Are you considering adopting a gecko? These adorable lizards make pretty loveable pets! As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I discuss baby gecko care below.
A 10- to 20-gallon glass aquarium is suitable for a baby gecko. You can also use a plastic storage box. Choose something with a mesh lid, so your pet doesn’t escape. You’ll need to add a hide that contains moss or vermiculite for shedding. You can add plants as well. As far as substrate, a paper-based option is fine. You can also use reptile carpet. Avoid using sand for baby lizards. They can ingest it, which can cause life-threatening gastric obstructions.
Geckos do need specific conditions. For heat, opt for an over-the-tank bulb or a heating mat at one end of the tank. You’ll also need to mist the tank daily. As far as lighting goes, there is some debate on how much UV light geckos need. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice.
Dietary needs vary from gecko to gecko. For instance, leopard geckos are carnivores, but crested geckos are omnivores. That said, crickets and mealworms are the standard menu here. The bugs must be dusted with nutritional powder, which is called gut-loading. This is crucial! Otherwise, your gecko may not get the calcium or vitamins they need, and may develop metabolic bone disease, a painful and potentially life-threatening affliction. Crested geckos can also have small amounts of fruit and/or commercial food. You may need to hand-feed your little buddy until he’s big enough to catch his dinner. Young geckos can be fed daily, though feeding frequency will change over time. Ask your veterinarian for specific advice.
Your tiny dinosaur will probably be quite wary. Handling him regularly will help him get used to being held. Just give him a few weeks to settle in first. I don’t recommend holding geckoes that are smaller than three inches, just because they’re so easily injured. Always wash your hands before and after handling your little lizard, and never hold him by the tail.
Watch for signs of illness, such as lack of appetite, constipation/straining, weakness, and shedding problems. Call your veterinarian immediately if you notice anything unusual. Many common illnesses can be treated with prompt and proper care.
As your Marion, IA area veterinarian, I am dedicated to offering great veterinary care. Contact me anytime!