Are Leopard Geckos the Best Pet Reptiles? Why You Should Consider Them

Leopard geckos, or Eublepharis macularius, are small lizards native to the deserts of Pakistan, Afghanistan, and India. They are a popular pet reptile due to their docile nature, small size, and ease of care. Leopard geckos are nocturnal and can live up to 20 years with proper care.

Why leopard geckos make great pets

Leopard geckos make great pets for several reasons. They are relatively low maintenance, compared to other reptiles, and are easy to handle due to their docile nature. Leopard geckos are also small and don’t require a lot of space, making them ideal for apartment living. They are also fascinating to watch, with their unique behaviors like tail waving, eye-licking, and vocalization.

Leopard Gecko Characteristics


Leopard geckos are small, usually growing to around 8-10 inches in length. They have a unique appearance, with a spotted and striped pattern on their body that resembles that of a leopard. They come in a variety of colors, including yellow, orange, and white. Leopard geckos have a long, slender tail that they can drop as a defense mechanism.


Leopard geckos are docile and easy to handle, making them ideal pets for children and beginners. They are also relatively quiet and don’t require a lot of attention. Leopard geckos are nocturnal and will be most active at night. They are also solitary creatures and should be housed alone.

Life Span

With proper care, leopard geckos can live up to 20 years in captivity. Their lifespan is significantly shorter in the wild due to the harsh environment they live in.


Tank Size

Leopard geckos are small and don’t require a lot of space. A 10-gallon tank is suitable for one leopard gecko, but a bigger tank is always better. A 20-gallon tank is ideal for two leopard geckos. Make sure to provide plenty of hiding spots and climbing structures for your gecko.

Lighting and Heating

Leopard geckos require a heat source to regulate their body temperature. A heat lamp or under-tank heating pad can be used to provide heat. The temperature in their tank should be around 88-90°F on the warm side and 75-80°F on the cool side. They also require a UVB light to help with calcium absorption.


The substrate you choose for your leopard gecko should be able to hold moisture and be easy to clean. Some good options include reptile carpet, paper towels, or tile. Avoid using sand or gravel as these can cause impaction if ingested.

Diet and Nutrition

What Do Leopard Geckos Eat?

Leopard geckos are insectivores and require a diet of live insects. Some good options include crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. You should also offer a variety of insects to provide a balanced diet.

Feeding Schedule

Leopard geckos should be fed every other day, with juveniles being fed more frequently. Make sure to remove any uneaten insects after feeding to avoid attracting pests to the tank.

Supplements and Vitamins

Leopard geckos require calcium and vitamin supplements to prevent metabolic bone disease. Dust their food with a calcium and vitamin D3 supplement once a week.

Health and Care

Common Health Issues

Leopard geckos are generally healthy animals, but they can be prone to certain health issues. Impaction can occur if they ingest substrate or other foreign objects. Respiratory infections can occur if the temperature in their tank is too low. Parasites can also be a problem if their food is not properly gut-loaded.

Signs of a Healthy Leopard Gecko

A healthy leopard gecko should be alert and active. They should have clear eyes and a healthy appetite. Their skin should be smooth and free of any bumps or lesions.

Cleaning and Maintenance

Leopard geckos require regular cleaning to maintain a healthy environment. Spot clean their tank daily and do a deep clean once a month. Make sure to disinfect their tank and accessories with a reptile-safe disinfectant.

Leopard Gecko Breeding

How to Breed Leopard Geckos

Breeding leopard geckos requires a male and female gecko. It’s important to make sure they are both healthy and at the appropriate weight before breeding. Once they have mated, the female will lay eggs in a suitable laying box.

Incubation and Hatching

Leopard gecko eggs require specific incubation conditions to hatch properly. The temperature and humidity should be carefully monitored. Once they hatch, the baby geckos will be independent and require no parental care.

Caring for Baby Leopard Geckos

Baby leopard geckos require the same care as adults but on a smaller scale. Make sure to provide smaller prey items and a smaller tank. They will grow quickly and will need to be moved to a larger tank as they get bigger.


Is a Leopard Gecko the Right Pet for You?

Leopard geckos make fantastic pets for beginner reptile owners. They are easy to care for, fascinating to watch, and have a long lifespan. With proper care and attention, a leopard gecko can be a wonderful addition to your family. Consider getting a leopard gecko as your next pet reptile.

ThePetFaq Team