Most captive reptiles drink from one, but do chameleons need a water bowl? In the wild, they live on rainwater, so it’s understandable if they need this in captivity too!
Before you get one of these exotic reptiles as a pet, you should have everything to set up an enclosure that mimics their natural habitat. This article will help you better understand how chameleons drink water.
Do Chameleons Need A Water Bowl?
Chameleons don’t need a water bowl or dish. They consume water in the wild by licking droplets and prefer doing this in captivity as well.
How Much Water Does A Chameleon Need?
In the wild, Chameleons like to drink water droplets formed on leaves, so it’s best to imitate this natural environment for your captive pet.
Your chameleon will need to drink water at least twice a day. This might be more depending on the humidity and temperature in their enclosure. If your pet is in an open tank, the weather conditions of your area will influence how much water they need.
Chameleons living in warmer climates need more water since the droplets you provide will dry out quicker.
What Type Of Water Is Best For Chameleons?
Choosing the best water for your pet chameleon is a challenging task. Chameleons evolved to drink droplets of rainwater in the wild, and it’s challenging to provide yours with this if you live in an area that doesn’t get much rainfall.
Tap Water: Your chameleon might be okay after drinking tap water. As long as it’s safe for you to drink, it’s considered safe for your pet. Unfortunately, there’s a chance that small chemical particles in tap water can upset your chameleon’s digestive system. After giving them water from your tap, you should immediately stop if you notice this.
Distilled Water: Typically, it’s best to give your pet filtered or reverse osmosis water. The chances of it hurting your chameleon are little to none, but it does lack all the minerals they need to stay healthy. You should ensure you make up for this in their diet.
How To Give Your Chameleon Water
You shouldn’t add a water bowl to your chameleon’s enclosure. They don’t have a natural instinct to drink from water dishes and will likely dehydrate or die before they attempt to drink this water.
Giving chameleons water is easy. You can simply mist their tank down twice a day or install a misting system. After about two minutes of spraying, your pet’s drinking instinct will activate, and they’ll start looking for water droplets.
Use a hand spray bottle to give your chameleon water by hand. During the spray session, your chameleon will absorb some moisture through its skin.
You should spray the water around them and close to their enclosure decor.
You can install a misting system if you want to automatically water your chameleon’s tank. The best way to set this up is by placing misters all around their enclosure.
This setup will imitate rain in their natural habitat, and they’ll instinctively start searching for water droplets when the system starts.
How To Tell If Your Chameleon Is Dehydrated
It’s hard to tell how much water your chameleon is drinking. They’re a shy species and prefer licking droplets when an audience isn’t around.
Dehydration is a serious matter, and your chameleon can die from it. When they struggle to access water or feel ill, this can quickly happen.
Luckily, it’s relatively easy to tell if your Chameleon is dehydrated. There are a few signs you can look for:
Appetite Loss: Thirsty chameleons rarely eat, so if you notice a change in your pet’s appetite, it might indicate that they’re not getting enough water.
Sagging Skin: Chameleons have a plump appearance, and their skin sits tight around their body. If you notice your pet’s skin is sagging, they’re possibly dehydrated.
Sunken Eyes: If your chameleons’ eyes appear sunken, they’re either dehydrated or sick.
Discolored Urine: A chameleon poops in their urine, so they’re healthy if you notice white spots in it. Urine that’s entirely yellow or orange is a sign of dehydration.
Lethargy: Chameleons experiencing dehydration are often lethargic because they simply don’t have the energy to move.
How To Prevent Dehydration In Chameleons
To minimize the chance of your chameleon getting dehydrated, you can set their enclosure up with a few items that will help.
Real Plants: Using chameleon-safe plants in their enclosure is a great way to ensure they don’t get dehydrated. Natural plants hold more water on their leaves than decor does, so your pet has a better chance of drinking from them.
Automatic Mister: Installing an automated misting system is the easiest way to constantly provide your chameleon with water. You can set a timer on them, saving you the worry of watering your pet.
Hygrometer: A hygrometer measures the humidity levels in your pet’s enclosure. This will help you determine how often they need water.
Your chameleon won’t drink from a water dish, so misting their tank is best. You can install an automatic misting system to mimic their natural habitat and ensure that they feel at home!
I hope this article answered your question and that you’re armed with the information you need to set up an excellent enclosure for your pet. If you have any more questions, ask them in the comments.
How do I water my chameleon?
The best way to water your chameleon is by spraying droplets on them or leaves in their enclosure.
Will chameleons drink from a waterfall?
Chameleons typically absorb water by licking it. It’s unlikely that they’ll drink it from a waterfall.
How long can chameleons be without water?
Chameleons will survive without water for up to two days, but they’ll be dehydrated.
Can I give my chameleon tap water?
In the wild, chameleons drink rainwater. Giving your pet tap water may cause issues if it contains high levels of purifying chemicals.
Learn more about The Amazing Science Behind The Veiled Chameleon Humidity Levels