Leopard Gecko, The Right Pet for Me?
Posted on October 8, 2017
Clint talks specifically about the leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius), weighing the merits of these WONDERFUL little creatures so you can decide if they are the right pet for you.
0:28 Leopard Geckos get an overall score of 4.4 out of 5.
0:43 Score criteria: Handleability, Care, Hardiness, Availability, Upfront Costs.
0:53 Handleability: How well does a Leopard Gecko do with handling?
3:36 Care: What is involved with caring for Leopard Geckos?
5:28 Hardiness: How hardy are Leopard Geckos?
7:01 Availability: How easy is it to obtain a Leopard Gecko?
8:26 Upfront Costs: How much does it cost to get setup with a Leopard Gecko?
9:18 Conclusion: Leopard Geckos are great and deserve an overall score of 4.4.
9:36 Bloopers, out-takes, silliness.
Welcome! I assume you’re here because you are thinking about maybe getting a leopard gecko and I think that’s a great choice. Could be that you’ve been thinking about them ever since you watched this video. If not, you might want to check it out. It’s right right there.
This is a leopard gecko, and for a lot of you this might be the best pet reptile you could possibly get. Especially for a beginner. We give leopard geckos an overall score of four point four out of five. That is one of the highest scores we’ve ever given. It’s one of the highest scores we’re ever gonna give, because this is an incredible pet lizard. And the way that we come to that score is going to come down to our five categories: handleability, care, hardiness, availability, and upfront costs.
For handleability we give these a four out of five. They are really wonderful to handle. They’re calm for the most part. Now I’m not gonna tell you they’re all calm. I’ve seen a lot of them, especially babies, that get very defensive. And geckos are cool because geckos vocalize. A baby leopard gecko will go ah ah if it’s getting startled. Geckos are the only lizards that have vocal cords. In fact geckos are called geckos because there’s a species of gecko that says “Geck-o.” They’re like Pokemon . There’s a type of gecko called the tokay gecko. Guess what it says. It says “To-kay.” They can vocalize. They’ll open their mouth, and some of them can bite, mostly when they’re babies, but I have seen adults. They can be a little bit grumpy. So when you’re picking one out, get one that is nice and mellow. Unless you don’t mind that it might take a shot at you every now and then. They’ve got little nails but they’re unlikely to scratch you, these, I mean they’re tiny. You can feel them poke you a little bit as they walk over your skin. Not a big deal. Unlike a lot of other geckos these geckos don’t have any toe pads. The toe pads are those crazy pads that they, a lot of geckos, can use to climb up walls and across the ceiling and who knows where. They’re mostly for hanging on to leaves. Well these geckos are from the desert and so they don’t have those toe pads. They’ve just got the claws to hang onto stuff and so they’d probably be slipping and sliding and fall if they didn’t have them and so they’re not really clinging to you. They’re sort of walking on you but it’s sort of your job when handling a leopard gecko to stay underneath it. Compared to other geckos and a lot of other lizards leopard geckos are unlikely to drop their tails. They can do it. They’ve got the power to just, off goes the tail, and there you have it. They’ll regrow it, but it won’t be quite the same as it was, so I try to avoid that. I worry about it but I don’t worry about it too much with leopard geckos because you can see they’ve got fat tails. In the desert sometimes you need to store fat for a long time. Just like a camel. A lot of people don’t know that about camels. They think that’s water in there but it’s actually fat, and these guys store fat in there big pudgy tails. As they store their energy source in that tail they don’t want to drop it. Of course if you pinch it or crush it or something like that, off it’ll go. Sometimes cage mates, other leopard geckos if your housing them together (which I don’t necessarily recommend), you know they will bully each other sometimes, and off come tails. You have to be a little bit careful about that but not as careful as say with a crested gecko. Additionally they’re kind of small. Compared to a lot of the other animals that we’ve recommended, these are a pretty small lizard and they could be injured very badly by say a child or anyone who squeezes them, crushes them, if they take a nasty fall. They’re just, they’re little. They’re little guys, and you gotta treat them with care and respect and if you do, they’re actually a wonderful gecko to interact with, wonderful to handle and I love them.
