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Gecko Care 101

September 1, 2021

Today is a big day for reptile lovers: it’s World Gecko Day! These cute little lizards are becoming quite popular pets. There are more than 1500 kinds of geckos, though only a dozen or so are commonly sold as pets. Geckos are super cute, and sport a variety of colors and patterns. They are also typically quite gentle and easy to care for. They also don’t need training, don’t make noise, and make wonderful animal companions for anyone with allergies. A local vet offers some advice on gecko care below.


Basics

Choosing the perfect gecko is very important. Leopard geckos are likely the most popular gecko out there. The Crested gecko and African Fat-tailed gecko also make great pets. Also on the list of suitable pet geckos are the Chinese Cave gecko, Frog-Eyed gecko, Giant Day gecko, Gargoyle gecko, Gold Dust Day gecko, and Madagascar Ground gecko. These guys have the same general needs, but they aren’t exactly the same. Be sure to do your research before choosing one. One thing to look at is longevity. Some geckos can live as much as 20 years!


Habitat

Like many other reptiles, geckos require specific conditions to stay healthy. You’ll need to get some special heating and lighting equipment, including thermometers to help you monitor 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. Don’t use sand, especially with young lizards, as they can get very sick from ingesting it. Your little lizard 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 one can be a dealbreaker for many people. Like many other reptiles, most geckos eat live bugs. The insects have to be dusted with nutritional powder before becoming lunch. You’ll need to regularly buy things like crickets, waxworms, and Dubia roaches. If the very thought of buying these creepy-crawlies makes you queasy, a gecko may not be the right pet for you.


Handling

Geckos are quite gentle. However, you’ll have to handle your tiny pet regularly to keep him docile and friendly. Just be careful to never pick your little dinosaur up by the tail. Geckos’ tails detach when they are held that way, which helps them escape predators. While they do grow new tails, the replacement often looks quite odd. And, needless to say, losing an appendage isn’t going to be much fun for your animal companion. 


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

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