Leopard geckos are small lizards native to the southern states of the United States. They are very hardy geckos and can be relatively long-lived. But one food item should never cross their path: fruit.
It isn’t recommended to feed leopard geckos fruits because they are entomophagous. Meaning they feed on insects. Leopard geckos do not produce the enzymes required to digest fruits. Feeding fruits to your leos will cause more harm than good.
This article will explain why leopard geckos shouldn’t eat fruit and what you can offer your pet instead.
Leopard Gecko Overview
Leopard geckos are lizards native to the Middle East, and they are popular pets in the United States. Like all reptiles, they are cold-blooded and can regulate their body temperature by moving in and out of direct sunlight.
Leopard geckos need to eat insects that are high in protein. If you own a leopard gecko, you should feed it live crickets, mealworms, and wax worms. Be careful not to give your pet calcium-supplemented insects, such as crickets, from the pet store because this will lead to an imbalance of calcium and phosphorus in your leopard gecko’s diet.
Did you know that leopard geckos are well-known for their voracious appetites? It’s true! These lizards will eat almost anything that moves, has meat, or is purple. So it should be no surprise that many pet owners have been tempted to give them fruit.
After all, fruit is delicious. Unfortunately, some issues might come up if you decide to feed your pet gecko some bananas or other types of fruit.
Why Shouldn’t I Feed My Leopard Gecko Fruit?
First, leopard geckos have digestive systems that cannot handle the fruit. Fruit contains a lot of sugar, and excess sugar in your gecko’s system can cause all sorts of health problems, including diabetes. It can cause blindness, kidney failure, and death if the gecko doesn’t receive proper care.
Diabetes sounds like a weird thing for a reptile to get, but it’s accurate and very harmful.
Leopard geckos are warm-blooded reptiles that can grow up to 8 inches long and live 15 years. In the wild, they eat mainly insects, but commercially available reptile diets can also be fed to them. However, there are certain fruits that some experts say should not be served to leopard geckos.
Sugar content is too high
The main reason fruit isn’t recommended as a regular part of their diet is that it should be low in sugar. Fruit is one of the most sugary foods, and too much sugar intake can lead to diabetes and other diseases.
The sugar in the fruit will enter the leopard gecko’s bloodstream and create a sharp spike in blood sugar levels. The sudden spike in blood sugar will cause the leopard gecko’s pancreas to produce more insulin than average to combat the spike.
Since more insulin was produced than was needed, some of it permeates into the bloodstream without being used by cells to regulate blood sugar levels. This extra insulin causes the blood sugar levels to drop rapidly, resulting in hypoglycemia, and that’s not good.
Oxalic acid from fruits
Most fruits contain oxalic acid, which isn’t good for them because it binds calcium needed for bone growth.
It will cause digestion problems
Fruit can cause problems with your leopard gecko’s digestion. A few fruit bites every once in a while shouldn’t hurt them, but it is best to avoid feeding them fruit altogether.
Fruit is messy
Feeding a leopard gecko fruit can create a mess. If you have ever had the experience of cleaning the cage of a leopard gecko that has been fed fruit, then you know precisely why leopard geckos should not be fed any fruit at all.
The smell is putrid and will have you gagging and dry heaving before you even finish cleaning out the enclosure!
While many people still get tempted to feed their leopard geckos strawberries or other fruits because they believe it is a good treat. But it would be best if you always kept in mind that these fruits are not part of the natural diet of a leopard gecko and can cause quite a bit of gastrointestinal distress for them.
Feeding fruit to a leopard gecko can cause them to experience diarrhea and gas that is painful and life-threatening if left untreated. Not only will it make for a stinky cage cleanup, but it can also become a very costly vet bill if left untreated.
What Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko?
Leopard geckos are insectivores, so that is the main thing you will want to feed them. Crickets dusted with calcium powder are the staple of their diet. Also, mealworms, wax worms, and pinky mice are good options.
The best insects to feed leopard geckos are crickets. Crickets are easy to find and inexpensive, and they also have a lot of nutritional value for your leopard gecko. You can purchase crickets at pet stores or online.
If you order crickets online, you will have to buy them in bulk; places that sell them have different sizes and amounts available for purchase, ranging from 2,500 to 25,000.
A five-gallon enclosure can house up to 15 adult leopard geckos; if you had one five-gallon enclosure with 15 adult geckos, you would want to buy about 6,000 crickets a month or about 150 per day (assuming each animal eats 10 per day).
To ensure your crickets are healthy before feeding them to your leopard gecko, you should keep them in an enclosure with food and water for two days before feeding them to the lizard.
It would allow the crickets time to digest their food before being captured and ensure they do not pass along harmful pathogens to your leopard gecko if they were sick when you purchased them.
Feeding pinkie mice is another excellent way to give your leopard gecko extra fat and nutrients. However, it’s important to note that feeding mice can make it difficult for you to train your leopard gecko to eat insects.
Once you start offering mice as a food source, they may reject other foods that are typically good for them.
What Are The Consequences Of Feeding My Leopard Gecko Fruit?
You’re doing it a disservice when you feed your leopard gecko fruit and can’t process it the way they process insects, so they end up with all sorts of health problems, and it can even kill them.
Here are some of the consequences of feeding your pet leopard gecko fruit:
- The gecko will become overweight
- The gecko will get diabetes
- The gecko’s tail will fall off
- The gecko will become unable to reproduce
FAQ’s about Leopard Gecko
Conclusion on Can Leopard Geckos Eat Fruit?
Leopard geckos are such hardy creatures, and they have a tendency to stick around for many years and usually come to no harm if they accidentally eat a tiny bit of fruit.
But you should never purposely give your leopard gecko fruit thinking that it’s a dessert or treat for them. While leopard geckos tend to have an insatiable appetite, fruit shouldn’t be part of their diet.
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