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The 5 Best Foods for Chameleons

Chameleons Reptiles & Amphibians November 6, 2019
chameleon food

The 5 Best Foods for Chameleons

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chameleon food

When you hear the word chameleon, you automatically picture the small, color-changing lizard. It is a well-known fact that chameleons have the amazing ability to change the color of their skin according to their surroundings.

Unfortunately, this is where many people’s knowledge of chameleons end. These little lizards make wonderful pets, but they aren’t the right choice for everyone because they have unique needs including a specific diet.

In this article, we’ll talk about the basics of feeding pet chameleons and provide some tips for choosing the best chameleon food. You’ll also see our top 5 picks for the best chameleon food.

IMAGEPRODUCT
  • Grown organically for maximum quality
  • Choose from a variety of quantities
  • Excellent source of nutrients for chameleons
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  • Hearty species higher in protein
  • Arrive alive guarantee
  • Gut-loaded to maximize nutritional value
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  • Highly affordable price
  • Dehydrated to preserve nutrients
  • Resealable, no refrigeration needed
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  • Gut-loaded to maximize nutritional value
  • Shipped quickly in a secure container
  • Variety of quantities to choose from
VIEW LATEST PRICE →
  • Highly bioavailable source for nutrients
  • Calcium and vitamin D3 supplement
  • Fine powder easily coats insects for feeding
VIEW LATEST PRICE →

What To Look For In Food For Chameleons

Young chameleons are typically a dull gray or brown color and they have the ability to change shades to a slight degree. Their full color-changing ability doesn’t develop until around 5 months of age. In order to reach that milestone, your chameleon requires an adequate habitat and a healthy, balanced diet. Chameleons subsist primarily on insects, though you may need to supplement with vitamin and mineral supplements as well as fresh foods.

Here Are Some Important Things To Look For In Chameleon Food:

  • Real insects. Chameleons are carnivorous animals, so they require a diet high in protein. Insects should be the foundation of your chameleon’s diet with crickets making up no more than 50% of its daily intake. Aim for a balanced blend of high-protein and high-fat insects.
  • Live or freeze-dried. Live insects are best for chameleons, as long as they come from trustworthy sources. In a pinch, or to supplement your lizard’s intake, you can feed freeze-dried insects, if your chameleon will accept them.
  • No artificial additives. There is no need for your chameleon’s insects to be artificially treated with any colors, flavors, or preservatives. The freeze-drying process is adequate.
  • Fortified with nutrients. When buying freeze-dried insects, you may find that some contain added calcium or vitamin D. If you’re feeding fresh insects, coat them with a nutrient powder.

Now that you have a better idea what to look for in a chameleon food, it’s time to start shopping! Keep reading to see our top 5 picks for the best chameleon foods.

Here Are Our Top 5 Picks For The Best Chameleon Food:

Bassett’s Cricket Ranch Live Mealworms

Specs:

  • Type – Live insects
  • Amount – 2,100 count
  • Key Ingredients – Mealworms
  • Price$18.99

Pros:

  • Grown organically for maximum quality
  • Choose from a variety of quantities
  • Excellent source of nutrients for chameleons

Cons:

  • Some may arrive dead depending on shipping and weather

Every chameleon loves mealworms. They are the perfect bite-size treat and have a delicious crunch to them. If you’re looking for mealworms that are more than just your average insect, try Bassett’s Cricket Ranch Live Mealworms because they are organically grown. This means that they’ve never been exposed to any chemicals, making them a completely safe meal option for your chameleon. Order a variety of different quantities according to your needs.

Josh’s Frogs Banded Crickets

Specs:

  • Type – Live insect
  • Amount – 1000 count
  • Key Ingredients – Banded crickets
  • Price$29.99

Pros:

  • Hearty species higher in protein
  • Arrive alive guarantee
  • Gut-loaded to maximize nutritional value

Cons:

  • May be tricky to choose the right size
  • Some may arrive dead due to shipping and weather

Crickets are many a chameleon’s favorite meal, so you should always have some in stock. Keep in mind that they come in a wide variety of different sizes, so you’ll need to choose the size appropriate for your chameleon’s age and size. These banded crickets from Josh’s Frogs are properly gut-loaded to maximize their nutritional content for your chameleon and they come with a live delivery guarantee. That’s because they are a unique species (Gryllodes sigillatus) which is heartier than other cricket species and is also higher in protein. It’s a win-win for your chameleon.

