Unlike many other lizards, which may require varied diets from different food groups and unique food preparation techniques, the menu of a pet leopard gecko is relatively straightforward: live insects and vitamins. No captive diet can replicate the nutritional value of the variety of invertebrate, vertebrate, and possibly even occasional plant species that a leopard gecko would ingest in the wild. They may show interest in these kinds of foods, but they likely offer NO nutritional value to your pet. These little guys usually have voracious appetites and will happily gorge themselves with whatever food is available. Reptile.Guide is the preferred educational source on reptiles favored by experienced herptologists and new owners alike. Others will just fall asleep in a warm spot. A pet leopard gecko’s diet typically consists of mealworms and crickets. So, we went ahead and wrote a full leopard gecko feeding schedule. So because of that, it’s best that we’re making sure nothing happens to them so that they don’t potentially lose it and have to live the rest of their lives without a full and chunky tail. Some leopard gecko owners have noticed that their geckos stare at the screen. The reptile owner community is large and with more and more people showing interest in them, I’ve decided to share what I know and have learned about reptiles over the years so that owners from all walks of life can give their reptile the love and care that they need. This should be a temporary dietary addition only. I looked it up, but couldn’t find any results. ... Leopard gecko's need a warm hide to remain healthy. Source(s): caretaker for 12 leopard geckos (with three on the way!!) It also increases the likelihood that your leopard gecko is getting all its required vitamins and micronutrients. A leopard gecko hatchling’s gender is determined by the incubation temperature. Exceptionally spoiled leopard geckos can be fed from a pair of soft-tipped feeding tongs or even your fingers! Expert Tip: Not 100% sure you’re down with the whole insect thing? In fact, doing so will give you 2 distinct benefits…. By properly caring for these insects, you’ll be able to keep them healthy and living longer, which in turn will be more cost effective for you and beneficial to your pet. Keep in a smooth-sided container with cardboard egg crates at room temperature for up to three months. In fact, the easiest mistake to make when caring for and feeding your leopard gecko is to overfeed it. Leopard Geckos are native to the arid mountains of Afghanistan, Pakistan and Turkey in Asia while Fat Tail Geckos are native to the savannas of West Africa. They’ll become less active and stop eating, but you may still see them move around the enclosure and drink water. If you find your leopard gecko to be overweight, you’ll need to cut back on the number of insects offered and the feeding frequency to help it lose weight. While it may seem easy, it can be quite taxing when you have to do it every day just to make sure that it doesn’t get infected from the bacteria lying all throughout the tank. Many people have noticed that their African fat-tailed geckos shed their tails … Obviously this can vary quite a lot, depending on the leopard gecko. ReptileJam.com also participates in affiliate programs with Bluehost, Clickbank, CJ, ShareASale, and other sites. Really young ones need to be fed once every day. The reason for that is because their new or secondary tail usually grows back very short, less chubby, and a lot thinner and because of that, they’re unable to store as much food, water, and nutrients as they were previously able to when they had their much fuller and chunkier tail. Ensure that your leopard gecko has access to a basking spot or hide that consistently measures 87-94°F. Insects should be no larger than the space between their eyes. Monitor your leopard gecko’s weight closely with a kitchen or postal scale that weighs in grams. They can live long and normal lives without their original tail, but making sure they’re getting the right amount of food needed with their new tail is a little more important because of the risk of them potentially losing weight a lot quicker from not being able to take what’s needed from it whenever they need food or water because of how small it is. Keep in a secure, ventilated container with a lid and cardboard egg crates at room temperature for eight to ten weeks. Insects like this, such as lightening bugs, contain a chemical that is highly toxic and can be lethal if ingested by your gecko. Keep in the original container at room temperature for up to two weeks. To avoid the risk of a calcium overdose, some keepers remove the calcium dish once their leopard gecko reaches adulthood and opt to dust the feeder insects, instead. ... Nutritional Information for leopard gecko food: Moisture 69.07%, Fat 6.01%, Protein 21.32%, Fiber … This situation allows your pet to self-regulate its calcium intake and lick the supplement whenever the body signals a need for it. She may even eat them. Although caring for an African fat-tail is very similar to caring for a leopard gecko, AFTs are a bit more sensitive and will greatly suffer without the above requirements. If you notice rapid or sudden weight loss in your gecko, take him or