Nobody said that having a reptile won’t come on your way when you’re planning for a vacation. But does it mean you can’t have a vacation at all? Well, definitely not! You still can have it. But the question is – what to do with your chameleon when you are going on a vacation?
There are two things that you can do before heading for your holiday spot. One, you can automate the entire setup of your chameleon enclosure, and two, hire a chameleon sitter who will look after your reptile. They’ll ensure everything your reptile needs, including food, light, and water.
But is there no other way to keep your chameleon safe and healthy when you’re going for your holidays? Well, that’s what we’re about to start talking on, and also some other aspects that you’d probably love to know about.
Things to Ensure Before Going on Vacation Without Your Chamaleon
We bet you love your chameleon enough to make sure that it gets everything it needs when you’re away from it for a few days. But what are they? Well, here’s the list.
You may be concerned that your chameleon won’t have enough to eat while you’re gone. Some of the chameleon owners even mistakenly believe that their reptiles have the same metabolic rates as humans. And guess what? They end up overfeeding their pets.
These color shifters don’t use a lot of energy as they stay still most of the time. As an adult, your chameleon will only require a meal once every three days. That doesn’t mean they can’t go for longer without food, but we don’t think that would be a good idea.
So, before you head for your holiday spot, make sure that your chameleon is getting easy access to food. The best way to do this is to provide it in a dish, And it’d be best if you’ve got the chance to do that with an automated feeder. For extended absences, a sitter should be hired to bring in food and water.
But if your reptile is into a variety of food, having extra feeders in the cage or setting up two feeding bowls should do the trick. By the way, if you want your lizard to stay well-hydrated, don’t forget to leave a piece of carrot or sweet potato with the feeder.
Don’t take any headaches about supplements while you are gone since this may reduce the lifespan of your feeders and cause unnecessary stress for your sitter. Just prepare two identical plastic takeout containers.
Put in a similar amount of feeders in both of them, along with a slice of carrot in all the containers. Right by their side, set two more of the container. You need to do this because your sitter will simply appreciate how simple it is to come in and swap out the dishes for feeding.
Without delving too further into detail, we’ll say count the water as the single most crucial component of your system. After all, water is essential for a chameleon’s survival more than anything. It’s not that they use it for drinking or cleaning themselves, but they also need it for shedding.
To serve this purpose, we’d suggest installing something like Mist King automated misting system. That’s because this kind of misting system simplifies care for your chameleon and guarantees it drinks enough water. And if you’ve got a shortage of ideas on the misting part, you can simply click here to get some.
By the way, don’t forget to determine the daily water consumption of your mister. So fill the reservoir accordingly. When you’ll be gone for an extended period of time, place a jug filled with water close by the enclosure and give the sitter the required directions on how to refill the mister.
We can totally understand if you’ve got no automated misting system or got no chance of installing one right now. In such cases, you can simply train the sitter with hand spraying but make sure that’s not stressing out the reptile.
If you’ve already got automated lighting timers in there, this shouldn’t cause you much of a hassle. In case you’re still sticking with the manual lighting, then sorry to say, but you cannot leave home for a trip without setting up the right lighting system.
In our opinion, digital timers are superior compared to analog ones since they are more accurate, simple to set, and don’t emit that unpleasant ticking sound. They cost roughly $10 and can be purchased easily.
Purchase one for the UVB lamp and a heat bulb for your chameleon. Once you start using it, you can easily turn it on for about 12 hours and then turn it off for about the same amount of time.
If you plan on being gone for more than a few days, you better bring an extra bulb for each fixture. Specify which bulbs need to be changed and how, and give detailed instructions to the sitter before you depart.
For How Long Can You Leave Your Chameleon Alone?
There is no need to worry if you leave your chameleon alone over the weekend. Before leaving, all you have to do is feed it, spray the enclosure thoroughly and set the light on timers. But always make sure that you’re going for a misting session and a meal as soon as you get back home.
Similarly, if you’re leaving for a longer period of time, you better mist it well, place enough worms in a decent-sized feeder cup, and then go. However, you shouldn’t leave for more than a few days if you don’t have a sitter to come in once per day or twice per day to check out how things are going. After all, there are a ton of things that can get messed up with the equipment when you’re not around.
If you decide to hire a house sitter, you’ll need to instruct them on how to care for your reptile, how to handle equipment failures, and how to deal with the situation when your pet gets sick. The thing is, not every sitter is used to looking after unique pets like chameleons.
Why Leaving a Baby Chameleon Alone is a Bad Idea?
We’re calling it a bad idea. This means it’s surely going to do something bad with your baby chameleon if you’d leave the reptile alone for your holidays. The fact is, you shouldn’t leave your baby chameleon alone for more than a day. So, when you’re gone during the day, for work or school, that time can be excused but not more than that.
One of the prime reasons why you can’t leave them alone while going on a vacation is it would be nearly hard to feed a baby enough before you left. After all, they take in massive volumes of food though it’s surprising that they can eat so much at such a young age.
If you really can’t skip the vacation, you can hire a babysitter, but it’s unlikely you’d find someone with the expertise in taking care of chameleons, especially babies. You can simply ask your neighbors to help you out too. But the thing is, you can possibly teach them to take care of adult chameleons, but a newborn needs special attention, and we don’t know how much they can pull that off.
There’s a chance that by doing something like that, you might end up getting worried rather than enjoying your vacation to the fullest. So, what you can do is leave your chameleon with someone experienced who knows what to do. And the best thing to do? Not leaving your reptile alone at all.
When You Can’t Help Having a Sitter?
We can understand if you’re not into getting a sitter for your reptile. But when you’re up for a vacation, we don’t think you’ve got too many choices. Now the question is, how to be sure that you need to hire someone to look after your favorite color shifter? Well, under the following situation, calling for a sitter will be an ideal move.
No Automated Setup
If you’re not there, someone has to be there to turn on the switch, right? Well, that can be avoided by installing an automated setup whether it’s of misting or lighting. But if you’re in a rush and got no time to do that, asking for the help of a sitter will be the best thing to do.
Age & Health
When it comes to adult chameleons, leaving them for a few days shouldn’t be a problem. But we can’t say the same if your reptile is a baby. We’ve already talked about this earlier. But if there’s any experienced sitter there who can help you out, you can surely hire them for your lizard.
Along with age, the health of the chameleon plays a vital role when it comes to hiring a sitter. If your reptile is struggling with sickness, or laying eggs, then bringing in an experienced sitter will become mandatory before your flight takes off.
You can’t always stick to the same schedule of 3-4 days of holiday or vacations, can you? Sometimes you need a bigger break, like a week or more. In such cases, asking for the help of a sitter will be a wiser choice.
Things are a bit easier when you’ve got a regular pet, something like a dog or cat. But having a chameleon is a totally different chapter. Taking care of a reptile might not bother you that much, but going on vacations without it can surely be a challenge.
But that doesn’t mean you need to say goodbye to holidays just because you own one of these lizards. With the right setup and a sitter, you can still enjoy your holidays to the fullest without causing any extra trouble to your reptile.