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Gecko Care 101

September 1, 2021

It’s World Gecko Day! These adorable, charming little lizards are becoming quite popular pets. There are over 1500 types of geckos, though there are only about a dozen or so commonly sold as pets. Geckos sport many pretty colors and patterns, and are typically quite gentle and easy to care for. They are also quiet, don’t need any training, and are great animal companions for anyone with allergies. A local vet offers some helpful advice on gecko care below.


Basics

Picking the right gecko is really important. The Leopard gecko is likely the most popular gecko out there. Crested geckos and African Fat-tailed geckos are also good options, too. Some other suitable pet geckos include the Gargoyle gecko, Gold Dust Day gecko, Chinese Cave gecko, Frog-Eyed gecko, Giant Day gecko, and Madagascar Ground gecko. These guys have the same general care needs, but they do vary a bit. Do a bit of research before choosing your tiny dinosaur. We recommend checking longevity. Some of these guys can live up to 20 years!


Food

Feeding geckos is a bit more complicated than simply popping open a can of food. This is one area where geckos suddenly become less appealing to many people. Like many other kinds of reptiles, most geckos eat live bugs. The bugs must be dusted with nutritional powder before becoming dinner. You’ll need to regularly bring home creepy-crawlies like crickets, waxworms, and Dubia roaches. If the thought of buying living insects turns your stomach, a gecko might not be the right pet for you.


Habitat

Geckos need to have specific environmental conditions to stay healthy. You’ll need some special equipment, including good thermometers to help you monitor the conditions. For substrate, you can use reptile carpet, butcher paper, or even some paper towels. You can add some stone or ceramic tiles on top of these. Never use sand, as your pet could get very sick if he were to ingest it. Your little lizard will also need some hide boxes, and some branches or rocks for climbing. You may want to add plants to make the terrarium look attractive. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Handling

Geckos are pretty tame, which is one reason they’re so cute. However, you’ll need to handle your tiny pet regularly to keep him docile and friendly. Just be sure to never pick your little dinosaur up by the tail. Geckos’ tails detach when they are held that way. This is a safety mechanism that helps them escape predators. While they do grow new tails, the replacement often looks a little weird. Plus, losing an appendage isn’t going to be much fun for your pet. 


Do you have questions about gecko care? Contact us today!

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