Getting an Awesome Pet Reptile – Chameleons!

I currently keep two chameleons at home, a veiled chameleon (Chamaeleo calyptratus) named Pascal and a panther chameleon (Furcifer pardalis) named Vai. Both housed separately in their own vivariums.

The Veiled Chameleon originates from the Arabian Peninsula of Yemen and Saudi Arabia, (hence they are often also called Yemen chameleons). The panther chameleon originates from various parts of Madagascar.

Both of these species are commonly available in reptile specific retailers in the UK.

So what makes them so good?

Whist a chameleon may not always be thought of as a first time reptile pet, if you are willing to do the research, ask the questions (question the answers!) , get support and buy the right equipment, there is no reason why a chameleon couldn’t be the ideal choice for you.

They are a fascinating reptiles to observe and often they may become tame, and even be handled once settled in. But, if you are looking for a pet you can get out and cuddle with, then you will need to look elsewhere! Don’t let this put you off though, once settled into their new home, more often than not, they are great pets. I always provide the option for my chameleons to come out on me by offering my hand or arm for a minute or two. If no interest is shown, I just allow them to carry on doing what they are doing and try again another day. Most of the time, its just patience and perseverance that’s needed to gain the trust.

I also find the research needed for their upkeep a highly interesting part of keeping them, and I’d always recommend you know as much as you can before you decide on what you want. From knowing about the natural origin, the environment, the eating habits. To what food is available for you to purchase here in the UK, and the specialist equipment needed for the up-keep. Both the veiled chameleon setup and the panther chameleon setup are easy to put together.

Vai, my panther chameleon

Vai, my panther chameleon

There are Facebook groups like Chameleon Britain (the one I started) where you can also go to ask questions. Remember, NO question is a stupid question when a little life is in your hands. There are many experienced keepers willing to help. But also many just starting out. We are all there for the same reason. We love our Chameleon’s.

There is nothing better than getting a Chameleon from young (or a rescue) then watching it grow and flourish in its artificial environment you have created for it. Watching it feed (the famous shooting of the tongue) is one of the most amazing things to watch. Getting to know it’s moods and traits (the famous colour changing). And just observing its daily routines. It’s all highly rewarding.

But, as they are a exotic pet, specialist equipment is needed that is specific to that species. All this comes at a cost. I’m a firm believer of getting the best equipment available as I want the best possible life for my chameleons. I wont buy the cheaper brands. You will come to learn via research, it the world of reptile keeping, there are a few brands that are a little more expensive, it’s because they are the best at what they do!

So, talk to the specialist reptile centres (like Northampton Reptile Centre) as well as groups about what the best equipment available is. Someone will show you, and discuss with you what is needed!

Video of Pascal

If you’d like to discuss chameleons further with me, why not join me on my chameleon specific Facebook group – Chameleon Britain. You’ll come as a guest, but stay as family. We’ll watch and learn together.

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10 Responses to Getting an Awesome Pet Reptile – Chameleons!

  1. Gary Rolfe October 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm #

    Thanks Pete! I’d also like to add that your group is a fantastic resource for chameleon keepers – keep up the good work!

  2. Gary Rolfe March 11, 2015 at 4:15 pm #

    Thanks Pete! I’d also like to add that your group is a fantastic resource for chameleon keepers – keep up the good work!

  3. Nathan leach March 11, 2015 at 9:03 pm #

    excellent information there. everyone who has a interests in these beautiful creatures should add the chameleon Britain page. as a member that helps Pete and few others out with this page.we offer very friendly advise and will help anyone with anything they need.

  4. Jade October 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm #

    All hail king pete <3

  5. Adam Cowie October 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm #

    Those with an interest in Chameleons should definitely head over and join the Chameleon Britain page, with great knowledge being provided there isnt much room for error!

  6. Jade March 14, 2015 at 3:47 pm #

    All hail king pete <3

  7. Adam Cowie March 14, 2015 at 3:49 pm #

    Those with an interest in Chameleons should definitely head over and join the Chameleon Britain page, with great knowledge being provided there isnt much room for error!

  8. Gary Rolfe April 21, 2015 at 9:29 pm #

    test

  9. Gary Rolfe April 21, 2015 at 9:45 pm #

    test

  10. Nathan leach October 8, 2019 at 2:11 pm #

    excellent information there. everyone who has a interests in these beautiful creatures should add the chameleon Britain page. as a member that helps Pete and few others out with this page.we offer very friendly advise and will help anyone with anything they need.

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