her to a vet as soon as possible, as it can be a warning sign. As such, you’ll need to regularly inspect the enclosure to ensure no uneaten bugs remain as they can pester and stress out your pet. The breeding season for leopard geckos usually starts around January and lasts up until June or July. Because taking care of them for the vast majority of my life wasn’t fulfilling enough, I decided to begin educating others about them through my articles. Your pet only has eyes for delicacies that are creepy and crawly! A leopard geckos tail is arguably one of the cutest parts of their body but because they’re so chunky, it often leads owners to wonder why they are. Leopard geckos have a high calcium requirement. However, just because your pet “only” eats bugs does not mean that his or her diet should be boring! I've had my leopard gecko for almost 3 years now, and not until recently she began getting fat. Younger leos however are notorious for being moody. Once you notice you are overfeeding your gecko, cut back on the amount of food you give them and/or remove fatty insects from their diet until the weight returns to … Have a vent (an opening … Males can also become so distracted with trying to find a partner that they lose interest in food during the breeding season, too. With all of that said, here’s some in-depth information about the nutritional content of common feeder bugs…. The cooler end will by default not be as warm. Amount: Two insects for every inch of body length. Leopard geckos don’t drop their tails easily but when they’re pushed past their breaking point or put into a dangerous situation where another animal has bitten it off, it can take a huge hit to their health and because of that, they’ll likely require a little more care than they would have needed had they not dropped it. A fully mature leopard gecko needs to be fed every 3 to 4 days. Keep them in the original container at room temperature or the door of your fridge for up to one month. Proper diet is probably the main secret to keeping your pet leopard gecko happy and healthy. Females that are ovulating may not have an appetite, but egg production takes a lot of resources, and they’ll need extra food and supplements once their appetite picks up. This is an EMERGENCY and can be fatal if left untreated. Regularly feed your leopard gecko any combination (the more varied, the better!) So in situations like these where they actually need to use their tails for nutrition, it’s okay. Most insects have higher phosphorus than calcium, which is why we coat them in calcium powder. Sounds pretty manageable considering other reptiles, such as the bearded dragon can lay a whopping 20 (and in some instances even more!) You could offer canned or freeze-dried insects, but they aren’t as nutritional as fresh, live insects, and most leopard geckos are uninterested in prey that doesn’t move. There are insects out there such as wax worms and butter worms that are high in fat that will assist your gecko in gaining weight, but because they can become addicted to them and cause them to gain way more weight than what’s healthy for them, these types of bugs should only be fed as treats, which for leopard geckos is about once every two weeks. All leopard geckos eat insects and ONLY insects. Hopefully, you went with the latter. And even though I’ve had my hands full, I’ve loved every single second of it. They also use their tails to store fat they can draw on as an energy reserve when food is scarce. Normal and giant leopard gecko can reach 40-100 grams, some even pushing to 110-120 grams. If you’ve ruled out the above possible scenarios and your leopard gecko seems sickly, an infection or parasites may be the cause. In this case, it’s best to get your pet to an experienced reptile veterinarian as quickly as possible. From proper husbandry and habitat guidance, to articles on health concerns, diet, and extensive care guides, Reptile Guide is here to educate everyone on all things reptiles. But, there are a few more tidbits of info you should know to ensure a happy healthy leopard gecko. You don’t need to worry about fruit, meat, vegetables, or grain – just ditch that whole food pyramid idea. The phrase “you are what you eat” resonates here. Fresh, clean water should always be available to your pet gecko in a spill-proof, shallow bowl to prevent drowning. Baby leopard geckos need to eat EVERY day, and even adult leopard geckos need to eat several times a week. Leopard geckos are strictly insectivores. Some leopard gecko owners choose to leave calcium powder in a dish for their leopard gecko. Your Leopard Gecko must drink clean, fresh water, that should be available in your gecko's tank at all times. If you’d like to know how to protect their tails along with ways to make it fatter, here’s how. New leopard geckos can go over a week without accepting food. She isn't extremely fat, but she has a hanging tummy now when she stands, which almost touches the … Feeding a variety of different insects is an essential form of enrichment for your pet. This means that they eat bugs. Without heat, they can’t digest their food. But don’t look at the numbers only – some leopard geckos might have a small body structure and be fat at 60+ grams. When it comes to fat and protein content, opt for higher protein and lower fat for overweight or healthy adult leopard geckos. The optimal period for gut-loading insects is 12-48 hours before you feed them to your leopard gecko. This includes the size of the tail. Your leopard gecko’s stomach area should mostly be flat unless after just taking a meal Ensure their tail is not wider than their body. However, there is a small risk of calcium overdose, so some keepers choose to dust all feeder insects with calcium, instead. ReptileJam.