Regulating the eating habits of your leopard gecko is extremely important for the survival of this wild lizard in a household environment. A good diet plan will enhance the lifestyle of leopard geckos and keep your pet healthy and happy.
Feed the leopard geckos with a staple combination and treat insects between 7-9 pm. Generally, the feeding frequency is related to age; therefore, baby and juvenile geckos need more food than adults as they are in the development stage.
This article covers everything you need to know about feeding leopard geckos to establish a timeline or feeding schedule. First-time owners often struggle with questions like how and when to feed their lizards, should you feed them every day, or what time is best for feeding.
But understanding what type of pet you have will play a major role in giving the right diet.
How Long Can A Leopard Gecko Go Without Eating?
One of the main factors affecting the feeding schedule of the leopard gecko is age. Just like humans, the feeding needs of animals also differ depending on age. Your leopard gecko needs food every day when it’s a baby because it grows fast.
However, once it’s a 6-12month old juvenile, you should feed it on alternate days. Juveniles are in the developing stage, but they don’t grow as fast as babies, so feeding frequency and appetite decrease with age.
The leopard geckos older than a year are the easiest to care for in terms of feeding, and they are considered adults and need food every 3 or 4 days. Once the leopard gecko enters the adult stage, it’s no longer growing; instead, it needs food to maintain the right weight and health.
If your leopard gecko is not eating properly, you should consider the following reasons:
- Your leopard gecko will give up eating a day or two before it’s about to shed the skin.
- The container or vivarium should have the right temperature because an inaccurate temperature means your pet will not be able to digest the food properly.
- Leopard gecko has a seasonal appetite, so it eats less food during the winter.
These reptiles depend on the external environment to regulate their body temperature. If you are confused about what temperature is suitable for your leopard gecko, you should check out the article that explains the best indoor temperature for leopard geckos.
How Often Should You Feed Leopard Geckos?
Let’s start by understanding the reptile nature of leopard geckos. They are crepuscular reptiles meaning they are the most active at dawn and dusk, and this is also their hunting time in the natural environment.
Your leopard gecko will spend most of the time during the day sleeping and relaxing. Therefore it’s the most active in the evening. In other words, their day will start when yours will end in the evening.
Avoid feeding them in the daytime, disturbing their natural sleep cycle, and causing health issues. A pro tip is establishing a feeding schedule and following it strictly to keep your pet thriving. The ideal time for feeding leopard geckos is between 7-9 pm.
Feeding your pet by hand is one of the best ways to bond with them. You can also let your leopard gecko chase the food as it will help in building their hunting abilities.
Now you know the right time for feeding; the next step is to decide a frequency based on the type of food.
These insectivores love feeding on insects; their bodies cannot digest any other type of food. You can include the following staple insects in the usual diet plan as they provide protein and are low fat:
- Dubia roaches
- Phoenix worms
Treat Insects are high fat and do not provide much nutrition. These should not be included in the everyday meal and only fed once a week. Your leopard gecko will love feeding on these, but too many insects are not a healthy option. Common insects in this category include mealworms, wax worms, and super worms.
Ensure you gut loads the insects with nutritional food 24 hours before feeding them to the Gecko.
Leopard geckos should be fed live insects only. Never feed them with dead or dry insects.
You can study the protein and fat percentage in each insect and include them accordingly in the diet plan of your Leo.
As a responsible pet owner, you should also be mindful of what type of insects is toxic for your leopard gecko. The first precaution is to avoid any wild insects like wild hornworms. The shiny fireflies or lightning bugs might look pretty, but they are not for feeding a leopard gecko. Similarly, it would be best if you did not feed the leopard gecko with a regular cat or dog food, fruits, and veggies.
Leopard geckos also need some supplements in their diet to ensure they receive calcium, Vitamin A, and D. These supplements are often supplied by dusting them onto the feeder insects. The need for extra nutrients like calcium will vary. For example, female Geckos need calcium during the breeding season.
The frequency of adding these supplements to the diet depends on age. You can use the following guidelines:
- Baby Leopard Gecko – needs calcium 5 times per week whereas other vitamins can be added 2 times per week
- Juvenile Leopard Gecko – needs calcium 2-3 times and other vitamins once a week
- Adult Leopard Gecko – needs calcium 6-8 times and other vitamins 2-3 times per month
If your pet has weight gain or overeating issues, you should consult a veterinarian to help you establish a healthy diet plan so that your Leo does not suffer from a lack of nutrition. Remember, high-fat insects will make your leopard gecko obese, which reduces your pet’s lifespan.
How Often Do Leopard Geckos Drink Water?
Water is a must for all living things, and leopard geckos are no exception. Dehydration can cause your Gecko to skip food. Make sure your leopard gecko has access to clean and fresh water throughout the day. Always opt for tap or spring water since they contain natural minerals. Most owners keep a shallow dish in the enclosure for this purpose.
FAQs About Leopard Geckos
Conclusion About Best Time To Feed Leopard Geckos
Leopard geckos are one of the easiest reptiles to keep as a pet. As long as you follow a steady feeding schedule and add the right ingredients to the diet, your pet won’t have any serious health issues.
The diet needs of your pet leopard gecko may vary slightly depending on the environment since each pet is unique. But the information shared in this article is enough for beginners to develop a healthy feeding routine.
If you find this article informative, consider subscribing to more exotic pet posts by completing the form below.