Have you ever wanted to keep a chameleon but couldn’t because you were uncertain about how to take care of it? Well, don’t worry anymore because this article will tell you all you need to know about these creatures.
Chameleons are a type of lizard and as many as 160 types of chameleons are found on Earth. Many chameleons have the ability to change colour. They have zygodactylous feet and stereoscopic eyes. They mostly like to live in warm climatic conditions ranging from tropical forests to deserts. Chameleons change their colour due to a variety of reasons. They change their colour to regulate their body temperatures and to camouflage themselves.
Chameleons are an interesting choice to keep as pets. They certainly make unconventional and interesting pets. People who keep them must be committed and devoted to them. They need a lot of care and the right amount of humidity, lighting and temperature have to be provided to make your chameleon feel safe. Chameleons are not very social animals and it is best to keep them alone. Males are preferred to females because they have a longer lifespan. They make wonderful pets and it is lovely just to sit and observe them.
Chameleons need a large cage so as to enable them to move freely. Their cage should also be equipped with lots of trees and bushes so that your chameleon can climb them and hide among them. These branches and bushes can also be brought in a pet store. Fluorescent bulbs that extend throughout the length of the cage are a must. Light fixtures should also be there so that your pet chameleon does not get too close to the bulbs and get burned. A thermometer must be there to check if the habitat is at the right temperature and a dripper must be provided to supply water and to ensure that the correct amount of humidity is maintained.
Chameleons should be given gut loaded insects. Gun loading is a process by which insects are given nutritious food and they are then fed to the chameleons so that all the nutrition from the insects are absorbed by the chameleon. Some chameleons also like plant matter like mustard, turnip, dandelion and kale. A reptile multivitamin and calcium is required to keep your chameleon healthy.
Chameleons live long and healthy lives if they are provided with proper conditions to live in but sometimes they might sustain an injury or get sick. Under these circumstances it is best to consult a vet. Some of the common diseases are:
Excess of phosphorus or calcium deficiency can cause the bones to soften, weight loss and lethargy. The deficiency of calcium and vitamin D3 is also responsible for many deformities.
This disease is caused due to accumulation of excess fluid in the neck, throat and chest. This occurs due to large consumption of vitamins.
This can occur due to low consumption of water. The symptoms are wrinkled skin, lethargy and weakness.
Small injuries like scrapes and bruises can be treated easily with some antiseptic ointment but make sure to keep an eye out for infections and see that the wound heals well. For major injuries like a broken tail consult a vet at the earliest.
This occurs due to lack of drinking water and humidity. This is a condition in which the joints in the legs get inflamed.
The reason for these may be low temperature in the cage and this can cause lethargy and trouble in breathing.
VITAMIN A DEFICIENCY
This can cause shedding, lethargy, teary eyes and respiratory problems. A proper diet should be maintained with gut loading to keep your pet healthy.
TYPES OF CHAMELEONS
Before you decide to get a chameleons make sure you know how to take care of one. There are many types of chameleons and not all of them are available as pets and some are also hard to keep. So before you decide to buy one and bring it home make sure you find out the right chameleon for you. Not everyone can manage to keep all types of chameleons. Some chameleons which can be kept as pets are
They are found in the northern areas of Madagascar. They have a lifespan of 5 to 7 years. Males are larger than females and they require a daytime 80 F and require a humidity of 70%. They are calm around people and make good pets.
These chameleons are a good choice for people who want to keep chameleons for the first time. They are found in Yemen and Saudi Arabia. They have a lifespan of 5 years. They need a humidity of 70 % and a daytime temperature of 80 F. These chameleons also eat plant matter. They are known to make good pets and these chameleons are always advised to people who want to keep a chameleon but have no prior experience in keeping one.
Chameleons have been made famous in recent years due to the movies like Tangled and Rango. People have been interested in chameleons as pets after seeing these movies, but before you get all excited and get a chameleon home make sure you know all about them. They are not at all like your everyday cats and dogs. They don’t like to be petted and held and get stressed out if you do so. They are not at all like they are shown in movies. But if you don’t have a lot of time to give to your pet and don’t want pets that need your love and time then the chameleon is the right pet for you. All they need is food, a clean cage and the right temperature to live properly. Having a chameleon at home and observing it change colour right in front of you will be like experiencing a small miracle daily.