Veiled Chameleon Information

james557

New Member
Hi thanks for reading this. I am thinking of purchasing a veiled chameleon from a local exotic pet store near where I live. I have done a large amount of research on these reptiles (probably for more than a few years now, because I have always wanted one) and have heard they are rather difficult to take care of. However, I have owned a Chinese Water Dragon and A bearded dragon, and currently have another bearded dragon (nugbug, yea I know the name is weird haha) that I care for. I know bearded dragons are on the "easier" side to take care of...I am just curious as to find out some more info as in, what am I getting myself into, are they really that difficult, or does it just take time to care for them like any other animal, I feel pretty confident I can give the lizard his best life, I am just looking for others input! thanks again for reading!
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
I think that if you are willing to make the initial investment for the proper equipment, up front, they are not particularly hard to take care of. The pet store will likely give you all the wrong info and sell you all the wrong things, so check out the resources section here and the caresheets and images for Veiled Chameleons. An ideal set up will start at around $3-400 not including the chameleon, and that includes a minimum 24x24x48 cage, mister, linear UVB bulb, heat bulb, vitamins, and some live plants. If you'd like to go bioactive (highly recommend it), the cost and initial setup would be a little higher but easier maintenance down the road.

There's a lot to learn up front, so read up on the resource section here... but once you have a good understanding and the right equipment, you can figure out your daily routine of feeding, dusting, monitoring, etc. They do have specific requirements, and not meeting those requirements will get you a sick or dead chameleon relatively quickly.
 

james557

New Member
Thank you for the quick response and info! I was going to start with a smaller screen cage since it is a baby chameleon still and upgrade when it grows, I wont be purchasing from any chain pet stores as I hear they are not good news, they will be purchased from a local exotic shop, as far as misters, I was going to hand mist to begin with as my wife and mines schedule works out where one of us is always home to take care of the animals, I alsowas going to start with artificial foliage and such, and eventually go to real plants, thanks again this has been a great amount of help!
 

snitz427

Chameleon Enthusiast
Thank you for the quick response and info! I was going to start with a smaller screen cage since it is a baby chameleon still and upgrade when it grows, I wont be purchasing from any chain pet stores as I hear they are not good news, they will be purchased from a local exotic shop, as far as misters, I was going to hand mist to begin with as my wife and mines schedule works out where one of us is always home to take care of the animals, I alsowas going to start with artificial foliage and such, and eventually go to real plants, thanks again this has been a great amount of help!
Hand misting is ok if you do it for 2+ minutes morning and night, that's waht I did for a while... but once I invested in a MistKing there is no going back. It's awesome and a worthy investment!

The real plants will help keep the humidity levels up, which your chameleon needs. You can get some inexpensive ones at Home Depot or Lowes, just try to repot them with organic soil and cover with large river rocks to keep them from eating dirt, fertilizer, and perlite.

I started with small cages and its not worth it. They'll outgrow it in 2-3 months and then you will have shelled out twice as much money. The linear UVB bulbs are based on length of cage, too, so you'd either have one too small/large or have to get a second one later. Do not waste your money on the reptibreeze chameleon kit, the lighting is not sufficient and must be replaced. Its not worth it once you realize you'd have to replace it all in 2-3 months, and the lighting needs to be replaced immediately.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
@snitz427 covered what I was going to say. I would look for a breeder rather then the local exotics shop. While exotics shops do usually keep the animals better they aren’t always knowledgeable since they have so many different animals to care for. I also wonder how well they clean the enclosures in between animals.
 

james557

New Member
Awesome, maybe I will just go with a bigger cage right away, I was going to get the chameleon kit until I read up on them and how nothing that really comes with it benefits the chameleon in any way so that's a big no no, maybe I will grab a mister right away as well since I hear nothing but good about them, between this helpful site and quite a bit of research I think I'll be purchasing him/her today!!
 

james557

New Member
Yea I am trying to steer away from petco, petsmart etc. This is just a little ma and pa exotic reptile store (mostly specialize in reptiles) a few minutes from where I live, should I still be concerned? Every reptile looked very healthy , but not happy being in tiny cages :( haha
 

Graves923

Chameleon Enthusiast
Those chameleon kits are awful and mis-leading... I made the mistake of starting with one and quickly realized it was a waste. Ended up buying a larger cage 4 months later, buying a T5HO linear fixture, and bought a mist king. This route seems more expensive up front but the benefits will save you tons in probable vet costs that would occur from improper enclosure and care.

Definitely making the smart choice in avoiding that kit lol.

As for picking a cham from the Ma and Pa shops, look for straight limbs as any curves or U-shaped joints/ crooked spine can be evidence of MBD. Look for sunken eyes and yellow urates in the enclosure which would indicate dehydration, and make sure the chameleons are alert and not sleeping while lights are on. Sleeping during daylight is a strong indicator that there is something seriously wrong with the chams health.
 

james557

New Member
Those chameleon kits are awful and mis-leading... I made the mistake of starting with one and quickly realized it was a waste. Ended up buying a larger cage 4 months later, buying a T5HO linear fixture, and bought a mist king. This route seems more expensive up front but the benefits will save you tons in probable vet costs that would occur from improper enclosure and care.

Definitely making the smart choice in avoiding that kit lol.

As for picking a cham from the Ma and Pa shops, look for straight limbs as any curves or U-shaped joints/ crooked spine can be evidence of MBD. Look for sunken eyes and yellow urates in the enclosure which would indicate dehydration, and make sure the chameleons are alert and not sleeping while lights are on. Sleeping during daylight is a strong indicator that there is something seriously wrong with the chams health.
Awesome thanks for the information, I'll be sure to check all of that when I go look today and possibly buy, thanks for all this fantastic advice everyone!! Cant get this kind of information at Petco!!
 

james557

New Member
I would wait to purchase the Cham until you have the cage all setup and ready. It takes a while to get it setup and running good. I bought my Cham and cage at the same time and it was not ideal at all.
Yea I was worried about that, it works out where the store is open late enough where I could get the cage set up before I purchase the cham, keep the stress level down and the cham wont be sitting in a random tub while I set it's home up
 

Tony_S

Chameleon Enthusiast
I would also like to say that the starting price of $300-400 is a bare minimum setup with you manually doing stuff like misting and guessing what your UVB light strength is.

I'm currently over a grand and that is not including my panther chameleon. I agree with above, setup everything and make sure all is good before introducing your chameleon to it.
 

Lennoncham

Chameleon Enthusiast
Yea I was worried about that, it works out where the store is open late enough where I could get the cage set up before I purchase the cham, keep the stress level down and the cham wont be sitting in a random tub while I set it's home up
Ya. If you find a Cham you like you could always put a deposit and ask them to keep it until your all setup. I think you will find once you start to set it up it’s not a quick thing. I know it’s exciting getting your first Cham but there’s No harm in waiting a day or 2 to bring the Cham home to a perfect cage.
 

Ramrod

Avid Member
All good advice. I wish I knew about the forums before I got my cham as I basically had to buy everything 2 or 3 times before I got it right. Now I have an assortment of lights,supplements, plants,and accessories that won't work. Members here are always open to questions and will help you provide the best care for your cham.
 
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