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Leopard Gecko Tips for Beginners (Become Competent)




A beginner's guide to handling leopard geckos - gentle hands cradle a leopard gecko in this image.

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Are you planning to get a new pet reptile? If your first thought was a leopard gecko, you are on the right track! Leopard geckos rank highly in popularity as pet reptiles, and they are mainly an excellent choice for beginners. They are easy to acquire, relatively simpler to care for, and readily accept instructions for starters.

Leopard geckos require a perfect enclosed home with hiding areas, appropriate temperatures, lighting, companions, proper diet, and proper housing. Without good care, you might lose your beloved pet or expose it to predators and diseases.

Dr. Baines says, “leopard geckos are beautiful, with lovely colors and markings, huge bright eyes and sweet faces. They are delightful to watch as they curiously exp ore their environment.” You want to get one after reading this statement.

We have prepared this article specifically for new leopard gecko “parents.” Stick with us to acquire all the tips you need to care for your new “baby.”

Background Details

To start us off, let’s grasp a few details about leopard geckos:

Their OriginLeopard geckos are native to Afghanistan, Iraq, Iran, Pakistan, and Northwest India.  
Common namesThese lizards are fat-tailed geckos, panther geckos, desert, or spotted fat-tailed geckos.  
Appearance Leopard geckos have a tiny head in the shape of a triangle, an elongated body, and a fat tail, bumpy and features a leopard print hence the name and yellow, yellowish-orange, white, or pale purple with black or brown spots.
Special traitsThey lack the sticky toepads, therefore not wall climbers.
They are stunning, friendly, and hygienic.
They have eyelids.
They are active at night (nocturnal).
SizeMale leopard geckos get more extensive than the female o es. A male can weigh between 70 to 100 grams and measure between 7 and 11 inches. Female geckos weigh between 40 and 90 grams and measure between 6 to 8 inches.  
Life expectancy captured leopard gecko can live for 20 years or more.  
Movement  They move slowly and use tail movements to communicate.
Sounds  They are so vocal, making sounds in the form of chirps and squeaks. They become even louder when hungry.  

Having understood these critical details about leopard geckos, let’s get straight into caring for them. Knowing how to keep a thriving leopard gecko can seem challenging for a first-time owner. But we are here for you.

How to give your Leopard Geckos a good home

Housing is arguably an essential aspect you need to consider for your leopard gecko. Aim at creating an environment that closely relates to what it’s adapted to in its natural habitat.

A good home ultimately has an impact on your leopard gecko’s well-being. To create a leopard gecko’s house, you will need:

Choosing the right enclosure

Your leopard gecko will need a house that can be a gallon, vivarium, terrarium, or aquarium. You can purchase a place of your ch ice from a nearby pet store or make use of an appropriate container within your home.

When deciding the housing to use, consider the number of geckos it will be hosting, the space available, and your personal preference for its appearance.

For a mature leopard gecko, the housing needs to be at least 0.6 meters long and high enough to facilitate easy movement. For instance, a 20-liter gallon tank can fit an adult gecko.

Be especially keen on the size. A tank that is too large won’t stay warm enough. Also, there are chances your leopard gecko can get lost in a space that’s too big.

Safe places and hiding areas for your leopard gecko

Your leopard geckos will appreciate the presence of some safe spaces within their home to hide, sleep and shed. We recommend having three hiding areas within the house to suit each purpose. Make the hiding area moist, cool, or warm based on the purpose.

Place each of these hiding areas at different levels. This way, your leopard gecko can climb fr m one level to the next.

A proper heat-source and lighting

Leopard geckos cannot generate their heat. For this reason, you need to provide a source of heat within their home, and this will create some warm spaces in it. We recommend a heat mat covering a considerable housing space for a first-time leopard gecko owner.

When determining the temperature of this heat mat, consider that in their natural habitat, leopard geckos get warm by lying on rocks heated by the sun. You can imitate this warmth by using a thermostat, setting its temperature to around 28 degrees Celsius, and avoiding overheating the space.

For lighting, create conditions that imitate sunlight during the day. Provide ultraviolet light by placing a UVB bulb in the tank. Considering they are nocturnal, reduce the lighting at night. You can achieve these lighting differences with the help of a timer.

Good substrate for flooring

You have several options for the flooring you choose for the house; make a wise decision. The end goal is to create a firm, flat surface for your leopard geckos to lie on. Avoid loose substrates like sand, wood particles, or coconut fiber.

Because if your leopard gecko swallows such substances, they can be harmful. Also, ensure the substrate you choose is easy to clean and maintain.

We highly recommend tiles or slate. Other good options available are kitchen towels or a reptile carpet.

Choosing the right home decorations

Your leopard geckos will surely love a beautiful space. Additionally, the decorations can serve as a sitting area or an exploration zone. You can use artificial plants, rocks, ornaments, or logs. Your leopard gecko can sit on the rocks, climb over the logs, and rub against the plants when shedding.

Feeding mechanisms

While creating a home for your leopard geckos, also consider wh re they’ll be eating and drinking from. Include an amply-sized shallow dish for water. Also, have mealworm feeding dishes in the house.

Choosing the right companion for your pet

In their natural habitat, leopard geckos live in solitude. You can emulate this as you keep them.

Keeping males together can encourage fighting, and females of the same size can co-exist but may also fight. If you intend to have more than one leopard gecko, ensure that only one is male. However, you can introduce a mature male to the female leopard geckos during the breeding season.

Feed your Leopard gecko well

Other than providing suitable housing, you will need to nourish your leopard gecko with nutritious food in the right quantities. Create a diet plan featuring insects like sizeable locusts, sizeable hornworms, waxworms, mealworms, phoenix worms, and crickets.

Also, include clean and fresh water. Endeavor to change this water daily because there is a chance the water may be contaminated after they bathe or defecate in it. 

Below is a feeding schedule you can adapt for leopard geckos at different ages:

AgeFood quantityFeeding frequency
Adul geckos (above 15 months)  The size of the gecko dictates the amount of food it eats. Ideally, give it one insect per inch of its body length. For instance, if the gecko is 6 inches long, give it six insects.  Feed them two o three times per week
Baby and Juvenile geckos (Between 0 to 15 months)  One insect. Use the space between its eyes for the size, making sure the insect is smaller than this size.  Once a day, every day.

Checking your pet’s health

A common illness affecting your leopard geckos is a metabolic bone disease. To prevent this, give it enough calcium and Vitamin D. Leopard geckos can also get gastroenteritis due to bacterial infections, diseases, or respiratory infections like pneumonia.

If you observe symptoms of each of these diseases, seek immediate treatment from a veterinarian specializing in reptiles.

Proper handling of leopard gecko

Leopard geckos would love to climb on your arms, too, give them that pleasure. They rarely bite, so worry l ss about this. Start with short-handling sessions until they get comfortable with you. The most significant precaution is to never pick them up by the tail.

FAQs about Leopard Gecko

Conclusion on Leopard Gecko Tips for Beginners

Leopard geckos are beautiful and very easy to care for pets. However, you need to provide proper care to your animal companion to enjoy its company. Proper care involves a safe, conducive living environment with proper nutrition.

Finally, don’t forget to enjoy the companionship of your pet. Failure to do this, you will most likely lose your pet. Subscribe to our website by filling out the form below.

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