Do Leopard Geckos make good pets?
Yes! They make excellent pets for beginners and more experienced owners alike. I have found them to be amazing pets to watch and learn from, each with their own personality.
They are an easy species to feed and keep and make amazing display animals in a naturalistic arid environment.
I have found them to be easily held even by small children as they are fairly sized, not too big, or too small as adults.
Depending on the personality of your gecko they may like being handled, so not so much. You can work on this with lots of handling over time.
Just be gentle with them and allow the gecko to dictate how long they will be handled and how they interact with you.
My geckos all love climbing up t-shirts to get to your neck and find a hot spot to sit at. They will sit there happily for nearly an hour without moving around too much
What makes leopard Geckos good pets?
Leopard geckos are for the most part very docile pets. I have owned many over the last 20 years and I find that each gecko has his/her own personality traits just like us.
I have a male leopard gecko called Lunar who is usually very grumpy in the mornings until he has been fed and had a bit of a stretch.
My youngest female Frayja is very skittish as she was rescued from a home that didn’t have much time for her and as such, I try to spend lots of time letting her walk over my hands and build up the trust that all my other geckos have with me.
They are also very easy to care for which will be explained further on in more detail if they are cared for and can live to 20+ years
I feel that this makes them good pets for all keepers young and old, experienced and inexperienced.
They all have very different personalities just like humans so you may find some are grumpy, some are dopey, some are skittish and some crave attention from their owner.
Play along with these personalities and help grow a bond, you will be rewarded!
How to house Leopard Geckos
As babies, I house them in Braplast 3L tubs with kitchen roll or paper as a substrate and a heating pad attached to a thermostat to regulate temperatures,
I also give them a toilet roll tube as a hide and an upside-down tub with a hole cut with moss as a wet hide to aid with shedding. I use milk bottle caps to provide water, food items, and another one with calcium+D3.
This will be sufficient until they grow bigger but eventually, I house my Leopard geckos in wooden vivariums as these hold heat better than glass aquarium-type vivariums.
Instead of a heat pad, I find it better to use a ceramic heat bulb attached to a thermostat, and underneath I use a slate rock as a basking spot.
I also prefer to use a natural substrate to house adults with, so a mix of bioactive earth and clay with small rocks,
which I feel promotes digging, etc. I have multiple hides available as I house 3-4 females together and a large tub filled with moist moss as a wet hide with a hole in the lid for an entrance.
I like to keep my females in a group of 3-4 but you need to ensure there are plenty of hiding spots and basking spots to help with any aggression,
If you do notice aggression, it is best to separate for a while and, depending on its severity, isolate the aggressive gecko from the others.
Some people argue that they are mostly solitary animals but in my experience, they like to cuddle into each other to keep warm and do enjoy the company of others.
What do leopard geckos Eat?
See what do leopard geckos eat post here for more details and other gecko eating habits
I use a mixture of Morio worms, Dubai roaches, and hoppers for adults supplemented with vitamins and D3, for babies I provide mealworms and appropriate-sized Dubai roaches and hoppers.
I offer these 3 times a week unless they are in a breeding session. I have found some geckos may be a little fussy to eat,
I usually offer the food items and if they refuse to eat I will withhold food for a few days and try again.
As long as the gecko has enough fat reserves in its tail this can be done safely for up to 4 weeks.
After that point, if the gecko still isn’t eating then I remove the heads of the food items and rub the body over the gecko’s lips so they can taste it.
In most cases, they will start to open their mouth and take the food item.
I like to mix their food up a little so for one feed I will offer worms, next to some roaches, and then again hoppers.
I have found this stops a lot of fussiness of my geckos in eating. I also feed wax worms but this is maybe once a month or so as they are too fatty to be used as a staple diet for any gecko.
I currently try to breed most of my live food items apart from hoppers as they need to big an enclosure, but breeding roaches and worms yourself can save money and allow you to find the correct food item for your gecko.
This is also very simple to do and there are hundreds of online posts to show how this is done
How easy are they to keep?
Almost foolproof! Once you have a suitable vivarium you need to ensure you provide enough hides, a basking spot, and a cool side.
This is to help the geckos to thermoregulate themselves. They will move from warm to cold depending on their needs.
Leopard geckos are crepuscular meaning they are more active just before night and just after.
I have found in my experience that they are active at all times throughout the day and night. I have seen all of my geckos basking during the day and also at night.
My geckos love to climb around me getting to my neck and having a little lie down to get some heat.
They love being around people and are very inquisitive, jumping up at the glass when something happens and following you around.
When they are about to shed they need to have a wet hide to help with this process, they should be left to their own devices while doing this also.
I only intervene when my geckos have skin stuck to their toes or when they are very young.
This can be helped with a spray called shed aid, this is a mild solution with vitamins and is really just a moisturizer.
In general, if you keep your geckos correctly they shouldn’t have too many health problems and you won’t need to worry about anything more than a shedding problem.
Which leopard Gecko to get?
So this for me is the best part of owning a leopard gecko. Getting to choose which “flavor” of leopard geckos.
There are so many different morphs of geckos to choose from ranging from normal wild type with all their bold colors and patterns to a black and white Mack Snow or maybe a blazing blizzard with its black eyes and totally white body.
There are so many different morphs to choose from all with their own quirks and each with a following of hopeful keepers.
There are some to be aware of, however. More so with breeding but there are some healthcare issues with some morphs ie the new Lemon Frost morph that comes with tumors mostly facial ones
or the enigma leopard geckos that most will develop enigma syndrome, it’s a horrible neurological disorder that eventually most geckos will sadly die from as a result of a better-looking animal.
There are also 3 different strains of albino, which can’t be bred together.
Whichever morph you choose from or maybe like me you will want a selection of morphs, Choose the ones that excite you the most,
Choose a healthy inquisitive gecko. They will be with you hopefully for many years.