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com. Pre-anal pores: Male leopard geckos have a distinct V-shaped row of pre-anal pores in front of their vent. Why do leopard geckos have fat tails? So in situations like these where they actually need to use their tails for nutrition, it’s okay.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],'reptilejam_com-box-4','ezslot_9',110,'0','0'])); But while in our tanks, they should have what they need at all times. As a rule of thumb, don’t feed your leopard gecko any insects that are bigger than the space between their eyes. You’re now ready to serve your leopard gecko a long life of health and happiness thanks to a proper diet! This will give your leopard gecko enough food to sustain them without choking them. I used to always stress about whether my leopard gecko was too skinny or unhealthy which would lead to sleepless nights. Leopard geckos tend to squirm a lot when picking them up in ways that they shouldn’t be picked up, so because of that, their tails could easily detach while being mishandled.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'reptilejam_com-banner-1','ezslot_4',111,'0','0'])); Another thing you’ll want to avoid is leaving two aggressive leopard geckos in the same tank. For the answer to the question though, please read on. The tail should be nice and thick but not wider than the gecko's head. You may choose to offer insects and invertebrates you find outside in your yard, but keep in mind that these insects are likely to be carrying parasites and possibly even insecticides and other outdoor poisons. Minor temperature and lighting changes in the late Fall and early Winter may cause your leopard gecko to enter a state of brumation. After your leopard gecko reaches twelve months of age, your BIGGEST concern will be preventing it from becoming overweight or obese. You are going to want to wait for your leopard gecko to reach at least one year in age before you consider breeding. Pair that perfect diet with ideal habitat, and you and your little leo can enjoy many happy years together. However, just like in humans and any other animal species, obesity is a severe health problem and can drastically shorten your pet’s lifespan. Ideally, your new Leopard Gecko should… Have a tail that is plump and fat, preferably as wide or wider than the space between the gecko’s shoulders; Have eyes, nose, and mouth that appear clear, with no visible discharge. Leopard geckos are usually a very docile reptile and great for beginners. If they’re constantly taking the stored nutrients from their tail then eventually it’ll start to get skinnier and skinnier and over time they will start to lose weight. A leopard gecko also stores fat in its tail. The vent is also called the cloaca and is the opening that the fecal matter comes out of. Breeding is relatively easy, but if your female is too young, complications may develop and you can shorten your gecko’s lifespan. Rest assured, food strikes are prevalent in just about every reptile species and, thanks to their slow metabolisms, usually only require a little bit of time and patience. Choose from a wide choice of live insects, worms and ready-made leopard gecko dry foods. The dish is always available. This may help you and your leopard gecko form a bond. Your gecko may be picky, or switch preferences from time to time. Accompanied by an excellent habitat with the proper temperature, humidity, hides, and exercise opportunities, a proper diet will ensure that your pet gecko lives a long, healthy, and happy life. Geckos are cute, docile and friendly little lizards with many interesting behaviors and endearing vocalizations.. Simply put the feeder insects in a plastic bag with the supplement powder, give it a little shake, and then offer the coated feeder insects to your pet gecko. If you follow the advice listed above, you shouldn’t ever have to worry about that happening. Hopefully, all leopard geckos have nice, thick, and chunky tails. In order to protect it, you’ll want to do a few things. Reptile.Guide © 2021 - All Rights Reserved, Leopard Gecko Feeder Insect Nutritional Breakdown, Benefits of Buying Leopard Gecko Feeder Insects in Bulk, 7 Reasons Your Leopard Gecko May Be on a Hunger Strike, Wrapping Up Leopard Gecko Diet & Feeding Guide, How to Sex a Bearded Dragon INSTANTLY (& Tell Their Age! So, you may only find this beneficial if your pet is still a juvenile. Younger animals and animals that are used for breeding may benefit from insects with higher fat content. This situation simply requires patience. Their tails should only be used in emergency situations and they should never be put in a position where they have to frequently use it because of a lack of food or water. The first thing