How to Provide the Best Geckos Care: Everything You Need to Know!

Geckos are cold-blooded reptiles with a unique set of physical characteristics. They have a triangular-shaped head, large eyes with vertical pupils, and a flattened body. Most geckos have a long tail that they can drop as a defense mechanism against predators. Geckos have a remarkable ability to climb and cling to surfaces, thanks to their toe pads that allow them to grip onto vertical and smooth surfaces. Their skin is thin and delicate, and they shed it periodically to grow new skin.

Behavior and Habitat

Geckos are nocturnal creatures, which means they are most active at night. During the day, they tend to hide and rest. In the wild, geckos prefer to live in warm, humid environments like forests, deserts, and tropical regions. They are solitary creatures and only come together during breeding seasons. Geckos are known for their unique vocalizations, which they use to communicate with each other and attract mates.

Different Species of Geckos

There are numerous species of geckos, each with its unique characteristics and needs. Some of the most popular pet gecko species are leopard geckos, crested geckos, and bearded geckos. Leopard geckos are the most common and easy to care for. Crested geckos are arboreal and require a tall terrarium with plenty of climbing opportunities. Bearded geckos are known for their spiky appearance and are relatively new to the pet trade.

Setting Up the Perfect Habitat

Terrarium Size and Dimensions

One of the most important factors in providing the best care for your pet gecko is setting up the perfect habitat. The size and dimensions of the terrarium will depend on the species of gecko you have. Leopard geckos require a minimum of a 20-gallon tank, while crested geckos need a taller terrarium with a minimum of 30 gallons. It’s essential to research the specific needs of your gecko species and ensure that the terrarium is large enough to provide ample space for them to move around and climb.

Lighting and Heating Requirements

Geckos require specific lighting and heating requirements to stay healthy. They need access to UVB lighting, which helps them synthesize Vitamin D3 and maintain strong bones. A heating source like an under-tank heater or heat lamp is also necessary to keep the terrarium warm and maintain the proper temperature gradient. The temperature should range between 75°F and 90°F, with a cooler area in the terrarium where the gecko can escape the heat.

Substrate and Furnishings

When it comes to the substrate, avoid using cedar or pine shavings as they can be harmful to your gecko. A better option is reptile carpet or paper towels, which are easy to clean and maintain. Geckos love to climb, so providing ample branches, vines, and other climbing structures is essential. You can also add hides and other decor to provide a more natural environment.

Feeding and Hydration

Understanding the Nutritional Requirements

Geckos are insectivores, which means they eat insects and other small invertebrates. The specific diet of your gecko will depend on its species, size, and age. Some popular feeder insects include crickets, mealworms, and waxworms. It’s essential to provide a varied diet to ensure your gecko receives all the necessary nutrients. You can also offer gut-loaded insects, which means they are fed a nutritious diet before being fed to your gecko.

Feeding Schedule and Quantity

Adult geckos should be fed every other day, while younger geckos may need to be fed daily. It’s essential to monitor their weight and adjust the feeding schedule accordingly. Offer only as much food as your gecko can eat in a 15-20 minute period to avoid overfeeding.

Watering and Hydration Techniques

Geckos require a source of fresh, clean water at all times. You can provide a shallow dish of water in the terrarium, or you can mist the terrarium with water to increase humidity levels. It’s essential to clean the water dish regularly and change it daily to prevent the growth of harmful bacteria.

Grooming and Hygiene

Cleaning and Maintenance of the Terrarium

Maintaining a clean and healthy terrarium is crucial to your gecko’s health. Spot clean the terrarium daily and perform a deep cleaning every month. Remove any uneaten food, feces, and shed skin promptly to prevent the growth of bacteria. Use a reptile-safe disinfectant to clean the terrarium and accessories thoroughly.

Bathing and Shedding

Geckos shed their skin periodically as they grow. You may notice your gecko becoming more irritable and inactive before shedding. Provide a moist hide or a shedding box to help your gecko shed more easily. You can also mist the terrarium to increase humidity levels during shedding. Geckos do not require regular baths, but you can offer a shallow dish of water for them to soak in if they wish.

Medical Checks and Parasite Control

Regular medical check-ups are essential to ensure your gecko’s health. Look out for any signs of illness or injury, such as a lack of appetite, lethargy, or abnormal behavior. Parasites like mites and ticks can also affect geckos, so it’s essential to perform regular parasite checks and seek veterinary treatment if necessary.

Behavioral Training and Socialization

Handling Techniques

Geckos can be timid creatures, but with proper handling techniques, they can become comfortable with human interaction. Start by offering food from your hand and gradually work up to handling them. Always support their body and avoid grabbing their tail, which can cause it to detach. Be patient and gentle, and your gecko will eventually become comfortable with you.

Socializing with Other Geckos

Geckos are solitary creatures and do not require socialization with other geckos. However, if you choose to keep multiple geckos together, ensure that they are of the same species and similar size. Provide ample space and resources to prevent aggression and competition.

Training for Good Behavior

Geckos are not trainable in the traditional sense, but you can condition them to associate certain behaviors with rewards. For example, you can offer a treat when they come out of hiding or climb onto your hand. This positive reinforcement can help your gecko become more comfortable with human interaction.


Providing the best care for your pet gecko requires a little bit of research and effort. Understanding their biology, setting up the perfect habitat, and providing proper nutrition and hygiene is essential to their health and happiness. With a little bit of patience and care, your gecko can live a long and fulfilling life as your beloved pet.

ThePetFaq Team