You are going to really want to do some research here. Hydration is the point that most new keepers fail, and in the end is what caused the health problems that later manifest.
When we talk about misting them we are simulating the brief rain showers common to most of the natural habitats of these animals. Many chameleons will not drink until they have been misted for as much as 15min. You will find a variety of recommendations to accomplish this. There are pressurized garden sprayers, hand pump misters (forget it), automated misting systems, and drip as well as mass drip systems.
I find my animals do not enjoy drip as much as they do misting or mass drip systems so I do not use them. I run an automated system because of the water requirements of some of the species I keep. This is likely overkill for a single panther or veiled, but convenient none the less. My current cycle mist as follow 8:15am 30min, 1:00pm 15min, 6:30pm 30min, 11:00pm 1min, 1:00am 1min, 3:00am 1min, 5:00am 1min. In addition I manually trigger a 2-3 hour rain shower once weekly when I am home. The key is to mist as much as possible but allow the cage to dry out in-between. The small 1min bursts in the night are just to maintain humidity.
If you choose to go manual buy a pressurized garden sprayer with a wand and shoot for 7-10min 3xdaily as a minimum.
The dangers of not providing the necessary hydration opportunity are numerous. These showers also allow the chameleons to groom their eyes and body, which is necessary for health and likely psychological well being.
Please do not buy a chameleon until you have a real plan in this area, your cham will suffer and you will be discouraged.
ok good. i do have a garden sort of mister. I also use a drip system when i am way at work during the day. i must the cage good then wait a few minutes and do it again. It was working for a while, but as in my health clinique post, my chameleon isnt well from its large amounts of parasites. The main reason i am wondering is that once my poor senegal is gone, i plan to get a veiled. i have been doing loads of research, but it varies from place to place and id rather see what people who have been successfully raising them have to say about these things. thanks again
I would suggest with a veiled that you use a humidifier. Two mistings a day lasting 4-5 minutes is usually sufficient with an adult of this species. Most will drink soley from the drippers. They hate water. Keeping the humidity up with this minimual of mistings is important. They absorb moisture through their skin and mouth. I do mine right before their day starts and right before it ends. If you have trouble keeping the humidity up between mistings there are a couple cage designs and tricks that can help with this problem. You could mist more if you are uncomfortable with this recommendation.
The above is my opinion. It is based on research I have did on the natural locations and personal experience. I feel it aggravates them less and offers a more natural enviroment. The dripper will have to run a lot to allow them access to water whenever they want it.