The leopard geckos are one of the most common pets this is because these are friendly and also have a good personality for their owners. These pets can even wink their ears and lick their eyes. They are available in different colours and even patterns.
The price of these pets varies according to the rarity. If you want to house this pet then you should know that it is quite simple and you just need to follow certain things to keep it healthy.
- 1 About Leopard Geckos
- 2 What is the diet of Leopard Geckos?
- 3 Preventive care for your pet
- 4 Medical disorders that geckos can get
- 5 How to set up the Leopard Geckos home?
- 6 How to keep Leopard Gecko healthy?
- 7 Some safety tips
- 8 Vitamins
- 9 Hibernation
About Leopard Geckos
Leopard geckos live for about 8-10 years and these are terrestrial animals. They mostly prefer a desert environment. The newborn is 3-4 inches long while the adults can range from 7-8 inches. The males can even range to 8-10 inches.
Leopard geckos store fat in their tails so that they can use it in times when the food availability is not good. These are nocturnal creatures that can live alone and even within pairs. These are docile creatures and they need handling too. If you scare these animals they will drop their tail in defence. If they lose their tail they might regenerate it in a few months. They even eat the skin they shed.
Some of these creatures can live up to 20 years and they do not have sticky hands as like the other reptiles. And due to this reason, the pet cannot climb on the walls or any other surfaces.
Also, it has different ears and lids, unlike the other reptiles.
What is the diet of Leopard Geckos?
These creatures are mostly insectivorous and can feed on a lot of preys such as worms, crickets, flies and even mouse.
- If you are feeding the prey to your pet then you need to feed your pet 12 hours before that. The powdered gut diet for your leopard gecko is available at the stores.
- You need to feed your pet with dust feeder insects for about 3-4 times in a week. It should also include calcium supplements. You can even add the calcium powder alone in a dish.
- Try to feed small meals to your pet rather than larger meals.
- Also, make your pet available with a dish of water so that your pet can drink from it.
The diet of the leopard geckos is the one which includes live insects and that of suitable sizes. It should not be bigger than the geckos head. Also, you are required to provide fresh vegetables to the geckos so that they stay hydrated.
You need to feed the juveniles every day whereas the adults after a day.
You have to make up to the nutrient requirement of your pet and you cannot do it with the diet you should provide supplements for it.
Do consult the vet for advice and knowledge about the amount of food and supplements that should be safely fed.
Preventive care for your pet
If you are housing a leopard gecko it becomes your duty to get a daily check-up. The checkup should be done in routine and should go through about 6-12 months.
Now, when you are consulting a vet for advice then you must be aware of that person is experienced in this field. This is important if you do not want any concerns about your pet’s health. Also, it is important that you get an examination done for any parasite infection as these creatures tend to get it.
You can even get the blood tests done as it is recommended by the vet.
Medical disorders that geckos can get
- The extra shedding which would involve loss of digits, tail tips and even toenails.
- A foreign material presence which can lead to even eye loss or infections.
- Hemipenal casts that are found mostly in the males
- Egg binding can occur in the females
- Calcium deficiency
- Parasite infection
Now, we see that one of the most severe diseases or condition that can affect the leopard geckos is a metabolic bone disease. They get this mostly if they do not get enough calcium or vitamin D. Due to this disease they can get limb deformities or even spine problems. The symptoms if this disease would include less appetite and even tremors.
If you find that your pet is developing the armpit bubbles then you need not worry as these are not so dangerous. This shows that your lizard is storing something. The bubbles contain proteins, fats, vitamins and even calcium in those geckos which are overweight. If your lizard returns to a normal weight then these bubbles go away.
These geckos can also get infected to gastroenteritis and this is caused due to any bacterial infection.
If you see that your pet is passing watery stools or its tail is shrinking then these might be symptoms of this disease. This is a fatal condition but it can be predicted at an early stage.
The geckos that are not nourished well or they do not receive enough moisture then it can suffer from the dysecdysis.
In this condition, the skin appears to be dry and it causes difficulty in shedding.
Also, they are prone to a number of respiratory infections which even include pneumonia. The symptoms if these infections are bubbles of mucus or wheezing.
If you find any such conditions then you should get the treatment done immediately.
How to set up the Leopard Geckos home?
