When it comes to common pets like dogs and cats, feeding them is relatively cut and dry. However, when it comes to owning a pet that is a bit more exotic and certainly more uncommon, food can be a little tricky. For crested geckos, what exactly do they eat?
Crested geckos are able to live on premixed power foods without any live insects or other food varieties. However, crested geckos do very well with a variety of different insects and fruits offered alongside a premixed powder to give them a little variance in their daily diet.
Crested geckos are one of the most simplistic geckos out there when it comes to the food they need in order to survive. They are great pets for people who want to care for a reptile, but are squeamish with insects or simply don’t have the time to mess with food variation. Continue reading to discover the easiest way to feed a crested gecko, options for more natural feeding, and find out how often your crested gecko should be eating.
What is the Easiest Way to Feed a Crested Gecko?
When it comes to the gecko world, overall, the crested gecko is the most low-maintenance and no-fuss reptiles out there. At one point, these little lizards were on the verge of extinction, but with a lot of will and plenty of faith, they have made their way back to a healthy existence and have become one of the most popular household geckos out there, and for good reason, They are very easy to keep, but even more, they are easy to feed. Why is this?
Crested Geckos Eat Premixed Powder Food
There are so many different species of geckos out there, but many of them are a bit more particular when it comes to what they eat. For crested geckos, they are one of the few that do not require any kind of live food to survive and thrive. Now, this does not mean that they are somehow able to convert air into nutrients, but they are completely satisfied with being fed premixed powder food on a daily or every other day basis.
Premixed powder for crested geckos is simply added to water, mixed in, and laid within their vivarium for them to eat away at throughout the night (or day if they’re feeling like a snack). There are a wide variety of premixed powers, but not all are made the same. You want to be sure to always pay attention to the ingredients to ensure that your crested gecko is getting the most out of its meals without being slighted on any important items.
Premixed powers are always going to include some type of fruit within them, but there are even some that have insects included within them as well. Even more, you can often find brands that have added probiotics within their ingredients as well as other vitamins and minerals. For those of you new and on the search this is a well-rounded brand that will fit the bill for all your crested geckos eating needs.
What Other Options are There for Feeding Crested Geckos?
Although some premixed powders including everything your crested gecko needs in order to have a complete and nutrient-filled diet, you can’t help but think that they may be wanting a little more, maybe something more along the lines of their natural, wild diet? Even though crested geckos live just fine on premixed powders alone, there are other items you can treat your lizards with if you feel they are in need of a change of pace.
Live-Food Options for Crested Geckos
Many owners of crested geckos choose this species because they never have to even entertain the prospect of handing live-food. It is completely understandable that some people are a bit squeamish when it comes to prodding through a container of mealworms or working to grab the least jumpy cricket. However, if you would like to give your crested gecko something off the regular menu, live-food bites are a great option.
In the wild, crested geckos have a very diverse diet and one that is full of food items like seeds, berries, various fruit juices, roaches, caterpillars, butterflies, the remains of different small vertebrate prey, and for the largest group - insects. With all of these items being with the diet of a wild crested gecko, it would only make sense that those within captivity would have the same hunger for such variety from time to time.
If you are looking to spice up your crested gecko’s meal routine some and are entertaining the idea of live-food options, there are plenty of choices that will have your crested gecko pining for treat day. You can offer items like locusts, various crickets, stick insects, snails, discoid roaches, silkworms, butterworms, and wax-worms. All of these are great options to break up the monotony of premixed powder meals for your crested gecko.
Fruit Options for Crested Geckos
Live-food bites are, without a doubt, accepted with pleasure by crested geckos. However, many owners don’t have the desire to handle live food or some simply don’t have the time or means to get to these items with ease. If that is the case for you yet you still want to switch up the diet of your crested gecko by adding something a little more exciting and treat-like, consider the option of feeding your crested gecko fruit.
All premixed powders contain fruit within them and as mentioned earlier, the diet of a wild crested gecko includes various fruits and fruit juices. Fruits are a very natural part of a crested geckos diet and therefore, it is only natural that they are fed this in a more natural form. Even better for you, this is a food option for your gecko that is not as difficult to purchase and is typically right within the walls of your own home.
If you would like to include some fruit in your crested gecko’s diet, there are endless options out there that they will tolerate. A few specific options include watermelon, blueberry, plum, fig, mango, banana, peach, pear, strawberry, and apricot. With fruit, crested geckos ingest them best if they are mashed well - a scrumptious treat for your favorite little lizard.
How Often Should Crested Geckos Eat?
Now that you know what exactly a crested gecko should eat in order to maintain a healthy and well-balanced diet, it is important to be aware of how often a crested gecko should be fed. As pet owners who love their pets and want to see them happy, it is very easy to fall into a trap of overfeeding in efforts to always ensure that your gecko has plenty of food. However, this can be harmful to your crested gecko, therefore, it is necessary to know how much is just enough.
It may be tempting to think that your crested gecko needs a daily breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Although the sentiment might be nice from an owner's perspective, the eating habits of a crested gecko are far from the regular three-day cycle of humans. These reptiles are small and thus, their food is able to sustain them for a long amount of time without needing to gorge themselves.
Crested geckos only need to eat every other day. If you are feeding a premixed powder, simply follow the directions for use and set the mixture in your crested gecko’s vivarium for them to have the chance to fill their bellies overtime before you put a fresh mix down. Live-food and fruit can be fed much less often, around once a week or even once every two weeks, but are a welcomed addition to the more regular premixed powder.
When Should a Crested Gecko Eat?
It is easy to think that if your crested gecko is hungry, they are going to eat no matter what time of day it is. Although this is occasionally true for some juvenile crested geckos, many times, these reptiles are very particular about the time of day they sit down for dinner. This is all due to the fact that crested geckos are nocturnal animals. Therefore, they are asleep during the day and awake and moving at night.
Because of this fact, they rarely stir during the morning and mid-day to come out and fill their bellies. During the early morning and mid-day hours, crested geckos are typically in a deep slumber to prepare themselves for the evening and late-night activities that are ahead. This is where the importance of feeding timing comes in. If you want to maximize the chances of your crested gecko eating as it should, food should be placed within the vivarium at the right time.
Try to avoid placing food within the vivarium during the morning hours or in the afternoon so that you don’t wake your crested gecko, but that you also don’t allow the food to begin to stale before your gecko has had a chance to eat it. Place the food, every other day, within the vivarium during evening and night hours when they are awake from their sleep and ready to eat. This will keep their bellies full and will also help to avoid excessive food waste.