So you want a chameleon to share your home with? While most species of chameleons can be very demanding and sensitive animals, the veiled chameleon is very adaptable and hardy if its requirements are met.
The cage is very important, a mesh sided cage is ideal as they need quite a bit of airflow. An aquarium enclosure doesn’t have enough fresh air leaving the animal prone to respiratory infections. Luckily most pet stores carry this type of enclosure and they are very affordable. The “Zoo Med Reptibreeze” and the “Zilla Fresh Air Screen Habitat” are just a couple commonly available ones.
Diet is one of the easiest aspects. They love bugs! Gut loaded and mineral dusted crickets are the most popular choice. You can vary the diet with waxworms, silkworms, dubia roaches, and mealworms. They will occasionally enjoy a leafy green, piece of fruit, or flower. Some of their favorite flowers are hibiscus, squash, and dandelion.
Water is one of the most overlooked need for these guys. The trouble is here in Ohio it’s very hard to give them the right humidity all year long. With dry long winters it’s very important to make sure they are kept at 50-60% humidity. You can humidify the room, mist the cage twice a day, or provide a mister in the cage. Chams don’t drink from a bowl so misting twice a day to create droplets for them is important. You can also use a drip watering system. You buy them or use an old I.V. bag and drip line into a bowl.
The best ambient temperature for veiled chameleons during the day is room temperature, between 72 and 80 degrees Fahrenheit. By placing the heat bulb approximately 6 to 8 inches above a perch inside the enclosure, a basking spot of approximately 85 to 95 degrees can be achieved. A basking light and a UVB light should be mounted 6-8 inches above the highest perch in the cage.
Health concerns of the veiled chameleon mostly stem from improper husbandry. Common problems include:
Metobolic bone disease, dehydration, respiratory infections, eye infections, tongue and mouth infections, subcutaneous worms, intestinal worms, and hyper extension of the tongue.