Have you ever had a time when you went to Burger King (or whatever you like) each and every day and gained weight like crazy? Somehow it felt great to eat your favorite food every day, but on the other side you might felt tired and full every day. It happened to me a couple of times because my lack of discipline. Well, it happens, but the good news is I can get more disciplined.
Chameleons on the other hand don´t give a damn about discipline. They see a big fat worm and they will eat it no matter what. That´s their instinct. They do not know when they will be able to catch the next cricket and that´s why they eat everything immediately until it´s just not possible to eat more.
That´s why it is your responsibility to create a great panther chameleon diet plan. The fact that you are doing your research about that shows that you really love your little reptile friend and only want the best for it. So without further ado, here is how you feed your panther chameleon the right way and what you should feed it.
What Do Panther Chameleons Eat?
Panther chameleon eat everything that crawls and is small enough to fit in their mouth (sometimes they don´t care if it fits though, lol). So they eat crickets, locusts, mealworms, super worms, any kind of roaches and more. They even eat spiders! Yes, you heard right, if you are afraid of spiders, you now have your personal bodyguard. Seriously, most small spiders are pretty healthy for chameleons and they like them a lot.
What About Vegetables And Fruits?
Well, to make it short - don´t worry about it. There are chameleons that learn to eat fruits and vegetables, but in the wild all they eat is meat. The only time where panther chameleons eat fruits and vegetables in the wild is if they are dehydrated. So I would not really recommend to feed a lot of fruits even if your panther chameleon likes it. Fruits and vegetables often contain a lot of water which can lead to diarrhea. Further fruits can lead to problems with digestion because it contains lots of sugar.
I don´t want to take away your joy of sharing a banana with your panther chameleon though. Just don´t do it too often and do not feed too much of it.
The Best Panther Chameleon Food
Even though your panther chameleon likes any kind of worm more than anything else, you should not feed mealworms and super worms too often. It´s like feeding your panther chameleon pizza each and every day. Not very healthy and it makes fat really quickly. Feeding worms all the time is a sure way to reduce your panther chameleon´s life expectancy.
One of the best feeder insect you can offer your panther chameleon is the dubia roach. Dubia roaches are very meaty, very healthy. You can feed your chameleon crickets and locusts as well, to offer a little bit of variety (you should offer variety). However if you´d ask what the best food for your panther chameleon is I would say that the dubia roach is most probably the winner. Get Dubia Roaches Here!
Dubia roaches tend to hide though, so you should offer them in a box, otherwise it will hide in the panther chameleon´s tank and your chameleon won´t be able to catch it.
I also recommend to make sure that your panther chameleon has to hunt it´s food. Flies are perfect for that. Simply get some flies from your pet shop and release them inside the tank. Enjoy watching your panther chameleon catch one after the other.
Further you should feed smaller feeder insects instead of the big ones. So if you have an adult panther chameleon, get medium sized crckets instead of the large ones. Too large feeder insects can irritade your panther chameleon´s digestion. Besides that too big insects can cause injuries on your chameleon´s mouth. Such injuries could get infected, that could lead to diseases and yeah ... I think you get why you should feed smaller insects.
How Often Should You Feed Your Panther Chameleon?
That depends on how old your panther chameleon is. If you got a cute little baby you should feed every day. You will see that your baby panther chameleon is hungry as hell and will eat everything you offer. An entire box with micro-sized crickets per day is not a problem for your cute little baby. (My god, while I am writing this I am realising that I need to get another chameleon, lol)
Adult panther chameleons should not eat that much anymore. There should definitely be fasting days. I feed adult panther chameleons every second day. This prevents them from getting fat and inactive. Further it is way healthier than feeding every day.
Most chameleon keepers feed their chameleon too much without realising that this can actually be very dangerous for the animal. Many reptiles in captivity suffer from fatty liver disease and similar diseases. I recommend to have at least one to two fasting days per week.
You can then feed them 4 to 5 medium sized insects on feeding days. It depends on your chameleon, sometimes you can feed more as well. A sure way to find out if you are feeding enough is taking your chameleon to a reptile vet to check if your chameleon is too fat or too thin. However with 4 to 5 medium sized insects you should be on a good way.
Why You Must Gut Load
In case you don´t know, gut loading is loading the feeder insects with vitamins before feeding them to your panther chameleon. Your panther chameleon will absorb the vitamins when digesting the insects. This is very important as most feeder insects do not contain a lot of good and healthy vitamins.
So how to do that? It´s pretty easy. Feed the feeder insects with healthy fruits and vegetables before feeding the insects to your chameleon. I recommend to put the feeder insects in a cricket feeder box. It has enough space so that the insects do not attack each other. This way the insects survive longer and you don´t waste money on dead feeder insects.
Make sure that the fruits and vegetables do not get moldy by replacing them every day.
What About Panther Chameleons and Supplementation?
Since you know now how to feed your panther chameleon healthy food, there is no real reason to use any vitamin supplements as long as your vet doesn´t say something different.
However you definitely need a calcium supplement. Calcium is important for your panther chameleon´s bones and growth. If your chameleon does not get any calcium, it´s bones will get soft. This is the beginning of a horrible disease called metabolic bone disease which often results in the death of the reptile.
If you have a great UVB bulb like the ReptiSun, there is no need to use a calcium supplement with vitamin D3. If you are not sure if your UVB bulb is okay, get a calcium supplement with vitamin D3. Dust every feeder insect you are about to feed with this supplement.
Calcium Without D3
One of the best calcium supplements you can get for reptiles.
Feeding your panther chameleon isn´t really hard, however there are a couple of things you have to keep in mind. If you follow the advice above and let your reptile vet check your panther chameleon from time to time, you won´t have any problems.
If you have any questions, leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as possible.