Our next category is care, and for care we give these geckos a four out of five. The biggest downside to keeping them is just that you’re going to need a regular supply of insect feeders and diverse insect feeders (so things like dubia roaches, crickets, super worms). Down below we’ve got links to these things so go check them out. And unlike a bearded dragon, these guys aren’t gonna eat and tons and tons of insect eaters but you do need them constantly on hand to have some insect feeders for them every few days every week. You can’t skip out on that. These geckos do need daily misting. Not like a crested gecko. You don’t need it wet in there. These guys are from the desert but they do need an opportunity to lap some little water droplets off the side every day and so that’s something, some daily care that they do require. Humidity is also important for them when it comes to things like shedding their skin. So if you notice that they’re getting kind of cloudy looking, you’re definitely gonna need to make sure you keep it a little more humid than normal. And the biggest thing that you’re gonna want to watch out for is the fact that if they don’t shed very well, sometimes they can get skin that sticks on their toes and that can actually cause a lot of leopard geckos to lose their toes. We’ll talk more about that later. They’ve got very reasonable temperature requirements. They need a temperature somewhere in the mid 70s with highs in the 80s. That’s easy to maintain with, say, an under tank heater or a red UVA bulb. You’re gonna want to make sure that you’ve got good thermometers. I would recommend using a heat gun, which takes surface temperatures to make sure that you’ve got those temperatures just right. Thermostat is a very good idea. Definitely good thermometers but a temperature in the 80s and 70s and the cool areas. That’s easy to do even in smaller enclosures, so temperature, very easy to maintain with leopard geckos. They are gonna need calcium supplements. Not in the quantities that you would need for, say, a bearded dragon, but they are gonna need calcium and vitamin supplements. Overall though, this is about the easiest lizard you could possibly keep.
When it comes to hardiness we give these geckos a four out of five. One of the biggest things you’re gonna want to watch out for is the type of substrate that you use (that’s the ground covering). A very popular thing for people to use is sand. Don’t do this. Loose substrates, like sand, have a couple of major down sides that you’re gonna want to avoid. That’s gonna cause them to not shed on their toes very well, which can cause their toes to become constricted by the skin, lose blood flow, and then fall off. You don’t want this. The other thing is if they happen to ingest sand, that could get caught in their digestive system and actually cause your gecko to die. So I would not recommend using any sort of a loose substrate like sand. Even things like paper towels are a better substrate than sand. Lack of calcium can also be a problem. That’s not gonna kill them quickly but they could end up with metabolic bone disease so you’ll want to make sure that they get calcium and vitamin supplements. Probably the biggest risk for these guys is getting squished. You’ve got to be careful with them because they are little. We’ve recommended a lot of other animals that are considerably larger than this that would be considerably harder to smash on accident, but these could easily get smashed. So you’ve got to be careful with them because that would be devastating. Same thing about falling. They’re more prone to falling then almost anything else we have recommended. These guys live on the ground in the desert. Falling is not normally a problem and so they’re not used to having to maintain their balance and they will just slip and fall off of you if you’re not careful. And, of course, they can drop their tail – we’ve already talked about this. They can do it, they’re not particularly prone to doing it, but it could happen.
When it comes to availability we give these guys a 5 out of 5. This has been one of the most common reptiles in the reptile hobby for a long long time. As always, I would recommend. first and foremost, trying to find a good breeder in your area. That way you can go, you can see all of their geckos, you can see the way that they were housed, the way that they were raised, maybe even their parents, and you can check out their behavior. If you can’t do this, online there are lots of breeders that you’re gonna be able to find. And they, again, are all over the place. And they can ship a gecko right to your door. And, if all else fails, they are at every pet shop that sells reptiles – like in the whole world. As you can see, we’ve got quite a few colors here. I’ve actually got another. This is called a white and yellow. This one here is a snow. And we’ve got… this one’s an albino and a snow. This one’s a Radar, which stands for red eyes and a whole bunch of other stuff I don’t know. They have got like a million different color varieties. The really cool thing is: people have been breeding leopard geckos for long enough now that basically any of these colors are available at a very reasonable price and everywhere. You don’t have to go crazy to find somebody who’s got whatever color and pattern it is that you love. In the wild these things are yellow and almost black because they have so many spots.
Last is the upfront cost and we give them a 5 out of 5 for upfront cost as well. This is as good as it’s gonna get with a lizard. They are inexpensive to buy. And, on top of that, their enclosure is relatively inexpensive to provide as well because the tank doesn’t need to be huge because they’re not huge. Don’t go super small, you don’t want them to be confined. Honestly the bigger the enclosure is the more fun they will be to watch. The heat source that you’re gonna need is relatively inexpensive. The substrate, the water bowl, all of these things – they’re fairly cheap. So upfront you’re not gonna be shelling out a whole lot of money for a leopard gecko and a proper set up. They are just wonderful. You are gonna love having a leopard gecko. I love them. I’ve been interacting with them a lot today – more than I normally do and I’ve been thinking “gosh I got to spend more time with my leopard geckos” cuz they’re just great.
Overall, once again, we give them a 4.4 out of 5. One of the highest scores were ever gonna give any animal because this is definitely one of the best pet reptiles you could possibly have. As always: like and subscribe. We’re excited to hear what you thought and we hope to see you real soon.
What a crazy creature. You can see right through their head. How could you not… how could you not love that! When you look through their ear you can see their eardrum but you can see like right through their noggin! Oh! And they blink. Check this out, they blink. Geckos don’t blink, geckos like their eyeball. These are an eyelid gecko. Doesn’t seem like a superpower but for a gecko that’s a superpower. AH! AH! [Gecko!] Tokay!