Is a Pet Gecko Right for You?

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Photo by Logan Laitinen

Leo, the author’s pet gecko, is perched on the back of its owner’s hand.

Some people may have seen geckos in Florida or even the rainforest, while others have seen them in a pet store! Just like a dog or cat, people can have geckos as pets.

Did you know that taking care of a gecko is a lot easier than you think? First, you need to make sure that you keep the habitat similar to where they are typically found. Geckos will need a tank that is large enough for them to move around in. One gecko will be happy in a 10-gallon tank with a screened in lid. If you would like two or three geckos, a 20-gallon tank would be a better choice.

In the tank, you will need a few different items for your gecko to be happy. One item will be something for your gecko to hide in. It is important to have a shelter for your pet in case he is afraid or likes to eat alone. A second item you will need for your gecko is a heat lamp. It is important to have a heat lamp so your gecko can bask in the warmth. Their basking temperature should be about 85-95 degrees Fahrenheit. In your gecko’s new habitat, you will need something for them to play around on such as small sticks about as big as a quarter and some fake vines that you stick to the side of the tank with a suction cup.

For feeding your leopard gecko you will need a container of meal worms and a bunch of crickets. 50 to 60 crickets should last you a little more than a week. You will also need reptile calcium. That helps your gecko get the vitamins and calcium he needs. It is important to use the right water for your gecko. You can’t use regular tap water. You must add one drop of reptile safe water conditioner for every three ounces of water.

I like having Leo, my pet gecko, because he likes to climb on my shirt and stand on my head. He does a lot of funny things like that. He also loves to wiggle the little tip of his tail right before he’s about to lunge towards a cricket. He loves to lie down and sleep on the top of his pyramid where his heat lamp is. He likes it when I pet his back. I like having Leo as a pet. He’s very fun to play with, and you don’t have to take him on a walk like a dog. That’s why I like my gecko. 

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