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Printable Care Sheet

Hello we wrote this Leopard Gecko Care sheet to help you understand your new pet better.  The most important thing to remember while having a Reptile as a pet is to make sure that you read how to care for them properly.  We have been keeping leopard geckos for many years and have had combined all of our knowledge and time into our pets even after they find their new home. We have put together a great kit for them as well. It's very important to your pets well being that you have the correct environment for them and also to have the right husbandry tools.  With trial and error over the years we have found a few things that really help with the care of your new pet.  These items are found in our New Gecko Owner Kit. Please let us know if you have any questions, you can contact us.

 

General Information: The scientific name of the Leopard Gecko is Eublepharis Macularius.  These geckos come from the middle east (Afghanistan, Pakistan, Iran and India). Their habitat is made up of mostly rocky and semi-arid desert areas.  The terrain is sandy and desert like.  The temperature in this area is around 90 to as low as the 70s.  At low temps the geckos will go into a hibernation like manner during December through February relying on their fat reserves during the cool down.  In the wild leopard geckos live in colonies. Geckos are nocturnal, preferring to hunt at night for insects. Insectivore diets consists of spiders, worms, crickets and really any other small insects.  Their homes consist of a hole in the ground or cracks and crevices in the rocks.  In the wild it is assumed that Calcium deposits from the rock and sand has something to do with intake of calcium for the geckos.  Scientists are still researching this subject. In captivity a gecko's life span can be over 20 years with proper care and diet. The geckos use their tail to hold nutrients, that is why they are fat (or at least should have a good size tail). Much like lizards, they have the ability to eject away their tails on demand.  This is a defense mechanism for predators.  They will regrow the tail back, but it will not look the same. It can be bigger, smaller or even a different color. 

 

Anatomy: Leopard geckos are a very good pet.  To tell if your new gecko is a male or a female just turn the gecko over so that you can see the vent (where the stool comes out). Then look for certain anatomy.  The male should have two bulges at the base of the tail in between the back legs.  There will also be an upside down v ( ^ ) above it.  These are called pre-anal pores.  The males pre-anal pores are a dark brown or grey in color.  The females lack the v shaped pores, although I have seen some females that are fat and look like they have bulges, they lack the darker pre-anal pores.  One rule is to not house two males together. I have talked to a few people that have done it for years but they were also raised together from hatchling and have had no problems, but I wouldn't risk it. Getting two females would probably be the wiser choice. The Leo's have great hearing ability, their 'ears' are located right above the neck, below the head.  It's a small membrane that is some what transparent.

 

Handling Geckos: Geckos are swift so be careful when you take them out of the cage. They have the ability to bite and yes it hurts so be careful.  They don't have big teeth, but do have small little ones that still hurt.  If you want to handle your gecko, take your time and let it get use to you.  Geckos are like a dog at the park, they want to run!  Do not hold them tight, hold them loose like sliding your hands over a rope.  We keep an open hand and let them walk hand over hand.  Don't tighten your hand around them, they might bite or even eject their tail. If this happens simply rinse with water and then apply Neosporin once every three days.  This should heal just fine,  you should not have any problems. Please take your time training your new pet.

 

Size and Color: An adult Leo should be about 6 to 7 inches long and weigh around 45 to 65 grams. The standard color patterns are banded (the stripes go left to right not up and down) and also have spots.  These are yellowish in color or sometimes brown.  There are many different color patterns for leopard geckos from all white, to pink or even stripes or pattern circles all over the body.  Some geckos have all red eyes, others with black eyes.  These are also part of a gene or a trait.  This is why the price is different from gecko to gecko.  The colors or traits are called morphs in the gecko world.  Be sure to ask what gecko you have. 

 

Maintenance and Husbandry: Maintaining or taking care of your new pet is easiest if you have a schedule for maintenance.  With a few tricks and our New Gecko Owner Kit it will help your pet gecko get use to their new home. Leopard geckos are easy to care for.  One thing that is nice about geckos is that they go to the bathroom in the same part of the tank most of the time, making it easy to clean!  I clean about every 5 days to a week, depending on the habitat.  I have found that they don't like their stools cleaned up as often. I will usually do a feeding with a full clean and then the next time we'll just be feeding watering and maintaining habitat while leaving the defecation area alone.  The defection area creates a much more Natural environment for them.  I have noticed a big difference with stress when not cleaning too often.  Every time you clean it disrupts them a little and can stress them out over time.  We have found that cleaning every other time works best.  It is up to you how you maintain your new pet.  We recommend using rubber gloves, especially to clean.  I handle my geckos, but always wash your hands before and after with antibacterial soap.

