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How Much Does a Leopard Gecko Cost Per Month?

Having a leopard gecko as a pet may be an exciting and gratifying experience for owners. Small and friendly, these lizards have become popular pets because they’re easy to care for and have their own personalities. But it’s important for people who want to buy one to know how much does a leopard gecko cost per month so they can take care of it properly. 

In this article, we’ll discuss how much your scaly friend usually costs you monthly.

Article highlights:

  • The average cost to set up a leopard gecko for the first time is between $200 to $500.
  • Maintenance for a leopard gecko can cost between $50 and $100 a month.
  • The amount you spend on food for your pet ranges from $20 to $40 each month.

How much does a leopard gecko cost per month?

Leopard gecko care can cost as much as $50–$100 per month, depending on things like the size of your setup. This budget includes food, power for heating and lighting, and substrate replacement. There may be additional expenses, like unexpected medical bills, but in normal situations, this budget should easily cover the monthly costs of leopard gecko ownership. 

What is the average monthly expense for a leopard gecko?

Leopard gecko on a log
Leopard gecko on a log | Image by Sohrob Tahmasebi from Pixabay

The average cost of caring for a leopard gecko each month can change based on things like the gecko’s needs and your own preferences. But as a general rule, the cost of setting up a leopard gecko for the first time can be anywhere from $200 to $500 or more. This includes buying the gecko, the enclosure, heating and lighting tools, substrate, hides, and any other items that are needed.

On a monthly basis, the maintenance cost for a leopard gecko is typically lower than the initial setup cost. It can be anywhere between $50 and $100, sometimes lower depending on how good you are at saving money on food and supplies. 

This number covers the cost of food, the cost of energy for heating and lighting, the cost of replacing the substrate, and even leaves room for pet insurance which can be around $20/month. Depending on your pet’s health, ongoing medical care like regular checkups and preventing parasites can cost extra money.

Price of a leopard gecko

When considering the morphs or color variations of the leopard gecko to bring into your house as a pet, it’s important to remember that the price of these animals might change based on the availability of the species. Remember that the cost of this species might change depending on various factors, including its morph, age, lineage, and breeder.

Here are estimates of various leopard gecko prices. These prices may vary for you and are only meant to serve as examples. 

  • Common Leopard Gecko: $20 to $50
  • High Yellow: $50 to $100
  • Hypo: $40 to $200
  • Mack Snow: $100 to $200
  • Tangerine: $150 to $600
  • Blizzard: $80 to $500
  • Giant Leopard Gecko: $200 to $600
  • Albino: $100 to $300

It’s always recommended to do thorough research, consult reputable breeders, and consider the reptile’s overall health and genetic background before purchasing.

Things you need for your leopard gecko

Leopard gecko on water dish
Leopard gecko on water dish | Image by NTW from Pixabay

Before buying a leopard gecko, it’s essential to ensure that you have the necessary supplies and preparations in place to provide a suitable and comfortable habitat for your new pet. Here is a list of things you need to have before you bring your pet home:

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1. Glass terrarium or tank: $80 to $200

These species need at least 10 gallons for juveniles and ideally 20 gallons or more for adults.

2. Heating and lighting equipment: $15 to $80

Leopard geckos need under-tank heating pads or heat mats with a thermostat to provide a warm area in their tank for proper thermoregulation and overall health. Reptile-specific UVB lights may also be required to synthesize vitamin D3.

3. Substrate: $5 to $50

Reptile carpets, paper towels, slate tiles, or non-adhesive shelf liners are good substrates for leopard geckos. Don’t use loose materials like sand or wood shavings because the gecko might eat them by mistake leading to health complications. 

4. Hiding places: $5 to $20

Multiple hideouts allow leopard geckos to choose their preferred spot based on temperature, lighting, or personal comfort. These hideouts mimic natural hiding places in their native desert habitats, creating an environment that promotes the gecko’s overall well-being and helps reduce stress. 

5. Water dish: $5 to $10 

Food dishes provide a designated space for offering live insects, such as crickets or mealworms, while water dishes provide a source of fresh water for drinking and soaking. 

6. Thermometer and hygrometer: $10 to $30

A thermometer and hygrometer are needed in a leopard gecko’s tank to ensure the temperature and humidity are right, which is important for their health. 

How much is monthly feeding alone?

Leopard gecko showing its tongue
Leopard gecko showing its tongue | image by Eduardo Santos via Flickr | CC BY 2.0

Leopard geckos are insectivores, which means that they get most of their food from eating real insects. Their specific diet typically consists of appropriately sized insects such as crickets, mealworms, waxworms, and small locusts.

Additionally, dusting the insects with calcium and vitamin supplements before feeding them supplies them with vital minerals, especially calcium, which is critical for their bone health. Feeding your leopard gecko for a month is estimated to be between $20 and $40. 

The cost of feeding will depend on the size and number of insects you buy, as well as the availability and prices in your area. It’s best to study and compare prices from reputable sellers to find the best choices for your budget. Don’t forget to think about what your reptile needs to eat and give it the right supplements to keep it healthy and happy.

Healthcare costs

Here are some possible prices related to health care.

1. Initial health check-up

As soon as you get your leopard gecko, you should make an appointment with a doctor with reptile experience for an initial health checkup. This visit can help make sure that your gecko is healthy.

It may include a physical check, a test for parasites in the feces, and any necessary vaccines. The price of this visit varies, but it usually costs between $50 and $100.

2. Regular check-ups

Regular health visits are essential to monitor your gecko’s health, address concerns, and ensure proper care. Depending on your gecko’s age and health, these trips may happen once or twice a year. Regular checkups can cost between $30 and $80 per visit.

3. Potential medical expenses

Like any living creature, Leopard geckos can face medical issues or injuries requiring veterinary attention. How much medical treatments, diagnostic tests, or surgeries cost will depend on the issue and severity of the condition, which can be as low as $20 to up to $300 or more.

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Having a cash backup or considering getting pet insurance to handle unexpected care costs is important. Insurance may actually be cheaper than you would think and could be a worthwhile investment in your pet’s health. 

To ensure your gecko stays healthy, you should build a relationship with a vet who has experience with reptiles, set aside money for regular care, and be ready for unexpected medical costs.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, owning a leopard gecko involves financial responsibilities beyond the initial purchase. Knowing how much your pet’s maintenance costs is important if you want to take good care of it and ensure it stays healthy. 

While the initial setup cost can range from $150 to $500, the monthly expenses for maintenance typically fall between $50 to $100. But it’s important to remember that there may be extra costs, like unexpected veterinary bills or the need for equipment replacement.