Baby leopard geckos are very docile creatures, but they are very finicky and nervous as babies. On top of that, they require a different approach in regards to care as opposed to adults. If you want to learn how to care for a baby Leopard Gecko, in this article I’ll provide you with helpful tips to help you get off on the right foot with your baby leopard gecko from day 1!
How to care for a baby leopard gecko
1. How to feed a baby Leopard Gecko
Baby Leopard geckos need a lot of food, especially when they are younger.
What will my baby Leopard Gecko eat?
Your baby leopard gecko is an insectivore, meaning they love insects! They can and will eat a wide variety of insects. Leo’s will eat crickets, mealworms & Dubai roaches. You can also feed them silkworms, hornworms, waxworms, butterworms, & superworms. These insects are excellent for a variety but being they are not as healthy, and some do contain a higher fat content, they should be fed as treats a couple of times a week, only 1-2 at a time, along with their staple.
How often do they eat?
Baby leopard geckos eat every day, 5-7 insects a day that are no larger than the width between their eyes.
2. Supplements make for a healthy Leopard Gecko
Leopard geckos need vitamins and calcium supplements because the insects we feed them, even when gut loaded are missing vital nutrients they would have in the wild. They are also severely lacking in enough calcium to keep your little one healthy.
If a Leo isn’t getting adequate calcium, their body will start to pull reserves from their bones, and this causes a disease called MBD (metabolic bone disease.)
Metabolic bone disease can cause a lot of problems and pain for a leopard gecko. It can cause deformities in your Leo, weight loss, lethargy, and difficulty moving, eventually leading to depression, tremors, seizures, and death.
Don’t worry MBD is avoidable! So don’t be scared, just stressing the importance of supplements.
3. You baby Leopard Geckos habitat, what you’ll need.
Leopard geckos live in arid desert-like climates in the wild, so what type of habitat should you provide?
What size tank should your baby Leo have?
Let’s start with the basics. Your leopard gecko will need at least a 10-gallon tank and will move up to a 20 gallon or more as they grow into an adult.
What should you put in your Leopard geckos tank?
Your leopard gecko needs at least three hides, one for the cooler end, the warmer side, and a humidity hide. They will need a humidity hide to help with shedding. You can use damp paper towels or moss to keep it humid. Your leopard gecko’s tank will need a UTH (under tank heating mat) and thermostat control to keep it at an adequate temperature.
4. Substrate and your options
With leopard geckos or any lizard, for that matter, there is a chance of compaction when using loose substrate. If they go to eat and pick up more than their food, it can cause a lot of internal harm, which can lead to vet bills and possibly death.
Reptile breeders and owners highly recommend avoiding substrate like this for that reason. So what can you use?
Reptile carpet is an excellent choice that is a favorite among leopard gecko enthusiasts. It looks nice and is easy to clean. Take the whole thing out, wash it down, and place it back in the tank.
Newspaper and paper towels are both frequently used for leopard geckos. They are easy to manage and make cleaning up a cinch.
Stones and slate, are a great option if you are looking for a more natural look without the fear of impaction. It may take a bit longer to clean, but it is well worth it.
Tiles, some use tiles. Tiles not only look nice but are easy to clean up.
5. How to handle your baby Leopard Gecko
When your leopard gecko is young, you’ll want to be very careful. Leo’s can be very skittish at this age.
How often can you handle a baby leopard gecko?
You can handle your leopard gecko every few days for 5-minute intervals. I know it’s not much time, but they are just getting used to you, and as I’ve said previously, they can be very skittish creatures.
Eventually, you’ll be able to handle your leopard gecko for longer, with less time spread out in-between periods.
6. What to watch out for
If your leopard gecko becomes frightened or feels stuck, they could drop their tail.
If your Leopard gecko drops its tail, there are a few things you can do to ensure a quick and healthy recovery.
Remove all bedding and replace it with paper towels. Keep their tank clean at all times and keep an eye out for infection, calling a vet at first signs of distress.
Leopard geckos are usually very capable of dealing with a dropped tail on their own and the good news is is your baby’s tail will grow back quickly within 30 days.
Signs of stress
When handling your leopard gecko, observe them in and out of their tank for signs of stress.
A stressed gecko will be hard to form a bond with. Signs of stress are tail wagging, no appetite, irregular bowel movements, glass surfing, and aggressiveness.
If you notice any of these signs, you’ll want to take a closer look at their environment and your actions, you may be overwhelming them without meaning too, and you might need to slow down on handling to give them time to adjust. Finally, look for signs of illness. Your little boy or girl may be sick and need a trip to the vet.
Leopard Geckos are amazing creatures and make great pets, being one of the most popular lizards to own. With lots of care and understanding, you’ll enjoy your new companion, and they’ll enjoy their new home.