Many leopard gecko keepers make a lot of mistakes when getting a leopard gecko to keep as a pet. Wrong setup for the gecko’s enclosure, inappropriate heating, humidity and lighting, improper diet, and so on. If you really want to keep a gecko longer and allow it to have a satisfied and healthy existence, you need to know the best food for leopard gecko
As long as you are able to provide the basic needs, your pet will remain healthy and active either inside its terrarium or outside when you get it out to have some leisure walk out in the sun.
Food and Diet
Leopard gecko are omnivores. That means that can eat both animal food sources as well as plant food sources. However, their diet changes as they age. Adult gecko eat fewer insects and more greens as they age. They will feast on small insects, carrion, snails and even slugs. The most common insects that are commercially available are crickets, mealworms, super worms, wax worms, as well as silkworms. If you feed crickets and mealworms as a primary meal to your gecko and offer wax worms as treats, your gecko will surely have a feast.
Crickets remain a great source of food and nutrition for your leopard gecko. However, you may still need to “gut load” your crickets before offering them to your pet. When you “Gut load” a prey, you make sure that it is well fed. This will also ensure that the crickets will pass the maximum amount of nutrients to your reptile they have eaten them. To gut load crickets, you can either feed them with commercial cricket food and liquid or just allow the crickets to eat a mixture of the nutritious foods that you are already feeding your gecko.
Before feeding the crickets to your pet, you may have to remove their rear jumping legs so your gecko won’t have a difficult time chasing them around.
It is also a smart idea to leave small pieces of vegetables and fruits like potato, carrot, or apple for the crickets to eat. This will draw out the crickets and help your gecko to catch their prey easier.
Mealworms and Wax Worms
Mealworms and wax worms for reptiles are another good food source for your pet gecko. Just place them in a food bowl that should be smooth and deep enough to prevent the worms from crawling out of the bowl. These worms are too fatty, thus should not be part of the gecko’s main diet.
Vegetables For Your Leopard Gecko
Your pet gecko will enjoy munching greens as much as it does nibbling on live foods.
Vegetables that you can offer to your pet any time
- Chicory, endives, lollo bionda, lollo rosso, radicchio, romaine lettuce, arugula
- Radish green, pumpkin (without skin, without seeds), carrots (complete), zucchini
- Rose petals and rose leaves, hibiscus flowers and leaves, pansy flowers
- Bindweed, maple leaves, borage, grape leaves, chickweed, daisy, rosehip flowers, Hazel leaves Shepherd’s purse, chamomile, clover, cornflower blossoms, dandelion, mallow, evening primrose, petunia flowers, purslane, marigold, plantain, violet
Vegetables that you should NOT feed your leopard gecko
- iceberg lettuce
- cabbage lettuce
Fruits that your gecko may eat (these should be offered less often)
Fruits that you should NOT feed your leopard gecko
Before offering any greens or fruits to your gecko, make sure that they are cut or sliced to smaller pieces to prevent impaction. This will also ensure that your leopard gecko can easily chew on them allowing the food to be digested easily.
Note that the size of food should be proportional to the size of your pet. If you would just give anything that is available to your pet problems like malnourishment, seizures, and even intestinal blockages may occur. This could be a great concern especially if hatchlings and juveniles are fed with insects that are too large for them to digest.
Vitamins and mineral supplements are also essential part of your gecko’s diet. Calcium is the most essential mineral and should be made available to your pet at all times.
To do this, you can place a bowl with the supplements or coat feeder with calcium powder before offering them to the lizard. Adult geckos will need less of these supplements so coating the insects 1 to 2 times per week is enough. However, babies, juveniles, and breeding females will need more of these essential nutrients, so you will need to coat the feeder insects daily.
Other vitamins are also important part of the reptile’s diet. But, it should be used sparingly and not on the same day as calcium is added to the gecko’s meal. Feeder insects need to be coated with vitamins once every 7 to 10 days. To do this, place the insects in a bag or cup with the vitamin or mineral powder. Then, shake the container until all the insects are dusted with the powder.
Your leopard gecko will also need water, so you will have to place a water dish where the gecko may sip when it needs to. These water dishes may trap and drown crickets. Your gecko may also defecate or urinate in it, so it is best that you clean it always to prevent bacteria and fungus from growing inside it.
You may also need to check for any leftover and throw them away after every meal. Anything uneaten may cause microorganism-causing diseases to grow on them. Make sure that your pet’s enclosure is well kept and thoroughly sanitized.
To help you with your gecko’s feeding requirements, you may also consider storing commercially prepared and packed foods. Even live preys are available in the market and in local stores today. This will help you in times that you can’t find a suitable food item for your gecko. As they commercially packed food sources, you can also store them longer or offer them straight from the package.