The answer to the question ‘are veiled chameleons good pets?’ depends somewhat on the owner. Is the veiled chameleon a potential pet for a child? If so, the answer is probably no. It will not make a good pet.
Veiled chameleons tend to make good ‘display’ pets (i.e., look but don’t touch) as they can be aggressive, especially towards other pets. But before we give the veiled chameleon too bad a rep in the good pets department, let’s find out some more about these colorful creatures.
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Important Facts About Veiled Chameleon
Veiled chameleons are curious-looking creatures on account of the casques on top of their heads. This helmet shape is used to channel water from their heads and into their mouths.
Veiled chameleons exhibit shades of green, yellow, and brown, and they can live for up to 8 years in captivity.
The veiled male chameleon grows up to 24 inches in length, while the female can grow up to 13 inches long.
Veiled chameleons are insectivores, meaning they enjoy a wide variety in their diet, including grasshoppers, flies, silkworms, superworms, waxworms, and crickets.
Chameleons are arboreal, meaning they like to climb trees and branches. This is an important consideration when making a natural habitat for them. They use their clasping feet and prehensile tails to maneuver themselves around when they need to.
Most chameleons can stretch their tongue up to one and a half times the size of their body. Watch out, flies!
The veiled chameleon is a solitary pet, so it needs to be put in a cage with lots of privacy. You can do this by adding diverse foliage.
Caring For Your Veiled Chameleon
The veiled chameleon likes to drink water droplets off of the plants in its enclosure, so you need to be prepared to mist their cage twice a day. Humidity should be at around 50%, and you can buy yourself a hygrometer to measure this.
When it comes to food, you can’t simply give your veiled chameleon wild-caught insects as these may contain pesticides. What you need to do is something called ‘gut loading’: this involves feeding the prey that you are going to give to your chameleon with food that is rich in nutrients. Calcium supplementation that comes in the form of a powder that you sprinkle on the crickets works best, and your local pet store can advise accordingly. Again, though, this makes looking after your chameleon at meal times true labor of love.
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Conclusions On Owning A Veiled Chameleon As A Pet
Thanks to the internet and specialist pet stores, all the information and resources are available for you to find your ideal pet chameleon. The general rule is valid that all chameleons are ‘display’ pets and are best left alone, only for you to marvel at their coloration or crazy headgear.
Picking them up and petting them too often is only going to irritate them, so if you’re looking for a pet to play with, consider other animals. If you are prepared to put in the hard work of feeding them and ensuring that the conditions of their enclosure are just perfect, having a veiled chameleon as a pet can be a rewarding hobby.
Are veiled chameleons friendly?
Veiled chameleons are not friendly towards other chameleons. They are territorial and aggressive, and should be housed alone. They also don’t like being handled too often as it tends to stress them out. This is why they’re considered good display pets.
Are veiled chameleons hard to take care of?
Veiled chameleons are considered hard to take care of because of their aggressive nature. They require being kept in a mesh enclosure which provides the right amount of ventilation. A glass enclosure such as a terrarium or aquarium won’t work for this reason.
Are veiled chameleons good beginner pets?
If you’re new to caring for reptiles or exotic pets, then caring for a new veiled chameleon will prove quite a challenge – so the answer is no, veiled chameleons are not good beginner pets.
Part of the reasoning here is that a great deal of responsibility is required to monitor and maintain the conditions of their enclosure, as the temperature and humidity levels need to be just right. You can tell that your veiled chameleon is unhappy or that something is afoot if it starts to change color.