So you just got your first baby Leopard gecko, now what? I still remember the day when I got my first baby Leopard gecko. The little plastic container lined with paper towel. On the way home you can’t help to want to peek inside all the time.
Since then I had a few more trips like this, traveling little friends from the pet shop. They all become beautiful adults with long, happy lives. Here are my 5 tips for new baby Leopard gecko owners.
Handle baby Leopard geckos with care
Apart from proper the handling later in life, baby Leopard geckos need to be handled with care. This is especially true during the time they are still in their first travel container. When arriving at home, rather place the container in the larger container first and just take this lid off instead of trying to take it out.
When a new baby Leopard gecko is picked up, or handled, rather scoop it up, with your fingers acting as a ‘cage’. Gripping a baby Leopard gecko is tricky and potentially dangerous. By letting a Leopard gecko walk freely in the palm of your hand, the opportunity to dash and fall from your hand is also high. In this case, use your other hand for cupping. When handling a baby Leopard gecko, use slow movements and restrict handling to a bare minimum.
Allow your new baby Leopard gecko to adapt in its new environment
It is said that most problems with new baby Leopard geckos occur within the first few days – during adaptation period. During this time it is crucial that new babies are left alone to adapt.
Don’t spend too much time ‘hovering’ in front of display enclosures and don’t move the cage furniture around at all. Albeit difficult, also try not to open the enclosure unless completely necessary (e.g. cleaning and feeding times). This will ensure less variation in the immediate temperature and light cycles and ultimately less stress for the little one.
Feed baby Leopard geckos correctly
When feeding a new baby Leopard gecko, the size of the food is extremely important. Too big or too small crickets, for example, can be missed or ignored. Adult crickets can also cause stress among babies. The general accepted size for feeder insects is the length of the space between the eyes of the Leopard gecko being fed. Baby Leopard geckos will benefit more from small to medium sized crickets.
In order to increase their quality, feeder crickets should be gut-loaded for 48 hours prior to feeding them to Leopard geckos. Mealworms should be supplied in a small, shallow container containing a commercial powdered Vit D/calcium combination.
Don’t feed too many crickets at a time. Start off by adding one to three crickets and only add more if needed.
Buy from reputable pet shops and breeders
Very often a first baby Leopard gecko was obtained impulsively and many owners will want to add more Leopard geckos to their collection. Don’t repeat this potential mistake.
I recommend to buy from reputable pet shops that sells locally, or their own bred stock. First impressions count. Clean, well presented pet shops with proper facilities to keep their stock in the same way. Don’t be scared to inquire as to where the baby Leopard geckos are from. Breeders that have nothing to hide will also allow viewing of their facilities.
Choose a healthy looking baby Leopard gecko
When looking at your options, make sure all the babies are in a general good condition. Generally it is advised to choose the largest, fattest or most active baby Leopard gecko from the bunch.
Baby Leopard geckos are extremely fragile, especially during the first few days of relocation. They need a very conservative approach. After a baby Leopard gecko is eating and pooping normally, then more liberal actions and changes can take place. Buying a healthy Leopard gecko from reputable pet shops will help ensure less problems down the line and aid in the improvement of the hobby.
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