Chameleons are unique pets that have captivated people with their ability to change colors and their long, sticky tongues. However, many people are unaware of what these fascinating creatures should eat to stay healthy.
Wondering “what do chameleons eat?” Read on to find out how to keep your pet chameleon happy and healthy.
Are Chameleons Easy to Care For?
As a former reptile breeder, I kept veiled chameleons along with dozens of other types of reptiles. Compared with other types of lizards, chameleons are far less beginner-friendly than many popular reptile pets such as bearded dragons or leopard geckos.
If you have a pet chameleon, it’s crucial that you understand their dietary requirements to ensure they live a happy and healthy life.
Chameleons are found in many different types of environments. For example, when I was importing reptiles, I was amazed to learn that some chameleons originating from mountainous regions need to be chilled at night. While you are unlikely to come across these in the pet market, it is still important to know what type of chameleon you have.
Each species of chameleon has slightly different nutritional requirements. In this article, my intention is to give a general answer to the question, “what do chameleons eat?” But this information is just a starting point. I highly recommend consulting a knowledgeable chameleon breeder or exotics veterinarian to determine the exact diet to feed your specific type of chameleon.
What Do Chameleons Eat in the Wild?
In the wild, chameleons feed on a variety of insects and other small prey items, including crickets, roaches, and moths. They also eat the occasional small lizard or frog.
Wild chameleons are also known to consume fruit and flowers in small amounts. This provides them with essential vitamins and minerals.
“What Should I Feed My Pet Chameleon?”
When it comes to feeding your pet chameleon, it’s important to provide a varied diet that mirrors their natural feeding habits. A staple diet of dubia roaches and other insects is recommended, with the occasional treat of fruit or vegetables.
If you are wondering “what do chameleons eat,” here are some of the best food choices for your pet chameleon:
- Dubia Roaches: Dubia roaches are an excellent food source for chameleons. They provide an abundance of protein and other nutrients that are essential for a chameleon’s health. Dubia roaches are also an excellent choice for gut loading. They make an excellent staple in your chameleon’s diet.
- Crickets: Crickets are easy to find, affordable, and provide a good source of protein. But crickets have their downsides, too. They often carry pinworm. They can bite and in extreme cases have been known to kill pet lizards. And if you are anything like me, you may not appreciate the constant chirping crickets make. Even before we started The Bug Shed, I always recommended dubias over crickets any day of the week.
- Waxworms: Waxworms are a high-fat food item that should only be given to chameleons in moderation. They are a good treat for your pet and can be found in pet stores.
- Mealworms: Mealworms are a good food option for chameleons, but they should also only be given in moderation. They are high in fat and can cause digestive problems if given in large quantities.
- Vegetables: Chameleons can also benefit from eating a small amount of fruits and vegetables, including leafy greens, such as collard greens, mustard greens, and dandelion greens, and fruits, such as mangoes and papayas. These foods provide essential vitamins and minerals that your pet may not get from a diet of insects alone.
The Live Insect Advantage
Anyone who asks, “what do chameleons eat? needs to think not only about the type of food but how to present it. When feeding your chameleon, it’s important to offer live food. This will encourage them to hunt and catch their food. Hunting is an important part of their natural behavior, and will provide an enriching experience for your chameleon.
Vitamins and Minerals
Vitamins and nutrients are extremely important. They start to develop issues that throw the average keeper off. For instance, I have seen reports of tongue paralysis stemming from nutritional deficiency in pet chameleons.
For this reason, when people ask me “what do chameleons eat?” I always mention supplements. It’s important to dust your chameleon’s food with calcium and vitamin supplements to ensure they get all the nutrients they need. Gut loading your feeder insects with nutritious produce before feeding them to your pet is also an excellent practice.
“How Often Should I Feed My Pet Chameleon?”
When it comes to the frequency of feeding, adult chameleons typically only need to be fed once or twice a day. Baby and juvenile chameleons will need to be fed more frequently. The amount of food you offer should be based on the size of your pet, with larger chameleons requiring more food than smaller ones.
What do chameleons eat? If you’ve stuck with me so far, you’ve learned the following facts:
- Chameleons are fascinating pets that require a varied diet to stay healthy.
- A diet consisting of crickets, roaches, moths, and the occasional treat of fruits and vegetables should provide your pet with all the essential vitamins and minerals they need to thrive.
- It’s important to offer live food and dust their food with calcium and vitamin supplements to ensure they get all the nutrients they need.
By following these guidelines, you can help ensure that your pet chameleon remains happy and healthy for years to come.
Ready to Make Your Pet Chameleon a Happy Camper?
Now you know some general guidelines to answer the question “what do chameleons eat?” If you are wondering now, “where is the best place to buy dubia roaches for my chameleon,” you’re in luck!
We have a wide variety of dubia roach sizes to choose from. Plus, we keep hearing people say we are the most affordable dubia roach supplier online. Shop now to see for yourself!