Leopard Gecko Shedding – Everything You Need To Know

Leopard Gecko Shedding

When you were a kid, your parents most probably had to buy you new clothes every 6 months to a year. You just grew so fast that they just did not fit anymore. That can be compared to the leopard gecko shedding process. They have to get rid of the old skin, because it just doesn´t fit anymore.

Why is that so? How often do leopard geckos shed? What can you do to help you leopard gecko to shed? What kind of problems can occur? You will have an answer to all of these questions in around 3 minutes. Simply continue reading.

Don´t Be Shocked!

I know from experience that seeing your reptile for the first time shedding can be shocking. I remember being very concerned about my reptile´s pale skin even though I knew that reptiles shed. When I saw my chameleon Fipsi Carlos with all the dead skin on it I was like “What the hell is going on here?”.

How Often Do Leopard Geckos Shed?

As all reptiles leopard geckos shed quite often when they are young. You should expect your baby leopard gecko to shed every week to every two weeks. Adult leopard geckos shed around every two weeks.

Why Do Leopard Geckos Shed?

You know I like to explain things easy to understand without any technical terms. The shedding process of a leopard gecko can be compared to us, since we also “shed” a lot. The difference is that we lose very small amounts of dead skin which ends up being called house dust. Leopard geckos lose it in one go. So humans and leopard geckos lose dead skin since the skin is replaced continuously.

Besides that, reptiles grow their whole life. That´s another reason why they have to shed over and over again.

how often do leopard geckos shed

Leopard Gecko Shedding Problems

Normally the shedding should run smoothly. Unfortunately a lot of leopard geckos in captivity have problems to shed completely very often. Sometimes the dead skin does not fall off completely. That can cause serious problems if the dead skin sticks around the tail or a toe as it can disturb the blood flow. If the gecko doesn´t get any help, it will lose the toe/tail.

 This can happen because of bad husbandry. The wrong tank setup, the wrong diet, wrong humidity and so on and so forth. Leopard geckos are praised as beginner pets or pets that are optimal for kids by pet shop sellers, because these animals are so hardy.

It is true that they are hardy, but that does not mean that you just can throw a leopard gecko into a tank with a food bowl and a coconut hide and that´s it. Let me show you what you can do right now, to help your gecko.

Help Your Leopard Gecko To Shed!

You can help your leopard gecko to shed with offering a wet hide. High humidity will help your reptile to shed and all you have to do is creating that wet hide and place it in your tank. If you don´t know how to create a moist hide, that´s no problem at all. I wrote an entire guide on that which you can read here: Create A Moist Hide For Your Leopard Gecko!

The next thing you should do is getting some rough stones or branches, logs and similar rough decorations that contribute to a natural leopard gecko habitat. Leopard geckos rub their bodies on those rough stones to get rid of the dead skin. If you don´t know what to buy, here are a couple of suggestions.

Virgin Cork Bark 

Flat

Virgin Cork Bark Flat Medium

Mobani Wood

Zoo Med

Zoo Med Reptile Mopani Wood

Giant Half Log

Carolina

Carolina Giant Half Log

Get This Awesome Substrate!

Further I recommend to have a look at the substrate in this article. It helps you to create a more natural habitat for your gecko easily at an affordable price. You can build caves and tunnels for your leopard gecko with a lot of rough areas your leopard gecko can use to get rid of the old skin.

Why Do Leopard Geckos Shed

What To Do If Your Gecko Still Needs Help?

If the gecko just can´t get off the dead skin by itself you should help a little bit. I recommend to apply a little bit of cooking oil or this Vaseline (click) on the affected spot and rub the skin off gently. You can also try to remove the skin with tweezers. 

If you have any questions, simply leave a message in the comment section below and I will get back to you as soon as I can.

I hope this article helped you and I really hope that this will convince you to upgrade your leo tank if you don´t have a lot of stuff in your cage. Have fun with your gecko and keep it healthy 🙂

The Ultimate Leopard Gecko Food Guide

leopard gecko food

Do you sometimes feel like a grandma when feeding your reptile? Poor baby, you look so thin! Do you even eat? Let grandma make you a hundred sandwiches. Well, at least I feel like this sometimes.

However reptiles should not be fed like humans, of course. And I am not talking about feeding crickets instead of sandwiches. I am talking about how much you should feed, when you should feed and what you should feed. In this article you will learn that leopard gecko diet is a crucial part of keeping a healthy gecko. You will learn everything you need to know about leopard gecko food and leopard gecko feeding.

Some Feeding Basics

Leopard geckos only eat meat. That means that you should only feed crickets, roaches, locusts and so on and so forth. Leos are not made to digest any fruits or vegetables. Maybe you think now: “Okay, but mine eats veggies and fruits happily”. Well, as most reptiles, leopard geckos are pretty greedy and it can happen that you wiggle a fruit in front of their eyes and they just snap and eat it. Still, you shouldn´t feed it.

