If you’re looking for a unique and interesting pet, you might want to consider a gecko! Geckos are lizards that come in many different colors, patterns, and sizes. Some of the most popular gecko pets include leopard gecko, African Fat-tailed gecko, tokay gecko, crested gecko, etc.
Geckos make great pets because they are low-maintenance and relatively easy to care for. They are also nocturnal species, so they are often more active at night when you’re home from work or school. Geckos are also known for being very friendly and social creatures, so that they can make great companions.
Popular Pet Gecko Species
There are many different types of geckos that make great pets, but some of the most popular species include:
These geckos are native to Pakistan and Afghanistan and come in various colors and patterns. They are one of the most popular types of pet geckos because they are easy to care for and friendly.
African Fat-Tailed Geckos
These geckos are native to Africa and come in many colors, including yellow, white, red, and green. They are known for their large tails, which can be up to one-third of their body length.
These geckos are native to New Caledonia and Australia and come in various colors, including green, blue, yellow, and pink. They are known for their distinctive crest of hair-like spikes along their heads and backs. Crested Geckos make great pets because they are active and social.
Common House Geckos
They are one of the most common types of geckos found in North America. They typically grow to be about 4 inches long. They are usually light brown or bright green, but they can also come in other colors. They have a shorter lifespan than other species.
These geckos are native to Madagascar and come in various colors, including brown, tan, red, and orange. They are named for the horn-like projections on their heads.
They can grow up to 12 inches long and come in various colors, including green, blue, and red. Tokay Geckos are also known for their loud vocalizations, so you’ll know when they’re up and about!
Giant Day Geckos
If you’re looking for a larger pet gecko, you might want to consider a Giant Day Gecko. These geckos can grow up to 10 inches long, making them one of the largest gecko species. They are quick and will attempt to flee from prying hands until they become accustomed.
The average lifespan of a gecko in captivity is 10 to 20 years. However, some geckos have been known to live for 30 years or more.
The type of gecko you have will affect its lifespan. For example, Leopard Geckos live for 10 to 20 years, while Crested Geckos can live for 30 years or more. It is said that male geckos have a longer lifespan than female geckos.
Choosing a Gecko Pet
When choosing a gecko pet, you should keep a few things in mind. First, consider what type of gecko you want as a pet. Each species has its unique appearance, personality, and care needs.
Next, consider your own lifestyle and whether or not you have the time and space to care for a gecko. Most geckos require special habitats and must be handled regularly, so you’ll need to ensure you’re prepared to provide the care your pet lizard needs.
Finally, consult with a reptile expert or take veterinary advice to ensure a gecko is a right pet for you. They can help you choose the right species and prepare you for the care your gecko will need.
Handling Your Gecko
One of the most important things you can do for your gecko pet is to handle it regularly. This will help your gecko get used to handling and decrease stress levels. When handling your gecko, support its entire body to feel secure. You can hold your gecko in your hands or place it on your arm or shoulder.
If you’re new to handling geckos, start by picking up your gecko for a few minutes each day. Slowly increase the time you spend handling your gecko until it is comfortable being held for long periods. Always wash your hands before and after handling your gecko to prevent the spread of bacteria.
The Ideal Gecko Habitat
Geckos are cold-blooded animals, so they need a warm environment to stay healthy. A gecko’s habitat should provide everything it needs to be healthy and happy. This includes a warm basking area, climbing areas, and plenty of food and water. Geckos also need hiding places where they can feel safe and secure. You can use rocks, logs, or commercially available reptile hideaways.
The size of your gecko’s habitat will depend on the type of gecko you have as a pet. A small Leopard Gecko, for example, can be housed in a 10-gallon tank, while a large Crested Gecko may need a 20-gallon tank. It’s important to provide your gecko with enough space to move around and be comfortable.
Geckos require a substrate, or bedding material, to help them maintain their body temperature and humidity levels. The type of substrate you choose will depend on the type of gecko you have as a pet. Desert-dwelling geckos, like Leopard Geckos, do best with sand or calcium sand substrates. Tropical geckos, like Crested Geckos, do best with moss or coco coir substrates.
Whatever substrate you choose, be sure to avoid any that contain chemicals or pesticides, as these can be harmful to your gecko.
Geckos need furniture in their habitats to help them feel safe and comfortable. This furniture can include branches, rocks, or commercial lizard ledges. Be sure to provide furniture on both the warm and cool sides of the habitat so your gecko can regulate its body temperature.
Heating and Humidity for Geckos
As reptiles, geckos are ectothermic, meaning they rely on their environment to regulate their body temperature. In their natural habitat, geckos bask in the sun to raise their body temperature while hiding in the shade to cool down.
In captivity, you’ll need to provide a basking spot for your gecko with a temperature of 80-85 degrees Fahrenheit. The rest of the habitat should be kept at a temperature of 75-80 degrees. Geckos also require proper humidity levels of 50-60%, so you’ll need to regularly provide a water dish or mist the habitat.
Cleaning the Gecko Tank
A clean habitat is essential for your gecko’s health and well-being. You should spot clean the habitat daily and do a complete cleaning once a week. This involves removing all the substrate, furniture, and decorations from the tank and washing them with soap and water. When cleaning the glass tank itself, be sure to use a reptile-safe cleaner. Never use bleach or other harsh chemicals, as these can harm your gecko.
Geckos are insectivores, so their diet consists mainly of insects. Geckos eat insects, spiders, and other small prey in the wild. While in captivity, you can feed your gecko a diet of live insects, such as crickets, mealworms, and super worms, or you can purchase commercial gecko food. You can also give your gecko prepared foods that are designed for captive reptiles.
Dusting the live insects, you feed your gecko with a calcium powder is important to prevent nutritional deficiencies. You should also offer your gecko a water dish so it can drink and stay hydrated. The water dish should be shallow enough so your gecko can’t drown.
Common Gecko Health Problems
Geckos are generally healthy animals, but there are a few health problems that you should be aware of. One common health problem in geckos is a metabolic bone disease, which is caused by a lack of calcium in the diet. Metabolic bone disease can cause deformities and weakness in the bones.
Another health problem that can affect pet geckos is respiratory infections. These infections are usually caused by bacteria or viruses, and they can be deadly if not treated quickly. Symptoms of a respiratory infection include wheezing, runny nose, and lethargy.
If you suspect your gecko is sick, take it to the vet for a check-up. Early diagnosis and treatment of health problems are essential for the well-being of your pet health. With proper care, your gecko pet will provide you with many years of enjoyment.
You can help ensure your pet’s long and healthy life by providing your gecko with the proper habitat.
Overall, geckos make great pets for people of all ages and lifestyles. If you’re looking for a playful and interesting pet, a gecko can be your new pet reptile!