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Gecko Care 101

September 1, 2021

Reptile fans rejoice! Today, September 1st, is World Gecko Day! These cute little lizards are becoming pretty popular pets. Geckos come in many vibrant and striking colors and patterns, and are typically quite gentle and easy to care for. They also don’t need training, don’t make a lot of noise, and are great animal companions for anyone with allergies. A local vet offers some advice on gecko care below.


Basics

There are over 1500 kinds of geckos, though only a dozen or so are commonly sold as pets.The Leopard gecko may well be the most popular one, but the Crested gecko and African Fat-tailed gecko are also good options. Also on the list of suitable pets are the Frog-Eyed gecko, Chinese Cave gecko, Gold Dust Day gecko, Giant Day gecko, Gargoyle gecko, and Madagascar Ground gecko. These all guys have similar basic needs, but there are some variations. Do plenty of research before choosing one. One thing you’ll want to look at is longevity. Some geckos can live up to 20 years!


Habitat

Like many other reptiles, geckos need specific heat and light conditions to stay healthy. You’ll need to get some special equipment, including good thermometers to help you track the conditions. For substrate, you can use things like reptile carpet, butcher paper, or even paper towels. You can add stone or ceramic tiles on top of these if you like. Just don’t use sand, especially with juveniles. Your tiny dinosaur could get very sick if he were to ingest it! Your lizard buddy will also need hide boxes and branches or rocks for climbing. You may want to add plants to make the terrarium look nice. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Food

This is one area where geckos suddenly become less appealing to a lot of people. These guys eat live bugs. You’ll need to regularly bring home things like crickets, waxworms, and Dubia roaches. The creepy-crawlies must be dusted with nutritional powder before becoming lunch. If the very thought of buying these creepy-crawlies turns your stomach, a gecko may not be for you. 


Handling

Geckos are quite gentle. However, you’ll need to handle your tiny pet regularly to keep him docile and friendly. Never pick your little dinosaur up by the tail. Geckos’ tails detach when they are held this way. This is sort of a ‘safety feature’ that helps them escape predators. While they do grow new tails, the replacement often looks a bit odd. And, needless to say, losing an appendage isn’t going to be particularly fun for your pet.


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

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