Can geckos eat fruit? If you’re the owner of one of these lizards, this is something you must’ve wondered at some point, I know I have. Today, I’m going to tell you everything you need to know about feeding fruit to your pet gecko!
Most people always have fruit in their house. They’re a healthy, refreshing, and nutritious snack that most people enjoy eating. Many pets are also capable of eating fruit, and pet owners often give it to them as a treat. However, not all pets can eat it. If you’re a gecko owner and want to spice up their diet a bit, you might be considering making this part of their daily food intake. However, before you do so, you want to know if they can actually eat it.
The answer is a bit more complicated than a simple yes or no. Some can eat fruit, while others can not. Frugivorous geckos (crested and day geckos) are capable of eating it as an occasional treat. Good fruits to feed them are berries and tropical fruits. All the other species should not be fed any fruit at all because they’re completely insectivorous and therefore only eat insects.
To learn more about this interesting topic, keep reading and I’ll tell you everything you need to know.
Geckos and fruit, a good combination?
There are different kinds of geckos. Some are frugivorous (meaning they feed on fruit) while others are completely insectivorous (meaning they feed exclusively on insects).
Those that are frugivorous are capable of eating fruits, and they do eat them in the wild. For some, it’s the majority of their diet, while others mainly eat insects just like insectivorous species.
Let’s take a look at which geckos are frugivorous and which are insectivorous so you can see if yours can eat fruit or not.
Geckos that can eat fruit
As I’ve mentioned in the previous paragraph, the only species that can eat fruit are the frugivorous ones. But that doesn’t say a whole lot if you don’t know if your gecko falls into this classification. Let’s take a look at exactly which geckos are frugivorous, shall we?
Crested Geckos are frugivorous and in the wild, a large part of their diet consists of fruit. They also eat insects but compared to other species, they consume quite a bit of fruit. However, in captivity, this is a little different.
Most crested gecko owners feed their pet a commercial diet consisting of meal replacement powders or insects.
The reason why most people opt to do this is that a commercial diet makes it easier to give them a balanced diet.
Nevertheless, this species can eat fruit, and it’s alright to give it to them once in a while as a treat.
Day Geckos also eat fruits in the wild, but to a lesser extent.
They mostly feed on insects, but they should also eat fruit occasionally.
The best fruits to give them are fresh Papaya, but they can even eat fruit-flavored baby food!
You should feed them fruit twice a week.
The best fruits for Frugivorous geckos
If have a frugivorous species and you just found out that you can feed them fruit, then you’re probably excited and want to give them some. However, there are a few things that you should know first.
First, geckos do not have very strong teeth and jaws. Therefore, it’s important that you do not give them huge fruits whole. Instead, cut larger pieces of food into smaller pieces or even put them in a blender and give them the juice to make it easier for them to eat.
Others, like berries, can be given whole.
In addition, there are also certain fruits that should be avoided. I’ll explain more about the calcium to phosphorus ratio here.
The best fruits for your frugivorous geckos are these:
- All kinds of berries. Berries are a staple of wild frugivorous geckos diet. You can give them raspberries, blueberries, or blackberries among others. These are very nutritious for them.
- Tropical fruit. We’ve already mentioned Papaya, but there are other tropical fruits that are a good choice such as figs and pineapples.
- Pitted fruits such as apples, pears, and cherries are also good for them. However, be careful as not all pitted fruits (nectarines for instance) are good for them. I’ll explain more about that later. When feeding this to your gecko always make sure to remove the pit and the seeds. These are not healthy for them and can even be harmful.
In addition, you can also feed them grapes and melons without any issues.
Things to take into consideration
While frugivorous species can eat fruits, there are a few things you should keep into account. First of all, you should always make sure to wash any plant before you feed it to them.
The primary reason for this is to wash away the pesticides on it.
There’s a pretty neat study that has proven that the best way to remove pesticides from fruits is by soaking them in baking soda.
So if you want to be extra safe, wash them in baking soda, otherwise putting them under running cold water for around a minute is fine too.
Secondly, you have to be careful with the calcium to phosphorus ratio when feeding.
Geckos need a calcium to phosphorus ratio of 2:1 in order to be healthy, meaning they need twice as much calcium as phosphorus in their diet.
Some fruits such as bananas, nectarines, and do not meet the ratio adequately and should not be a large part of their diet.
I also want to reiterate: always remove the seeds and pits from fruits before you feed them to your gecko.
Fruit-yogurt smoothie for geckos
If you really want to spice it up, consider making a fruit-yogurt smoothie for your frugivorous gecko. This is not a replacement for their diet, but you can feed this smoothie to them once or twice a month as a treat and they’ll absolutely love it. Here’s what you need to make it:
- Very ripe banana
- Very ripe peach
- Frozen organic mango
- Plain non-fat yogurt with live and active cultures (good for their digestive health)
Tools you need:
- Mixing bowl
- Ice cube trays
- Saran wrap
If you have all of that, follow these instructions to make the smoothie.
- Cut everything up into small pieces so it’ll fit in the blender
- Put the fruit in the blender
- Put it on the “smoothie” setting if your blender has this setting and turn it on
- Wait until the blender is done and put it from the blender into the bowl
- Put the yogurt in the bowl as well
- Stir until the yogurt and the fruit smoothie are blended
- Pour it into the ice cube tray
- Add the saran wrap on the top of the ice cube tray to prevent freezer burn
- Put it in the freezer
If you’ve done all of that, you’ll have a decent stockpile in the freezer that will last for quite a while.
You can defrost them and feed them to your gecko once or twice a month as a treat!
You can also very easily add additional vitamin supplements to this smoothie once it’s thawed out. If you prefer video instructions on how to make this smoothie for your gecko, there’s a video down below.
Geckos that cannot eat fruit
Almost every single other gecko species is insectivorous and should not be given fruit. This includes species that are commonly kept as pets such as the African-fat tail and leopard gecko.
These gecko species eat only insects in the wild such as crickets, mealworms, silkworms, and roaches.
You should feed them the same diet in captivity to ensure optimal health. They will not derive any benefits from eating fruit, and will likely just ignore it, so it’s best not to give it to them.
So, to sum it all up, the answer to the question can geckos eat fruit? is: It depends.
Some species can eat and digest it perfectly fine while others cannot. Frugivorous species like the crested and day gecko can eat fruit. The best ones for them are Papaya and berries.
Others, such as the leopard and African-fat tailed gecko, are completely insectivorous and cannot eat fruit at all.
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