There are a number of different species of Chameleons, with a range of beautiful bright colors, physical characteristics and unique personalities. Each one will have its own set of recommendations and requirements. It is best for you, and your future pet, to select a species for which you are able to provide optimal care and husbandry. Evaluate your space, climate, and abilities to provide a home suitable for the chameleon of your choice.
The most common factors that may persuade your selection are: the price of the chameleon, their availability, the cage size requirements, the nighttime temperature drop, and their visual appeal.
There are a few things to keep in mind before you “take the leap.” Although not mandatory, these tips will help you to have the best experience possible and avoid common problems that new keepers often run into.
· It is recommended to look for a young chameleon that is at least 3 months old (6 months for Jackson’s chameleons), younger chameleons are delicate and will be more susceptible if not cared for properly.
· A wild caught chameleon may have a lower price tag, but may also require a fecal exam and prescription medication to treat large parasite loads. Captive bred chameleons are recommended to avoid potential medical issues and will help avoid difficulty with acclimation.
· Buying from a reputable breeder is highly recommended, some offer 24-48hr “arrive alive” guarantees on shipped chameleons and some offer care support for any customer concerns. Be diligent in asking the seller any questions you may have before bringing your chameleon home.
· Mainstream pet stores will rarely have an experienced chameleon keeper on staff, be aware that employees there will likely give out false or incomplete information that will be detrimental to your chameleons health.
*Be sure to thoroughly inspect your new chameleon from tip to tail, this includes their legs, feet, nails, eyes, corner of their mouths (and inside if possible), tail function, mobility, casque or horns, skin color and suppleness, back spines, and arm/leg creases.
See Chameleon Health page for normal/healthy chameleon appearance and behavior.
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