What Do Geckos Eat?
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What can I feed geckos?
Before bringing home a new small gecko, it is important to know what to feed your pet. Like most lizards, geckos are predators that prefer to eat a variety of insects.
The exact type of insects, feeding times, supplements, and amount of food will vary based on the species, age, and activity level of your gecko.
General Gecko Pet Food Guidelines
Most geckos feed best on live prey. Unlike cats and dogs, geckos generally do not do well eating packaged kibble or prepared food. That means you will need to buy or raise live insects to feed your gecko.
Some species of pet gecko eat fruits and insects. These geckos can eat pureed fruit mixes or prepared fruit mixes formulated for geckos.
However, most pet geckos are primarily insectivores, which means they eat insects and other creepy critters. African thick-tailed geckos, domestic geckos, and leopard geckos are all purely insectivores. However, crested geckos and day geckos are frugivores. That means they eat fruit.
What to feed your gecko
Feed your insectivorous geckos a variety of insects. Relying too much on one type of insect will not give your gecko a full diet.
- Crickets: These critters will form the backbone of most pet gecko diets. That's not because they are the healthiest, but simply because they are easier to buy or grow at home.
- Mealworms: Mealworms are another staple food for leopard geckos, although they may be too large for some domestic geckos.
- Wax Worms and Super Worms: These insects are very rich. Use them as special treats and offer them only once a week or so.
- Flies: These little ones are perfect for little geckos like house geckos. Fruit flies are usually easier to find to buy.
You may find that it is easier in the long run to raise your own crickets and insects for your geckos. Regardless, a good bug storage setup will help you avoid going to the pet store to buy insects every few days.
It's best to avoid feeding your pet wild gecko insects, you just don't know which ones might be toxic or covered in harmful chemicals from the outside.
Day geckos eat a mix of the previously mentioned insects, especially crickets, and a gecko diet mix. Similarly, crested geckos generally eat a mixture of insects and powdered crested gecko food.
Preparing your gecko's prey
Be sure to carry your gecko's insects before offering them to him. This simply means feeding the insects an extra nutritious diet for 24 hours before giving it to your pet, so your gecko gets all the nutritional benefits!
Most pet stores sell a ready-made diet to carry your insects. Otherwise, a high-quality mix of fruits, vegetables, and grains will suffice. You can also sprinkle your insects with a nutritious powder purchased from a pet store.
Feed your fruitarian geckos fruits like grapes, apricots, and apples. Mash the fruit or cut it into pieces smaller than the space between your gecko's eyes. Pieces that are too large can be dangerous for your pet!
You can buy prepared fruit mixes for day geckos and crested geckos, which makes things a bit easier. In fact, most new gecko owners shouldn't try to make their own fruit mix for their geckos. It's too tricky to track your gecko's calcium and other health factors when you're a new gecko owner.
How much and when to feed your gecko
Most geckos are nocturnal, so it is best to feed them at night. Otherwise, they may not be awake or hungry for mealtime!
Young geckos should eat every day. As they mature, most adult geckos eat better every other day. All geckos should have constant access to clean, fresh water. Spraying the tank regularly will give your gecko the moisture it needs.
The amount of food your gecko needs will vary based on its age and activity level. Feed him as much as he wants to eat with enthusiasm in a few minutes. You don't want to put too many insects in their cage as they can escape, die and rot, or tempt your gecko to overeat.
Simply introduce one or two insects at a time, slowing down as your gecko's enthusiasm for eating wanes. Some geckos will happily eat with long claws, which can make it easier to control the number of insects you put in their cage.
Make sure to remove any mixed fruit or insects that you may not have eaten after your gecko has finished eating. Both fruits and insects can rot, creating a dirty environment for your pet.
Enjoy The Video Tutorial about What to FEED your GECKO? Gecko feeding guide!
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