Are Crested Geckos Hardy Pets?
You may have read plenty of gecko-related articles online, many of which detail the multitude of health issues that crested geckos can face. This can lead to the idea that geckos aren’t hardy animals and that they’re rather sensitive and difficult to keep. In reality, that couldn’t be farther from the truth.
While geckos do require specific environmental conditions and diet planning to thrive, they’re not as squishy as many suggest. Let me explain why.
5 Things That Make Crested Geckos Hardy Pets
These small, colorful reptiles make great pets for both experienced and beginner reptile owners alike due to their easy maintenance requirements and gentle nature. But why are crested geckos so hardy?
Crested geckos are hardy pets because they can adapt easily to a wide range of temperatures and humidity levels, they are easy to feed, don’t require fancy and expensive equipment, are very resilient against diseases, and don’t need grooming and entertainment.
Now, let’s dive into more details and see how hardy crested geckos really are:
– Adapt Easily to New Environments
Crested geckos can easily adapt to new environments, provided the conditions are right. Sure, they will exhibit some timidity and caution at first, which is normal for a solitary and vulnerable animal like the gecko. So, it’s common for the crested gecko to refrain from eating for several days and spend most of its time in hiding when first introducing it to its new home.
The gecko should become accustomed to its surroundings fairly fast, though, especially if you give it the space and support along the way. The key is to make sure that environmental conditions are right and that the gecko’s enclosure layout mimics the reptile’s natural ecosystem. These factors alone will help the gecko grow more comfortable faster.
For starters, crested geckos are highly resilient when it comes to temperature changes. They can survive temperatures as low as 50 degrees Fahrenheit with no adverse effects, although they do best when kept between 75-82 degrees Fahrenheit with a 10-15 degree drop at night time.
– They are Omnivorous
Geckos are omnivorous, so they don’t require only one type of food. This is awesome for when you run out of a specific type of food and need to improvise until you replenish your resources.
However, despite this apparent advantage, the crested gecko’s diet isn’t simple. These reptiles demand live insects and worms, but also fruits and commercial gecko foods for optimal nutrient intake.
They also require calcium and D3 supplementation to counteract calcium deficiency and low bone density, which many geckos are known to struggle with.
Gut-loading insects is a must, as well as using calcium and D3 powders to douse the live food before feeding. You should also make sure your gecko metabolizes sufficient calcium from its diet to prevent health problems like Metabolic Bone Disease.
You can do that via food supplementation and UVB enclosure lighting for proper calcium absorption. Furthermore, I recommend speaking to your vet to assess the reptile’s condition and make sure everything is on the correct charts.
– Don’t Need Entertainment
This is a double-edged sword, depending on what type of person you have. If you’re among those who want to play and entertain their pets, crested geckos might not be for you. These reptiles love their peace and solitude above all else and don’t need much entertainment aside from their normal strolls.
Just decorate the gecko’s habitat so that it mimics its natural ecosystem, and the gecko won’t ask for much else.
– Lack of Health Problems
This may sound like a misleading point, knowing the multitude of health issues that crested geckos can face. But it’s not. Geckos can deal with several health problems like weak bone density, calcium deficiency, respiratory infections, skin parasites and mites, bacterial infections, compaction, etc.
However, most of these issues relate to poor quality of care and inadequate diet. In other words, you can easily prevent all of these problems. You only need to understand your gecko’s requirements and provide it with stable parameters and optimized meal plans.
A well-cared-for gecko will remain healthy and happy for years to come.
– Don’t Need a Fancy Setup
Crested geckos are arboreal animals, so their environmental needs are fairly minimal in terms of overall layout. They will be happy so long as they have adequate humidity, temperature, and several places to climb on. The substrate needs to retain moisture and be easy to clean, and that’s about the extent that the gecko’s layout needs to reach.
This makes crested geckos easy to house, especially since they don’t require too much space. A fully grown adult gecko will do just fine in a 20-30-gallon setup.
Do Crested Geckos Die Easily?
Generally speaking, crested geckos are quite hardy animals and do not necessarily die easily. As long as their enclosure is kept clean, they are provided with a nutritious diet, and they receive regular check-ups from a veterinarian, these lizards can live up to 20 years in captivity!
That being said, crested geckos can still suffer from various illnesses or injuries if they are not cared for properly. To ensure that your pet remains healthy and happy for many years to come, it is important to provide them with the best possible care you can.
Tips for Caring for a Crested Gecko
If this is your first gecko ever, consider the following recommendations:
- Adjust environmental parameters properly – Keep humidity between 60 and 80% depending on the time of day and your crested gecko’s needs. Temperature should be set on a gradient, varying between 60 and 85 °F (give or take) throughout the tank. I’ve detailed the gecko’s temperature needs in another article, so make sure you check that one too. Managing the gecko’s temperature and humidity is a sure way of preventing a variety of health issues.
- Adjust the diet – Keep the gecko’s diet varied and supplement it with calcium and D3 for proper nutrient intake. Doing so prevents diet-related nutritional deficiencies and supports your gecko’s growth rate. Also, live foods are a must to keep the gecko mentally and physically active.
- Minimize interactions – Geckos are not fond of handling, unlike other species like leopard geckos. They will tolerate some petting and handling, but only moderately. You should always adapt to your gecko’s personality and not hold it by force. Geckos can become stressed because of it and even drop their tails which won’t grow back, unlike in other species.
- Monitor your gecko’s health – This is an absolute must if you want to keep your gecko happy and healthy over the years. As I’ve mentioned, geckos can face a number of health problems, many of which can be out of your control. Your gecko can fall and injure itself or experience an infection or health issues despite all your preventive efforts. In that case, you want to detect the problem early on to mitigate its severity and ensure immediate recovery.
Plus, you should always speak to your vet or other gecko professionals about the optimal way of caring for your reptile pet. They may provide you with better insight into aspects you previously took for granted.
Despite what you may have heard, geckos are fairly easy to care for, which is why they rank as beginner-friendly pets. Learn what they need, stick to the basics, and your geckos won’t ask for much else.