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Gecko Care 101
September 1, 2021

Today, September 1st, is World Gecko Day! These charming little lizards are becoming quite popular pets. There are more than 1500 types of geckos, though you’ll only find about a dozen or so commonly sold as pets. Geckos come in many pretty colors and patterns, and are typically quite docile. They’re also easy keepers: they also don’t need training, don’t make much noise, and are great animal companions for anyone that has allergies. A local vet offers some advice on gecko care below.


Basics

The Leopard gecko is probably the most popular gecko out there. The Crested gecko and African Fat-tailed gecko are both good options, too. Some other geckos that make good pets are the Giant Day gecko, Gold Dust Day gecko, Gargoyle gecko, Frog-Eyed gecko, Chinese Cave gecko, and Madagascar Ground gecko. These guys have the same general needs, but there are some differences. Do some research before choosing one. One thing to look at is longevity. Some geckos can live up to 20 years!


Habitat

Geckos need specific environmental conditions to stay healthy. You’ll need to get some special equipment, including good thermometers to help you track the conditions. For substrate, you can use butcher paper, reptile carpet, or even paper towels. You can add stone or ceramic tiles on top of these if you like. Do not use sand, as your scaled pet could get very sick if he were to ingest it. Your little lizard will also need hide boxes and branches or rocks for climbing. Adding some safe plants will make the terrarium look nice. Ask your vet for specific advice.


Food

This is one area where, for many, geckos suddenly lose a lot of their appeal. Like many other reptiles, most geckos eat live bugs. You’ll need to bring home things like mealworms, crickets, waxworms, and Dubia roaches. These must be dusted with nutritional powder before becoming lunch for your little buddy. If the very thought of regularly buying these creepy-crawlies turns your stomach, a gecko may not be for you.


Handling

Geckos are quite tame, which is one reason they’re so popular. However, you’ll need to handle your tiny pet regularly to keep him docile and friendly. It’s important to know that you should never pick your little dinosaur up by the tail. Geckos’ tails will detach when they are held this way, which helps them escape predators. While they do grow new tails, the replacement often looks a bit odd. And, needless to say, losing an appendage isn’t going to be much fun for your pet. 


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

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