Zilla’s Munchies Dehydrated Mealworms

Specs:

  • Type – Dehydrated insect
  • Amount – 3.75 ounces
  • Key Ingredients – Mealworms
  • Price$3.32

Pros:

  • Highly affordable price
  • Dehydrated to preserve nutrients
  • Resealable, no refrigeration needed

Cons:

  • Some chameleons don’t accept anything but live insects
  • May have an unpleasant odor

If you’re not sure that ordering live insects online is the right choice for you, you can always go with a freeze-dried insect instead. Zilla’s Munchies Dehydrated Mealworms are highly nutritious and properly dehydrated so they contain all of their original nutrient content. They do not need to be refrigerated and come in a convenient resealable pouch. Choose from a 3.75-ounce or 0.5-ounce package and include them in your chameleon’s staple diet or offer them as a crunchy treat.

Josh’s Frogs Live Waxworms

Specs:

  • Type – Live insects
  • Amount – 250 count
  • Key Ingredients – Waxworms
  • Price$15.99

Pros:

  • Gut-loaded to maximize nutritional value
  • Shipped quickly in a secure container
  • Variety of quantities to choose from

Cons:

  • Some may not arrive alive depending on weather
  • High fat content needs to be balanced with protein

Waxworms are an excellent source of fat for chameleons and should be included in every chameleon’s diet. These waxworms from Josh’s Frogs are gut-loaded to maximize their nutritional value and they are packed securely and shipped quickly to ensure that they arrive at your home safe and alive. Choose from a number of different quantities and know that your chameleon is getting the best of the best. It will always be happy to enjoy a meal of juicy waxworms.

Zoo Med Repti Calcium Supplement

Specs:

  • Type – Supplement
  • Amount – 3 ounces
  • Key Ingredients – Calcium carbonate, vitamin D3
  • Price$3.99

Pros:

  • Highly bioavailable source for nutrients
  • Calcium and vitamin D3 supplement
  • Fine powder easily coats insects for feeding

Cons:

  • Some containers arrive clumped together
  • May have an unpleasant odor

In addition to choosing live insects for your chameleon, you also need a high-quality nutritional supplement. Chameleons have a high risk for deficiencies in calcium (especially females) and vitamin D, so this Zoo Med Repti Calcium Supplement is the perfect choice. It contains a highly bioavailable source of calcium carbonate and vitamin D3 and comes in a fine powder that easily coats insects for feeding.

Tips For Feeding A Chameleon

Chameleons are challenging pets to keep for a number of reasons, including their need for live insects and nutrient fortification. If you’re not willing to provide for your chameleon’s specific needs, you may want to consider another pet. It is not difficult to feed a chameleon, but you do need to pay attention to the details and choose the right foods.

Here Are Some Simple Tips For Feeding A Chameleon Properly:Here Are Some Simple Tips For Feeding A Chameleon Properly:

  • Feed your chameleon as many different types of insects as possible – this is the best way to ensure that its nutritional needs are met.
  • Do not offer crickets as more than 50% of your chameleon’s diet.
  • Make sure your live insects are gut-loaded prior to giving them to your chameleon – this simply means feeding them nutritious foods, so the nutrients are transferred to your chameleon.
  • Dust your chameleon’s insects with a calcium and vitamin D supplement at every other feeding.
  • Offer your pet small amounts of fresh greens and other veggies a few times a week.

Now that you have a better understanding of your chameleon’s nutritional needs, you have the information you need to put together a healthy and balanced diet. Just make sure to choose high-quality insects to feed it.

Final Remarks

Chameleons require real insects as the staple of their diet, so you may have a harder time finding them online than other commercial reptile foods. When shopping for chameleon food, just look for products that are as natural as possible. If you’re still not sure where to start in looking for a chameleon food, try out one of the top 5 best chameleon foods we’ve reviewed above. Good luck!

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Kate Barrington is avid pet lover and adoring owner of three cats and one dog, her love for animals has led her to a successful career as a freelance writer specializing in pet care and nutrition. She has been writing about pet care and pet products since 2010
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