Reptiles aren’t everyone’s first choice of pet, but they can be a great addition to many homes. While there are many types of lizards on the market, leopard geckos are great as a pet. Here’s everything you need to know about welcoming one to your family.
Setting up their home
Just like other reptiles, leopard geckos need to have plenty of heat to make sure their body temperature stays up. Over-the-tank heat bulbs are great at warming the enclosure, but be sure to have a warmer and cooler end – around 20 degrees Fahrenheit difference is perfect. Leopard geckos also need approximately 50% humidity. This is to help keep their skin healthy as well as making sure they stay hydrated.
They love live food
There is one thing to remember before you get a leopard gecko: they eat live food. That means their crickets, mealworms, and other insects need to be as fresh as fresh can be if you want them to eat. The insects are often dusted with a powder to make sure the gecko is getting everything they need and are available at most pet stores. Adults need around two insects for every inch of their body.
Their teeth and tails grow back
Many of us have heard the tales of lizards dropping their tails and growing them back, but would you believe their teeth do the same thing? Leopard geckos have around 100 teeth that are replaced every three to four months. It’s best to try and avoid touching your gecko’s tail, so they don’t feel threatened and drop it off. If they do, it’s usually best to book them in to see a vet to make sure everything went smoothly.
Yes, like other reptiles, leopard geckos shed their skin. They turn a milky white color when they are ready to shed, and most are pretty good at getting all of their skin off by themselves. Just make sure they have something a little rough, like a smooth rock or log, to rub on to remove their skin. There is another thing to watch for: leopard geckos have eyelids. This means their humidity needs to be pretty high to make sure no extra skin gets stuck in the shed. Young geckos may also eat their skin, so don’t be alarmed if it’s nowhere to be seen.
They live a long time
If you’re thinking about getting a leopard gecko, then you need to remember that you’re making a lengthy decision – especially if you want a baby gecko in your life. These reptiles typically live between six and ten years, but some in captivity have been known to reach 20 years old. You may need to make sure that someone can look after them while you’re away.
While there might be plenty of reptiles on the market, leopard geckos are great beginner pets as they are relatively easy to look after compared to other breeds. Learning everything you need to know about having a leopard gecko as a pet is one way to make sure you’re prepared.