There are several situations where you may find yourself grappling with this question, on how long a chameleon can go without water. One instance is where you happen to own a chameleon, and you notice that he has not been drinking water for quite a while.
Another instance is where you are considering going away for a while (and leaving the chameleon alone for some time). In these sorts of situations, you are likely to have concerns on how long a chameleon can go without water. Read on, for answers.
How long can a chameleon go without water? The amount of time chameleons can go without water is about 2 days. But for a chameleon to comfortably last the two days without water, you will need to mist him thoroughly before leaving. Then upon getting back, you will need to also mist him thoroughly.
Do Chameleons Drink Water?
Before we can dig deeper into the question on how long can a chameleon go without water, we first need to know whether these creatures actually drink water in the first place. Granted, this may look like a ridiculous question for people who have lived with chameleons for long. But for people who are new to chameleons, it is a truly important question.
So, do chameleons drink water? The answer is ‘yes’. For a chameleon water is essential for survival. And chameleons get most of the water they need for survival by way of drinking. They do absorb some water through their skins as well. But drinking (by mouth) is the main way in which chameleons obtain the water they need for survival. So chameleons do drink water.
Still, it is important to point out that chameleons don’t drink their water in a manner similar to most other animals. For instance, chameleons are pretty much incapable of drinking water from a bowl or from a pool. Chameleons are more inclined to drink water if it comes from above, in the form of droplets.
Besides that, the only other way a chameleon will typically drink water is by licking droplets of it from a plant’s leaves.
How Often Do Chameleons Drink?
Another question we need to reflect on, before proceeding to answer the one on how long can a chameleon go without water, is on how often these lizards drink. Knowing how often chameleons drink lays the foundation to understanding how many days can a chameleon go without drinking water.
So, how often do chameleons drink? The answer is that chameleons usually need to drink water once or twice a day. If a chameleon is in a warm and dry climate, it will normally need to drink twice (sometimes even thrice) a day. But if a chameleon is in a cooler climate, once a day water drinking may be adequate.
How Much Do Chameleons Drink?
Yet another question that is worth looking into, before venturing to explore the one on how long can a chameleon go without water, is on how much chameleons drink. So, how much do chameleons drink? The answer is that chameleons need quite a lot of water, to stay properly hydrated.
Practically, you need enough water to keep a mist running for between 4 and 10 minutes. So a 5 liter volume may be ideal for this.
Of course, the chameleons won’t drink the entire volume of water you mist. But you need to keep a mist running, in order to activate the chameleon’s drinking reflex. After that the chameleon will start drinking the droplets, to its fill. In the meantime, the chameleon will also be absorbing some of the misting water through its skin.
So if you are using a chameleon water bottle for manual misting, 5 liter capacity may be what you need (at least). The 4-10 minute guideline for misting also applies if you have a chameleon waterfall or a chameleon water fountain.
But things can be tricky with a chameleon water bowl, seeing that chameleons are unlikely to recognize the still water in a bowl as ‘water’. So water in a bowl – whatever its volume — won’t be of much use.
How Long Can A Chameleon Go Without Water?
A chameleon needs water once or twice a day. But there are times when you find that you are unable to keep up with this chameleon watering schedule. That is for instance when you wish to travel (and therefore have to leave the chameleon alone).
There are also cases where the chameleon itself may not want to drink water for quite long periods of time. It is these sorts of situations that trigger the question on how long can a chameleon go without water.
So, indeed, how long can a chameleon go without drinking water? The answer is about two days. Thus, it is possible for a chameleon to go for a couple of days without drinking water. Beyond yet, dehydration may set in.
This applies even for a chameleon that is about to shed skin or lay eggs. Such a chameleon (which is about to shed skin or lay eggs) may go into a mode where it shows little interest in food. It may even go for a whole week without eating. But for a chameleon water is more essential. And if a chameleon goes beyond 2-3 days without water, dehydration may start setting in.
Regardless of the type of chameleon you keep, it is ideal to ensure that it doesn’t go beyond two days without water. Therefore if you were wondering, how long can a veiled chameleon go without water or how long can a panther chameleon go without water, now you know that the answer is pretty much the same. Two days is the most a chameleon can/should go without water.
How Many Days Can A Chameleon Go Without Water?
