Secrets to Save Your Leopard Gecko ebook is like having him in your own living room an expert with 30 years of experience with leopard geckos. The fact is… you’re NOT going to find this information on the internet… because it’s coming from a highly specialized source.
Housing for Your Leopard Gecko
When it comes to providing a home for your gecko, you will have to keep some basics in mind. It needs warmth, humidity, a place to hide, and a substrate for the flooring. Purchase and set up your equipment before you acquire your leopard gecko. While they are fairly hardy, it’s not a good idea to leave them sitting and waiting in their carrying boxes while you scurry to get their homes in order. When it comes to the enclosure itself, your best choice is a glass aquarium, readily available at any pet store or, possibly, from garage sales or flea markets. Glass allows you to easily observe your pet, which is a must in order to catch any early signs of problems. A pair can live comfortably in a ten gallon tank, but bigger is always better. Crowding your geckos will only cause stress, health issues and territorial fights.
Arrange your tank so that the temperature is 88 to 90 degrees Fahrenheit on one side, using heat lamps to get to that level if necessary, and arrange the other side to remain down in the mid 70s. It’s important to allow the animal a temperature gradient, as that will let it regulate its own body temperature. You can use a 40 to 60 watt bulb, and that will effectively take care of both heat and light. As geckos are naturally nocturnal creatures, there is no need to invest in any special lamp, such as UVB lighting. You may also wish to provide an under tank heat mat for your geckos, which will allow them to bask and receive that heat directly into their bellies.
Be careful about the substrate you choose. Avoid aquarium gravel, walnut shells or calcium sand to prevent impaction. When a gecko eats the substrate and it becomes impacted in its gut, it blocks digestion and will result in a very costly trip to the veterinarian. Newspaper, paper towels, slate or tiles will make fine substrate.
Lastly, provide your gecko with somewhere to hide to make him feel more secure. Inverted plant saucers, plants or wood will all suffice for this, and be sure to put something on both the warm and cool sides of the tank. To help your gecko shed properly, add in moist peat moss, sphagnum moss or paper towels to keep the humidity level just right.
Proper Techniques in Leopard Gecko Feeding
If you’ve never owned a reptile before, then you will probably find the eating habits of a gecko take some getting used to. Geckos, like many other reptiles and amphibians, are insectivores. This means their staple diet consists of insects. Many pet stores that sell geckos will also carry a variety of crickets, mealworms, superworms, silkworms and cockroaches, and all of these are suitable meals for the animal. As a treat, especially for egg-laying and breeding adult females, you may want to provide a pinkie mouse that is only a few days old. Waxworms are also an option, but you should give these to your gecko very infrequently, as they are very fattening and are addictive for geckos. Consider them another rare treat.
The feeding schedule for your gecko will depend on its size. Growing juveniles need more food than adults. Provide food for the babies every single day, and for the adults, feed them every other day. Only give as much food as will be consumed in one feeding, and then remove the leftover insects. How long the feeding lasts depends on the size and appetite of your gecko. Until you learn its habits and preferences, you should observe the animal and remove and dispose of the leftover insects after the gecko has lost interest in them. For a small gecko, start out with four crickets. Larger ones may have as many as eight of them at a feeding.
When you feed the insects to your gecko, be sure to gut load them for a few days beforehand. Gut loading is a term that means you’ve fed the insects highly nutritious foods. Whatever the insect eats is going to go straight into your gecko, and by giving the insect high-quality food, you are indirectly giving that to your pet. Geckos are what they eat, after all. Most insects will eat just about anything, especially crickets. While you can give them specially prepared, commercial chows, you can also give them fresh fruits, leafy greens and vegetables. It’s recommended that you buy vitamin and calcium supplement powders, then dust the insects directly before giving them to your geckos.
When it comes to water, keep a ready supply available at all times. Keep it clean and keep it fresh. Water that is allowed to become stagnant is a breeding ground for bacteria and germs, which can cause illness.
What to Do When Your Leopard Gecko Gets Sick?
When you have a leopard gecko it can be very difficult to even realize that there is anything wrong with it, especially if you’re not used to working very closely with it. However, there are some subtle signs that you need to watch out for, especially during the first twenty-four months of its life. This is a time when geckos are at their most vulnerable, being young and not quite fully developed.
The biggest indicator of a problem is when your gecko stops eating. If you find that it isn’t touching its insects, you will need to act promptly. Don’t worry if it doesn’t eat for one or two days; geckos aren’t supposed to eat every single day. Start to worry if they refuse to eat for a full week. Left too long, you will eventually notice that its tail seems to shrink in, it starts dropping weight and appears to be very skinny. A sick gecko is also a lethargic gecko. If your animal was once feisty and moved a great deal about its cage, or if it moved a lot when you tried to pick it up, but it has now become very still and flops over in your hand, then something is not at all right.
What do you do when your gecko becomes ill? You could take it to a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles, but these are very difficult to find and may not be available in your area. Before you even purchase your gecko, you should check for one. If you are fortunate enough to have such a vet in your area, be sure to call them up and ask if they are willing to accept new patients.
Most of the problems that affect geckos are brought about by malnutrition, impaction, stress or parasites. Prevention is the best cure, but if your gecko does happen to become infected with parasites, he can still be treated, although it will cost you a trip to the veterinarian. Otherwise, check the enclosure to make sure the temperature is set right, make sure it’s not being stressed by other animals, and make sure that it’s not eating loose substrate. Read more…