What do Leopard Geckos eat?

A leopard gecko’s diet is very important to its overall health and well-being. But it can be a challenge to find the right balance of nutrients for your gecko, especially if you are just getting started with having pet reptiles. If you have any experience keeping leopard geckos before, then you will know that they have very specific feeding habits. So, What do Leopard Geckos eat? First lets take a look at their habits, life cycle and diet to understand why their food is so important.

Leopard Gecko Habits, Life Cycle and Diets

Leopard geckos are small solitary lizards with a large tail extending from the rear third of their body that helps them to maintain balance for climbing on branches and tall grasses where they live since they are ground dwelling reptiles. Like all reptiles, they are cold blooded which means their body temperature is at the same temperature as the air around them. This also means that if they get too cold or feel uncomfortable in their environment, then their metabolism will slow down to conserve energy and keep warm. A sick leopard gecko may not be strong enough to digest its food properly leading to a slight loss of appetite.

Leopard geckos are diurnal, meaning that they are most active during daylight hours as opposed to being nocturnal, which means their activity is at night. This also means that since they wake up early for the day and go out in the mornings when it’s time to hunt for food, it’s best to feed leopard geckos in the morning. If not, then you may need to go through the hassle of checking on your gecko’s enclosure or their feeding bowl at night.

The leopard gecko diet should be well balanced and include a wide variety of nutrients since they require different vitamins and minerals for optimal health. You may have read that leopard geckos don’t need to be fed in the winter when they are asleep but this is not true because they must drink water even if they don’t eat anything.

Besides keeping your pet’s enclosure clean and spotless, a regular schedule of feeding will also help you know what kind of diet your leopard gecko needs.

Leopard Geckos Need a Protein-Rich Diet

Some people make the mistake of feeding leopard geckos insects that have no nutritional value and are low in protein, which can lead to malnutrition as well as growth impairments. Even if you choose crickets for your pet’s food, you should only feed them to the gecko if they are high in protein.

Crickets that you buy at your local pet store can contain up to 60% water which makes them a complete waste of money if all you care about is your leopard gecko’s health. Crickets have no nutritional value and should be avoided altogether as a food source for your pet. It is essential that you buy frozen crickets or high-protein crickets to avoid this problem and it’s best if you can find your own source of live insects rather than buying them from a pet store since they are more likely to be nutritious. Locusts, grasshoppers, waxworms, wild silk worms and superworms are all good sources of protein but may be hard to find at your local pet store. Live mealworms can be found in the wild as well and are nutritious for leopard geckos.

A regular source of high-protein food must always be available for your leopard gecko or they will stop eating and starve themselves which can lead to serious health problems.

Leopard Geckos Need Calcium and Vitamin D for Strong Bones and a Healthy Skeleton

Another common mistake that pet owners make is not providing their leopard gecko with the right calcium and vitamin D3 supplements necessary for building strong bones and healthy skeleton which can lead to bone deformities, stunted growth and even death if they don’t get the right amounts.

Leopard Geckos Need Water at All Times

Another important aspect of feeding leopard geckos is water which must be available to them at all times even if they don’t eat anything. 

Another important thing to keep in mind is that more water may need to be added if your leopard gecko defecates inside the bowl which could make the water dirty and unsanitary which can lead to death if they drink it. Clean water must always be available and you may need to do this multiple times per day.

If you found this article helpful then you might also like to read about the leopard gecko lifespan and Will my Leopard Gecko shed?

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