g chameleons as pets is not the best choice, even though they are wonderful creatures. Chameleons have specific requirements and they get stressed quite easily, so they are not an ideal pet for beginners. Those who like to handle and pet their pets will not enjoy having a chameleon as a pet, since chameleons are not fond of being handled.
Their ability to change the color of their skin is the reason chameleons are so popular. When chameleons are young, they do not change their shades a lot and usually have a dull brown/gray color. The ability of changing colors and the adult colors develops when chameleons are 5 months old. Black, blue green, green and turquoise are among the range of colors that chameleons can change to.
Chameleons are able to camouflage, regulate their body temperature and communicate with other chameleons by changing colors. Chameleons can also change colors in response to excitement, lighting conditions, presence of other chameleons, stress and temperature. Generally, if a chameleon is stressed it changes its color in a range of dark brown to black. The happier mood of a chameleon is usually represented by brighter colors.
Finding a captive bred chameleon is the best option for those who want to keep chameleons as pets. Chameleons caught from the wild usually do not get used to the conditions of captivity and remain excessively stressed. Keeping a chameleon as a pet is already a tough task, and it can become even more difficult if the chameleon is stressed from the start. Additionally, chameleons that are captured and shipped from the wild often die on their way to the pet store due to getting dehydrated, starved or stressed.
When buying a chameleon, it should be active, have bright colors, its ability to change colors and its body should be well fleshed. For beginners, it is recommended to keep a male chameleon as a pet. Male chameleons tend to have simpler nutritional needs and ca
ring for them is a bit easier. Chameleons should never be kept with another chameleon since they are solitary and territorial animals. The Jackson's, panther and veiled are the common species of chameleons that are kept as pets.
Chameleons are arboreal; they live only in trees, and this makes it tricky to take care of them. Chameleons should be kept in a cage containing enough foliage, so they have privacy and can climb around. The cage should be ventilated and should allow natural sunlight to enter because chameleons love sunlight. Full spectrum and incandescent fluorescent lighting can be used as artificial sources of UV radiation.
Chameleons will never drink water from a dish; instead, they drink the water droplets on leaves. Thus, the foliage inside a chameleon cage has to be misted or a water drip system can be used. Chameleons can be fed various insect foods. They should be fed many different types of insects. Crickets, meal worms, non-infesting roaches, wax moths and wax worms are excellent foods for chameleons. Apart from cabbage, lettuce and spinach, they can also be fed leafy green vegetables.
Handing chameleons should be avoided and their cage should not be kept in crowded places since they get easily stressed. It is apparent that it is quite complicated to raise a chameleon. Nonetheless, for those who are intent on keeping chameleons as pets, focusing on these factors will help them keep their pet chameleon healthy and stress free.