Choosing the most appropriate chameleon food can be accomplished by reading various books on the care of pet lizards. Veterinarians qualified to treat exotic pets, pet shop owners, or breeders can also offer feeding advice. The major rule to follow when choosing chameleon food is to offer a wide variety. A staple diet for a chameleon should consist of live insects, although fresh greens and a small amount of fruits can be given as well. It's important to supply extra calcium to an egg-laying female or breeding pair of chameleons, and this can be done with dietary supplements and proper food choices.
The age of a chameleon plays a factor in which chameleon foods to include in its diet. Very young lizards will need to feed on small insects or there may be a danger of choking. Although crickets are often recommended as a staple food for various types of reptiles and lizards, chameleons actually favor locusts. Many pet stores will sell locusts as chameleon food, or these may be purchased from a breeder. Additionally, chameleons do well on a diet of crickets, meal worms, silkworms, and cockroaches.
Chameleon owners also must gut feed the insects before they can be fed to the pet chameleon. The insects require nutritional food themselves, including fresh greens and supplemental nutritional powders. By offering your chameleon gut-fed insects, the nutrition will be passed down to your pet. When choosing live insects, such as locusts and crickets, be sure they are not larger than the width of your chameleon's head, to avoid the risk of choking and digestive issues.
In addition to live insects as a protein source, experts recommend adding a wide selection of greens to your chameleon's diet. Experiment to see which green vegetables your lizard prefers, and begin by incorporating kale and collard greens into its diet. Chameleon food may also include fresh carrots, sweet potatoes, and squash. If accepted, broccoli is a good choice for chameleon food as well.
Infant rice cereal products are enriched with vitamins and minerals and these can be a good source of nutrition for your pet chameleon. Offering your chameleon a small amount of oatmeal a few times a week is another idea. Look for cereals that do not contain added sugars, as sugar is not good for a chameleon or other reptiles.