the chameleon (Dave) home with a "chameleon kit" from Petco. They told him to feed it meal worms and give it vitamins once a week... (I have the kit pictured below; it sucks)... So after 3 days, Dave is black and stays that way. .. He is obviously not a happy chameleon. I have been reading all day about them and have come to the conclusion that I have absolutlely no idea wtf i am doing and I desperately need some help to keep Dave from dying... (btw i think Dave is a girl? and not a "grown up")... suggestions?? Please!
 

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Jabba93

Established Member
Hi! Welcome to the forum! Sorry you've been thrown into this in such short notice. I'll try and point you in the right direction so you can start making some adjustments quickly.

First, don't feed your chameleon mealworms. Their hard shell can cause impaction, which can cause his digestive track to block up and can lead to death in some cases. Crickets or dubia roaches are some of the better food sources for your chameleon, depending on his size.

Here's a link to the food and information:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/food/

Second, be sure you are misting him several times day. I made the mistake of not giving my veiled enough water when I first started out, and he changed to black very quickly. As soon as he got more water in his system he calmed down significantly.

Here's a link to water information:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/water/

Lastly, if you need to check anything else about Veiled chams, here is a care spreadsheet to help you out! I'm sorry if this seems like a lot of information, and I hope you can still enjoy your cham! They really are amazing creatures!

Veiled Chameleon Care Sheet:
https://www.chameleonforums.com/care/caresheets/veiled/
 

Crystal87

Member
Thanks.. I read the care sheets. As soon as I get off work im going to get him some crickets.. ill also post some pics of Dave and maybe that will help yall help me too.Do I need to do "gutloading?" with the crickets I get today? or just feed him and start feeding the crickets for the future? also, he has a "blue" light and a white light in the double light fixture that they got there.. Should I change this? so so many questions.. I will update as I go. Thanks so much for being here. Otherwise Dave would not have a chance.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thanks.. I read the care sheets. As soon as I get off work im going to get him some crickets.. ill also post some pics of Dave and maybe that will help yall help me too.Do I need to do "gutloading?" with the crickets I get today? or just feed him and start feeding the crickets for the future? also, he has a "blue" light and a white light in the double light fixture that they got there.. Should I change this? so so many questions.. I will update as I go. Thanks so much for being here. Otherwise Dave would not have a chance.

Yes, yes and yes :).

Okay when you go the store. You are going to want

Crickets,

Gutload (some fruits and veggies will do, or some pretty store gutload)

A Reptisun UVB light, you want the linear one (the long floruscent strip light) a 5.0 is probably best to start with. Likely be 24 inch, if your current cage isn't that big that's okay turn it diagnoally, it will need a 24x24x48 cage in the end.

A basking light, (a standard light bulb with a reflector) the wattage will take some experimenting. Based on your temps, for now for a baby, maybe just do a 50w, and go from there. You will want a way to see the temps as well, like a temp gun.

You can gutload the crickets for a bit, just let them eat what they will for like an hour then feed them.

Supplements are not every day, but twice a month, calcium if they did not get that is needed every feeding. Calcium without D3.

Then in the coming days, you should aim to get branches, for the cham to use, and live plants.

A mistking system, is going to be very beneficial, as your not going to want to mist the cage all the time.

Post pics of the cage setup, after you get some branches and plants in it, and we can help ya from there. You want to setup microclimates, of different temaptures and humidity.


And congrats on your chameleon, because it is in fact yours. Chameleons require detailed, and exacting care that an 8yr old is not going to be up to do. So they bought you a pet :(.
 
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JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Tonight crickets dusted with plain calcium will be fine. Gut loading can wait a couple days in this situation but get it going as soon as you can. Carrots will do temporarily for a few days then move on to better more varied gut load.

All the above advise is accurate since you are going shopping get as much from the list as you can.
 

Chameleophlaged

Established Member
@cyberlocc posted as i was typing and he is probably correct... your chameleon

I applaud you for doing your research to give Dave the best life you can.

One thing I feel that you should know that is often not mentioned clearly enough is that Dave is kind of an expensive pet to set-up a proper home.. I cant see what size the kit is but I'm assuming you will have to upsize it. I am also assuming Dave will be spending alone time, an automatic misting system is really helpful, this brings in the need for drainage plan/system. The lighting is vital, you have to replace bulbs at least twice a year usually more often.

The feeders and their care are a little job in themselves.

Is your son going to float past this...are you willing to assume responsibility for the pet for most of a decade?
 

Crystal87

Member
Yes. I mean obviously this want my idea but I’m willing to handle it... as soon as I can figure out why I’m doing. I love animals. And i think Chams are really awesome. I just am blind here and learning as I go. I’m already considering the listing system and have been thinking about how/ where I can set up Dave with an awesome home and drainage system. So if I can keep him alive through this learning curve I’m in, then me and Dave are going to get to know each other really well. As a side note.. how many crickets should I give at a time and how often?
 

Jabba93

Established Member
Yes. I mean obviously this want my idea but I’m willing to handle it... as soon as I can figure out why I’m doing. I love animals. And i think Chams are really awesome. I just am blind here and learning as I go. I’m already considering the listing system and have been thinking about how/ where I can set up Dave with an awesome home and drainage system. So if I can keep him alive through this learning curve I’m in, then me and Dave are going to get to know each other really well. As a side note.. how many crickets should I give at a time and how often?

How old is your chameleon? Baby veiled are usually little pigs and will eat almost anything that moves.
 

JacksJill

Chameleon Enthusiast
Do we know how old Dave is?
"Juveniles 3-6 months of age: 10-12 small crickets daily
Juveniles 6-12 months of age: 10-12 medium crickets every other day
Adults over 12 months of age: 7-10 medium-large crickets every other day"
feeders shouldn't be any bigger than the space between their eyes. Worms shouldn't be any fatter than that.
 

Crystal87

Member
No. I don’t know. .. is there a way to tell? I can post pics from the day they got him which aren’t very clear. But here they are
 

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cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
This is incorrect. Should be:
Supplements-
Calcium without D3 at every feeding
Calcium with D3 1st and 15th of the month
Multivitamin 1st and 15th of the monthView attachment 214525 View attachment 214526

That's what I said.

Granted I guess I could have said it better, I was just trying to make sure she has Calcium to dust with daily right now.

And some people use a MV with D3, instead of Calcium with D3.

So just like I said, supplements Twice a month, Calcium(WO D3) every feeding.

People get crazzy over what supplements they use, so I stay far and away from that debate haha.
 

cyberlocc

Chameleon Enthusiast
Looks to be about the size of mine and mine is 10weeks....

I wonder when the people at petco get internet so they can look this stuff up... Any other retail profession requires you to know the product you sell. :cautious:

Even if they did, I wonder if they have to follow policy.

Petco probably has there own caresheets undoubtedly sponsored, handed down from corporate, that they have to follow. Maybe not, but I would not out it past them.
 

Fiona's Mom

Chameleon Enthusiast
Also...look closely at the back (heel) of Daves hind feet...if each one has a bump the size close to 1/2 a grain of rice he is a male. If the backs of his hind feet show no bumps....a name change may be in order. Welcome and thank you for trying to be a good cham Mom. You must be an awesome Mom to your Son.:love:
 
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