Chameleons aren’t as popular as dogs and cats, and that’s only understandable given that they require a bit more care and attention compared to other types of animals. But are they good for kids? The answer to this question isn’t straightforward at all because there are two things that parents have to consider, and they are whether the animal makes a good choice and whether children can care for it and handle it properly.
Let’s look at several factors that every responsible parent should keep in mind when considering bringing a pet chameleon into the household.
Do they make good companions?
The fact of the matter is that chameleons are fascinating, what with their long tongues and living and eating habits, but they might not be the best companions. They find it hard to interact with humans, and their lifestyle often makes them sit in the same spot for several hours on end. So, in this respect, kids might not have just as much fun with a chameleon as they would with a dog, for example.
Biting and disease are the most important concerns that have to be tackled before bringing this type of pet into your home. Reptiles can carry a lot of bacteria, in general, including Salmonella, so it is essential to explain to the children that they should always wash their hands after handling the chameleon.
Even though most chameleons aren’t really aggressive, there have been cases where they became nervous and have ended up biting humans. While a bite from a young chameleon won’t do a lot in the way of pain but it might scare the child, one from an adult might cause a bit of damage as it will break the skin.
Do your research before getting the chameleon in the first place. Most mild-mannered reptiles will remain so for the rest of their lives. If the breeder has told you that the one you might be interested in taking home does bite, it’s better to avoid choosing him or her.
The costs of keeping a pet chameleon
While this aspect might not be a concern of your children, it will definitely make an impact on you, as the parent that’s financially responsible. You’ll need to install several pieces of equipment to ensure the comfort that a chameleon needs.
You’ll have to get a terrarium, which might cost a lot depending on its size and design, as well as UVB fluorescent bulbs, a dripper, a thermometer for keeping tabs on the temperature in the tank, and many other items like these.
You can, of course, purchase a terrarium for an affordable price, but we wouldn’t suggest getting the cheapest one, especially if it is used. If you do want to save money and get a product that’s been used by someone else before, it might be a good idea to actually meet the seller and get to look at and touch the tank before investing in it.
The enclosure could cost anything from $50 to $1,000, the UVB lighting will cost you around $45 to $100, while the animal per se will cost between $50 and $350 depending on the age.