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Caring for a Leopard Gecko

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The older of the two is very curious, not sure whether to approach or hide.
The older of the two is very curious, not sure whether to approach or hide.

Geckos are super easy to take care of and surprisingly fun to watch and play with. Unlike a dog, a gecko won’t destroy any furniture, and you’ll never have to watch your step in the backyard. Geckos can bring hours of entertainment by simply watching them explore, or even playing with them out of their terrarium.

Leopard geckos require their terrarium to be 85-90 degrees on the warm side and 75-80 on the cool side. It is very important that your terrarium has both sides to ensure your gecko can be comfortable. It is important to keep the right temperature at night while having NO LIGHT, terrarium kits usually come with a red and blue bulb for daytime and nighttime heating. You want to stay away from these because they can cause eye damage or blindness to geckos. The best option for your main source of heat is a ceramic heat emitter. A UVB light will also be needed for your leopard gecko to absorb calcium and stay on a daily schedule. A basking bulb needs to be used in order to represent the sun and add extra degrees during the day. The UVB and basking bulbs should both be set on a timer 10-12 hours during winter and 11-13 hours during summer.

A bigger tank provides more space run around, and more room for you to get fancy with how your terrarium looks and decor.
A bigger tank provides more space run around, and more room for you to get fancy with how your terrarium looks and decor.

Geckos require a simple, healthy diet consisting of crickets and mealworms, where you can also feed them wax worms as a treat. Crickets should be coated with calcium 24 hours prior to feeding,  with mealworms available in the food dish throughout the day. Water bowls should be located on both the warm and cool sides. Water will add humidity in the terrarium, as well as be a place for your gecko to soak its skin. When deciding how many crickets or mealworms to feed, you can go by two simple rules: two crickets/mealworms for every inch of their tail, or as many crickets/mealworms, you think they will eat in 15 minutes.

The newest addition to the family, Baby, hangs out on the rocks while looking for crickets.
The newest addition to the family, Baby, hangs out on the rocks while looking for crickets.

Leopard geckos are adventurous and like to climb. Your terrarium should include places to hide and climb on. Rocks are nice to scatter around the terrarium. They provide a warm place during the day to lay on, and a higher spot to hunt from. A heater rock is a great option for your gecko to lay and warm up on.

Leopard geckos love to play once they are comfortable with you – this may take multiple days if not weeks. Your gecko will get comfortable with you by just watching you hang out, and when feeding them. Talking to your gecko will also help it get used to you and noises. When handling geckos, you need to make sure to be mindful of their tail, which can fall off if pulled on. The scoop technique is very useful when your gecko becomes comfortable with your hand, but allow them to come to you before trying.

The older of the two is very curious, not sure whether to approach or hide.
The older of the two is very curious, not sure whether to approach or hide.

Watching your gecko play and hunt may bring hours of entertainment and laughs.
Buying a leopard gecko was a great decision for me because it truly is easy and they are very adorable. Now it’s your turn to start your own reptile family with a leopard gecko.


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