Need an experienced opinion.

Neard122

New Member
I have a 4 year old female veiled chameleon and we are moving cross country. I did research and I know that a chameleon should not go on a plane. I did more research and I found out about reptile shipping companies. After reading about them I still don't know if they are a safe and smart choice. I don't have any friends or family with reptiles so I came here for another opinion.
 

Angelwolf

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not sure if you should take the cham into the cabin with you, though. Because of the pressurization. FedEx and other freight planes don't pressurize the cargo hold area because it's unnecessary. So perhaps this is the reason the OP was given this information.
 

Angelwolf

Chameleon Enthusiast
And as a secondary note, I wouldn't trust the commercial airline not to lose or abuse my baby! I recommend just using ship your reptiles' service, just to be safe. And you can claim their costs on your taxes as a moving expense.
 

jajeanpierre

Chameleon Enthusiast
I'm not sure if you should take the cham into the cabin with you, though. Because of the pressurization. FedEx and other freight planes don't pressurize the cargo hold area because it's unnecessary. So perhaps this is the reason the OP was given this information.

@Neard122

You cannot take a pet reptile on a plane as baggage the way you can a pet dog or cat. They are not allowed, period.

You can ship through Ship Your Reptiles which is how I ship all my babies. Ship Your Reptiles uses FedEx. You cannot ship a reptile directly with FedEx--you have to go through someone like Ship Your Reptiles (there are a few other companies, but I use Ship Your Reptiles) who has a license with FedEx.

FedEx planes ARE set up to handle live animal shipping. They go in a box that is clearly marked as a live reptile. They are the last on the plane and go in a special compartment.

Your chameleon will have to be packed in a container inside the shipping box which you can buy from Ship Your Reptiles. You can also buy heating or cooling packs. I use Phase 22 packs, which freeze and thaw at 72F (22C) so they can both absorb heat (when they melt) or release heat (when they freeze). They are a lot more expensive (a little more than $4 each) than the usual ice packs but are more effective at keeping the animal in the correct temperatures. You would only need one for a small box, two at most. Ship Your Reptiles will sell you a single shipping box. They have a lot of information on their web site.

For a big chameleon like yours, you might have trouble finding some sort of solid deli cup that is big enough and will fit into a 7" x 7" x 6" box. You can use a paper bag stapled shut. Twist up some paper or paper towels into little ropes so the chameleon has something to grab onto and will keep the bag from collapsing. I don't ship in cloth bags as they have no structure and will collapse around the animal. I think it must be stressful for a chameleon to be wrapped up in a cloth bag. A good paper bag stapled shut is a very good option and would be my second choice if I couldn't find a plastic container that was big enough. A plastic container allows you to mist the chameleon and put in a damp paper towel so they will keep hydrated much more easily.

Since you are sending only one chameleon, you might want to buy a slightly bigger shipping box (9" x 12" x 6"). Take away about an inch and a half on each dimension for the Styrofoam lining and you get the inner dimensions. You can buy a ZipLock food container that will fit inside. Just drill holes in that. I've shipped adults like that with sticks secured through the sides so they have a little perch. It all depends on the size of the box since you don't want the animal to rub its back or nose.

I put two holes in each side of the outer box but it really depends on the temperature.

Have the animal shipped to a Ship Center and held at that facility for pick up. Not all FedEx locations will accept reptiles--only places that will accept dangerous goods will hold reptiles. I can help you find those locations as Ship Your Reptiles will as well.

I understand this is all very scary and upsetting but it will be okay. By all means contact me and I can help guide you through the process. Read all the guidelines on Ship Your Reptiles web site. It's a lot to digest the first time, but it is all common sense, really.
 

JimO

Established Member
If you decide to ship your chameleon, I agree that using Shipyourreptiles would be the best option. Not only do they have the experience and materials to ship properly, they are compliant with the US Department of Agriculture Lacey Act regulations regarding shipping live animals. A lot of folks don't comply with, or aren't even aware of, the Lacey Act and if the shipping company suspects there is a live animal being shipped without the proper labeling, delivery can be delayed. Also, some shipping locations will not accept shipments of live animals, so it could end up in a hub somewhere far from your destination. Shipyourreptiles understands how to work with all this. Their service costs a bit more than shipping yourself, but I'd say it's well worth it in your situation.
 

lycan_megura0523

Established Member
@Neard122

You cannot take a pet reptile on a plane as baggage the way you can a pet dog or cat. They are not allowed, period.

You can ship through Ship Your Reptiles which is how I ship all my babies. Ship Your Reptiles uses FedEx. You cannot ship a reptile directly with FedEx--you have to go through someone like Ship Your Reptiles (there are a few other companies, but I use Ship Your Reptiles) who has a license with FedEx.

FedEx planes ARE set up to handle live animal shipping. They go in a box that is clearly marked as a live reptile. They are the last on the plane and go in a special compartment.

Your chameleon will have to be packed in a container inside the shipping box which you can buy from Ship Your Reptiles. You can also buy heating or cooling packs. I use Phase 22 packs, which freeze and thaw at 72F (22C) so they can both absorb heat (when they melt) or release heat (when they freeze). They are a lot more expensive (a little more than $4 each) than the usual ice packs but are more effective at keeping the animal in the correct temperatures. You would only need one for a small box, two at most. Ship Your Reptiles will sell you a single shipping box. They have a lot of information on their web site.

For a big chameleon like yours, you might have trouble finding some sort of solid deli cup that is big enough and will fit into a 7" x 7" x 6" box. You can use a paper bag stapled shut. Twist up some paper or paper towels into little ropes so the chameleon has something to grab onto and will keep the bag from collapsing. I don't ship in cloth bags as they have no structure and will collapse around the animal. I think it must be stressful for a chameleon to be wrapped up in a cloth bag. A good paper bag stapled shut is a very good option and would be my second choice if I couldn't find a plastic container that was big enough. A plastic container allows you to mist the chameleon and put in a damp paper towel so they will keep hydrated much more easily.

Since you are sending only one chameleon, you might want to buy a slightly bigger shipping box (9" x 12" x 6"). Take away about an inch and a half on each dimension for the Styrofoam lining and you get the inner dimensions. You can buy a ZipLock food container that will fit inside. Just drill holes in that. I've shipped adults like that with sticks secured through the sides so they have a little perch. It all depends on the size of the box since you don't want the animal to rub its back or nose.

I put two holes in each side of the outer box but it really depends on the temperature.

Have the animal shipped to a Ship Center and held at that facility for pick up. Not all FedEx locations will accept reptiles--only places that will accept dangerous goods will hold reptiles. I can help you find those locations as Ship Your Reptiles will as well.

I understand this is all very scary and upsetting but it will be okay. By all means contact me and I can help guide you through the process. Read all the guidelines on Ship Your Reptiles web site. It's a lot to digest the first time, but it is all common sense, really.

I Would listen to Janet I have gotten 5 chameleons from her and they have all arrived safe and healthy. she does a fantastic job of packing them.
 

jajeanpierre

Chameleon Enthusiast
I wonder if you could carry him on the plane as a comfort pet. :)

Please don't suggest something like this. Follow the rules. No chameleon is a service animal and to suggest it is to make a mockery out of true service animals.

I am shocked by the number of obvious pet dogs that go in-cabin as supposed service animals just because their owners are too cheap to pay to have their animals shipped. I've shipped a lot of animals around the world--dogs, cats, guinea pigs, parrots and of course chameleons. Never have I thought of abusing the trust airlines and other companies put in people to be honest about the need for a service animal.
 
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