Leopard Gecko Checklist – Shopping List for Your Leopard Gecko

Leopard geckos are hardy, easy to care for, and come in an amazing variety of colors and patterns. However, they still require some special care and equipment to thrive in captivity.

If you are thinking of getting a leopard gecko as a pet, or you already have one, you might be wondering what you need to provide for your scaly friend.

In this post, we will give you a comprehensive leopard gecko checklist that covers everything from choosing your leo to feeding, housing, handling, and medical care.

Shopping List for Your Leopard Gecko

  • Vivarium
  • Canopy
  • Daylight and/or night-time bulbs
  • Heat rock or heat mat (and thermostat)
  • Thermometer
  • Live insect food
  • Feeding rock
  • Vitamin supplement
  • Gut loading product for live food
  • Calcium
  • Dish for calcium
  • Water dish
  • Substrate
  • Hides
  • Décor
  • Reptile-safe disinfectant
  • Book on caring for leopard geckos

1. Vivarium Think of the vivarium as your leopard gecko’s home sweet home. It needs to be spacious enough for your gecko to move around, explore, and grow comfortably. Typically, a 20-gallon tank works well for an adult leopard gecko. It’s also crucial that the vivarium is well-ventilated to keep fresh air coming in, but not too breezy to drop the temperature.

2. Canopy The canopy is a sort of cover for your vivarium that helps regulate light and heat. They often come with fixtures for light bulbs too, making it a convenient accessory. Choose a sturdy, high-quality one that can withstand the heat from your bulbs.

3. Daylight and/or Night-Time Bulbs Leopard geckos are ectothermic, meaning they depend on their environment for body temperature regulation. Daylight bulbs help create an environment that mimics their natural habitat during daytime. At night, switch to night-time bulbs to maintain a slightly lower, yet comfortable temperature.

4. Heat Rock or Heat Mat (and Thermostat) Leopard geckos love to bask on warm surfaces. A heat rock or a heat mat gives them a place to lounge and absorb heat. A thermostat is a must to prevent overheating and provide a constant, suitable temperature.

5. Thermometer You need to closely monitor the temperature in your vivarium, and for that, a reliable thermometer is essential. A digital one with a probe can provide accurate readings of the temperatures at different spots in the tank.

6. Live Insect Food Leopard geckos are insectivores, and their diet mainly consists of mealworms, crickets, and occasionally waxworms. Make sure your insects are healthy and sourced from a reliable supplier to provide optimum nutrition.

7. Feeding Rock Feeding rocks are handy platforms where you can place live food for your gecko to catch. It makes feeding time easier and more hygienic, preventing insects from burrowing into the substrate.

8. Vitamin Supplement Supplementing your gecko’s diet with vitamins ensures they get all the nutrients they need for growth and vitality. Choose a high-quality reptile vitamin supplement, and dust it lightly over their food.

9. Gut Loading Product for Live Food Before feeding insects to your gecko, it’s recommended to ‘gut load’ them. This simply means feeding nutritious food to the insects, which in turn gets passed onto your gecko.

10. Calcium Leopard geckos need calcium for healthy bone development. Provide calcium in a small dish and dust their food with it as well.

11. Dish for Calcium A small, shallow dish is perfect for holding calcium. Ensure it’s easily accessible to your gecko.

12. Water Dish Hydration is crucial for your gecko’s health. A shallow water dish allows your gecko to drink whenever they need to. Remember to replace the water daily to keep it fresh.

13. Substrate The substrate forms the base of your vivarium. For leopard geckos, tiles, reptile carpet, or paper towels are safe choices. Avoid loose substrates as they can cause impaction if ingested.

14. Hides Geckos need places to hide and feel secure. Provide at least two hides in the vivarium – one in the warmer side and one in the cooler side.

15. Décor Décor such as artificial plants, rocks, and branches add aesthetics to the vivarium and provide additional hiding and climbing spaces for your gecko.

16. Reptile-Safe Disinfectant Regular cleaning is important to maintain a healthy environment in the vivarium. Use a reptile-safe disinfectant for cleaning to ensure there are no harmful chemicals.

17. Book on Caring for Leopard Geckos Finally, arm yourself with knowledge. A comprehensive guidebook about leopard gecko care can be your go-to resource for solving doubts and gaining a better understanding of your pet.

Remember, each gecko is unique and might prefer slightly different things. So, while this list is comprehensive, always pay attention to your pet’s individual preferences and behaviors. Happy gecko parenting!

Filled under: Lizards

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