you’ll want to do is avoid picking them up by their tails. and two Pine Isle Geckos, as well as a variety of snakes. And for leopard geckos between 6 – 12 months old, feeding should be done every other day. Keep in an open-top container without the lid, in wheat bran or oat bedding, at room temperature for up to a year. When confronted by a predator or if attacked, the leopard gecko will drop their tail to give them enough of a distraction to escape. Indulge your leopard gecko with any of the following on occasion: Expert Tip: Although it is never a good idea to let any reptile you own eat insects you’ve caught outside due to the risk of ingesting poison0us pesticides or parasites, you’ll want to especially avoid feeding them any insect that glows. Not to fret however, this guide will show you how I have dealt with the meanest lizards making them puppy dog tame. But if it’s more than that, your leopard gecko is probably be fat. You may go through crickets like crazy, only to find your gecko suddenly looses interest in crickets. This bacteria can come from feces, urates, and even from dead insects that are hidden in hard-to-reach places within the tank. Here’s how often to supply each vitamin type: Now that you understand the importance of vitamins and what insects you can give your leopard gecko, let’s briefly discuss a couple topics in relation to feeders. It’s a list of all of the bugs that I feed to my leopard gecko not only to provide him with a variety but also for maintaining his weight as well. To tame a leopard gecko, you will need to build their trust and prove to them that you are not a threat. Feeding them a variety will be a much slower way to get them to gain weight, but it pays off in the long run and will ensure that they’re staying healthy. Reptiles need an equal amount of calcium to process phosphorus. A healthy adult leopard gecko will have a tail that, at the thickest point, is as wide as its neck. As stated above, they come from environments where food can be really hard to come by due to other predators taking it or in the winter where a lot of their prey either die or hibernate. Compared to adult leopard geckos, juvenile leopard geckos need: Not sure how often to feed your baby or how much to give them? For leopard geckos, you need to look at their eyes. Leopard geckos (opens in new tab) are small, insectivorous lizards native to the deserts of Afghanistan, Pakistan, India, and Iran. Additionally, knowing the calcium and fat content can also be helpful because it will allow you to feed a sick or underweight leopard gecko. Also, please note that adolescent leopard geckos require MORE calcium than adults. Females must be healthy, not underweight, and should be a minimum of fifty grams. Keep in an open-top container without the lid, in wheat bran or oat bedding, in the fridge for up to two weeks. However, baby leopard geckos will have slightly different needs than that of adults. Meat is generally viewed as unhealthy for leopard geckos due to low calcium and high fat levels. As a gecko matures, these round pores that look like dots become quite prominent and exude a waxy material. If your leopard gecko’s tail is thicker than its neck or has bubbles of fat and tissue behind its arms, it is overweight. ReptileJam.com is compensated for referring traffic and business to these companies. Having these things stored allows them to go long periods of time without eating by taking what they need to survive out of their tails.eval(ez_write_tag([[336,280],'reptilejam_com-box-3','ezslot_1',107,'0','0'])); Leopard geckos who are captively kept don’t have to worry about running out of food, but because they are animals that come from environments where food can sometimes be scarce, being able to take what they need from their tails is very critical for their survival. However, it’s important to note that crickets and some types of roaches and beetles will easily escape any kind of feeding dish. Some owners will also feed leopard geckos dubia roaches or waxworms. The leopard gecko's tail will eventually grow back. Pinkie mice may be offered to sick, underweight, or breeding leopard geckos as a source of additional fat and protein. Even if your female leopard gecko wasn’t introduced to a male for breeding, she might produce infertile eggs. Ever since I was a child, I’ve always had this deep passion and interest for reptiles that eventually led me to become the proud owner of multiple snakes, lizards, frogs, and turtles. These things include either rehoming the aggressive leopard gecko to avoid further attacks or putting one of them in their own separate tank for the same exact reason. What should a Leopard Gecko drink? Hopefully, you went with the latter.eval(ez_write_tag([[250,250],'reptilejam_com-medrectangle-4','ezslot_3',109,'0','0'])); If you did, then I recommend checking out this page here. This is why supplementing with vitamins is SO important! The first step to resolving this problem is to relax…. Since leopard geckos usually need to eat live insects, you should at least consider purchasing the bugs in bulk and caring for them until you feed them to your leopard gecko. Some particularly gluttonous leopard geckos will feast on calcium powder out of boredom or just to fill their