Caring for a Leopard Gecko

Have you been considering adopting a reptilian pet? If so, you may want to look into getting a leopard gecko. These pretty lizards come in many beautiful colors and patterns, and are fascinating to watch. They are also quite docile, and, at about 10 inches long fully grown, are on the small side. Read on as a Happy Valley, OR vet discusses leopard gecko care.


Your lizard will spend the vast majority of his time in his tank, so it’s very important to make sure that he is comfortable in his home. We recommend getting a terrarium that is at least 20 gallons, though bigger is always better. You’ll need to add a good substrate, such as butcher paper, turf, flat stones, or pea gravel. Your scaled buddy will also need a few different reptile caves. One of these should contain vermiculite or moss, which will help the little guy shed. To make the tank look nice, add some rocks, plants, climbing branches, and/or driftwood.


One good thing about leopard geckos is that they don’t require any special lighting. You can use a regular low-watt tank light, though you will want to set to a 12-hour timer so your pet can experience proper light cycles. Leopard geckos do have specific requirements as far as temperature, however. Your gecko’s tank should have two different ‘climates,’ with one end being warmer than the other. The warm end should stay between 85-90 °F, while the cool section should remain between 73-75 °F. We recommend using under-tank heating, which is much safer than heating rocks.


Feeding a leopard gecko is a bit more complicated than simply popping open a can of pet food. You’ll need to feed your tiny dinosaur live insects, such as mealworms and crickets. Before you offer your pet his dinner, you’ll need to dust the bugs with nutritional powder. This is known as gutloading, and will ensure that your little buddy is getting proper nourishment. As one can imagine, this is not for the squeamish, so make sure you’re up to the task of regularly offering your pet creepy-crawlies! Also, keep in mind that you’ll need to make regular trips to the pet store. Ask your vet for more information.

Do you have any questions about leopard gecko care? Contact us, your Happy Valley, OR vet hospital, today! We’re here to help!

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