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How to Care For a Leopard Gecko
What Are You Searching For?
If you are currently looking for a new, unique, easy to care for pet, and are interested in reptiles, a Leopard Gecko could be just what you are looking for!
Leopard Geckos are typically on the inexpensive side, require only minimal handling time in order to tame them, and are one of the most relaxed animals I have ever owned! They typically range from 8-10 inches in length once fully grown, so are on the smaller side as far as pet reptiles go. They are carnivorous, so they will only eat moving food, most commonly crickets and mealworms.
Getting Ready to Welcome Your New Friend
Tanks, substrate (the sand, gravel, dirt, etc. that you will place on the floor of the tank/aquarium), decor, homes, dishes, bowls, baths as well as anything else you will need for your new Gecko, can be located in almost any local or major pet store. The more you pertain to the original environment of the Leopard Gecko, the happier your fat tailed friend will be!
If you are starting out with a baby Gecko, you may start out with a smaller tank size. I would suggest a 10 gallon tank right off the bat, but if money is an issue, a 5 gallon tank will suite a young Gecko just fine! Along with the tank, you will also need a heat lamp, a heating pad, a night time heat lamp, some shelter, some substrate, a water dish, a food dish for meal worms and a calcium supplement. It is rather important that a Leopard Gecko obtains enough calcium in its diet, to avoid digestive complications.
All of this might seem like it would cost you an arm and a leg, but, many of the aforementioned items can be acquired through Craigslist, eBay, or even through local classified ads and yard sales! I was able to purchase a tank, thermometers, lights, heating pad and substrate for right around $75 which isn't too bad if I do say so myself (and I do).
Getting to Know Your Gecko
Once you have your tank set up as desired, you're ready for the latest member of your family! You can purchase a Leopard Gecko from most pet stores, such as Petco and Petsmart. Some people order their geckos from the internet where you can find many different special morphs of Leopard Geckos that are specially bred to produce special colors and personalities. Ordering your new pet from the internet can be a great idea as long as the breeder is trusted, as your gecko may be specially taken care of and bred to have a highly tame personality.
Once you have chosen the lizard that's right for you, you should let him explore his new environment and relax for the first day or two so that he can decompress and shake off some of the stress of moving before handeling him or giving him more than a few mealworms. After giving him plenty of chill time, you can start handeling him. Of all the types of lizards I've had the Leopard Gecko is the easiest to tame and handle! Your new pal will love to chill on your shoulder, tucked into a soft blanket or jacket pocket, or hanging on to your chest. Be careful though! If they are in a mischievous mood, they may decide to make a dash for the nearest crevice in the furniture to explore!
Enjoy Your New Friend!
That's it! Have fun learning new things about your new friend and taking care of him! A Leopard Gecko can be very rewarding! There are many other things you'll need to know about taking care of a Leopard Gecko, but these are some of the basics!
If anyone would like me to write another article on these awesome animals, leave me a comment and I will get on it as soon as possible!