Here are 5 things chameleons love to eat
One of the first things you need to know about a chameleon if you’re considering having one as a pet is its diet. Chameleons don’t just eat your standard pet food and it’s important to give them the right sorts of nutrients to help them stay happy and healthy.
The chameleon diet consists of the sorts of foods it would find in the wild. Chameleons are insectivores, so they get most of their energy from insects like crickets and meal worms. Some chameleons eat other smaller reptiles, as well as small mammals. Though chameleons are less interested in plant food, they will eat it if there’s a shortage of other options.
The better you can feed your chameleon, the longer and healthier its life will be. Make sure you’re knowledgeable on the best and worst foods for your particular breed of chameleon, and ask a specialist if you’re unsure.
If you’re wondering what chameleons eat, take a look at their most common diet choices below:
By far a chameleon’s favorite food, insects are widely available both in the wild and in pet stores across the country. You can purchase live or freeze-dried crickets or meal worms at a relatively low cost for your chameleon. Many online stores offer a good variety of insects, and some places will give you the option to batch-buy and save a significant amount of money from doing so.
If you’re purchasing live insects for feeding, make sure you load them up with nutritious foods that your chameleon will benefit from after eating them. You can buy these foods, known as gut loads, from most pet stores.
It’s the less popular option among chameleons, but like us humans, it doesn’t do a chameleon harm to get its fair share of plant matter alongside its protein sources. Some chameleons are keener on plants than others, but if you’ve got one that’s not so picky, make the most of it and offer up a variety of chopped leaves on a daily basis.
You’re most likely to get your chameleon to eat dandelion, kale and lettuce, so start with those if you’re unsure. You may also be able to persuade your chameleon to eat mustard and collard greens.
Mice are another of a chameleon’s favorite foods. Larger chameleons enjoy eating mice alongside insects as a good protein-rich snack. Newborn mice are available from some pet stores and make for a nutritious treat for your chameleon. They’re fairly high in fat, so limit your offerings to perhaps once or twice a month.
It’s far nicer to use dead mice to feed your chameleon as opposed to live mice. You can usually buy frozen dead mice for a relatively low price, and you can keep them stashed away for quite a long time. Simply thaw them with hot water when it’s time for feeding and check they’re at room temperature before you hand them over to your chameleon.
Even while feeding your chameleon what you feel is the best diet you can provide, it might still be missing out on a number of supplements it could get from eating a broader diet in the wild. That’s why some pet stores offer supplements specifically designed to provide your chameleon with all the nutrients it needs.
Calcium and vitamin D3 are especially important for your chameleon, as they help to keep your chameleon’s bones healthy, as well as assisting in skin shedding, improving metabolite functions and preventing liver problems. Some supplements can also help your chameleon to digest protein properly. You can give your chameleon a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement once or twice a week.
It might sound obvious, but no diet is complete without a good source of water! Chameleons prefer to drink from a water bottle than a bowl, which you’ll be able to find at most pet stores. You could also use a water mister, which forms droplets on leaves and other areas of your chameleon’s home that it could then drink from. If you’d rather take control yourself, use a handheld spray mister and spray your enclosure for around two minutes every morning and evening.