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Home > Reptiles > Are Chameleons Dangerous? Facts, & FAQ

Are Chameleons Dangerous? Facts, & FAQ

close up of a chameleon

Many parents and people in general are hesitant about bringing home a chameleon as a pet because they don’t understand if they’re dangerous or not. This is a valid concern that should be considered before bringing one into a house full of other pets or children. Chameleons come in various sizes, and some are quite large and can be more aggressive than others.

Chameleons are not typically a danger to humans and are a very low-risk pet to have. However, they are still solitary animals and not a reptile that you want to handle if you can avoid it. The worst that can happen is a bite. Still, it’s best to avoid it when possible.

There aren’t a lot of pets that are completely safe, but you can pretty much ensure nothing too bad will happen with a pet chameleon if you learn how to handle them properly and give them an ideal habitat to live in. If your chameleon is happy, they are going to be a lot less grumpy.

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Are Chameleons Dangerous?

No, chameleons are not dangerous to humans. Wild chameleons spend their lives living alone in the trees. Whenever they feel threatened, they either change color to hide or run from the situation. It isn’t often that they bite someone, but it does happen occasionally. If you’re worried about being bitten, know that this situation is avoidable more often than not.

chameleon hiding behind the leaves
Image by katja, Pixabay

How to Handle Chameleons

Handling chameleons improperly is one of the few reasons why humans get bit by them. These lizards do not enjoy being touched and moved too much. The goal is to keep them in a permanent state of low stress. Touching them too much makes them less happy and more anxious over time.

The only time you should handle your chameleon is whenever absolutely necessary, like when cleaning their enclosure. Always be gentle enough that you don’t hurt them but still firm so that they can’t get away from you. Move slowly when holding onto them and keep contact to a minimum.

Related Read: 10 Fascinating & Fun Chameleon Facts You Never Knew

Do Chameleons Bite?

A bite from a chameleon is rare but not impossible. They are slightly painful but it’s not common for them to draw blood. If they do happen to draw blood, make sure to keep the wound clean and consult a doctor to be safe. Chameleons only bite when they are mishandled, hungry, scared, anxious, or when you are trying to check their mouths or jaws for abnormalities. To avoid it, keep your hands away from them unless necessary.

chameleon opening its mouth
Image By: André Pretorius, Pixabay

Do Chameleons Have Teeth?

A chameleon’s teeth are so small that some owners hardly even know that they are there. Their teeth are mainly used for eating insects and tearing apart leaves and other plant material. They do chew their food as well. Still, be grateful that you aren’t getting bit by something with much sharper teeth.

Signs of Aggression

Always keep your eyes peeled for signs of aggression when you’re by your chameleon. This could include them hissing, changing color, or staring at you. If you are bitten, try your best to refrain from pulling your hand away because it is more likely to break the skin.

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If you’ve let the idea of a dangerous chameleon prevent you from bringing one home, you now know that these reptiles are some of the safest pets to have in your home. They are completely safe to be around and, even if you do get bit, it’s not likely that they’ll even create an injury.

Featured Image Credit: Schwoaze, Pixabay

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