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Basic Leopard Gecko Care

Are you considering adopting a reptile? A leopard Gecko may be a great choice for you! Here, a Farmers Branch, TX vet discusses caring for these cute lizards.

Basics

Leopard geckos are not very large, which is one reason they are such popular reptiles. Actually, they only reach about 10 inches long. It’s worth noting that they can live up to 20 years. Before adopting one, make sure you are ready to make that kind of commitment!

Temperament

These little guys are generally very docile, though you will need to properly socialize your scaled buddy. Handle your gecko gently and frequently. Try letting the little guy hang out on you while you read or watch TV!

Cage

Your pet will need a terrarium that is at least 20 gallons, if not larger. Be sure to add a suitable substrate, such as turf, butcher paper, flat stones, or pea gravel. It’s also important to offer hidey-holes, so your reptilian pal has a place to retreat to if he gets scared. One of the hides should contain vermiculite or moss, to help with shedding. Gecko cages can actually be very attractive! Add driftwood, plants, climbing branches, and rocks. This will not only make your pet’s habitat look nice, it will make it more fun and interesting for him.

Environment

Geckos don’t need special lights: a low-watt tank light will do just fine. Set the light to a timer, so your lizard can experience regular light cycles, just as he would in the wild. As far as temperature, your little buddy will need two different temperature zones. This will allow him to regulate his body temperature by moving back and forth between them. The warmer end should stay between 85-90 °F, and the cooler end between 73-75 °F. Use under-tank heating instead of heating rocks, as it’s much safer.

Diet

Leopard geckos eat things that are generally referred to as creepy-crawlies, such as mealworms, crickets, and waxworms. These should be store-bought: wild bugs could be carrying dangerous diseases or parasites. Your pet’s food must still be alive. You’ll need to dust the bugs with a nutrient-rich powder about 12 hours before they become lunch. Your pet will also need fresh water, as well as calcium supplements.

Please contact us, your Farmers Branch, TX vet clinic, with any questions or concerns about caring for Leopard geckos. We’re here to help!

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