Are Leopard Geckos Good Pets for Kids?
Almost every kid wants a playful pet to be a companion at some point, particularly in recent days when most of us are spending time in our homes. Your kids may ask you to bring home a leopard gecko if you have promised them a pet. But the idea of buying a pet reptile could sound horrifying.
After all, we all know that reptiles are some of the world’s most vicious creatures. That would mean buying a reptile pet such as a leopard gecko could harm your kids and leave them with painful wounds. But that is far from the truth.
Surprisingly, leopard geckos could be the most kid-friendly pets. Read more to understand these reptiles could potentially be your kid’s best companion.
Are Leopard Geckos Friendly?
Yes, they are. The reptile pets are extremely friendly, and they aren’t aggressive compared to other types of geckos. Leopard geckos are peaceful and docile by nature, ultimately making them nice for kids and family members.
Kids of all ages can hold them. These pets will slowly crawl gently on your arms. There are no cases of a leopard gecko biting anyone, even strangers. They aren’t aggressive even when agitated.
Age of Your Kid Matters
Parents should not leave their young kids to handle pets. Even though a leopard gecko is a harmless creature, too much excitement can scare or stress the reptile. Thus the age of your kid matters when it comes to handling leopard geckos.
Young kids may not realize the signs of fear or stress in a leopard gecko. Young kids are also playful, and thus they can grab the gecko by its tail, ultimately hurting the pet. But your kid can handle the pet more responsibly if they are a bit older.
They may understand how to care for the pet alone without your supervision. Therefore consider the age of your kid before bringing a leopard gecko home.
Daily Tasks with a Leopard Gecko
Living with a leopard gecko can be fun both for kids and their parents. However, living with this reptile pet can be more fun if you perform some activities together.
Here are some daily tasks that you can encourage your kid to do with a leopard gecko.
- Making DIY Tunnel Hide – leopard geckos like the idea of hiding in tunnels, caves, and under rocks, especially if they are in the wild. You can make a DIY hide tunnel using PVC pipe while the gecko is watching you closely. Encourage the gecko to crawl and hide in the tunnel for some time. Keep encouraging the pet to creep in and out of the tunnel. The leopard gecko will genuinely enjoy the activity.
- Allow the gecko to crawl and lay on your kid – Leopard geckos appreciate being outside their enclosures. You can let your kid play with the pet as they relax on the couch. The leopard gecko will crawl on your kid’s legs, hands and shoulders without harming him. The pet will most certainly enjoy sitting on the kid’s shirt since it feels warm in there.
- Come Up With an Obstacle Course – use some DIY materials to make an obstacle course for your pet. Consider creating the obstacle course in a safe area such as a plastic container or a playpen. Place round objects such as toilet tubes that the gecko can crawl inside.
- Playing with toys – You can purchase or make leopard gecko toys and enjoy incredible playtime. Your kid will be excited playing with the new pet using the most impressive toys. Toys will give your pet something new to explore. Toy play will enrich your pet’s life, making the pet more active and friendly. The best toys should have holes or spaces to encourage the pet to crawl in and out as it wishes. You can also use homemade toys so long as they are innovative enough.
Leopard Gecko and Allergies
Although the popularity of reptile pets such as leopard geckos, bearded dragons, and snakes is on the rise, allergy researchers are now warning parents that reptile pets pose an allergy risk to their kids. However, a leopard gecko poses less risk of allergies compared to furry pets like dogs and cats.
Some kids with sensitive skins can develop rashes after coming into contact with a leopard gecko. Thus, don’t buy a pet for your little one if they have sensitive skin. Alternatively, let the kid handle the pet while making sure it isn’t coming into contact with their skin.
Most importantly, don’t purchase a leopard gecko if it is straight from the wild. The chances are high that such a pet could pose an allergy risk to your kids and family.
Nonetheless, there is no tangible evidence that a leopard gecko could pose an allergy risk just because other reptile pets cause allergies for some people. There are few chances that your pet will pose an allergy risk, especially if you get it from captivity.
Leopard Gecko Lifespan
The adult gecko can grow up to 15 to 25 centimeters. Leopard geckos can live up to 2 decades in captivity. However, wild leopard geckos have a shorter lifespan since some predators such as jackals, snakes, and birds always prey on these reptiles.
Also, wild geckos live in harsh living conditions such as high temperatures, which shorten their lifespan.
But leopard geckos need proper care to live many years. Poor diet and poor living conditions can suppress their lifespan. However, maintaining these pets takes little effort.
They live for a long time, unlike other pets. Thus, owning a leopard gecko is itself a long-term commitment.
Nonetheless, a leopard will make an excellent pet for your kid. Since the pet can live past your kid’s childhood years, your kid won’t have the trauma of losing their pet.
But your kids will have trauma if you bring home other pets like hamsters. Hamsters live for just two years.
No one can object to the fact that leopard geckos can make great pets for kids. Your kid will cherish having a leopard gecko around, no matter their age.
That said, purchase a leopard gecko for your kid and gift them a pet for a lifetime.