Sometimes, the people who pose the question on how long can a chameleon go without water desire a more specific answer. So they desire to know exactly how long (in terms of days) the chameleons can go without water. And the answer to this question is 2 days (48 hours).
Thus a couple of days is the most a chameleon can go without water. Beyond this, the lack of water starts becoming hazardous.
Therefore if you are going somewhere for a couple of days – and you will be leaving your chameleon alone for that duration – chances are that he will be just fine, with regard to the need for water. This is, of course, assuming that you mist him thoroughly before departing, and then mist him thoroughly immediately on arrival.
If you will be away for more than a couple of days, it is best to organize for someone to be visiting and misting the chameleon while you are away.
All in all, two days is the duration of time that you can reasonably expect a chameleon to go without water. Granted, in terms of bare survival, a chameleon may go for as much as a week without water. But this would be at the expense of its health. And this would be in the bare and bitter survival mode.
A week may be what it takes for a chameleon to die of thirst. But the two day cap we are making reference to is in terms of how long a chameleon can go without water, and without ruining its health.
How Long Can A Chameleon Go Without Food And Water?
Alongside the question on how long can a chameleon go without water often comes this longer version – on how long chameleons can go without both water and food. Now as we said earlier, in chameleons water seems to be more essential.
Thus, while a chameleon may go for a week without food, going for that long without water would almost certainly cause severe dehydration.
So the limits for water and food are different. With regard to food, a chameleon may go for as much as a week (without eating). But with regard to water, a chameleon can comfortably go only for two days without drinking.
Therefore it is important to disentangle the question on how long can a chameleon go without water from the one on how long a chameleon can go without food. It can go for longer without food. But without water, you may start seeing signs of dehydration as early as on the third day.
How Long Can A Baby Chameleon Go Without Water?
A baby chameleon shouldn’t go for more than one day without water. While an adult chameleon can go up to two days without water, a baby chameleon is more delicate. So if you have a baby chameleon, the most you should let it go without water is one day.
Otherwise you may end up with baby chameleon dehydration. And unlike adults that may withstand a bit of dehydration stoically, a baby chameleon may not be so strong. Therefore about just one day is how long a baby chameleon can go without water.
Do Chameleons Need Water Everyday?
The people who pose the question on how long can a chameleon go without water may also show interest in knowing whether chameleons need water everyday. So, indeed, do chameleons need water everyday? The answer is ‘yes’. Chameleons should ideally be supplied with water everyday.
In fact, if you are in a place with a warm and dry climate, it may be better to supply the chameleon with water twice a day.
Granted, we have said that chameleons can go for two days without water. But this should only be under exceptional circumstances. When conditions permit, you should see to it that you supply your chameleon with water every day.
When Do Chameleons Drink Water?
In nature, chameleons drink water in the morning: this being water that comes in the form of dew from leaves. Another way in which chameleons get to drink water in the wild is when it rains. These are the conditions we try to replicate for the chameleons we keep in captivity as pets.
We mimic the dew by getting water to drip from the leaves of the plants in the chameleon enclosures. And we mimic the rain through the use of misting systems.
All in all, it is ideal to provide your chameleons with water in the morning and in the evening. And as we said while answering the question on how long can a chameleon go without water, you need to ensure that the chameleon never goes beyond two days without getting water. So ideally it should be two misting each day.
But even in the worst case scenario, you need to ensure that you never go beyond two days without misting the chameleon.
How Do You Know If A Chameleon Is Dehydrated?
Inevitably, a discussion on how long can a chameleon go without water turns onto the aspect of dehydration. That is because we all realize that what is likely to follow, when a chameleon doesn’t get enough water, is dehydration. So people endeavor to know what the chameleon dehydration signs are like.
As it turns out, one easy way to tell if a chameleon is suffering from dehydration is by checking its poop. Dehydrated chameleon poop will always have yellow (rather than white) urates. So if the urates – which are the urine component of chameleon poop – are not white, but rather that yellow or orange, it is a sign of dehydration.
Another way to tell if a chameleon is suffering from dehydration is by checking its eyes. Dehydrated chameleon eyes are usually sunken.
Lethargy is another sign of dehydration in a chameleon.
