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Gecko Care 101

September 1, 2021

Today is World Gecko Day! These charming little lizards are becoming quite popular animal companions. There are over 1500 kinds of geckos, though there are only about a dozen or so usually sold as pets. Geckos come in many colors and patterns, and are typically quite gentle and easy to care for. They also don’t need any training, don’t make much noise, and are really great animal companions for anyone with allergies. A local vet offers some advice on gecko care below.


Basics

The Leopard gecko may well be the most popular gecko out there. The Crested gecko and African Fat-tailed gecko are both good options, too. Also on the list of suitable pets are the Gold Dust Day gecko, Frog-Eyed gecko, Chinese Cave gecko, Giant Day gecko, Gargoyle gecko, and Madagascar Ground gecko. These guys all have the same general needs, but they aren’t exactly the same. Do some research before choosing your tiny dinosaur. One thing you’ll want to look at is longevity. Some geckos can live up to 20 years!


Habitat

Geckos need specific heat and light conditions to thrive. You’ll need to get some special equipment, including good thermometers to help you monitor the conditions in your pet’s home. For substrate, you can get reptile carpet, butcher paper, or even paper towels. You can add heavier things, such as stone or ceramic tiles. on top of these. Do not use sand, as your pet could get very sick if he were to ingest it. Your pet lizard will also need hide boxes and branches or rocks for climbing. You may want to add some nontoxic plants to make the terrarium look nice. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Food

Most geckos eat live bugs, which must be dusted with nutritional powder before becoming lunch. You’ll need to regularly bring home things like crickets, waxworms, and Dubia roaches. If the very thought of buying these creepy-crawlies turns your stomach, a gecko may not be for you. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Handling

Geckos are quite tame and friendly, which is one reason they’re such good pets. However, you’ll need to handle your tiny buddy regularly to keep him docile and friendly. Just take care to never pick your lizard up by the tail. Geckos’ tails detach when they are held this way, which helps them escape predators. While they do grow new tails, the replacement often looks a bit odd. Of course, losing an appendage isn’t going to be much fun for your pet, either.


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

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