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Caring For A Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptiles, and with good reason. They’re quite cute, easy to care for, and don’t need much room. A Matthews, NC vet discusses leopard geckos below.

Basics

Leopard geckos are very beautiful, and come in many vibrant colors. They aren’t very big, and rarely grow longer than about 10 inches or so. These cute lizards can live up to 20 years. Before adopting one, make sure you are ready to care for your tiny dinosaur for his entire lifespan.

Habitat

One gecko should have at least a 10-gallon tank, though we always recommend getting the biggest one you can. Add a suitable substrate, such as pea gravel, turf, flat stones, or reptile carpet. Your lizard will need a few hidey-holes. One of these should contain vermiculite or moss, and should be kept moist. This will help with shedding. Add rocks and pretty plants to make the cage more attractive.

Lights

These guys don’t need special lights, so you’ll be fine with a low-watt bulb. We recommend putting the light on a 12-hour timer, to mimic natural light cycles.

Temperature

Leopard geckos do have some specific temperature requirements. You’ll need to set up your pet’s cage so that is has both warm and cool zones. This will allow your tiny dinosaur to regulate his temperature by moving back and forth between them. The warm part of the cage should be about 85-90 °F. The other end can be around 75 °F. Use under-tank heating instead of heat lamps or hot rocks: it’s much safer.

Diet

If you have a weak stomach, you may not be thrilled about what leopard geckos eat. These guys chomp live bugs, such as mealworms, crickets, and waxworms. Before you give your colorful little buddy his lunch, you’ll need to dust the insects with a special nutritional powder. This is called gut loading. Geckos also require calcium. Just like any other pet, they should always have fresh water. Ask your vet for specific recommendations.

Temperament

Leopard geckos are quite docile. However, in order to keep your scaled buddy tame and friendly, you’ll need to pay attention to him daily. Talk to him, pet him, and let him relax on you when you’re watching TV. Just don’t pick him up by the tail!

Please contact us, your Matthews, NC vet clinic, anytime. We’re here to help!

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