How to Care for a Leopard Gecko

The leopard gecko, also known as leopard gecko is one of the most common pet reptiles. These animals are very much appreciated mainly because of their different colorations and genetic combinations, from yellows, oranges, different forms of pints, etc.

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Having one of these animals requires specific care as well as time and patience. These animals can live up to 20 years, so, like any kind of animal, you must take great responsibility and be prepared to have all the necessary conditions for the animal to live without health problems and in an environment that promotes both their physical and psychological well-being.

Have you decided you are going to adopt one of these animals or just adopted one? YourCatCareguide wrote this article with all the necessary information on how to care for a leopard gecko .

You might also be interested in : Iguana Care

Is leopard gecko legalized in Brazil?

The Eublepahris macularius (scientific name it) is an original Lizard Middle East. In Brazil, the sale of exotic animals is totally prohibited, so there is currently no legal way to buy or create a leopard gecko .

However, a few years ago, the trade of these animals was allowed in Brazil and still some people have these animals with invoices. In any case, captive breeding is strictly forbidden. So, if you are a resident of Brazil and are considering purchasing one of these animals, YourCatCareguide advises against this choice because we are against anything that encourages illegal trade and trafficking of exotic species. If you would like to acquire a reptile, consider adopting legally allowed animals, such as the iguana , for example!

Habitat do gecko leopardo

As we have already mentioned, the leopard gecko originates in the Middle East and can be found in countries like India and Pakistan. Although found in the desert, this does not mean that the best choice of substrate is sand.

The ideal substrate should be inexpensive, easy to clean, absorbent and possible to digest if ingested by the gecko. Some examples of substrate are newspapers , kitchen paper sheets , mats suitable for reptiles and cork. Do not use shavings, corn, cat litter, or anything that contains pesticides or fertilizers. The main danger of using sand or other substrates of small particles is the risk of being ingested, accumulating in the intestines and causing serious obstructions.

To offer conditions to your gecko that are closer to his natural habitat, choose to use rocks and trunks so he can climb. Besides, it is extremely important that he has a place to hide. You can use simple cartons or cardboard rolls. Ideally it should offer more than a hiding place to it.

The use of suitable plants in the terrarium is also indicated as they provide moisture, shade and safety for your gecko. In addition to giving a very cool look to your terrarium! You just have to make sure you choose the right plants that are not toxic if you eat them.

Terrarium for leopard gecko

The terrarium of the leopard gecko must be large to be able to put all the trunks and hiding places that we have already mentioned. These animals can be housed singly or in groups. However, you should never have more than one male in the terrarium to avoid aggression and struggle between them. To house two geckos you should have a terrarium with a minimum of 40L of capacity, about 90x40x30 cm.

These animals have the ability to climb even on smooth surfaces, as we have already mentioned, so it is essential that the terrarium be covered to avoid possible leaks.


Since this animal has nocturnal habits, it is not essential to use ultraviolet light. However, a form of heating of the terrarium, which can be achieved through a heating plate or lamp , is essential . You should have two thermometers on opposite ends of the terrarium to control temperatures that should be between 21ºC at the coldest end and between 29 and 31ºC at the hottest end.

The lighting period shall not exceed 12 hours per day.

One important thing you should know about geckos is that they, in the wild, have a period of less activity in the winter, called haze . To simulate this period in captivity, you should reduce to 10 hours of daylight and temperatures at a maximum of 24 to 27 degrees Celsius for two to three months.


It is important to maintain a humid environment in the terrarium, especially to facilitate the change of skin, characteristic of these reptiles. You can use a water spray to keep the environment relatively moist. About 70% moisture will be enough to keep your gecko comfortable.

Leopard gecko diet

Leopard lizards feed exclusively on insects . The base diet of these animals may be composed of crickets, tenacious larvae or even cockroaches. You must feed the prey with a high quality diet, this will increase the nutritional supply of your gecko.

Younger geckos should be fed every 24 or 48 hours. However, adults should eat 2-3 times a week.

Your gecko should always have clean, fresh water at your disposal, which must be changed daily.

Types of leopard gecko

In relation to size, there are only two types of leopard geckos. The common gecko, which has between 20 and 25 cm about the giant gecko, called Giant Leopard gecko, which may be considerably larger than the previous ones.

In nature, there are more than 1500 known species of geckos , belonging to 7 distinct families, including the famous leopard gecko.

These are some of the common leopard geckos that can be found in captivity:

  • Bell Albino Leopard Gecko
  • RainWater Albino Leopard Gecko
  • Tremper Albino Leopard Gecko
  • Bold Striped Leopard Gecko
  • Raining Red Stripe Leopard Gecko
  • Tremper Albino Leopard Gecko
  • Bold Striped Leopard Gecko
  • Red Striped Leopard Gecko
  • Reverse Striped White and Yellow Sykes Emerine
  • Aptor Leopard Gecko
  • Bandit Leopard Gecko
  • Blizzard Leopard Gecko
  • Diablo Blanco Leopard Gecko
  • High Yellow Leopard Gecko
  • Mack Snow
  • Murphy Patternless Leopard Gecko
  • Nova Leopard Gecko
  • Radar Leopard Gecko
  • Super Hypo Tangerine Carrot Tail Leopard Gecko
  • Raptor Leopard Gecko

There are also different patterns within the Giant Leopard Geckos :

  • Godzilla Super Giant Leopard Gecko
  • Super Giant Leopard Gecko
  • Dreamsicle Leopard Gecko
  • Halloween Leopard Gecko

Diseases of the leopard gecko

There are no vaccines for geckos but most veterinarians specializing in exotic animals advise annual deworming against internal parasites. The most advisable is to do a stool analysis to detect which parasites are present in your pet and choose a suitable antiparasitic.

To ensure that your gecko is well, it is essential to seek out a veterinarian who specializes in exotic animals , who can follow your gecko from the start. Annual vet check-ups, like all animal species, are the essential point to prevent any disease through your veterinarian’s tips and the practice of preventive medicine. In addition, what can sometimes go unnoticed in your eyes, will not pass in the veterinarian’s clinical eye. The sooner a problem is detected, the faster we can start a treatment and the better the prognosis.

Unfortunately, most geckos when they visit the veterinarian are already in advanced clinical status!

Geckos can suffer from diseases of any kind , like any other reptile. From parasitic, infectious, reproductive, intestinal, etc. diseases. That is why it is so important that he has regular medical follow-up.

The best way to prevent all kinds of problems is to provide adequate diet and conditions as we refer. In addition, you should be aware of any behavioral changes to your pet, which may indicate that something is wrong. If your gecko is moving more slowly, eating substrate and is dragging the belly, it may indicate that you are suffering from a lack of calcium , a problem very common in these animals. Your veterinarian may need to prescribe a supplement.

Another quite common problem of geckos is the specific gastroenteritis of these animals, which has no cure and is highly contagious and the prolapse that you can detect if you see any viscus coming out of the animal’s anus. These are two problems that need immediate veterinary attention because of their severity and can lead to the death of the animal.

If you want to read the similar articles in How to Care for a Leopard Gecko , we recommend you to enter our Basic Care section .

Emily Harris

Hi Guys, Girls, and Cats:-p I am Emily Harris, and you can see in above pic. She loves me I swear. I saved her from a dumpster a few weeks back.

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