Chameleons are quite easy to care for, depending on your preference.
All animals require equal level of love and care while the hardest, perhaps, are: pigs, songbirds, Harmsters, Rattle snakes, Turtles and Tortoises and exotic animals, they are invariably had to care for. As for chameleons, I would say it is not a good option for one who is just up for the first time as a lover of pet: they do not associate.
Hence, it depends on your own nature, particularly. Some animals as pet are best to stay independently, while you watch from afar; some like to associate so well with owners, etc.
Before you have an habitation for your chameleons, you ought to know that it is a kind of lizard that loves living on trees. Therefore, make room for a cage with lots of trees for climbing and reduction of stress.
Large chameleons are better in a cage with 3 feet by 3 feet by 4 feet tall should be provided, but the more space the better. Adequate ventilation is required, and a cage screened on three sides is best with poly mesh or vinyl coated wire preferred to curb injuries on the chameleon’s toes.
Branches of various diameters need to be provided for climbing and the bulk of the cage space should be filled with these branches or live foliage.
Ensure that the plants are not toxic, as the chameleon may eat the foliage.
Substrate made up of small particles (such as gravel, sand, bark, or moss) should be avoided to prevent the chameleon from accidentally eating it while catching prey.
Several basking areas of various temperatures must also be provided in a chameleon’s enclosure.
Some chameleons are happier at higher temperatures, others at lower temperatures. Be sure to research the specifics for your breed.
Chameleons get their water from droplets on leaves so as a rule, they will not take water from a dish.
Adequate water intake must be provided either through a drip system or by misting the enclosure at least twice daily.
Drip systems can be purchased or fashioned from a water container with a pinhole placed on top of the cage, or even by placing ice cubes on top of the cage to melt slowly and drip into the cage.
If a drip system is used, keep the watering location consistent so the chameleon knows where to find water. Misting will also help keep the humidity levels up.
With a drip system, excess water should be collected and removed to prevent the humidity from getting too high.
Do have a UVB or UVA light bulb in your chameleon’s cage, because light and exposure to sunlight, makes tour chameleons estatic and healthy.
But you must keep the bulb alive 10hours daily, in order to regulate temperature and keep them cool.
Chameleons are fascinating pets, but they are high maintenance and you need to care for them properly to keep them happy and healthy.
Proper care includes setting up and maintaining an enclosure appropriate for the species you have and taking care of its basic needs.
In addition to a clean and controlled environment, chameleons need regular nutrition and proper health care. If you are able to manage all of these things, your chameleon is likely to live a healthy life.
Purchase or build a reptarium. A reptile’s cage is called a reptarium. It is typically a glass tank with a mesh top on it or a wire cage. For one chameleon, you need a reptarium that is at least 2 feet (0.61 m) wide by 2 feet (0.61 m) deep by 4 feet (1.2 m) tall.
You can use an aquarium, a wire pet cage, or even a birdcage as your reptarium.
Set up a reptarium for each of your chameleons. Chameleons are solitary animals. They don’t like other chameleons.
Juvenile chameleons can grow quite a bit, so make sure you have enough space for a chameleon perhaps twice the size of the one you bought!
Tip: Only when chameleons are babies do they feel comfortable with other chameleons.
Once they are a year old, they should be separated. However, sometimes they start fighting with each other when they are even younger than that.
- Put plants and climbing limbs in the cage. These are key to making your new pet comfortable in its new home. You can use either real plants or fake plants. Climbing limbs can either be real wood or synthetic. Place them in such a way that your chameleon can climb up to the upper areas of the cage.
Plants and climbing limbs that are appropriate for your reptarium can be purchased at pet stores and from online retailers.
Veiled chameleons usually need more vegetation than other species of chameleons.
- Provide the chameleon with a heat lamp. Buy a heat lamp made for reptariums at your local pet store or online retailer and put it at the top of the tank. This will allow the chameleon to come up and bask in the heat if it wants some warmth, but it can also come down if it gets too hot. The basking spot should be about 85–100 °F (29–38 °C), but it can vary by the chameleon’s age and species.
It’s okay if the reptarium drops to 72 °F (22 °C) during the day and 50 °F (10 °C) at night for veiled chameleons.
Jackson’s chameleons like basking spots that are 85–90 °F (29–32 °C), but the ambient air temperature can range between 55–58 °F (13–14 °C).
Buy a pet-safe thermometer to go inside the cage. This will allow you to make sure the temperature is right. You can also use a laser thermometer to check the temperature from outside of the cage.
A simple 60-watt household bulb can create a basking spot instead of using a heat lamp. However, you will not be able to control the temperature as well as you would with a heat lamp made specifically for reptiles.
Chameleons like it colder at night, so the heat lamp can be on a timer that turns it off at night.
- Get a good quality full-spectrum UVA/UVB light. In addition to the heat lamp, get another light that will light the rest of the reptarium and will give your chameleon key nutrients. A UVA/UVB light helps to provide vitamin D, which allows the chameleon to absorb calcium into its system. Keep the UVA/UVB light inside the enclosure rather than outside any mesh or glass.
These lights are available at pet stores and from online pet-supply retailers. Purchase one that clearly states gives off UVA/UVB light and that it is suitable for use on a reptile tank.
If you don’t use full-spectrum lights with good output, your chameleon could get metabolic bone disease. This is a very serious disease that can kill your chameleon.
You can buy bulb output monitors online or from pet stores to help measure how effectively it’s working in the reptarium.
Time outside basking in the sun is another way for your chameleon to get Vitamin D.
- Install a moisture system in the reptarium, if you like. Instead of having to manually mist your chameleon’s home with a spray bottle, you can get an automatic system. It can be a drip or mist system made specifically for reptariums. Both are available at pet stores and online.
There are a wide range of misters and drip systems to choose from.
For instance, you can get misters and drip systems that have a reservoir tank that you fill every week or two that sits outside of the reptarium.
These are cheaper and easier to set up than misting systems that are attached to a water source all of the time, in addition to needing water plumbed to the location of your tank for those systems.
Keep a hygrometer in the tank, which measures the humidity levels.
Try to find one with a history function so you can check previous humidities to make sure they stay within the correct levels.
You can also use a pump sprayer or spray bottle to help increase the humidity.
Misting systems are usually more expensive than drip systems. They can also be hard to set up if you get one that needs to be attached to a water source.
Whether you get a mist or drip system, be sure that it has a built-in timer.