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There are a few things to consider before making the decision to buy a chameleon. If you take the time to go through this list, you may find your first purchase a little less intimidating. Remember one thing; don’t be afraid to ask questions when you are about to purchase your chameleon. The salesperson should be able to answer most of the questions you have for him/ her. If they cannot give you the answers you are looking for, don’t be afraid to go elsewhere.
Also, take the time to inspect the chameleon carefully. Look for some of the signs of a sick chameleon listed below. You can avoid a lot of problems, and heartache just by being an informed consumer.
The size of the enclosure that you have for your 6-8 week old chameleon, and the size of the enclosure that you will have for your adult chameleon will be significantly different (enclosure sizes vary between species). Typically, a 6-8 week old chameleon can be housed in a 25-35 gallon reptarium (see housing). This will easily fit in most apartments, or houses, but by the time your chameleon is 4 months old, it will need to be moved to a larger enclosure. The size of the final enclosure will vary somewhat between species, but you should have approximately 48″ h x 32″ w x 24″ d of space to use. It would also be best if the enclosure could be elevated off the ground (so the higher limbs are above eye level) in a low traffic area of your dwelling.
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Chameleons are insectivorous and will do quite well with insects that you should be able to purchase from local pet stores. Most people feed their chameleons a regular diet of crickets, which can usually be bought from wherever you purchased your chameleon in varied sizes. However, if you live in an area where you cannot get insects regularly, they can be ordered online or by telephone and delivered to you in bulk.
It is good practice to try and feed your chameleon a varied diet of different types of insects. Some of the more common insects you should try and feed your chameleon are crickets, wax worms, meal worms, super worms, fruit flies (for younger chameleons), flies, moths, and grasshoppers. Be careful how many larger winged insects (such as moths) you feed your reptile as the wings can be difficult to digest, and this could lead to bigger problems. Also, be cautious with wild caught insects. Make sure they haven’t been subjected to any types of pesticides since these would then be passed on to your chameleon an cause significant harm to it.
Make sure not to feed your chameleon insects that are too large for it. It should not have to gag the insect down. If you see that your chameleon is doing this, try using smaller feeder insects in order to prevent choking.
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