What do I feed my juvenile Leopard Gecko? (Under the age of 1 year)
They require LIVE food and eat insects only. They are attracted to food that moves and will usually ignore things that do not move. Feed them as much as they can eat in a 15 to 20 minute time span.
The short answer is a mix of SMALL crickets and SMALL mealworms.
Good to know: Some people recommend crickets only for juveniles. Some people have fed theirs only mealworms. I’ve not found any proof either way so you can A) go by the recommendation of the person you purchased the gecko from — always good to know what it was being fed — or B) use a mixture of both. Juveniles should be given SMALL sized crickets and mealworms. A good rule of thumb many people use is to make sure the insect is not larger then half the width of their head. ADULTS can be given regular sizes.
What do I feed my adult Leopard Gecko? (Over the age of 1 year)
Geckos require LIVE food and eat insects only. The short answer is a mix of SMALL crickets and SMALL mealworms and a host of other things but these are the easiest two things to acquire from pet stores easily. Feed them as much as they can eat in a 15 to 20 minute time span.
- Crickets – Recommended and easy to get at pet stores
- Mealworms – Recommended and easy to get at pet stores
- Silkworms – Expensive and don’t live very long
- Dubia Roaches – Easy to breed if you are looking to save money
- Waxworms – Do not feed these regularly, high in fat and addictive
Fun Fact: Do not feed your leopard gecko insects you found outside your home, they will contain a toxic load of pesticides and other things that would be harmful to your leopard gecko.
How do I gut load the food?
Gut loading their food is simply a way to make sure they are eating healthy food.
Crickets – Place a sliced potato in the bag or place you keep the live crickets.
Mealworms – Fruits and vegetables that do not contain a lot of water. Shredded Carrots is a recommended one.
Won’t the crickets chirp?
Petsmart sells crickets that are juveniles and do not chirp. They sell them in a bag, make sure they place a bit of cardboard or egg carton so the crickets have a place to sit. You can place something moist so they have a source of water in the bag as well.
Fun Fact: Some people buy special cricket boxes or containers. This is personal preference; you can keep them in the plastic bag they come in as long as there is some scrap cardboard (egg cartons are most desirable because of their shape) to keep the crickets alive and well. They breathe through their abdomens so a surface to stand on is best.
What do I do with the mealworms?
Place the container in your fridge. Let them come back to room temperature by taking them out about 15 minutes before feeding your gecko so they wiggle again. If not kept refrigerated they will turn into beetles. They can last in the fridge for up to a month. They are very low maintenance.
Does my Leopard Gecko need water?
Yes, breeders often suggest water bottle tops as a cheap and clean (disposable and easily replaceable) way to give them water. Make sure the container is not large enough for them to drown in, and clean it out regularly.
Fun Fact: I cannot find any studies on what sort of water to feed your Leopard Gecko, I have seen people post that they used tap water and have pets that are perfectly healthy and have been for a long period of time. Distilled water is an option. I can not find a definitive answer on this.
How do I feed my Gecko?
Mealworms are often put in a special container they cannot crawl out of, glass for example. A small glass dish with ½ or 1” lip should be sufficient.
Some people drop the crickets in, but this needs to be monitored. If crickets eat the Leopard Gecko poop it can be very bad for the leopard gecko to then eat those same crickets due to the bacteria in the poop that could build up to a toxic level in the leopard gecko.
Fun Fact: Leopard Geckos are a bit like cats and will poop in the same place. Once you know where your pet is pooping, place some easily removed paper or cardboard in the spot so you can very quickly clean it.
Do I need to give my Leopard Gecko any supplements?
Calcium with D3 is needed. Many breeders place a calcium dish with the babies and most people feel juvenile Geckos should receive the calcium every day. Adults do not need it every day.
Fun Fact: Many people place some in a bag with the crickets and shake it before giving the crickets to the gecko as a way to have them directly eat the calcium, this is called “dusting” the crickets.
Do Leopard Geckos Shed?
Yes they do, and it is natural for them to EAT the shed. After this they may not eat for a few days but you may still offer them food to see if there is interest. A recommended brand of vitamin is Repashy Calcium Plus, you can dust the crickets with this, and then provide plan calcium in a water bottle cap in the tank.
Fun Fact: If your Gecko does not have a MOIST HIDE then the shed can get stuck and it is possible for a Gecko to loose its toes.
Why do leopard geckos have a fat tail?
They hold lots of backup food and water in their tails. This is one way they can go many days without eating.
Fun Fact: Leopard Gecko’s can loose a tail if they are scared; they grow back (regenerate) but do not always look as pretty so avoid startling or scaring one if you don’t want it to loose its tail.
My Leopard Gecko is sick what do I do?
Find a local veterinary with experience in Leopard Geckos specifically. Do research online as many forums have postings about health issues.