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Caring for a Leopard Gecko

Are you considering getting a reptile as a pet? If so, a Leopard gecko may be a great option. These beautiful lizards are very docile and are quite easy to care for, provided they have a proper habitat. They also don’t need much room, so you won’t have to portion off a huge chunk of your home for your new pet. Here, an Indianapolis vet gives some of the basics about Leopard geckos:

About Leopard Geckos

Leopard geckos are nocturnal, so they tend to be more active at night. One of the only lizards with eyelids, the Leopard gecko originated in desert environments, such as Afghanistan and Pakistan. You can find Leopard geckos in a wide variety of beautiful colors. As far as temperament goes, they are quite friendly and generally don’t mind being handled. These beautiful lizards can grow to about 9 inches in size. With proper care, they can live to be about 20 years old.

Cage

Setting up your Leopard gecko’s cage properly is one of the most important things you can do to keep your pet happy and healthy. Generally, a glass aquarium or terrarium will be fine. Your gecko will need water, heat, some type of housing, and substrate. Many gecko enthusiasts prefer for the heat to come from below the cage. The heat source should be around 90 degrees, and should be at one end of the cage. Your gecko will also need some hiding areas, at least one of which should be moist. For substrate, you can use newspaper, paper towels, or packing paper. Feel free to cover it with leaves so it looks a bit nicer. Avoid sand, as this can cause issues with some geckos. Your pet’s cage should be cleaned once a week, and thoroughly sterilized about every three or four months.

Food

Crickets and mealworms are quite yummy to geckos, and can be your pet’s main food. Some geckos also enjoy silkworms. Waxworms are another favorite, though since these have a high fat content, they should only be given as treats. It’s best to get worms and crickets live, and feed them a nutrient-rich meal before giving them to the gecko. This is known as “gut-loading” and helps your lizard get more nutrition and benefits at mealtime. For a complete and well-rounded diet, your gecko will also require vitamins and calcium.

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