What is the average cost of owning a chameleon? If you’re into reptiles or exotic pets and you’ve been thinking of getting one of these critters, you need to read this article to understand whether you are ready or not from a financial standpoint. One thing that we have to make clear is that you should analyze the costs also in terms of the time you will spend caring for your pet.
The cost of the animal itself might be anywhere between thirty to one hundred dollars, depending on the age and the particular species. Very young chameleons tend to be cheaper compared to those that have reached the age of five to eight months, and that’s because the young ones might get sick rather easily, especially if they are not properly taken care of.
What is really expensive about keeping pet chameleons is getting all of the right equipment. Start by doing as much research as possible to make sure that you get the right chameleon enclosure. You will spend anything from $400 to $1,200 depending on what you choose. Some terrariums can cost a pretty penny, while others might be more affordable. Do not get the cheapest one out there unless you know it’s good enough.
Every month or so, you will have to remove the poop, clean the plants using lukewarm water, as well as replace any parts of the flooring that have become dirty. You might even have to wash the windows of the terrarium once in a while. On top of the enclosure maintenance, you have to keep in mind that you should always invest in a quality heat source, as well as a UV bulb or tube.
Even though they might not be necessary in all of the cases, you are going to spend your money on calcium powder, a thermometer and a hygrometer, a mist machine, and all the rest of the things that go a long way in keeping your chameleon healthy and comfortable. As you probably know, this type of pet feeds on insects, so a young one might eat a bit more crickets compared to an adult. The pet might also feed on fruit and vegetables, and let’s face it, these won’t make you break the bank. The insects, though, might especially since little chameleons can be quite ravenous.
The UVB lights that you will install in the terrarium have to be replaced every year. Although they might appear to be the same and you might have the feeling that they create just the same amount of heat and light, they don’t. Their performance decreases with every minute that goes by.
Finally, something you should never forget about is that, just like with any other type of pet, you need to take your chameleon to the vet’s office for regular checkups but also for emergencies, in the hopefully unlikely event that these might happen. Generally, if you take good care of the pet, there might not be any such unknown situations to handle, but it’s better to be safe than sorry, so that’s why regular checkups are necessary. Any trip to the vet’s office (and treatment) might cost you a minimum of $200.