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How Long Does a Leopard Gecko Live?

Leopard geckos make fantastic pets while in captivity. These reptiles originate from Pakistan and India. They are also among the largest gecko species.

Leopard Geckos aren’t wild like other geckos in other places across the globe. As pets, leopard geckos are easy to maintain.

The biggest concern among pet lovers who consider keeping a leopard gecko is how long this pet reptile does live.

Leopard geckos have a really long lifespan compared to other pets such as hamsters or aquarium fish. On average, leopard geckos can live about 12 years, however with good care, they can reach 20 years of age.

Factors Influencing Leopard Gecko Lifespan

Several factors, however, affect the lifespan of this reptile pet.  Let’s look at some of the things that determine how long a leopard gecko can live.

– Genetics

Genetics has an impact on the lifespan of a leopard gecko. For instance, baby leopard geckos hatched by parents that lived several years are likely to live longer like their parents.

Leopard geckos with a predisposition to conditions such as metabolic bone diseases tend to have a shorter lifespan.

Apart from genetics, gender also affects the lifestyle of these reptile pets. Male leopard geckos have a longer lifespan than their female counterparts.

Male can live between 15 to 20 years on average. Females’ lifespan is between 10 to 15 years on average.

– Environment

Environment arguably has the most significant effect on the lifespan of a leopard gecko. This creature lives in deserts and arid areas. But such conditions can ultimately shorten its lifespan.

Living in such harsh environments can deny a leopard enough water and food it requires to live for many years.  A Leopard gecko can live for almost two decades if it lives in captivity and under suitable living conditions.

Leopard geckos living in noisy and bright conditions are vulnerable to stress. Stress can significantly shorten their lifespan.

Chronic stress causes a wide array of health problems among leopard geckos. Some of the health conditions that arise from chronic stress include hyperparathyroidism.

Keeping your leopard gecko in cold environments can also harm its health, finally subjecting it to death. Cold temperatures cause problems such as respiratory problems and constipation. Such conditions will eventually shorten your pet’s lifespan.

The best environment to keep your leopard gecko for a longer lifespan should have at least 60% humid. Such a humidity level protects your pet against dysecdysis, which is a common condition among reptile pets. The skin condition damages the gecko’s tail and toes. Diet

– Diet

Diet can either prolong or shorten the lifespan of a leopard gecko. It would be best if you feed your leopard gecko strictly with an insect-based diet.

This diet can keep your pet healthy throughout and also strengthen its immune system. Therefore, it won’t succumb to the common health conditions that affect leopard geckos.

These lizards can consume a wide range of insects, such as mealworms, crickets, and earthworms. Occasionally, these lizards can also feed on hornworms.

Refrain from feeding your reptile pet with pinkie mince if the pet isn’t a laying female. Also, the diet shouldn’t compromise vegetables or fruits since these creatures are strictly insectivorous. Their bodies can’t fully digest fruits and vegetables.

Although butterworms are excellent for leopard geckos, avoid feeding your gecko with butterworm as a complete diet. Butterworms contain plenty of fat, and it can make your gecko obese, ultimately lowering its lifespan.

You can purchase multivitamins, calcium, and vitamin supplements for your gecko from a reptile pet store. These supplements provide the best nutrition to your pet, ultimately prolonging its lifespan.

– Stress

Stress can reduce the lifespan of a leopard gecko. Stress threatens the health of your gecko in many ways. Stress can be a result of environmental factors such as noise or excessively bright light.

There are some tell-signs of stress in a leopard gecko. If your gecko closes its eyes or vocalizes for many hours, it most probably has stress.

Stress can cause your gecko to be timid most of the time. Your reptile will go into hiding and eat less. Finally, it will be susceptible to illnesses that will ultimately threaten its life.

Overall, stressed leopard geckos don’t live for long. Some of the diseases that claim their lives include iridovirus, poxvirus, flavivirus, and adenovirus. Most of these illnesses also affect other reptile pets.

– Breeding

Breeding affects lifespan, especially in female leopard geckos.  Breeding is difficult for females since the process of developing and hatching eggs is highly energy-intensive.

Females that rarely breed have longer lifespans than their sexually active counterparts.

Nothing threatens the life of a leopard gecko other than disease. Although the creature is drought-resistant compared to other animal pets, It is still susceptible to a myriad of health conditions.

Most of these diseases lead to the deaths of geckos each year. Juveniles are most vulnerable to infection, particularly those that are a few weeks old. Some common illnesses that short the lifespan of leopard geckos include.

  • Chronic malnutrition– this is a common health problem among leopard geckos. It occurs due to nutritional deficiency that results from a poor diet. Leopard geckos need multiple types of insects to supply them with nutrients such as calcium and proteins.
  • Hypovitaminosis A– the health problem is also a result of inadequate supplementation and inappropriate diet. It causes leopard geckos to succumb to eye problems and hemipenal casts.
  • Diarrhea-smeared or watery stools are uncommon in leopard geckos. Such stools, however, occur at times due to poor diet or improper digestion. Diarrhea can make your gecko lose its bodily fluids leading to dehydration.

– Predators

Predators are a common threat to lifespan, especially among wild leopard geckos.  Some common predators that prey on wild geckos include jackals, birds, scorpions, and lizards.

How To Keep Your Leopard Gecko Healthy?

Keeping your leopard gecko healthy is a vital part of extending its lifespan.  It is easy to keep your gecko healthy for as many years as possible. For instance, provide a comfortable home for your gecko.

Make sure the enclosure that houses your gecko has enough climbing and hiding spaces.  Spot clean the enclosure daily to remove feces to waste that could lead to bacterial buildup.

Provide your leopard gecko with an insect-rich diet consisting of a variety of worms and crickets. Provide it with water to ensure the enclosure remains humid all the time.

Wrap Up

Your Gecko can live for close to two decades if you provide the essentials it needs to live long. Fortunately, you don’t have to invest a lot of time and energy to extend your gecko’s lifespan.

Just maintain the basics in this guide, and your pet will live for dozens of years!

Geckos - Updated: May 6, 2021
avatar I’m Noah, chief editor at VIVO Pets and the proud owner of a playful, energetic husky (Max). I’ve been a volunteer at Rex Animal Rescue for over 2 years. I love learning and writing about different animals that can be kept as pets.

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