Leopard Geckos As Pets
The Leopard Gecko species of reptile is a ground dwelling lizard that is nocturnal and it is found in the deserts of Pakistan , Northern India , and parts of Iran. And unlike other Geckos the Leopard Gecko has eyelids. It is well established in captivity especially in the pet trade. Leopard Geckos are one of the most common reptiles kept as pets in the world today.
Leopard Geckos are docile and if you want a reptile as a pet you will be much better off with a Leopard Gecko than an Iguana. You will find a lot of pet shops selling Iguanas but a lot of people don't realize that that cute little lizard that can set in your hand right now is going to grow up into a 4-6 foot adult reptile that is going to be anything but easy to care for. So why not start out for now with a Leopard Gecko.
If a lizard can be cute then a Leopard Gecko is cute. They are yellow and black with black spots and they reach a size of 8-10 inches as a adult. Hatchlings do start out striped and then slowly change into their adult color patterns.
I know Leopard Geckos in their native habitat live in the desert but my Leopard Geckos love water. They play in their water bowls and go swimming quite often. Many reptiles do really enjoy the water so be sure to keep your Leopard Geckos water fresh and changed often.
As a nocturnal creature leopard geckos spend their days hiding under a rock or in a other hidden place and they come out at night to hunt insects.
Moisture will help your Gecko to shed so your Geckos hide needs to be filled with damp moss to help your Leopard Gecko when it gets ready to shed. You may have to help your Leopard Gecko to shed but use a pair of scissors and be especially gentle and careful with their tails and their toes. If you have a problem helping your leopard gecko getting his old skin off let your leopard gecko soak its self in lukewarm water.
Leopard Geckos can usually live for 10-15 years but several specimens that were well cared for in Zoos have lived as long as 25 years.
Using a solid substrate like the indoor / outdoor carpeting will help to prevent impaction which is one of the main problems with Geckos. Also do not over feed your young Geckos.
If you have a Leopard Gecko that does lose its tail keep it separate from the other Leopard Geckos until the tail grows back.
I strongly suggest using bottled water only for your Leopard Gecko. I do not use spigot water that contains chemicals including chlorine to give water to any of my reptiles.
Do you own a leopard gecko? Why not post a comment below and tell us about your experience with your leopard gecko.
How To Care For Your Leopard Gecko and keep it a happy reptile.
A 15-20 gallon tank is large enough for 2-3 Adult Geckos but you only want to keep one male Gecko to an enclosure. And unless you are ready to and want to deal with off spring you don't want to keep a male and female Gecko together.
With a 20 gallon tank you can have a sturdy branch for climbing , a reptile cave and a hide box. You will also want to have a heavy water bowl and be sure to keep the water fresh and change it anytime it gets dirty. Keep your hide box moist with damp moss inside. This will help your Gecko or Geckos with shedding.
I myself am a fan of indoor outdoor carpet as a substrate in my Geckos enclosures. I have two pieces of carpet for each Gecko enclosure so I can always have one piece fresh and clean. I just throw the dirty pieces in the washing machine when dirty. Then I let them dry at room temperature rather than putting them in the dryer. If you use indoor / outdoor carpeting be sure to cut your pieces of carpet to fit the enclosure bottoms tightly.
Your Gecko is a nocturnal reptile so consider using a red lamp bulb to light its enclosure with and a under cage heater. Your daytime temperature should be 85 degrees with a nighttime temperature of 75 degrees. I have found that my Geckos do not like real bright light so that is why I started using the red light bulbs with them. I use a timer and I set it to have the red light to come on at 8 PM and go off at 8 AM.
I feed my Geckos crickets , meal worms , wax worms , and I give my grown adults a pinky mouse from time to time. Its very important not to over feed your Gecko especially when it is small. Until they are adults two crickets a day is plenty. And again I'll say it. Be sure to keep your Geckos water very clean. Wash the water dish with soap and water at least every third day to avoid bacteria build up.One reason I use carpet as a substrate for my Leopard Geckos is if you use loose substrate Leopard Geckos have a tendency to lunge and grab their prey and have been known to get bits of the substrate in their mouths and swallow it. You don't want your Leopard Gecko to do this as this could cause impaction in your Leopard Gecko.
You want to be sure never to grab your Gecko by the tail as it will break off easily. It will grow back if it does happen but it may grow back a different color or shape so use care when you are handling your Leopard Gecko.
Calcium Plus D3 Supplement
I toss the crickets I feed to my Leopard Geckos in a paper bag with the supplement and shake it well to coat them and then shake them out into the Leopard Geckos enclosure immediately so they get eaten with the supplement on them. You can purchase the supplement at almost any pet store that sells reptiles. And it really helps to keep the Leopard Geckos healthy.
Help My Leopard Geckos Tail Fell Off
It does happen though it shouldn't if you will be gentle and careful with your Leopard Gecko. This little reptile has the the ability to lose its tail as a way of escaping an animal that is trying to prey on them. It will grow back but it may not be the same color or the same size as the previous tail.
So use care around your Leopard Geckos tail. Never support or pick up your Leopard Gecko by the tail.
But if the tail does fall off and the Leopard Gecko is in a cage with other Leopard Geckos move the one that lost its tail to a separate enclosure until the new tail grows. It will start to grow a new tail in just a few days and you want to make sure to take good care of it while the new tail grows. If it's a adult give it a pinky mouse every third day and crickets dusted with calcium on the other days. Be sure that its water stays spotlessly clean. As soon as the tail grows back you can return it to the enclosure with the other Leopard Geckos.
More Leopard Gecko Tips To Keep A Happy Reptile.
You can place items like fake and real plants in your Gecko enclosure and make it as elabrate or as simple as you want to. However I would strongly suggest not to use any loose substrate in your Geckos enclosure because it can cause problems when your Gecko is hunting its prey you provide. Leopard Geckos tend to lunge and grab their prey and if there is loose substrate they may grab up bits of it and cause impaction problems which can be fatal to your Leopard Gecko.
Never use cedar or pine shavings in your Geckos enclosure. They can be fatal to a Leopard Gecko.
You need a thermometer in your Geckos enclosure so that you can keep a close eye on the temperature inside your Geckos enclosure. You want to be sure not to over heat your Gecko as this will be fatal.
When you bring your Leopard Gecko home let it get used to its new home for a few days before you try to handle it. And when you do go to handle it be sure that it sees you coming. Also never attempt to pick your Gecko up by the tail. If you do its tail will break off. Support it gently from underneath with your whole hand and keep it there gently with your other hand.
Never put more prey into the Geckos enclosure than it will consume. You don't want any leftovers hanging around the cage. And adult Leopard Geckos like an occasional pinky mouse but they prefer it alive. Never feed anything but a pinky mouse to a Gecko. And one at a time is plenty. And one a day is plenty. I usually give pinky mice about twice a week to my female Leopard Geckos when I know they are close to laying their eggs.
And last of all I can not stress enough that your Leopard Geckos enclosure must be kept clean. If you use indoor / outdoor carpet as I strongly suggest then have two pieces for every one of your Leopard Geckos enclosures. That way you always have a clean piece to use. And wash their water dish with soap and water often. Do not let it become discolored. If it does throw that water container away and get another. You want to keep all chances for bacteria out of your Leopard Gecko enclosure.
Do Your Research: Before you commit to buying any pet, please do your own independent research.
The text on this Hub Page was produced by Thomas Byers for this Hub Page and is not to be copied or used on other sites. Today's date is Saturday , December 19th , 2009.