We really needed to post about this topic because inappropriate pet purchases happen every time a movie comes out with an adorable animal or reptile that takes on human characteristics.
As so often happens, talking Chihuahuas guinea pigs and now chameleons potentially spur an inappropriate purchase and unfortunate surrender of pets adding to the already burgeoning system of animal rescue groups trying to place animals in viable homes.
Although a talking cowboy chameleon is adorable…guess what? They don’t wear cowboy hats in real life. Chameleons a lot of care and the owner needs to be well versed in the needs of chameleons. Chameleons are not appropriate as pets for children and we want to forewarn parents.
If you have been a listener of our radio show, Pets Teach Us So Much, you know in a recent episode, we reviewed what pets are good for children. A chameleon is not one of them. Rats are great pets on the other hand.
An article in Oregonlive.com states that:
“They’re (chameleons) definitely not a pet for a child,” says Marshall Brooks, assistant manager of House of Reptiles in Tigard.
Chameleons require a complexity of care that children simply aren’t equipped to provide. In fact, Brooks recommends chameleons mainly for previous lizard owners.
“Caring for a reptile is a lot different from caring for a dog or cat,” Brooks says. “They need different temperatures to be able to survive and function.”
Chameleons are diurnal and are accustomed to spending time in trees, where they get lots of sunlight exposure. In captivity, they require Ultraviolet B rays, which help them synthesize Vitamin D and allows them to digest and absorb calcium.
Chameleons are not fond of being held and in fact it stresses them. They would rather lounge in a tree. (We are refraining from making lounge lizard jokes.)
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