The most important thing to mention here is that chameleons, along with almost any pet,
should not be purchased on impulse. That is to say that just because you fell in love with one at the pet store, it
doesn't mean you should just buy it and bring it home. Before any purchase is made, it is imperative to do the
necessary research to ensure you will be providing this animal with the proper care.
The first question you should be asking is "Is a chameleon right for me?"
Chameleons are not your average domesticated pet, in fact, they are quite the opposite. With the exception of a few
species, captive bred individuals may not be available for purchase, thus leaving wild caught animals as the only
option for acquiring one. As you will come to realize, there are inherent problems that can arise from purchasing wild
caught chameleons. Therefore, it is usually best to purchase quality captive bred specimens.
Chameleons also require daily care, regular veterinary visits, and a variety of
feeder insects, all of which will require significant monetary contributions to your new hobby. Obviously, chameleons
are not a pet to keep if you are not financially stable. The equipment that is necessary to properly set up a
chameleon's enclosure will initially run anywhere from $200 and up. Add the price of your chameleon, its first vet
visit, and its food cost and you are easily approaching a figure closer to $500 or more.
Next, do you have the time available to provide formidable care? A chameleon's cage
will need to be cleaned regularly, as often as every week or so. Chameleons in general will need to be misted two or
three times daily in order to keep the humidity at the proper levels and allow for drinking. Most chameleons will need
to be fed everyday with babies and juveniles requiring more frequent feedings.
Chameleons are often antisocial or prefer to be left alone. They are not pets that
you would want to handle daily because this may lead to unnecessary stress. If you are still interested in these
lizards and feel that you can adequately provide the necessities for them, than a chameleon may be the right pet for
you. Please do as much research as you is possible in order to acquire a wealth of knowledge on chameleon husbandry.
By doing this, your first chameleon will be that much better off.