tummy. The general rule of thumb is that if it’s not a feeder insect or a vitamin supplement, don’t feed it to your leopard gecko. Also, they usually eat their shed skin. So before you do something or put your leopard gecko in a position to where they could potentially sustain some sort of injury to their tail, be mindful of all of the things that both of you have to go through if it ever were to happen. Rest assured, if your leopard gecko is not eating… there’s a reason! Do you really want to go to the pet store that often? Raw meat can carry dangerous bacteria, and cooking meat destroys its nutritional value. Leopard Gecko Food Review 2020- What Should I Feed My Gecko? You can expect the leopard gecko to reach anywhere from 8 to 10 inches in length. Leopard gecko tails come in various different sizes from long to short all the way to extremely fat to a little skinnier, but they all have one thing in common and that’s to store the things needed in it in order to help them survive. from Amazon to prevent any major tail injuries or any other injuries that may take a toll on your leopard geckos overall wellbeing. Leopard geckos are ectothermic, meaning they depend on the environmental temperature to heat their body. Once you’ve brought your gecko home, it’s tempting to start playing with him or her right away. Heating. Its legs shouldn't turn into little sausages, and its belly shouldn't be too round. You can still offer calcium freely in a dish, but you may find that you’ll need to refill it less often. You see, commercial vitamin supplements help to bridge this dietary gap. If their tails ever happen to get injured, then it’s best to treat them immediately so that they don’t potentially end up falling off. If you did, then I recommend checking out. Note. Leopard geckos tend to squirm a lot when picking them up in ways that they shouldn’t be picked up, so because of that, their tails could easily detach while being mishandled. Reptile Guide is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to amazon.com. It’s important to know all of this information because, depending on your leo’s age, weight, and overall health, you may find a preference for one feeder over another. Avoid handling your new pet for the first week, or until it’s eating consistently. it should be about 3/4 as fat as the neck. Congratulations on finishing this crash course in leopard gecko diet and nutrition! This … What should I feed a leopard gecko? As a final takeaway, remember to ALWAYS monitor your leopard gecko’s weight closely, using a scale that weighs in grams. My baby leopard gecko seems fairly healthy, and his tail is nice and fat, but he started to get a pink bump on the end of his tail. This can be great for enriching your pet’s life and encouraging exercise but could also lead to uneaten feeder insects hiding in the enclosure. What is a healthy leopard geckos tail size? Supplements In addition to the crickets, dubia roaches, mealworms and other worms you will want to supply your leo with some additional supplements in order to make sure they get all the vitamins and minerals they need. The hot spot of their tank should be set at 85°-90° F while the cool side of their tank should be at around 75° F. In addition to this, leopard geckos are not reptiles that bask, so you will not have to worry about maintaining a basking temperature. For instance, if you have a seriously overweight leopard gecko, then you’re probably going to want to stick with feeding them crickets, silkworms, or hornworms until you get their weight under control. If your leopard gecko seems hesitant to eat from a bowl, you can try fasting him or her for a few days and using a clear container with extra-wriggly insects to stimulate its hunting and feeding response. Leopard geckos don’t have the anatomy required to digest fruits, vegetables, and grains. If you keep your leopard gecko on loose substrate, a gastrointestinal blockage is a very real possibility. This site does not constitute pet medical advice, please consult a licensed veterinarian in your area for pet medical advice. Not only is helping them gain weight this way healthier, but it’s also more beneficial to their health as well. Tap water is also acceptable; it contains many trace minerals, which may be beneficial for your pet. Remove any causes of stress. Keep the original container in a cool room (50-70°) or the door of your fridge for up to three weeks. Limit these treats to once or twice a week, or more often if you’re trying to help your leopard gecko gain weight. Below you’ll find easy-to-follow instructions on how to care for the 9 most common feeder insects your leopard gecko can enjoy. You have and a number of different factors, however this is a good guide. Just think about it, would you rather gain weight fast by eating cake, pizza, and ice cream every day and have complications in the future or would you rather eat healthier foods and gain it over time? Variety of insect types, and gut-loading the insects prior to offering them to your leopard gecko will ensure a nutritionally complete diet. Depending on the insect species, you can care for them and keep them alive for up to several months before you feed them to your leo.

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