These geckos originate from the desert and they prefer a warm environment. But to stay well they even need dry conditions which involve moist and lovely hiding places.
Here in these places they mostly shed their skins. Also, it is important to know that three leopard geckos can stay in an enclosure at a time. But it is preferable that one only one of those should be male.
You have to keep your pet in an enclosure that is well ventilated and has a screen lid. You can begin to buy shopping for a tank that is of 10 gallons. Now if you geckos are adult or you are keeping more of them then you can think of increasing the size of the tank.
- The 10-20 gallon terrarium is sufficient for two geckos.
- A shelter for your leopard gecko should be designed such that it has a hiding place in it which can be removed whenever it is necessary.
- You need to provide the appropriate humidity conditions do that your pet can carry on with the shedding. Provide a hide box, paper towels, mist the tank and also keep a humidifier.
- You need to heat one end of the cage, this is so that you can bring out variations in the requirements if your lizard. Also, provide a temperature gradient. This should range from 85-90 degrees F. And for the cool side it should range from 78-80 degrees F.
- The best source that you can use for providing heat to your pet is by using a heat lamp or you can even use an emitter.
- You need to provide UVB lighting too which is for about 12 hours a day. The pet is nocturnal so if you are thinking of providing direct exposure to UVB ten it can benefit its health.
- A substrate is recommended which can be a newspaper, reptile carpet, paper towel, shell, sand or anything else but when you are using one you have to consider safety because some can cause impaction if digested accidentally.
You need to keep the environment of your pet toasty and warm. Also, while buying or setting up a tank it should be noticed that a warm side and a cool side is to be set up. This is because your pet might need different temperature conditions and if you provide it with options then it can easily decide.
For this, you can set up a heat light at one end and you can also measure the temperature using a thermometer.
Keep the temperature as per the requirement of your pet depending upon the day and night conditions. While doing this keep ten degrees less at the cool side. You can even get a hygrometer so that the humidity remains accurate.
Your leopard gecko requires lighting for 12 hours in a day. You can even use the night bulbs to know what your pet does at night. So you can easily gaze at your pet without disturbing its sleep.
First, you are required to use a layer of the substrate you can take any as per your preference. For the geckos that are small, you can make use of the reptile carpet. This is because they are too small and they can even swallow the sand.
You need to clean the tank once in a week to maintain the hygiene of your pet and also change the bedding.
Lizards enjoy hide and seek so if you place a rock or hiding places in it then you will find your pet enjoying the habitat. You only need one hiding spot for one creature. You can use branches, rocks and if you place some moss then it would be helpful to them when they are ready to shed their skins.
To increase the humidity inside the enclosure you can even spray the moss.
How to keep Leopard Gecko healthy?
This can easily be done if you consult a vet. Now when you get your new pet home, you should not handle it for the first few days. This is because they take time to adjust to new surroundings. You need to keep an eye on them and if you feel that your pet is stressed then you can take it out or consult your bet. Any pet can get sick, you just need to take your pet to the vet who is expert in reptiles so that you know the reason why actually it is not well and cures it easily.
Some symptoms of your pet being sick would include:
- Hiding more than normal
- Loss of appetite and weight
- Swollen parts
- Discolouration of eyes and skin
- Discharge from mouth, nose
If you have any issues or queries you can talk to your vet or people those who know more about the reptiles.
Some safety tips
All the pets can carry some bacterial infections or parasite diseases which can affect their owners too.
- To prevent these you need to wash your hands with warm water and soap and do this every time you come in contact with your pet.
- You should assist the children so that they can get rid of this problem very easily.
Also read: Why Is a Leopard Gecko Turning Brown?
It is necessary that you feed your pet with some required amount of gut loading. The food that the prey stores in its belly are the one which your pet will prefer to eat. This is available at the stores and you can feed your pets with the crickets and mealworms too. These contain the vitamins which are required by them.
The hibernation is normal for the leopard geckos in the wild but not the pets. You should feed your pet properly and should maintain the temperature of the enclosure in the winters so that your pet stays active. Your leopard gecko might not eat same in winters and this is because of the change in the temperature. If you keep the surroundings maintained or is not an issue and your pet will feed normally till it is spring.
All the important details that a leopard gecko owner should know are listed above. They should go through it so that they can take proper care of their pet and even prevent them from severe diseases.