Leopard geckos have been considered one of the most commonly chosen household pets among reptiles since they are small, easy to keep, appear in varieties of color and design, cheaper as compared to other reptiles available at pet shops and can grow accustomed to handling.
The geckos are among the few reptiles that are bred from captivity to be sold as pets. The average leopard gecko lifespan is seen to be 10-20 years. Nevertheless, their life expectancies vary differently from those that lived in its external environment (20 years) as compared to those raised in captivity (10-15 years). Here are some important tips that every leopard gecko owners and enthusiasts should know to extend the lives of their pets:
1. Check your pet’s diet. Most leopard gecko eats live insects such as crickets, locusts and mealworms. Since they prefer live ones, safe-keeping and storage of these insects, keeping them healthy and alive should be a priority. Once in a while, give them treats by feeding them other more expensive insects like butter worms, silkworms and wax worms. There should also be an ample amount of water source available for your pets.
2. Provide good food supplements. Since some insects do not contain the necessary nutritional value, calcium and vitamins should be given to your pets. There are available calcium powders in pet shops which you can dust on the foods you feed your pets. However, be cautious because giving large dosages can be dangerous.
3. Keep a sufficient and adaptive environment. Most geckos are found in the dry, rocky and tropical landscapes. This should be replicated in their shelter such as cages, tanks or aquariums. Initially, sand or other granular substrates were used to cover the grounds. However, these materials cause impactions.
Substrates that are considered safe would include used newspaper, paper towels and wood shavings. In addition, since leopard geckos are cold-blooded and requires external heating, their tanks should be provided with multiple hides (warm, cool and moist). The different hides assist in maintaining the temperature requirements of these reptiles. They may change hides whenever they need warm or cold environment especially during shedding and egg-laying.
4. Lessen the risk of stress. The presence of another leopard gecko in the shelter tends to increase the problem of stress and territorial disputes. These shelters should be large enough especially if you plan to put in two or more in one tank.
An average of 20 gallons should be the ideal measure of a tank for two geckos and an additional 10 gallons per gecko should be maintained. Housing male and female gecko together should also be supervised. Since the males tend to be more sexually aggressive than females during breeding, enclosures should be created to separate the male from the female.
The life expectancy of leopard geckos vary depending on how it interacts with its environment. Those that are kept in captivity can outlive their outdoor counterparts if they receive the proper care, nourishment and atmosphere. Follow the above-mentioned tips and your pets will certainly live longer than what was expected. It will also strengthen the position that we, as human beings, can provide a good environment for these animals.