Leopard geckos have one thing they love to do. That is eating. Well, they also love sleeping, too. But, you can see them get excited whenever they see food. In this article I hope to teach you everything on feeding your leopard geckos. After reading this you will know the proper food you should be feeding them.
Leopard geckos eat insects only. This makes them insectivores. This doesn’t mean you can feed them any and everything you find in your garden, though. In fact, if you do that there is a good chance your leopard gecko could get impacted and possibly die.
Now that we know leopard geckos are insectivores; you might be wondering how do you feed them? You can’t just drop dried up insects in your leopard gecko’s tank and expect them to eat them. A lot of pet stores sell dried crickets and mealworms but leopard geckos will not touch them. Why? Because, if the insect is not moving it does not interest them.
Leopard Gecko’s can be very picky eaters. At times my geckos won’t eat either mealworms, superworms, or crickets. They might prefer crickets one week and then mealworms the next week. Really there is no rhyme or reason to it.
As you will soon learn crickets are a good idea to feed them as a staple diet. For hatchling or juvenile leopard geckos I would feed them daily. For adults I would feed them every other day.
It’s important to note that leopard geckos can go 3 weeks without eating because they do have a very slow metabolism.
When I feed my leopard geckos I tend to give them crickets mostly. The only problem with crickets is if they are not eaten within 20-30 minutes your leopard gecko could be bitten by them while they are sleeping. This doesn’t really harm the gecko, but does annoy them. It is a good idea to drop in 5-9 crickets and see if your gecko eats them all. You can adjust that number depending on how many crickets you leopard gecko usually eats. You can also leave some mealworms or superworms in a bowl for them to eat if they get hungry. Worms will not harm or bite your leopard gecko.
No, leopard geckos can not overeat like fish. Instead they will stop eating when they are hungry. You can always check your leopard gecko to see if he/she is overweight. When a leopard gecko is overweight they will have a big bulge in their stomach or their tail will be thicker than their body.
Whenever you feed your leopard gecko make sure the food is never bigger than the space between their eyes. Otherwise they do run the risk of choking or getting impacted. For years and years I wasted hundreds on food for my leopard geckos. I would buy their food from the local pet shop. I didn’t realize that I could get the food for far cheaper on eBay.
Crickets. These are the most popular insects to feed your leopard geckos. They have a lot of nutritional value. I really don’t like to buy them from PetCo, PetsMart, etc. because they are kind of expensive that way. 50 of them would cost be around $9. Instead, I like to buy them in bulk on eBay. You can get 1,000 of them for $20.
Mealworms. These are very good option for a staple diet for your leopard gecko. Don’t confuse these with Superworms because they are much smaller. They are good for your gecko. Again, they are rather expensive at PetCo, PetsMart, etc. At the stores they will cost you $5 for 25 of them. However, you can get them on eBay for far cheaper.
Superworms. These are good for leopard geckos. You can feed them to your leopard gecko daily. This is the staple diet that I use to feed mine. They love them. They are very expensive at the pet stores though. 25 of them can cost you $10. You can get them a lot cheaper on eBay.
Waxworms. Think of these as treats. I wouldn’t feed these to your leopard gecko daily. They contain a lot of fat and can easily make your leopard gecko obese, or where they will want to starve themselves for only waxworms. Only give your leopard gecko 3 of them per week.
Silkworms. These are very good for your gecko. They are kind of expensive though. They do provide your gecko with some variety of food, if you want to buy them every once and awhile.
Dubia Roaches. These are very good for leopard geckos and they breed very quickly. A lot of leopard gecko owners will start a colony of dubia roaches so they never have to spend money on food again for leopard geckos. However, some people will be creeped out by having roaches in their home. You can get them on eBay, but it will take them a bit to start breeding and get your colony going.
Lightning Bugs, Fireflys, or any other bugs that light up. Bugs that have anything that makes them light up are toxic for leopard geckos. They will kill your gecko within hours of eating them. Avoid lightning bugs, fireflys, or any bug that lights up.
Insects that you caught outdoors. Don’t make the mistake of catching bugs outside and feeding them to your geckos. This can be a very bad idea because a lot of times these bugs will have parasites or have been sprayed with pesticides. These are toxic to leopard geckos.
Insects don’t always have the most nutritional value for your leopard geckos. Depending on the bug you feed them will require some extra vitamins to make sure your leopard gecko is healthy. To make sure they are getting the proper nutrition you’re going to either want to gut load their food or dust their food in calcium with D3.
Think of gut loading as feeding your leopard geckos food before your gecko eats them. I always try to gut load my crickets at least 4-12 hours before I feed them to my leopard geckos. This insures that the nutrients are in the cricket’s system. I do recommend Flukers gut loading for your crickets. It really helps fatten up your crickets before your leopard gecko eats them.
If your feeding your leopard geckos mealworms or superworms I would recommend gut loading them at least 12-24 hours before your gecko eats them. I typically use carrots or potatoes for gut loading my worms. Optionally, you can leave a little carrot in the geckos dish which the worms and crickets will eat. This also helps the mealworms move more which sparks the leopard geckos interest. They usually are not that interested in food if it isn’t moving.
It is a good idea to dust your crickets or mealworms with calcium powder with D3. To do this I typically use a plastic baggy or glass jar. I put the food in there and then shake up the jar or bagging before putting them in the leopard geckos tank. It is a good idea to dust their food every time you feed them when they are a juvenile. Once they get bigger you can dust their food every 2 or 3 feedings.