Can You Overfeed a Leopard Gecko? – Veterinarian Explains

Leopard geckos are native to the desert regions of the world. Mostly leopard geckos are found in the dry regions of Afghanistan, Pakistan and India. However, nowadays, they are present in almost every corner of the world as pet animals. People these days are crazy to have non-conventional pets. Non-conventional pets such as geckos have increased their popularity because of their unique colour and behaviour. People like you are now more concerned about their husbandry, diet, behaviour and other management issues.

You can overfeed your leopard gecko but most of the leopard geckos don’t eat above their daily requirement. New pet owners mostly make this mistake because it is challenging to know how much your leopard gecko wants. And when you overfeed your leopard gecko above the limit, they will get obese.

This article will educate you about the common feeding issues of the leopard gecko.

What Do Leopard Geckos Eat?

Leopard geckos are carnivores. You don’t need to provide the green. Insects and worms are their favourite diets; the best insect to feed leopard gecko are crickets and mealworms. However, leopard geckos are not confined to mealworms. You can also provide them with butter worms, waxworms, silkworms, beetles and bugs.

However, you should keep waxworms and superworms as a treat because both contain a high amount of fat. If you provide these worms daily, your leopard gecko will get obese and develop health problems. In addition, butterworms should also be kept as a treat as they contain a high amount of fat. If your leopard gecko gets habitual to butterworts, he will stop eating other food and crave butter worms.

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You shouldn’t provide dead food to your leopard gecko. Live food for leopard gecko is available in the market, and you should always prefer live food for your beautiful lizard. In addition, don’t offer your leopard gecko fruits and vegetables.

How Much And How Often Do Your Leopard Geckos Eat?

New pet owners can make the mistake of offering a food bowl whole insects and don’t notice if their leopard geckos can eat them or not. Your leopard gecko eats an entire insect at one time. Therefore the size of the insect should be in accordance with your gecko’s mouth.

For your baby gecko, the size of the insect should be 3/8 inches so that your gecko can easily swallow it. For your juvenile gecko, the size should be a little larger, approximately ¼ inches. However, your adult gecko can eat a full adult insect. It may be difficult to measure the size of the insect every time before offering food to your lizard. So, there is a rule of thumb.

The size of the insect (food) should not be more than the distance between the two eyes of your leopard gecko.

Leopard geckos in their growth and development stage need more nutrition as compared to their adult stage. So, if you have a baby lizard, he will be needed food more frequently to meet the body’s nutrition requirement.

For your baby lizard younger than one year, you should offer food every day. However, adult geckos need to be fed every other day. But if your leopard gecko is sick, you need to feed him daily until he regains the strength. Sometimes you need force-feeding for your sick leopard gecko that is discussed in the next section. 

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There is a rule of thumb regarding the quantity of food you offer to your leopard gecko. Whether your lizard is a baby or an adult, you need to offer two insects for every inch of his length. And remember to feed baby gecko every day and adult gecko every other day.

How To Force Feed a Sick Gecko

Once you have your gecko, you should squeeze some of the food and put it on your gecko’s face. You should wait for your gecko to start licking from the face or directly from the syringe. You should use this method three to four times until you are sure that your gecko has started to eat.

Your leopard gecko usually does not eat in sickness, and it becomes more harmful for your gecko because a proper diet is essential to cure the illness. In that situation, there is only one option left for you to force-feed your gecko. There is no harm in force-feeding your gecko until you don’t damage or injure your lizard. I tell you an easy and feasible way to feed your gecko in which you don’t harm your beautiful lizard.

Force-feeding should not be the first option, but you should opt for this if your leopard gecko is not taking in the required nutrients. You should let much-needed nutrients inside your gecko’s body. You need to prepare a mixture of chicken and turkey baby or crush insects such as crickets and mealworms. If you think your food mixture is thick, you should add Pedialyte to rehydrate the solution. After this, you should suck this liquid in a syringe and take your leopard gecko in your hands or on a table.

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During the whole process, don’t ever try to open the mouth forcefully as you will injure your lizard. If your leopard gecko does not eat, there is no harm in consulting with your veterinarian. He must have some other better ways to feed your gecko.

How to Make a Baby Gecko Eat

Baby geckos need more nutrition as they are in their growth and development stage. You don’t need to force-feed your baby lizard. However, you should provide your little lizard with small-sized insects that are easy to engulf and remember to feed your baby lizard daily.

Overfeeding your leopard gecko is not a good practice. It leads to obesity and various other health concerns. Most of the leopard geckos don’t overeat even when you force them to. Force-feeding is essential when your leopard gecko is sick enough to eat, but you should not overfeed or force feed your leopard gecko in healthy conditions.