How to Feed A Leopard Gecko? Leopard geckos are fascinating and unique reptilian pets known for their striking appearance and low-maintenance care requirements. As insectivorous creatures, their diet mainly consists of insects and other arthropods. In this blog post, we will delve into the essentials of how to properly feed a leopard gecko to ensure their health and well-being.
You may also want to read about how big a leopard gecko gets.
Understanding Leopard Gecko’s Natural Diet
In the wild, leopard geckos are opportunistic hunters that primarily feed on a variety of insects, including crickets, mealworms, roaches, and other small invertebrates. Their diet is high in protein, and they have evolved to have a preference for live prey. It’s crucial to replicate their natural diet in captivity to ensure they receive the proper nutrition.
Selecting Appropriate Feeders
When feeding a leopard gecko, it’s crucial to provide them with a variety of appropriately sized feeders to mimic their natural diet. Common feeders for leopard geckos include crickets, mealworms, superworms, dubia roaches, and waxworms. These insects can be easily purchased at most pet stores or online.
It’s important to select feeders that are smaller than the width of your leopard gecko’s head to prevent choking hazards. The size of the feeders should be adjusted as your leopard gecko grows, to ensure they are getting the right portion size.
Gut Loading and Dusting
Gut loading and dusting are important practices when feeding a leopard gecko. Gut loading refers to feeding the insects a nutritious diet before offering them to your leopard gecko. This allows the insects to become nutrient-rich, providing your gecko with a more balanced meal. Common gut loading foods include fruits, vegetables, and specially formulated gut loading diets available at pet stores.
Dusting involves coating the feeders with calcium and vitamin supplements before offering them to your leopard gecko. Calcium is essential for proper bone growth and muscle function, while vitamins help ensure a well-rounded diet. Calcium powder with or without added vitamins can be dusted onto the feeders every other feeding, while a vitamin supplement can be used once or twice a month.
How to Feed A Leopard Gecko?
Leopard geckos are nocturnal creatures, and their feeding schedule should mimic their natural behavior. They are typically fed in the evening or at night, as this is when they are most active and ready to eat. Avoid feeding them during the day, as they prefer to rest and hide during daylight hours. You can feed them mealworms. They love to eat these insects.
As for portion control, it’s important to feed your leopard gecko an appropriate amount to prevent overeating and obesity. A general guideline is to offer as many insects as your leopard gecko can consume in about 10 to 15 minutes, and remove any uneaten insects to prevent them from harming your gecko or hiding in their enclosure.
Water and Hydration
Leopard geckos also require access to clean, fresh water at all times. Water should be provided in a shallow dish that is easy for your gecko to access, but shallow enough to prevent them from soaking in it or drowning. It’s important to clean and refill the water dish regularly to ensure your leopard gecko stays hydrated.
Monitoring Health and Weight
Regularly monitoring your leopard gecko’s health and weight is crucial to ensure they are eating properly and maintaining a healthy weight. Leopard geckos should have a plump tail, which serves as a fat storage reserve. If the tail becomes too thin, it may indicate an issue with nutrition or health.