Leopard gecko

In the wild, geckos eat crickets, spiders, grasshoppers, and even small rodents at times. They typically hunt at night and use their sticky tongues much like a frog to capture their prey. Geckos are expert camouflage artists and are therefore very good at sneaking up on their food.
As with any pet, you’ll want to simulate their natural diet at closely as possible to ensure a happy, healthy gecko. You can do this by shopping for crickets, mealworms, or superworms at your local pet store. You can also buy waxworms to feed your gecko as a treat. Waxworms have a very high fat content so they shouldn’t be part of your gecko’s regular meals.

Choose the right size

To choose the right-sized insects, look for ones that are smaller than the width of your gecko’s mouth. This will make it easier for your pet to capture, and eat their pretty. You can feed some adult geckos pinky mice, but this should only be done on occasion as they do not have the same nutritional value that insects do.

Feeding technique

If you have an adult gecko, you should expect to feed him every other day, with 5-10 crickets. While baby geckos may require more food – up to 20 crickets every day. To add some much-needed vitamins and minerals to your gecko’s diet, dust your insects with calcium powder before adding them. Place your insects in a plastic bag with calcium powder and lightly shake the bag before offering them to your gecko. You can also offer a small dish of calcium powder to your gecko.
Gecko being held with his mouth openOnce your gecko has reached his full size as an adult, you can introduce pinky mice into his diet. This will help upkeep an ideal body weight. You should carefully observe these live feedings and remove the prey if your gecko is not able to eat it within 30 minutes. This will help prevent injuries to your gecko.

Be careful to prevent your gecko from eating substrates like sand as well. This can lead to intestinal problems and other health issues. You can prevent this by having a separate enclosure with paper towels or newspaper that is only used for feeding.

Troubleshooting

If your gecko is not eating his food it may be because of environmental issues or stress. Check to see if your gecko’s enclosure is the right temperature. If it is too cool, your gecko will not eat his good as easily. Check your gecko’s water dish as well, if it is empty he may be waiting until there is enough water to eat his food. If the enclosure seems to be at a comfortable temperature and stocked with water, your gecko may be stressed. Ensure that you are giving your pet adequate alone time, other pets are not threatening him, and that you are turning the lights on and off routinely to reduce any stress.

However, if none of these situations seem to be what is causing your gecko’s lack of appetite, seek the advice of an exotic animal veterinarian that specializes in lizards or geckos. You may need to do some research to find a vet that has experience with geckos.

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