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    Feeding a Chameleon: Everything You Need To Know

    Chameleons make great pets because they appear new in various colors every time you look at them. So make it more fun by lining the base with colored rocks from the ocean, logs, and trees with flowers and colored leaves so that every time your chameleon steps on them, it takes up their color.

    Besides, they are small, ensuring that you don’t need plenty of space to host this reptile in your home. And they are not only friendly, but they will also help eliminate insects in your home.

    What Do Chameleons Feed On?

    In the wild, chameleons feed on leafy greens, crickets, worms, and other insects that come their way. Their long tongues come in handy as they help reach out for insects. However, if you have a pet chameleon, you have to be intentional about their diet for them to have a long lifespan. Therefore, you must include live food like Dubia Roaches, vegetables, and fruits.

    Live Food

    These are tiny insects and worms that are alive. Live food is the best source of meat for chameleons. It is wise to note that your house may also have some insects, such as beetles, that your chameleon can feed on, so it is okay to release it from its cage under supervision.

    • Crickets

    Crickets are easy to breed, making them the best live food for chameleons, especially those in captivity. Furthermore, chameleons enjoy hunting, and what better way to indulge them than by placing crickets in their cage.

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    You can buy crickets at a pet store near you, but first, ensure they are healthy. Please don’t feed them to your chameleon straight from the shop; you must first gut load them by providing them with other types of food and then rub them with vitamin supplements.

    Don’t buy big crickets, as they may choke your pet, ensure that they are not bigger than your chameleon head. As for adult chameleons, feed them at least ten crickets per meal.

    • Worms

    Worms are superb live food for your chameleon. They are highly nutritious and contain essential nutrients, such as fat, minerals, proteins, and carbohydrates. They also contain vitamins. There are several types of worms ideal for chameleons, and they include:

    • Mealworms
    • Wax worms
    • Butterworms
    • Hornworms
    • Silkworms

    Vegetables

    In the wild, chameleons feed on greens, so ensure that even in captivity, their diet contains vegetables. For instance, you can put small slices of mangoes and apples and place them in the cage. And when you spray the leaves with water, they will eat parts of the leaves as they drink the water.

    Other insects to feed your chameleon include flies, moths, cockroaches, and locusts.

    Boosting the Nutrients, Vitamins, and Minerals in Live Food?

    There are two ways breeders of live food boost the nutrient, vitamin, and minerals concentration in the insects. And they include:

    Gut Loading

    It would be best to gut load your insects before feeding them to your chameleon to ensure they have the necessary nutrients. Ensure that you are giving them nutritious foods with high calcium content. Food to use when gut-loading the insects include leafy greens, such as collard green, alfalfa, dandelion leaves, and mustard greens.  Don’t be tempted to gut load using lettuce, as it impairs calcium absorption. You can also feed them sweet potatoes, mangoes, carrots, broccoli, and oranges.

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    Dusting the Insect with Vitamin Supplements

    After gut loading, dust them with vitamin and calcium supplements to boost their levels. You can find the dust at a pet store near you or buy it online.

    You should first sprinkle water on your crickets and then rub or sprinkle the dust on them. You can do this minutes before feeding your chameleon to ensure not a single speck is wasted.

    If you are feeding a baby chameleon, do this 2 to three times a week and once a week for adult chameleons.

    It is believed that chameleons are prone to vitamin A deficiency, so gut loading the insects with vitamin A-rich foods and also dusting them with vitamin A supplements is highly advised. Brushing the insects with calcium supplements ensures that your insects are safe from metabolic bone disease (MBD), which is highly prevalent in chameleons.

    What is the Best Time to Feed a Chameleon?

    Chameleons are best fed in the mornings so that the food can be digested throughout the day. That said, you should create a schedule that allows you to provide your reptile pet on time. Remember to gut load the insects and dust them with the necessary supplements before feeding them to your chameleon.

    How Many Times Should You Feed a Chameleon?

    The number of times to feed a chameleon depends on their size. For instance, when a juvenile chameleon is about three months old, it should be fed at least three times a day for about five minutes. And once they get to six months, you can feed them daily. Always ensure that the food is nutritious for them to transition healthily from a baby to adulthood.

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    How Do You Feed Your Chameleon?

    Feeding a chameleon is pretty straightforward. Read on to find various ways to ensure your pets get their daily nutrients.

    Place the Insects on the Branches and Leaves

    You can place the insects on the leaves and branches in their cage. Or on the rocks and logs. But ensure they are visible to make it easy for the chameleon to feed.

    However, do not place too many insects in the habitats as some are known to be aggressive and may end up biting your chameleon at night. Place enough for them to eat and finish within a feeding period. You must check to ensure none is remaining in the cage.

    Using a Food Cup

    You can feed your chameleon using a cup. Any plastic cup, however, should be deep enough to prevent the insects from coming out. The cup should be opaque to make it noticeable and pique their curiosity at what it contains. Don’t use a transparent cup, as your chameleon may injure itself trying to reach the insects from the outside.

    Your Hands

    You can also feed your pet using your hands. This can be a great bonding moment as it will snatch the insects from your hands using the tip of the tongue.

    Chameleon Also Needs Water

    Chameleons also need water. And since they can’t drink from a cup. You can spray their cage with water. And they will drink the water on the leaves, rocks, and other items in their habitat. Do this twice a day without fail.

    Final Thoughts

    Chameleons change color depending on the places they step on, so enhance your house aesthetics by placing colored rocks and plants with colored leaves and flowers. Provide optimal care, and your chameleon will have a long lifespan.

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