 

Having more than one gecko: This a good idea to have a buddy for your new pet.  In the wild they are found in colonies so we think they do better with a buddy.  One rule is to not house two males together.  They will battle it out like in the wild. With our Gecko Kit we offer an enclosure with a divided wall to help with this.  It allows you to have 2 or even 4 geckos in the same enclosure. 

 

Housing: Housing your Leo is easy.  A 10 gallon tank.  This can hold an adult leopard or two.  I would put them in group of the same size it's much better for them.  I put a nest box in all of my tanks and it helps them shed. Next you need three dishes; 1 for worms, 1 for water, and 1 calcium.  The substrate can be sand, paper towels, newspaper, or coco fiber.  It's easy to clean up and it holds moisture well.  You don't need a screen for the lid for the tank but up to you if you have a heat light you will need one.  We recommend a heat pad with a thermostat.  Bottom heat is what they are use to and this is how they receive their heat in the wild.  Its from the rocks, sand and ground, not from the sun as they are nocturnal.  This is why bottom heat is better for them.  Overhead heating drys out the environment and can lead to shedding problems.  You can also decorate the enclosure with our cool Decorations.   This will make it look more friendly for curb appeal.  Just make sure you rinse the decor you put in the enclosure. (Unless it from us we pre cure all of our stuff)  The temperature for the geckos needs to to be around the high 80s during the day and should be in the mid 70s at night. It is also important that the geckos are on a 12 hour light schedule if you are using a heat lamp.  As we stated, we prefer to use bottom heat and bottom heat is also recommended by our veterinarian.  The humidity in the enclosure is ok at the 50% mark, but if you have a nest box you don't have to worry about it. 

 

Feeding and Supplements: Geckos need to be fed every couple of days. You can feed your gecko; Crickets, Meal worms , Super worms, Silk worms, horned worms, Phoenix worms, butter worms, Wax worms or roaches.  Your gecko will let you know what they like.  If you are going to free feed worms be sure to put enough in the dish till next feeding.  All of these bugs have different care needs so be sure to ask about it from the person you are buying the bugs from.  We gut load all our bugs with our bug food.  Gut loading the bugs means to feed them really good supplements and grains that the bug would eat in the wild then the gecko eats the bug receiving all of these different types of nutrients.  Naturally Bugs eat all kinds of things in the wild.  In captivity bugs are feed grain or bran.  This has very little nutritional value for your pet.  So it a must to feed your bugs good bug food.  Geckos that are fed gut loaded insects are much healthier.  The Recipe we have has over 20 different organic products that are hand mixed.  Your bugs should be gut loaded 24 to 48 hours before feeding. This is simple with our Bug Kit.  Just put one scoop of bug food and for hydration for the bugs simply use carrots or dark leafed greens. This will ensure your gecko is getting all of the Nutrients and different supplements it needs.  The last Supplement is calcium. We use Osteo Form with D-3 and also other A-Vitamins. The gecko will need one scoop in its Calcium dish. They will eat this when they need it. Calcium can stay good for up to 6 months in an environment.  When they have finished the calcium just add another scoop. We have a system for our geckos where they free feed gut loaded meal worms and super worms.  We take a scoop of mealworms one scoop of bug food and a few super worms and put them in a dish. This keeps the bugs gut-loaded and alive till the gecko is ready. The bugs will last a lot longer with this technique.  You need to place the food and water on the cool side of the set up so the bugs don't get too hot. 

 

Help my gecko wont eat: If your gecko wont eat for the first few days or even weeks don't worry!  They can go months in the wild. Some geckos switch over very easy while others take some time.  They might act weird for a few weeks while they get use to their new home.  Geckos can get stressed from shipping or traveling so putting them in their new home and letting them be for the first few weeks is all they need.  Please just put them in the tank and leave them alone for a little while.  DONT FORCE FEED YOUR GECKO JUST BECAUSE THEY DIDNT EAT RIGHT AWAY!  This is not good, just let them be and they will eat when they are ready.  They can go a GOOD AMOUNT OF TIME UNTIL THEY NEED TO EAT, THEY WILL EAT WHEN THEY ARE READY.  Please visit our site for more Information.  Thank You for choosing us for your new pet gecko. 

 

Thank You 

Sean & Jen 

 

 

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