Your First Gecko

Thinking about getting a gecko as a pet? Prior to obtaining your gecko, it is important to plan for it’s long term well being.Where will your gecko live? What will it eat? What temperature range does it need? A little investigative time spent prior to selecting your new animal will benefit you both.

Geckos make fascinating pets. If you have never had a gecko as a pet, some types of geckos are less demanding than others and two varieties that are easy to maintain are the Leopard Gecko(Eublepharis macularius) and the Panther Gecko (Paroedura pictus). Both of these geckos are frequently found in pet shops. Before deciding on an individual animal however, ask where it originated. Many shops still buy their animals from sellers who collect wild animals. This practice not only depletes native populations, it often results in animals with health problems relating to nutrition, parasites and disease. Wild caught animals that are bargain priced are no deal if they fail to thrive or die prematurely. Increase your odds of success by ensuring that your gecko is captive raised.
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Can I handle my gecko?
Yes. Geckos can be handled, with care. Animals handled from an early age are less likely to be stressed by the experience, so if you intend to handle your gecko, purchase a young animal or buy from a breeder who takes the time to acclimate his animals to handling. Care must be taken not to squeeze your gecko or grab it by the tail. Remember, these are small animals.

How long will my gecko live?
Leopard Geckos have been known to live to be 18 to 20 years – longer than most dogs and cats! Panther Geckos are new to the pet trade, so dependable longevity information is not yet available. Some of the Panthers in our collection are currently 6 years old and still going strong.

Will my gecko eat anything besides insects?
Leopard and Panther Geckos feed exclusively on insects and other small invertebrates. Crickets, mealworms, waxworms, superworms and roaches are bred specifically for reptile food, and are available wherever pet foods are sold. Large Leopard Geckos will also eat pinkie mice on occasion. Dusting your gecko’s food with calcium and vitamin supplements will help keep your gecko is prime condition.

Will it bite?
Geckos have teeth and have been know to bite if they are handled roughly or if they feel threatened. The bites of Leopard and Panther Geckos are minor for adults, but care should be taken with small children. Geckos that have been handled as youngsters are less likely to bite.


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