Leopard Geckos by Reed Dietrick

People often associate reptiles with being slimy, dangerous, and scary. The leopard gecko is not. Actually, most reptiles aren't either. People who have met reptile pets such as leopard geckos have a totally different perspective than those who haven't. These animals are unique and a pleasure to own!

Surprisingly enough, a leopard gecko's belly is very, very soft! Their backs are bumpy, but not rough. They are one of the most docile reptile species and love to climb onto your hand and hang out on your shoulder. Since they absorb heat through their stomach, they love your body heat and feel very comfortable relaxing on their human friends. Sometimes they fall asleep on you, too!

Unlike most geckos, leopard geckos have moving eyelids, whereas other geckos would have to lick them. Leopard geckos also have a nice smile!

Leopard geckos are low maintenance pets, and don't need to be fed every day. Juveniles can be fed every other day, and geckos over 1 year can be fed every 4 days. Usually geckos will eat 5-8 crickets at each feeding. The best staple feeder insect by far are crickets. Crickets are high in nutrients, and they are easy to digest. Mealworms are also good, though they have a very hard exoskeleton that is hard to digest. Ideally, a varied diet is better. But it's vital that you give leopard geckos supplements. They should have a 24/7 dish in their cage with powdered calcium (without D3). Their food should also be dusted with calcium or multi-vitamin supplement on a rotating basis.

If you are having a hard time finding calcium without D3, then there is a cool video linked below that shows you how to make it using eggshells or cuttlefish bone. I make my own calcium powder using the eggshell method.

Finally, it's amusing to watch them hunt! They look like little cats, stalking their prey and then eating it in one gulp. Once they see a cricket for example, they will slowly crawl towards it. Then they will wag their tail, which is basically a warning. Then they lunge forward and eat the insect.

I know from experience what great pets leopard geckos make, as I have been a proud human friend to a beautiful leopard gecko named Fiona for almost a year. This is Fiona on her first day home! She has grown a lot since then, and lives a happy life hunting crickets and hanging out on warm surfaces.

Created By
Reed Dietrick
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Credits:

Created with images by simply.jessi - "Al the Leopard Gecko" • simply.jessi - "Al the Leopard Gecko" • simply.jessi - "Al the Leopard Gecko" • Marcin Chady - "Butterscotch Up Close and Personal" • simply.jessi - "Al the Leopard Gecko"

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