Geckos are one of the most popular types of reptiles, and are often suggested as a great option for first-time reptile owners. That makes perfect sense: these guys are pretty easy keepers. However, they do need proper care, and do have some specific needs.It’s important to do plenty of research before adopting a gecko. Part of that includes avoiding the common mistakes many newbies may make. A Las Vegas, NV vet lists some of them below.
Incorrect Environmental Parameters
With cats and dogs, you don’t have to worry too much about minor fluctuations in temperature. With reptiles, however, a less-than-ideal environment can make your pet very sick, and can even lead to life-threatening illnesses. One thing many first-timers get wrong is not using the proper type of heating. Under-tank pads are the best option, as this will allow your pet to absorb heat through their belly, as they would in the wild.
Choosing the right substrate is also crucial. In general, it’s best to avoid loose substrates, such as sand or shavings. This is especially important with young lizards, as they can get life-threatening blockages by accidentally ingesting these materials. Good options include butcher paper, reptile carpet, and even
Your tiny reptile really needs at least two separate hides. One of these should be on the warmer end of the tank, and the other should be in the cooler section. It’s also crucial that one of these hides be what is considered a moist hide, which will help with shedding. This should contain something such as sphagnum moss or vermiculite.
Geckos typically eat live insects, such as silkworms, roaches, mealworms, superworms, waxworms, supplemented with fresh, safe fruit. Your gecko’s diet will change over time. Juveniles need to eat smaller amounts, but more frequently, than adult geckos do. It’s also important to dust your pet’s dinner with the proper supplements. This is known as gut-loading. Ask your vet for advice.
Another thing that many inexperienced reptile owners don’t know is how dangerous it can be to hold a lizard by the tail. Geckos have evolved a self-defense mechanism: they will actually detach their tails, and grow new ones. However, this isn’t exactly pleasant for your pet, and can actually lead to infections.
Do you have questions about gecko care? Contact us, your local Las Vegas, NV animal clinic, today!