Buying Your First Chameleon

Let’s start off with a huge congratulations on deciding to add a panther chameleon to your household.  We have absolutely fallen in love with these creatures, and we hope that you do as well.  There are a lot of important decisions to make before bringing home your first panther chameleon.  We cover most of the important aspects of having a proper setup here.  Today I am going to talk more about making sure you choose the best panther chameleon for your wants and needs.

If this is your first panther chameleon it is vital that you purchase from a responsible and supportive breeder.  There may be websites out there that offer panther chameleons for sale at cheaper prices, but these are often wild caught, not very well cared for, and the companies that sell these animals do not have the best interest of their animals in mind.  You can usually identify these types of websites by the sheer quantity of different types of animals they have for sale.  They will usually have hundreds, if not thousands, of different types of reptiles for sale.  For your first experience owning a panther chameleon you will want to make sure that chameleon has been given the best start in life possible.  This can be found with responsible breeders who focus solely on chameleons.

If you have found a breeder that seems to be dedicated to chameleons, then you are on the right track.  The next important step is to see if they give appropriate care advice.  You will sometimes come across breeders that are so desperate to make a sale they will tell you whatever they think you want to hear.  You will want to run the other direction if the breeder is telling you that it is safe to house multiple panther chameleons together in one cage, or appropriate to have your children hold the chameleon all day, or if they tell you a panther chameleon will do just fine in a 20 gallon aquarium.  These types of breeders just want to make a sale.  They do not care about the health  and future of the chameleon they sell.

It is also very important that your chameleon breeder is happy to answer any care questions that you may have, or send you to the appropriate link to answer your care questions.  If your chameleon breeder isn’t happy you are asking questions before you bring a new chameleon into your life, then they aren’t very concerned about you being successful with your new chameleon.

Be particularly wary of any chameleon breeder that offers to ship you a chameleon with anything other than priority overnight shipping.  While it’s likely that a chameleon will survive a 2-3 day shipping process, it’s simply irresponsible to take that sort of risk when Fedex priority overnight shipping is available.  Shipping a chameleon this way is a relatively stress free process for the chameleon as they are being shipped during their normal sleeping hours anyway.  Most chameleons simply go to sleep in their shipping boxes and wake up at their new home.

You will also want to decide if you would like a male or female panther chameleon.  Female panther chameleons by far have some of the most amazing personalties, but if bold bright colors is what you are looking for, you will want to purchase a male panther chameleon.  If any breeder tells you that a female will grow up to look like her sire, they are lying to you.  Females can be quite colorful in their own way, but males are the ones that are famous for the bold color patterns.

You will also need to make sure you provide a lay bin if you do choose to purchase a female panther chameleon.  Female panther chameleons will lay eggs whether they have been bred or not, and it is vital that they have access to an adequate lay bin to have their eggs.  You will want something that is at least 12″x10″x12″ filled with a moist mixture of organic potting soil and play sand.  Female panther chameleons will dig a tunnel into the soil and lay their eggs.  All females MUST be provided with a lay bin.  Your breeder should inform you of this if you choose to have a female.

The final topic I want to cover is that a responsible panther chameleon breeder will continue to offer you help and advice, even after they make the sale.  Responsible breeders should be always be concerned about the long term health and care of the chameleons they sell.  If a breeder will not offer support after they sell you a panther chameleon, find someone else to purchase from next time.