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Gecko Care 101

September 1, 2021

Today, September 1st, is World Gecko Day! These cute little lizards are becoming quite popular pets. There are over 1500 kinds of geckos, though only about a dozen or so are usually sold as pets. Geckos come in many pretty colors and patterns, and are typically quite timid. They also don’t need training, don’t make noise, and are great pets for anyone with allergies. A local vet offers some basic tips on gecko care below.


Basics

Choosing the right gecko is very important. The Leopard gecko is probably the most popular gecko out there. The Crested gecko and African Fat-tailed gecko are good options, too. Other suitable pets include the Gold Dust Day gecko, Frog-Eyed gecko, Chinese Cave gecko, Giant Day gecko, Gargoyle gecko, and the adorable Madagascar Ground gecko. These guys have the same general care needs, but the details of their care vary a bit. Do some research before choosing one. Remember to look at longevity. Some geckos can live 20 years!


Habitat

Like other reptiles, geckos need specific conditions to stay healthy. You’ll need to get some special equipment, including high-quality thermometers to help you track the conditions. For substrate, you can use reptile carpet, butcher paper, or even paper towels. You can put flat stones or ceramic tiles on top of these if you like. Do not use sand, especially for young lizards, as your pet could get very sick if he were to ingest it. Your little lizard will also need suitable hide boxes and branches or rocks for climbing. You might 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 attractive options to many people. Most geckos eat live bugs, which should be dusted with nutritional powder before becoming lunch. You’ll need to regularly purchase living snacks, such as crickets, waxworms, and Dubia roaches. If the very thought of buying these creepy-crawlies makes your stomach queasy, a gecko may not be for you.


Handling

Geckos are quite gentle by nature. 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, which is a safety feature that helps them escape predators. While they do grow new tails, the replacement often looks rather odd. And, needless to say, losing an appendage isn’t exactly fun for your pet! 


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

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