Through feeding your gecko it will get used to you. Some geckos are pretty mean to their keepers at the beginning, but the more you handfeed them, the calmer they get.

If you have a really shy gecko you can use tweezers like these (click) instead of your bare hands to feed it until it gets more used to you feeding it. If you don´t want to handfeed your gecko and you don´t want to let the feeder insects run around in your tank either, get a food bowl like this(click).

Zoo Med Feeding Tongs

These feeding tongs will help you to bond with your shy leopard gecko

When Should You Feed Your Gecko?

Leopard geckos are nocturnal, that means they are most active when the sun goes down. So you have to feed your gecko in the evening hours when it gets active. That is their natural hunting time.

Don´t feed your gecko in the morning. During this time they should sleep anyway, but you often times see leopard geckos being active during the day, mostly because of bad husbandry. Stick to  the natural feeding time in the evening.

How Much Should You Feed?

I know that a lot of leopard gecko keepers feed every single day until their gecko is full and doesn´t want to eat anymore. However this can lead to overfeeding quickly as leopard geckos tend to eat more than they need like most reptiles. Overfeeding can lead to serious health problems and it can even end deadly for your beloved pet. So always keep in mind that less is more in most situations.

Babys And Gravid Females

You should feed baby leopard geckos (below 12-15g) and gravid female geckos every day. Babys need a lot of food to grow properly and their appetite is crazy. Gravid female leopard geckos need a lot of energy, obviously, to produce healthy eggs. You can stop feeding for a day if your gecko doesn´t eat anymore. After a day or two it should eat again.

Subadult Leopard Geckos

With a bodyweight below 30g, your leopard gecko is still not an adult gecko. Until it reaches a weight above 30g you should feed every second day as much as it can eat. However you should keep an eye on your gecko´s tail. If it is too fat, stop feeding for two or three days. I will explain more about that later in this article.

leopard gecko feeding

Adult Leopard Geckos

I know that this might be a shock for a lot of leopard gecko keepers, but adult leos should only be fed every 2 to 4 days, depending on their tail size.

How To Tell If Your Leopard Gecko Is Too Fat

Leos store fat in their tails. In the wild they eat as much as they can and get energy from the fat that is stored in their tail when they don´t find any food for a couple of days. They also get energy from their tails during brumation.

So a tail that is too fat clearly shows that your leopard gecko should stop eating for a couple of days until it gets to the normal size again. On the other side, if the tail is too thin, you have to feed your gecko more often. You probably want to know now how to tell if it is too fat or if it is too thin.

The thickest part of the tail should be one and a half times thicker than the base tail. Easy, right?

What Should You Feed?

One of the best feeder insects is definitely the dubia roach. Compared to other feeder insects it is very meaty, doesn´t contain too much fat and it is way more healthy. Besides that dubia roaches are quiet and if some of them escape you don´t have to worry about them infesting your house. Dubia roaches need constantly high temperatures and humidity to breed. (Get Dubia Roaches Here)

Of course you can feed crickets and locusts as well. What I wouldn´t feed that often are mealworms and super worms. You could say they are the fast food in the reptile world. They aren´t meaty, their hard bodies can hurt your leopard gecko and they contain a lot of fat. Actually I would feed them only to malnourished leopard geckos that need to gain some weight.

Gut Load Your Leo´s Food

It is very important that your leopard gecko gets enough vitamins. The problem is that feeder insects do not contain a lot of vitamins. So it is very important that you take good care of the feeder insects before you feed them to your leopard gecko. I recommend to put them in a box like Lee´s Kricket Keeper(click) where they have a lot of space and do not start to attack each other. Then feed them some healthy food like any kind of salat, vegetables and fruits. 

Lee´s Kricket Keeper

Excellent for housing feeder insects and keep them alive and healthy.

Lees Kricket Keeper, Large

The feeder insects stay healthy in the large box, they get a lot of healthy food which contains a lot of vitamins and when your leopard gecko eats those insects, it will take in the vitamins with those healthy crickets, dubias, whatever. That´s called gut loading and it is actually one of the most important things you should know about leopard gecko diet.

Supplementation

If you gut load the feeder insects as you read above, usually there is no reason to use any vitamin products. However there are two things you should definitely get.

Calcium and Vitamin D3

Since most leopard gecko keepers do not use a UVB lamp in their leo habitat, it is very important to use a vitamin D3 supplement. Why do they need that? In short: it is important for their bones since the bones will get soft if they don´t get any vitamin D3 (and calcium). I recommend to get this calcium with vitamin D3(click).

Water

You should always have a water bowl in your tank. Unfortunately this has to be cleaned quite often as most leopard geckos love to poo into the water bowl. Well´at least they are pretty cute while doing it, lol.

Okay that´s it, you are good to go. Go and prepare some dubia roaches for your leopard gecko. Don´t forget to use the calcium supplement on those feeder insects. Have fun!