Checking the Reptile Classifieds and Choosing a Leopard Gecko
Is a Leopard Gecko Breeder the Way to Go??
Knowing how to choose the right leopard gecko for you will be an important skill when you go to get your new pet. Being selective is extremely important.
Your first priority when choosing a new leopard gecko will be to decide where you're going to get it. For most common morphs, a reliable pet store with good care standards and a quality source of animals will be an acceptable choice. In addition to the pet store, you may be able to purchase a leopard gecko from a vendor at a reptile show, or from a breeder.
Look for vendors or stores that are knowledgeable and conscientious about their animals. If the person you're purchasing from is not able to answer questions about caring for your gecko to your satisfaction, you may need to move on to another vendor. Beware of incorrect, pat answers, too.
Making sure that you're buying from someone who cares for his or her geckos correctly is also important. Even if you give the gecko you buy the best of care, bad treatment early on can result in serious medical conditions, as well as shortened lifespan. Look for cages that are clean and not crowded, have enough food, and the proper temperature and humidity to keep their occupants in the best health possible.
What to Look For
Geckos which have grown up having to fight for territory, water, and food in a crowded cage will be stressed and even aggressive. Overcrowding can also cause cannibalism among lizards, either by eating those which have already died from other reasons, or killing smaller, younger lizards for food.
Never buy from a vendor with sick or dead geckos in a cage, or a cage that smells bad or is too small. These are not situations which you can afford to ignore. Choose vendors which are willing to guarantee the health of their animals upon purchase. They're confident that the geckos they're selling you will be in good condition.
Leopard geckos should be alert and active, have bright skin with a good luster, and no old pieces of skin attached around the feet or face, unless the gecko is currently in shed. Skin remaining from previous sheds can be dangerous, and may indicate that the humidity in the cage is too low.
The good news is that there are plenty of healthy, active leopard geckos available from reputable and responsible vendors. Once you find one, you should ask a few questions. Find out what the gecko has been eating. There's a good chance it will prefer the diet it was raised on, and may not even consider some other foods to be edible.
Ask about any past medical treatment, and whether or not the animal has been sexed. Be aware that sexing may be inaccurate, even if done by the best, especially when the animal is very young.
Find out any return policies that may be available if your leopard gecko doesn't work out. This is rare, and you should never buy an animal if you don't intend to keep it, but it will help you avoid emergencies.