This article was provided to Pet Guardian Angels of America by Lisa Bagwell
If you are a chameleon lover and you just bought one or you are planning to buy it in the near future, you probably want to know all about these lizards. After getting to know them as a species, you also have to get into the details. Taking care of chameleons isn’t rocket science, but there are some aspects that you must absolutely pay attention to.
If you want to know how to take care of a chameleon as a pet, you are in the right place. Here are the 5 most important tips in growing a healthy and active chameleon:
1. Keep them in large cages – keeping a chameleon in a tiny cage is the worst things that you could do, as they are active lizards that like to hunt, hide and seek. They enjoy living in cages or tanks that are filled with vegetation, trees, branches and plenty of other accessories that will make their life more interesting. Try to make it as close as you can to a natural chameleon habitat. If they are large enough, free them into your home in supervised and secured spaces, just to offer them a little more freedom. This will keep them healthy.
2. Natural light is not enough for chameleons – if you already set up a place for your chameleon to live in but you didn’t do anything about the lighting system, it is time to take action. Chameleons need as many as 12 hours of light each day, as they come from warm parts of the world and their basic instincts tell them to stay awake and hunt more than you might think. Bringing a UVB fluorescent bulb into the cage is the best option, as this type of light also makes the tank look larger. However, you must be careful about the location of the bulb. It should not be too close to the chameleon, as it can burn its skin.
3. Don’t feed them more than they can eat – this rule applies to almost all pets, but this time, it is not about feeding them too much because they could get fat and develop health conditions. Actually, it is because the food that you give them can put their life in danger. Chameleons of all sizes and types adore living food. If they don’t eat it in one go, the insects tend to hurt the chameleon. Also, try to give them foods that aren’t wider than its head.
4. Give them supplements – a variety of foods isn’t enough to keep your chameleon as healthy as possible. In order to lead a healthy, long life, they need all kinds of vitamins that they cannot take from regular food. Calcium and Vitamin D3 are the most important supplements. Also, you can find reptile supplements at most pet stores.
5. Be careful about the female chameleons – although male chameleons are easy to take care of, females are more sensitive, especially because they can lay eggs without breeding. This means that you have to keep them away from males most of the times, you must always have a nest ready for them, you must keep them active, as they like to play and hunt more than males and you have to make sure that the temperature in its tank is a bit smaller than the one in a male’s tank.
Lisa Bagwell is an independent contributor to Pet Guardian Angels of America.