In some way, leopard geckos are like dinosaurs. From their wedge shaped heads, long tongues and big eyes to their movement, these small creatures resemble cute dinosaurs that will never grow up to eat you. But beneath their prehensile tails and innocent looks is an animal that needs special care.
Geckos require specific body temperatures and proper humidity to survive. Discover 6 ways to help take care of a leopard gecko if you want him to live long and healthy.
You have several choices when choosing proper housing for a leopard gecko. A baby gecko should be housed in a small reptile tank, preferably a 10 gallon sized tank. The housing should have a screen for easy monitoring and access to the outside world. Adult leopard geckos can grow to be 7 inches long.
Find a 20-gallon glass tank for your adult leopard gecko. If you have more than one gecko, don’t keep two males in one tank. They fight, especially in the presence of females.
Geckos have bodies that change temperature depending environmental temperature. During warm months, your pet gecko could get as warm as 80 degrees Fahrenheit.
In a cold night, the same pet could have its body temperature drop to -65 degrees Fahrenheit. To provide your pet the warmth he needs, place a low watt bulb on one side of his tank. Preferably, place the bulb near your gecko’s favorite basking place.
As an alternative to a light bulb, a ceramic heat emitter set at the right temperatures will help keep your pet warm irrespective of the external temperatures. A heat pad next to your gecko’s favorite plant will also provide the heat needed.
3. Physical Comfort
While they are reptiles, leopard geckos don’t lay on the ground like an alligator. They don’t bury themselves in the sand or dig holes. Your little dinosaur-looking creature prefers to climb on trees and small vegetables.
If you want your pet to enjoy living in your house find him a housing that resembles his natural habitat. Originally, leopard geckos live in a group of islands between Fiji and Australia. They live on dry wood branches but will occasionally climb on small rocks as well.
A good kit for your leopard gecko pet should at least have one live plant or dried wood branches. These geckos also love to jump. Find your pet several woods to help him crawl from one edge of his vivarium to the other.
Additionally, ensure the housing is large enough to keep the gecko comfortable. Most leopard geckos also love to jump around. Find a cage that measure at least 12 inches in length and width and 15 inches high.
Get a hygrometer and keep your pet gecko at a humidity of between 60 and 80 percent. Regular misting with warm water will keep the pet at the right leopard gecko humidity without exposing him to health vulnerabilities.
Since your beloved pet is most active at night, ensure that humidity levels in his cage are optimum. If you live in a relatively humid area, you should also check the gecko often to ensure that the excess moisture isn’t affecting him or her.
leopard geckos love to eat fruits and insects. When buying any commercial gecko food ensure that fruits and insects are important ingredients. The ideal balanced food for your gecko pet should have a mix of silk worms, crickets, dried bananas, coconuts and watermelons.
These ingredients must be naturally dried and flavored to attract your pet’s scent. Most geckos savor good-tasting food-look the best food for them. If you know a guy who can provide crickets for your pet, order some regularly. Some leopard geckos love fresh insects and fruits a lot.
Once you have the food, learn how to feed your pet. Geckos can’t chew pellets or swallow large chunks of food. They can only swallow food smaller than the space between their eyes. Reptile nutritionists recommend that you mix the food with vitamin supplements and little amounts of water.
You can also provide you pet with pure, low water in a small dish. But naturally, geckos are trained to suck water from the succulent leaves they sometimes lay on.
6. Health and Sanitation
One advantage of having a gecko pet is that you only get to take him to the vet once in a year. You can take him more often, but leopard geckos experience fewer health problems when properly maintained.
When properly fed with naturally sourced ingredient, when housed at the right temperatures and lighting, you almost will never see a reptile pet get sick. You beloved leopard gecko could actually live up to 20 years when well-kept.
However, keep in mind that leopard geckos are really soft reptile. Always handle your pet with care and protect him from common predators such as snakes.