Leopard geckos are among the most popular pets. They’re calm, easy to care for, and widely available. Moreover, they also make excellent pets if you’re looking for reptiles. So, we’ve compiled a list of crucial things to know before getting a leopard gecko.
Live A Long Time
Despite being no bigger than hamsters, leopard geckos have a longer lifespan than many similarly-sized reptiles and many pets in general. It’s said that they can live in captivity for up to ten years and, in some cases, even twenty years. So, having a pet leopard gecko is a long-term commitment.
Eat Live Food
Now, geckos are insectivores, which means they eat live insects. So yes, that means you must keep live bugs in your house to feed your leopard gecko.
Moreover, you need to keep and care for a consistent supply of live crickets, dubia roaches, or mealworms, as your leopard gecko will be happiest if you have a variety of bugs in your home. However, some people sometimes even go so far as to breed their own insect collection. But in case you’re afraid of bugs and insects, you can either have someone else handle the feeding or use special tongs to handle the insects.
Leopard Geckos Are Crepuscular
Most people believe leopard geckos are only active at night. But in fact, they sleep during the day and are crepuscular rather than nocturnal. This means they prefer to hunt between dusk and dawn when the sun is not as hot, and predators are not as dangerous. When selecting a leopard gecko, keep this schedule in mind. It could be hiding or sleeping during the day, and depending on your routine, you might see it most before going to bed or just after waking up.
Need A Heat Mat
Unlike other reptiles, leopard geckos do not bask in the sun, as they are more active at night. They instead absorb the majority of their heat from the ground. This means that, instead of UVB lights, leopard geckos require an under-the-tank heat mat. They rely on belly heat for proper digestion, so keep the heat mat handy like the Aiicioo Digital Reptile Thermostat. The selection mode in the mats allows you to control the temperature easily, and with the up, and down buttons, you can adjust the temperature. Plus, you can mount the heating pad on the side and under your terrarium with its heat mat adhesive.
Sand Is Bad
Being native to the deserts of Pakistan, India, and Afghanistan doesn’t mean that the geckos prefer sand because sand can get into the leopard gecko’s digestive system and cause impaction.
Some products, such as calcium sand, are marketed explicitly for geckos. However, this does not necessarily imply that they are a good option. Even though they require calcium, they should get it from a calcium supplement rather than eating sand like Fluker’s Repta Calcium. It is a good calcium supplement that is phosphorus-free and has vitamin B3 included in it. This help to promote the healthy bones and vital bodily functions of the reptiles.
It’s understandable to want more geckos because they’re so easygoing. After all, geckos are frequently found in tanks at pet stores. Even some people are so taken with their geckos that they become interested in keeping other lizards and reptiles. And, if you have a friendly habitat set up for your pet gecko, it may seem like a good idea to get some friends. This is not a good idea in general. As they live alone in the wild and prefer their own space in captivity.
Now, you may think, what about the pet stores that have geckos stacked on top of each other? These are typically hatchlings or juveniles who are still very young. Now, the geckos, in general, reach their age at six.
Leopard Geckos Can Lose Their Tails
Like some other lizard species, the geckos have the ability to detach their tails as a defense mechanism. This is known as autonomy, and while it is voluntary, it can be pretty traumatic. Even though the tail will regrow later, it will be smaller and stubbier than before. So, you will always need to keep an eye on your gecko’s tail and never pick it up by the tail.
You May Need A Special Veterinarian
Not every veterinarian is appropriate for treating geckos or reptiles. Find a local vet who is knowledgeable in reptiles or exotics before getting a pet reptile. You never know when you’ll need one, and in case of an emergency, you don’t have to hurry to the nearest vet available. So, it’s best to make a strategy of knowing a good reptile vet beforehand.
You Can Get A Designer Leopard Gecko
All leopard geckos do not look the same. Breeders have created what is known as morphs through selective breeding and genetics. Morphs are leopard geckos with varying colors, patterns, and physical characteristics determined by their genes. Apart from the standard geckos, you can also find geckos without spots, stripes, or black markings and those with red eyes and white, orange, or black skin. The more expensive the gecko, the rarer the breed.
A leopard gecko makes a wonderful pet for a variety of reasons. These little, colorful critters are pretty easy-to-care as well. So, these are the most important things you need to know before adopting a leopard gecko.