So if you have a chameleon that has not been getting enough water, its poop has yellow/orange urates, its eyes are sunken and it’s lethargic, then it would mean that the chameleon is dehydrated. You would therefore need to embark on treating chameleon dehydration before it deteriorates further.
How Do You Give Water To A Chameleon?
Anyone who wants to know how long can a chameleon go without water will probably also be keen on understanding how to give water to a chameleon. So, how do you go about giving water to a chameleon? Well, there are two ways to go about this.
The first approach is where you drip the water on the leaves of the plant inside the chameleon enclosure. So, to the chameleon, the water will appear like droplets of dew on the plant. The chameleon will naturally be drawn towards to drinking such water.
Another approach is where you use the misting approach to give water to the chameleon. You can use an automatic misting machine. Or you can do the misting manually. The objective is to get the water to appear like rain drops to the chameleon. Then the chameleon will then be drawn to drink such water.
At this point, one may ask: can chameleons drink water from a bowl? And the answer is ‘no’. Chameleons don’t recognize still water in a bowl as ‘water’. In fact, even a chameleon that is dying from dehydration may still not get itself to drink water from a bowl.
Thus while a chameleon waterfall or chameleon water fountain can work well, a chameleon water bowl is likely to be more or less useless. The chameleon won’t get itself to drink from it. The bowl can actually be a drowning hazard for the chameleon.
How Do I Make Sure My Chameleon Is Drinking Water?
You only need to supply water to the chameleon by way of misting. Whether to actually drink the water or not is up to the chameleon. And as long as the chameleon has a physiological need for water, and water is provided to him in the right manner, he will be inclined to drink it.
Evidence that the chameleon is drinking water is usually in his poop. If the poop has white urates, it means that the chameleon has been drinking water. So it means that the chameleon is not dehydrated. But if the poop has yellow or orange urates, it means that there is some dehydration.
How Do I Hydrate My Chameleon?
The best way to hydrate your chameleon is by misting him. When you have a mist running, water should soon be trickling from the plant in the chameleon’s enclosure. Then the chameleon will drink it and become hydrated.
Sometimes, people who want to hydrate their chameleons faster will use the approach of drawing water with a syringe (or pipette) and squirting it directly into the chameleons’ open mouths. So this is an approach you can use, in case of severe dehydration.
Why Is My Chameleon Not Drinking Water?
Quite often, the folks who pose the question on how long can a chameleon go without water turn out to be individuals whose chameleons are refusing to drink water. So one wonders why their chameleon is not drinking water.
And as it turns out, there are two key possible reasons why your chameleon may not be drinking water. One possibility is that the chameleon is sick. This is likely to be the case if you have the scenario of a chameleon not eating or drinking at all. This requires vet attention.
Another possibility is that you are not presenting the water to the chameleon properly. If, for instance, you present water in a bowl, and expect your chameleon to drink it, you won’t have much success.
Thus, sickness and the way you present the water may be the reasons for the chameleon not drinking it.
My Chameleon Is Not Drinking – What To Do?
Firstly, you need to be certain the chameleon is indeed not drinking. This you can do by checking the chameleon’s poop. If it has yellow or orange urates, it means that indeed the chameleon is not drinking water. If you notice that the chameleon’s eyes are also sunken and it is lethargic, this would be full evidence for dehydration.
But if the urates are white, it means that he is drinking: only that you are not seeing him do it. This is a possibility when we consider how chameleons consume their water.
Once you ascertain that your chameleon is not drinking, consider the possible reasons behind it. Could it be that the chameleon is sick? Or could it be that you are presenting the water to the chameleon in the wrong way?
Where it is due to sickness, have an exotic pets vet check the chameleon as soon as possible. Where it is due to wrong water presentation, consider changing the same.
For instance, shift from giving water in a container to misting. Also ensure that the water you give is neither too hot nor too cold.
Final Verdict – How Long Can A Chameleon Go Without Water?
How long can a chameleon go without water? The maximum time chameleons can go without water (and without affecting their health negatively) is just a couple of days. If a chameleon goes beyond two days without getting water, it is at risk of suffering from dehydration.
Therefore if you are going somewhere, and leaving your chameleon alone for more than two days, it is best to organize for someone to be misting it. Otherwise you may come back to find a severely dehydrated chameleon, if not worse.