Leopard geckos are one of the most popular pet reptiles around the world. These adorable creatures are low-maintenance, docile, and have a lifespan of up to 20 years. As a responsible pet owner, it’s essential to provide them with a healthy and balanced diet.
Feeding leopard geckos can be challenging for beginners as they have unique dietary requirements. In this comprehensive guide, we’ll walk you through everything you need to know about feeding leopard geckos, including their diet, feeding schedule, and common feeding mistakes to avoid. So, let’s get started!
Feeding your leopard gecko can be a bit tricky, but with the right knowledge, it’s a breeze. The best diet for your leopard gecko is a mix of live insects and commercial gecko food. Offer insects such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches, as well as gecko-specific food such as Repashy and Pangea. Feed juveniles daily and adults every other day, adjusting portion sizes accordingly. Always provide fresh water in a shallow dish.
Leopard Gecko Feeding Guide
Leopard geckos are fascinating creatures to keep as pets. They are easy to care for, and one of the most interesting aspects is their diet. These creatures are insectivores, which means they eat insects. In this article, we will discuss everything you need to know about feeding your leopard gecko.
What to Feed Your Leopard Gecko
Leopard geckos are insectivores, and they need a varied diet to stay healthy. The most common insects to feed your leopard gecko are crickets, mealworms, superworms, and waxworms. You can find these insects at your local pet store or online.
It’s essential to offer your leopard gecko a variety of insect options. This will ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients and minerals they need to be healthy. Remember to also provide a shallow dish of water in their enclosure.
How Often to Feed Your Leopard Gecko
Leopard geckos are nocturnal creatures, and they are most active at night. It’s best to feed them in the evening or early morning when they are most active.
Leopard geckos should be fed every other day. This will help prevent obesity and other health problems. It’s also important to note that leopard geckos can go without food for several days, so don’t worry if they don’t eat every day.
Feeding Juvenile and Adult Leopard Geckos
Juvenile leopard geckos require more food than adult leopard geckos. You should feed juvenile leopard geckos every day, while adult leopard geckos should be fed every other day.
The amount of food your leopard gecko needs will depend on its size and age. As a general rule, you should offer your leopard gecko as many insects as it can eat in 15-20 minutes.
Supplements for Your Leopard Gecko
Leopard geckos need calcium and other vitamins and minerals to stay healthy. You can provide them with these nutrients by dusting their insects with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement.
It’s essential to offer supplements to your leopard gecko, as a lack of calcium can lead to metabolic bone disease. Follow the instructions on the supplement bottle for the correct dosage and frequency.
What Not to Feed Your Leopard Gecko
It’s crucial to avoid feeding your leopard gecko any insects that are too large for them to swallow. This can lead to impaction, which is a blockage in their digestive system.
It’s also essential to avoid feeding your leopard gecko insects that are too hard to digest, such as beetles or mealworms with hard exoskeletons. Stick to crickets, mealworms, superworms, and waxworms.
Benefits of Feeding Your Leopard Gecko a Varied Diet
Offering your leopard gecko a varied diet has many benefits. It ensures they receive all the necessary nutrients and minerals they need to be healthy. It can also prevent boredom and encourage natural hunting behaviors.
A varied diet can also help prevent obesity and other health problems. It’s essential to offer your leopard gecko a variety of insects, as feeding them the same food every day can lead to nutrient deficiencies.
Feeding Your Leopard Gecko Live vs. Pre-Killed Insects
Leopard geckos can eat both live and pre-killed insects. However, live insects are preferred, as they provide more stimulation and exercise for your leopard gecko.
Pre-killed insects are a good option if you’re squeamish or if your leopard gecko is unable to catch live insects. Just be sure to remove any uneaten insects from their enclosure to prevent spoilage.
How to Store Your Leopard Gecko’s Food
It’s essential to store your leopard gecko’s food properly to prevent spoilage and contamination. Keep your insects in a ventilated container, such as a plastic tub with holes in the lid.
You can also keep your insects in the refrigerator to slow down their metabolism and extend their lifespan. Just be sure to remove them from the refrigerator a few hours before feeding to allow them to warm up to room temperature.
Feeding your leopard gecko a varied diet of crickets, mealworms, superworms, and waxworms is essential to their health. Remember to offer supplements and provide a shallow dish of water in their enclosure.
Offering live insects and a varied diet will help prevent boredom and encourage natural hunting behaviors. Avoid feeding your leopard gecko insects that are too large or too hard to digest. Store your leopard gecko’s food properly to prevent spoilage and contamination.
Frequently Asked Questions
What should I feed my leopard gecko?
Leopard geckos are insectivores, which means they primarily eat insects. The most common insects to feed them include crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. It’s important to make sure the insects are the right size for your gecko and that they are gut loaded (fed nutritious food) before being given to your gecko.
You can also offer your leopard gecko occasional treats such as pinkie mice or small pieces of fruit, but these should not make up the majority of their diet. Remember to remove any uneaten insects from the enclosure to prevent them from bothering your gecko or causing health issues.
How often should I feed my leopard gecko?
Leopard geckos should be fed every other day or every two days. The amount of food they need will depend on their size and age, but as a general rule, adult geckos should have around 6-8 insects per feeding while juveniles should have 2-4 insects per feeding.
It’s important to not overfeed your gecko as obesity can lead to health issues. Additionally, make sure to provide fresh water at all times and replace it daily to ensure it stays clean.
Can leopard geckos eat vegetables?
While leopard geckos are primarily insectivores, some owners choose to offer them vegetables as an occasional treat. However, it’s important to note that geckos have difficulty digesting vegetables and they do not provide the necessary nutrients that insects do.
If you choose to offer your gecko vegetables, make sure they are finely chopped and cooked. Some good options include carrots, squash, and sweet potato. However, vegetables should not make up more than 10% of your gecko’s diet.
What should I do if my leopard gecko stops eating?
If your leopard gecko stops eating, it could be a sign of illness or stress. Make sure the temperature and humidity in their enclosure are within the proper range and check for any signs of illness such as lethargy or weight loss.
If you are still concerned, it’s best to consult with a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles. They can help determine if there is an underlying health issue and provide appropriate treatment.
Can I feed my leopard gecko live or frozen insects?
Leopard geckos can be fed both live and frozen insects. Live insects can provide enrichment and stimulation for your gecko, but they can also be carriers of parasites or disease.
If you choose to feed live insects, make sure to purchase them from a reputable source and gut load them before feeding to your gecko. Frozen insects can also be a good option as they are convenient and can be easily stored in the freezer. Just make sure to thaw them before feeding to your gecko.
In conclusion, feeding your leopard gecko requires careful consideration and attention to detail. By understanding their dietary needs, you can ensure that your pet remains healthy and happy.
It’s important to provide a varied diet that includes live insects, such as crickets and mealworms, as well as a small amount of fruits and vegetables. Be sure to dust their food with a calcium supplement to ensure proper bone health.
Remember to also provide fresh water at all times and to clean their feeding dishes regularly. With these tips in mind, you can create a well-balanced diet for your beloved leopard gecko.