Today, September 1st, is World Gecko Day. These charismatic little lizards really do make fun and fascinating little pets. If you’re thinking about getting one of these guys for yourself, read on! An Anderson, IN vet discusses gecko care below.
There are more than 1600 types of geckos, though there are just about a dozen which are commonly sold as pets. The majority of these tiny dinosaurs are less than a foot long, and will live between 20 years. Many of them are also nocturnal. Most geckos have very similar basic needs. However, there are small differences between them, and things that vary from gecko to gecko. Do some research before buying.
Speaking of buying, it’s also important to get your pet from a reputable source. Make sure your gecko has been captive-bred. Wild lizards don’t do well in captivity, and can be sickly. It’s also important for you to choose a lizard that is in good condition. Look for one with clear eyes, a healthy appetite, and good skin.
Like any other animal, geckos can—and do—get sick. Some red flags to watch for include hiding, swelling in the joints, discoloration, diarrhea, constipation (lack of droppings), weight loss, lethargy, and lack of appetite. Call your vet if you notice any of these.
We recommend bringing any new pet to the vet for an exam. However, before you handle your pet, or bring him in, you’ll need to give him some time to adjust and settle in to his new home. Moves can be very stressful for pets!
Like many other reptiles, geckos have specific environmental needs. You’ll need a good tank or terrarium with a screened top. Add a suitable substrate, such as reptile carpet; hides for shedding; a pool for both drinking and bathing; and things like rocks and branches to climb on. Your pet will need UVA and UVB light, on a 12-hour cycle. You’ll need to keep your tiny dinosaur’s habitat within certain temperature ranges, with one end being warmer than the other. Ask your vet for specific advice.
Like any other animal, reptiles can carry germs. Always wash your hands after touching your gecko or his belongings.
As your Anderson, IN animal hospital, we are here for you! Call us anytime