Leopard geckos are adorable and one of the best reptiles that you can keep. It is a perfect pet for beginners, and you will not go wrong once you keep them in the right environment with nutritious food. Can leopard geckos eat fruit? Let’s find out!
Leopard geckos are insectivorous animals and will eat any insect that moves in front of them. However, you should avoid overfeeding or giving them the wrong type of food to avoid serious health consequences.
You may be wondering if leopard geckos can eat any other food source apart from common bugs. In this article, you will learn more about whether leopard geckos can eat fruit and what type of food is suitable.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Fruit?
To address your concern on fruit feeding for your leopard gecko, we firstly need to know: can leopard geckos eat fruit?
Leopard geckos are known as insectivores and they cannot eat fruits or vegetables. Some people say that leopard geckos can eat some fruit. But as long time reptile owners, nobody recommends you feed leopard geckos fruits.
The main reason is that their bodies are not designed to digest fruit. Leopard geckos do not have a functioning caecum, which helps digest cellulose, the nutrient found in fruit and vegetables.
They also have a shorter and alkaline digestive tract. In comparison, herbivore animals have a longer and acidic digestive tract.
Many believed they don’t eat fruit because their skull and jaw have evolved (small and less robust) to eat meat. It is unlikely that fruit will do your gecko any good, and if you find your gecko eating fruit, it is because the food is available for them.
It is best if you stick to an insect diet for your leopard geckos to digest them naturally.
Can All Leopard Geckos Eat Fruit?
Although leopard geckos can eat fruits if readily available, it will not be beneficial to their body. In captivity, you can feed your leopard geckos with a varied diet of commercially available insects like crickets, roaches, mealworms, etc.
You can then gut-load the insect feeder with fruits and vegetables at least 24 hours before you feed your gecko. If you plan on giving your geckos fruit, ensure that you carefully prepare the fruit by mashing it or blending it. You can also chop the fruit into small pieces before giving it.
Ensure you wash the fruit thoroughly before you offer your gecko. You will also need to separate parts of the fruit that are inedible such as the seeds as well as the skin, in some cases.
This will help to remove pesticide residue and bacteria that can be on the fruit. Furthermore, ensure that you provide them with small serving at a time. This is mainly because they lack dentition and do not have the jaw strength to bite into solid food.
What Fruits Can Geckos Eat?
Before feeding your geckos with fruit, you will need to consider the nutritional content of the fruit. Geckos need a balanced diet, otherwise, it will make them ill. This is why you need to consider the calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Fruits That Leopard Geckos can Eat
Although leopard geckos will not eat any fruit or vegetable, it can try out some types of fruit. Here are some examples of the best fruits that you can offer your gecko.
- Berries: raspberries, blackberries, blueberries, etc.
- Tropical fruits: pineapples, figs, papayas, etc.
- Pitted fruits: pears, apples, and cherries, and so on.
- Melons, etc.
Note: the best fruit for your gecko must have balanced calcium to phosphorus ratio.
Fruits That Leopard Geckos Cannot Eat
You should avoid feeding your leopard gecko with fruits that contain dangerous compounds that can be toxic to them. You should avoid feeding them with rhubarb, starfruit, and avocado.
You can also avoid fruits like nectarine, banana, or peach or give them in moderation. This is because they have inadequate calcium to phosphorus ratio.
How Often Can You Feed Leopard Geckos With Fruits?
It is best to feed your leopard geckos only as a treat, whether they are hatchling or adult. This is because fruits do not have nutritional benefits to your gecko.
However, you can gut load insect feeders with fruit 24 hours before you feed your gecko. You just have to ensure that the insect is not bigger than the space between your gecko eyes. Furthermore, you can feed hatchling leopard geckos every day while juveniles and adults can eat every other day.
Leopard geckos are crepuscular, and the best time to feed them is around dawn or dusks. The amount of food to feed your gecko should be the ones it can eagerly eat within a few minutes.
This means you don’t need to put too many insects in their cage as they can escape, die, or even make your gecko overeat.
Once your gecko is done eating, ensure you clear out the uneaten insects. This is because leftover insects can rot or even nibble on your gecko, causing stress.
When offering fruit to geckos, ensure you wash the fruit before you give your pet. This helps to remove bacteria and pesticide residues on the fruit. Separate the inedible or toxic parts like pits and seeds from the fruits.
Always ensure that the fruit is prepared in a way that your pet can easily eat it. You can use a food processor to make the fruit. And if you do not have one, you can simply cut the food into tiny parts with a knife or shred with a grater.
Note: Ensure that the fruit you offer them is soft, and their dimension should not be longer than the dimension between your geckos’ eyes.
Although leopard geckos do not eat fruit, some geckos can eat fruits. However, you should avoid feeding your leopard gecko with fruit because fruits comprise high sugar and acid.
You should know that leopard geckos do not like fruit taste and will only take it when starving or needs more moisture.