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Caring for a Leopard Gecko

Are you looking for a cute reptilian pet? A leopard gecko could be a good choice for you! A Poway, CA vet discusses basic gecko care below.

Basics

Leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptile pets. These cute little guys are available in many bright and vibrant colors, and are about 10 inches long when fully grown. They can live up to 20 years, so adopting one is a long-term commitment.

Cage

Making sure your leopard gecko is comfy in his tank is very important! We recommend getting at least at 20-gallon tank. Be sure to choose one that closes securely. This is especially important if you have a cat! You’ll need to add a suitable substrate, such as turf, pea gravel, newspaper, or butcher paper. You can also use flat stones. It’s best to avoid kitty litter; sawdust; wood-based substrates, particularly pine and cedar ones; and sand, especially for baby lizards. To make the cage prettier, you can add some safe plants, driftwood, and large rocks. Your scaled buddy should also have a few hidey-holes to retreat to when he gets scared. One of these should contain moss or vermiculite, and should be fairly moist. As for lighting, a low-watt bulb, used on a 12-hour cycle, is fine.

Environment

Although you won’t have to provide special lights for your leopard gecko, you will need to keep his home at a specific temperature. Your reptilian pal will actually need two different temperature zones. One end of the cage should be between 85-90°F, and the other should stay around 73-75°F. Use under-tank heating instead of heating rocks or lamps, which can be dangerous.

Diet

Leopard geckos eat a variety of creepy-crawlies, such as waxworms, mealworms, and crickets. You’ll need to regularly go to the pet store for bugs. Once you get the critters home, you’ll need to dust them with nutritious powder, and wait about 12 hours before feeding them to your tiny dragon. Your gecko will also need calcium and fresh water.

Temperament

Leopard geckos are quite friendly and gentle. However, you will need to handle your pet regularly to keep him tame. Talk to your cute lizard, pet him, and maybe even let him hang out on you while you are watching TV.

Please contact us, your Poway, CA animal hospital, for all your pet’s veterinary care needs. We’re here to help!

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