Leopard geckos have big appetites and are going to eat anything that moves in front of them.
However, overfeeding them or giving them the wrong type of diet can lead to serious health issues. One of the most important parts of owning leopard geckos is how often you can feed your pet properly.
A beginner leopard gecko owner may not be able to differentiate whether their gecko is eating enough or feed them too often. As a responsible hobbyist, you may be concerned about creating a feeding schedule for your gecko.
In this article, you will get an insight into how often leopard geckos eat, what can leopard geckos eat, and so on.
What Do Leopard Geckos Eat?
Leopard geckos are insectivorous animals. They mainly feed on insects, nothing else. Furthermore, you do not have to feed your gecko with occasional vegetable, or fruit. They do not want those kinds of food, and even their bodies will not digest them.
The best diet for your leopard gecko is a varied diet of insects, including mealworms and crickets.
The other types of insects that you can give your gecko are dubia roaches, silkworms, hornworms, etc.
However, there are some insects that you can offer your leos only as a special treat.
Some of the insects that you can offer as a special treat are waxworms, super worms, butter worms, etc. These insects have high-fat content, and your gecko will find them very tasty. If you feed them to your gecko too often, they become addicted and refuse to eat any other thing.
When picking insects that you want to feed your gecko, always ensure that you choose the appropriate size and number for every feeding. You need to ensure the insects are not bigger than the space between your gecko’s eyes.
Note: The number of insects that you can give your leos per each feeding is related directly to the animal’s size. You can feed your gecko two insects per inch of their length. This means if your leopard gecko is 4 inches, you will give it eight insects per feeding.
The Size Of Food to Feed Leopard Geckos
The age of your gecko will determine the size of the insect that you can give it.
You will need to feed baby gecko with insects that are about 3/8 inches in size. Juvenile geckos can be fed with insects that are about ¼ inches in size. At the same time, you can feed adult gecko with a small adult to adult size insects.
Note: The general rule is to feed your gecko with insects that are not bigger than the space between their eyes.
How Often Do Leopard Geckos Eat?
Baby and juvenile leopard geckos need to be fed daily with the right size of insects in order to aid their growing process. In comparison, adult leopard geckos can be fed with the right sized insects every other day.
Once you have a leopard gecko at home, you will realize that the food schedule is an important part of taking care of them.
You will need to feed hatchling and juvenile leopard geckos every day. This is because they are constantly growing, and they need enough nutrients for optimal growth.
You can skip a day once in a week to wean juvenile leopard gecko into every other day schedule before they grow into adults. Once a gecko reaches the adult stage, their appetite will drop drastically, and you can start to feed them every other day.
Furthermore, you can create a feeding schedule based on these timelines for your gecko to stay happy and grow healthy. This schedule will help you stay on track with your pet, even when you have a busy schedule.
How Often And How Much To Feed Your Leopard Geckos With Crickets?
Crickets are known as the most popular food choice for leopard geckos. However, when feeding your geckos with crickets, ensure you do not give them too large crickets. You should also avoid placing too many in a cage.
Once your gecko is through with the insect, ensure you remove the leftovers immediately. As stated in the section above, your gecko’s feeding schedule needs to match its developmental stage.
How you can feed your geckos with crickets according to the developmental stage are stated below.
Hatchling Leopard Geckos (0-6 months)
You need to feed them every day and ensure you dust the cricket five days a week.
Juvenile Leopard geckos (6-12 months)
You need to feed them every other day. You can dust the cricket on every 3rd feed before you give your gecko.
Adult Leopard Gecko (1 year or more)
Adult leos can be fed every 2-3 days. However, you need to dust the crickets every 3rd -4th feed.
Note: Leopard geckos’ appetite is usually seasonal. This means leopard geckos appetite can reduce slightly, and it commonly occurs during shedding, winter, or when they are sick.
How Often And How Much To Feed Your Leopard Geckos With Mealworms?
Mealworms are another great food for your leopard geckos. It has similar nutrients with cricket, and you can feed your geckos regularly. There are two types of mealworms available in the market, and they are available in both live and freeze-dried forms.
When feeding with freeze-dried mealworms, it is best to move and wiggle the insect to help interest the gecko. Furthermore, you will need to dust freeze-dried mealworms with calcium supplements before giving them to your gecko.
Furthermore, when feeding with live mealworms, ensure you gut-load them 24 hours before offering them to your gecko.
Hatchling Leopard Geckos (0-6 months)
You can feed them with mealworms that are ¼ inches in size every day. You will need to dust the mealworms five days a week.
Juvenile Leopard Geckos (6-12 months)
Juvenile leos can be fed with ¼ inches mealworms every 2-3 days. Furthermore, you will also need to dust the mealworms on every 3rd feed.
Adult Leopard Geckos (1 year and over)
Adult leopard geckos can be fed with larger mealworms of about ½ inches every 2-3 days. You will then need to dust feed the insect every 3rd to 4th feed.
How Often And How Much To Feed Your Leopard Geckos With Fruit?
Leopard geckos are insectivorous reptiles and will not take fruit unless they are starving. Their body is not built to manage or digest the fruit. This is because they do not have Caecum that is used for digesting cellulose.
Furthermore, they possess a shorter and acidic tract, which is different from herbivore’s longer and acidic digestive tract. However, leopard geckos can eat fruit, but it will not do them any good. This is why it is best to stick to a diet of insects.
However, if you are planning to give them fruits, you can only give them as a treat, maybe once in 2-3 weeks.
Making The Most Of The Food
Although you need to provide your leopard geckos with proper nutrition for their optimum health. You will also need to supplement their food by gut loading the insects to give them more nutrients.
You can supplement their meal by dusting or gut loading.
You can dust the feeder insect with calcium and vitamin supplements before you give them to your gecko. It is best to add dusting to your feeding schedule, not to over supplement your gecko. Over supplementing can lead to toxicity and several other health issues.
Another way that you can supplement the feeder insect is by gut loading them. This process involves feeding the insects with high nutritional value food 24 hours before you offer them to your leopard gecko’s tank.
You can give the feeder insects the fruits and plants that your gecko will not eat. Your gecko will now get the nutrients indirectly from the insect’s system.
Note: It is recommended to only feed your leopard geckos with insects that you bought from the market. Avoid using any insects that you catch in the wild. This is because they may carry pesticides, parasites, and other harmful chemicals along the way.
If your gecko ingests these insects, it can make them sick or even kill them if they absorb too many harmful chemicals.
Leopard Gecko Feeding Time
Leopard geckos are crepuscular animals, and they are active around the dusk and dawn periods.
This means leopard geckos love hunting for food early evening or early in the morning.
This shows the best time to feed your geckos between the dusk and the dawn period.
It is quite easy to care for leopard geckos. However, they need a regular feeding schedule for them to stay at optimal health.
You need to feed hatchling and juvenile leopard geckos daily while you can feed adult geckos every other day.
This will help to keep your gecko happy and healthy for a long time.