How Do Geckos Absorb Water? A Complete Guide to Their Hydration Needs!

Geckos are a type of lizard that belong to the family Gekkonidae. They are known for their unique appearance, with large eyes and adhesive toe pads that allow them to climb vertical surfaces and even walk on ceilings. Geckos are found in various habitats around the world, from deserts to rainforests. There are over 1,500 different species of geckos, each with their own unique adaptations and behaviors.

Why is Understanding Their Hydration Needs Important?

As with any living organism, water is essential to a gecko’s survival. Geckos need water to regulate their body temperature, digestion, and overall health. However, unlike mammals, geckos do not have the ability to sweat or pant to regulate their internal temperature. Instead, they rely on external sources of moisture to help them stay hydrated. Understanding how geckos absorb water is crucial for providing them with the proper care they need to thrive.

How Geckos Absorb Water?

Where do Geckos Get Water From?

Geckos get water from various sources, depending on their habitat and species. In the wild, geckos may obtain water from dew, rainwater, or plant leaves. In captivity, geckos require a consistent source of clean water that is easily accessible.

How do Geckos Drink Water?

Geckos drink water by lapping it up with their tongue. Their tongue is covered in tiny papillae that help to absorb moisture. Geckos may also absorb water through their skin, particularly around their vent area.

Do All Geckos Drink Water the Same Way?

No, not all geckos drink water the same way. Some geckos, such as the crested gecko, are arboreal and prefer to drink water droplets off of leaves. Other geckos, such as the leopard gecko, are terrestrial and prefer to drink from water dishes.

Factors Affecting Geckos’ Hydration Needs


Humidity plays a vital role in a gecko’s hydration needs. Geckos from tropical habitats require higher levels of humidity than those from arid habitats. If the air is too dry, geckos may struggle to absorb enough moisture through their skin and may become dehydrated.


Temperature also affects a gecko’s hydration needs. Geckos need to maintain a consistent body temperature to properly digest food and stay hydrated. If the temperature is too high, geckos may become dehydrated more quickly. If the temperature is too low, geckos may not be able to properly absorb water.

Size and Species Variation

Different species of geckos have different hydration needs based on their size and habitat. Larger geckos generally require more water than smaller geckos. Arboreal geckos may require a higher humidity level than terrestrial geckos.

Signs of Dehydration in Geckos

Behavioral Changes

Dehydrated geckos may become lethargic and have a decreased appetite. They may spend more time hiding and less time moving around.

Physical Signs

Physical signs of dehydration in geckos include sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, and a lack of skin elasticity. Their feces may also become dry and hard.

Treatment of Dehydration

If you suspect your gecko is dehydrated, provide them with fresh water and increase the humidity level in their enclosure. In severe cases, your gecko may require veterinary care to properly rehydrate.

Factors to Consider for Proper Hydration of Geckos

Water Sources and Placement of Water Dishes

Provide your gecko with a clean, shallow water dish that is large enough for them to drink from comfortably. The water dish should be placed in a location that is easily accessible to your gecko.

Supplementation of Water Intake

Some geckos may require additional water supplementation, particularly those from arid habitats. You can provide additional moisture by misting their enclosure with water or using a humidifier.

Hydration and Shedding

Proper hydration is crucial for a gecko’s shedding process. If a gecko is dehydrated, their skin may not shed properly, leading to retained shed and potential health issues.


In conclusion, understanding how geckos absorb water is essential for providing them with the proper care they need to thrive. By considering factors such as humidity, temperature, and species variation, you can ensure that your gecko remains properly hydrated. If you notice any signs of dehydration in your gecko, take immediate action to address the issue and seek veterinary care if necessary. With the right care, geckos can live long and healthy lives.

ThePetFaq Team