Geckos have been a favourite pet for reptile lovers for many of years. But there’s still one question that seems to arise quite often. And this is, Do leopard geckos eat fruit?
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Leopard Geckos Eating Fruit
It’s well known that many reptiles and lizards can eat fruits in a balanced diet. However not all geckos should eat fruits. Unfortunately, leopard geckos come under this category. Fruit should never be given to a leopard gecko as they struggle to digest the foods.
This isn’t to say that a leopard gecko won’t eat fruit, (or vegetables for that matter) if it is offered too them. The likeliness is, if a leopard gecko is feeding on fruit and vegetables, then they must be very hungry.
A common diet for leopard geckos would consist of little insects such as crickets, Dubia Roaches and mealworms.
It is also believed that leopard geckos don’t eat fruit because their jaws have evolved to be less robust for insect consumption as they are commonly softer and easier to eat. Many geckos can’t actually chew fruit because it is simply too hard, specially the fruits with a tough skin.
Possible Problems From Leopard Geckos Eating Fruit?
Leopard geckos are commonly quite small in size compared to other lizards, so their digestive system isn’t as hardy as others such as bearded dragons. Fruits are extremely acidic and this causes some very unpleasant and uncomfortable movement in their stomachs. Leopard geckos do not have a functioning caecum. This is a part of their digestive system that helps digest cellulose, which is one of the nutrients found in most fruit and vegetables.
Some affects consumption of fruits can have for a leopard gecko are;
Like I have stated before, fruits are very acidic and this has some nasty after affects for a leopard gecko. Most commonly, Diarrhea for leopard geckos is usually a result of something they have recently eaten which hasn’t sat to well in their stomachs.
Although it may not seem too bad, and just an upset stomach, but Diarrhea causes dehydration which can be deadly for any reptile.
In this case I would recommend seeing a veterinarian for further advise and treatment for your gecko. They may be able to give you some antibiotics or other suitable methods which can help its recovery.
Chocking is another potential deadly affect which can relate from your leopard gecko eating fruit. Many fruits naturally have a skin which is usually very tough. We as humans may not think the skin of fruit as tough, but that’s because we have evolved to eat such fruits. Our teeth, mouth and jaw strength is far stronger than a time leopard geckos is, and for that reason they struggle to pierce and chew on fruits.
Improper chewing and ingestion can cause blockages and chocking hazards. If a leopard gecko has tried to ingest a food which has become stuck, then they will also definitely have trouble breathing as a result.
In this case I would suggest to take your leopard gecko straight to a veterinarian if you are unable to remove the food safely yourself.
Fruit are known to cause indigestion for most reptiles. Only the most hardy retile can handle the acidic fruits, and even then it’s in moderation. The acidity of fruits will cause an overload in the leopard geckos stomach. Remember they are small animals, so even a small amount of fruit can have some lasting affects on them.
You may seen signs of indigestion from bloating and lack of appetite. These are the key elements you should pick up on first. One of the best ways for your leopard gecko to overcome indigestion is to soak in lukewarm water, at least twice a day.
The water should be deep enough to submerge the geckos underside, roughly up to its hips. Their head should be well above water level, however your gecko should be used to this if you have a bathing bowl available to them already in their enclosure.
If you can, gently massage its belly. This will hopefully start to move around any trapped wind inside the stomach and begin to relieve them of any pains or strains.
What Foods Do Leopard Gecko’s Eat Other Than Fruit?
Leopard geckos have a very basic diet. It consists of Crickets, Mealworms and Dubia Roaches. Gecko’s are known fussy eaters and will not even bat an eyelid at anything that isn’t moving. This is why fruit and veg are no longer a part of their diets.
Crickets are commonly fed to mature leopard geckos as they full of goodness. They are high in proteins and fibres which aids the digestion process. Also crickets can be found in most reptile stores and online stores also.
They will stimulate your geckos hunting mode more than worms will, so this will simulate its natural actions in the wild. However a down side to this is that crickets like to hide and they can be very noisy at night if not eaten.
Nutritional Information: Moisture 69.07%, Fat 6.01%, Protein 21.32%, Fibre 3.2%.
Mealworms are another great choice of food for your leopard gecko and is probably the top choice for many gecko owners. They come in all shapes and sizes so can be fed to your gecko from an early age. As long as the size of the mealworm is correct in comparison to the size of your gecko, all should be fine.
They are available to buy at any reptile store or online and can even be delivered to your door for extra convenience.
Nutritional Information: Moisture 62.44%, Fat 12.72%, Protein 20.27%, Fibre 1.73%.
Now, Dubia Roaches would probably be the ideal source of food for your leopard gecko. However, they are quite hard to come by. Many stores won’t stock Dubia roaches, so you would have to search online and also purchase them online too.
They are more expensive than mealworms and crickets also which may put some people off, but there are some pro’s to these roaches.
Dubia Roaches are very high in protein and calcium. So you wouldn’t need to dust the foods as much with calcium powder. They also have little to no smell, unlike both crickets and mealworms which do have a slight stench to them. And finally, they are easy to breed. So if you ever chose to breed them, you could have a hell of a lot of money from food purchases every week.
Nutritional Information: Moisture 65.6%, Fat 7.2%, Protein 23.4%, Fibre 2.9%.