Chameleons are peaceful creatures and expect the same from their surroundings. They are prone to stress and depression without much provocation. Traveling on a road with your pet is not an easy task because your chameleon becomes stressed when your car bumps along the road. During travel, make sure you always carry CITES permit papers with you.
Taking care of your pet during a short trip
Caring for your pet chameleon on a short trip is a very easy job and does not require much setup for your chameleon. A basking light, UVB, food, and water are not necessary for your chameleon during a short trip. The only thing you have to worry about is the cage setup, which is merely a box during travel.
You have to choose a box according to your chameleon’s size. Your chameleon should be able to turn inside the box. The side of the box should be rigid enough and should be opaque so that your chameleon won’t see the change in surroundings.
The most suitable ones are cardboard boxes which are not air-tight. There is no need to pierce holes for airflow purposes. You have to keep the box as dark as possible so that your chameleon will sleep during the trip and won’t wake up. If the box is not dark, then your pet will wander and become restless, but if it is dark—whether it is day or night—your pet will sleep during the entire trip. In this way, your pet will have a stress-free vacation.
In the cardboard box, keep a towel and pierce a couple of holes on the side of the box to keep the branches up In this way, your pet can have a firm grip, won’t fall off, and can avoid getting wounded.
After setting the box, keep your chameleon inside the box for a little while, even if you haven’t started to travel. This will help your chameleon to get settled inside the box. Close the box as soon as you put your pet inside the box.
In the meantime, you can start to pack the necessary things and put the packages in your car. Take the box with your chameleon at the last possible moment before you start your trip because the temperature inside the car will be high and your chameleon will feel stressed.
Make sure you keep the box in a stable position so that when you travel on a bumpy road the box won’t fell down. Constantly watch your speed and try to avoid bumpy or untarred roads.
Your trip won’t be a completely stress-free experience, but at least you can drastically reduce the stress of your pet.
There is no need to worry about your chameleon’s food because your pet will be sleeping during the entire journey. However, on the week before the journey, you should make sure your chameleon is well-fed and hydrated. On the morning of travel, give your chameleon a rather small meal or snack because it won’t get enough lighting, UVB, and basking for digestion later that day.
Unfortunately, if your chameleon feels sick, try to avoid traveling because it can be dangerous to them. You have to maintain proper food, temperature, and humidity for a fast recovery, which is not possible during travel.
Taking care of your pet during a long trip
If you are planning to travel from one state to another by car, or if the travel lasts 3 to 7 days, there are a few things you should have to take care of your chameleon. You have to pack enough food for your pet, as well as a cardboard box and a temporary cage.
Before traveling, check whether it is legal to own a chameleon in the state where you are traveling. Take the required permit papers, such as CITE, just to be on the safe side.
Buy a temporary cage for traveling purposes, like EXO Terra Faunarium, which will be helpful when you stop. Other than that, select a cage that is easy to dismantle and assemble. You can even have a collapsible mesh laundry hamper with a lid, perches, and cushions assembled as a travel cage.
Place your chameleon in the temporary cage a week before so that your chameleon will adapt to the new space. Don’t keep your chameleon in a temporary cage while traveling because it will stress your chameleon.
Food during long trips
While traveling with your pet, you can take some crickets in one container and mealworms or super worms in another container. If you want, you can bring the vegetables and fruits to gut-load the insects. Don’t forget to take vitamin and calcium supplements.
Chameleons take a minimum of 2 days to digest the food because they stay in a particular position for a longer period of time to store and use the intake food when they have finished a meal. During the traveling period, it would be enough if you provide 3 to 4 crickets per day.
After reaching the destination
After you reach your destination, assemble the temporary cage in a suitable area and then transfer the chameleon into the cage. Don’t handle your chameleon too much because they require some time to adapt to the change in the environment.
Keep them hydrated and feed them regularly so that they won’t feel sick. Use artificial lighting and place the cage near the window, if possible.
Can you travel without your chameleon?
Perhaps you want to travel to a place that has banned chameleons as pets. In that case, you have to leave your pet at home. It is advised not to leave your pet alone for weeks because they may get sick with poor diet and improper cage temperatures.
- During the week before you leave, you have to properly hydrate them, feed them, maintain proper temperature and humidity levels. If possible, buy an automatic cage mister at least two weeks prior and test whether it is working exactly as you expected. There are no automatic feeders, so in this case, you will have to teach your friend or neighbor to feed your chameleon.
- Make an instruction manual on your own and explain it to your friend who is going to take care of your chameleon in your absence. If possible, give your friends training on how to feed them a week before so that you will be more comfortable and trust that your pet chameleon is in good hands.
- You can even transfer your chameleon to a temporary cage and set it up in your friend’s house with proper lighting and temperature.
- Teach your friend how to gut-load food, dust the food, and how to feed your chameleon. Also, teach them to look out for certain symptoms in your chameleon in case your pet is not eating.
- You can’t leave a young chameleon with any of your friends because they require constant attention, and they are not easy to take care of.
- You can even hire a pet-sitter, or you can leave your pet in a trusted pet store. They have enough knowledge on how to take care of the chameleon. Give them your chameleon’s medical record as well so that if your chameleon feels sick, they will take care of it.
- Chameleons will not get along with strangers. In that case, have a friend practice spending time with your pet a couple of weeks before you travel.