Normally, people go with cats or dogs. A few might keep fishes and birds too. However, some have a taste for the exotic, like the crested Gecko. While it can make a good pet, its needs aren’t ordinary. Care must be taken to look after them well, especially in the food department.
To understand what a crested gecko needs for food, its origins must first be understood well. The animal is from Australia, specifically the island of New Caledonia. The island has a semi-tropical climate, leading to the formation of well-forested areas.
These creatures were once considered extinct. They were rediscovered in 1994, and conservation efforts coupled with an interest in keeping them as pets have increased their numbers. This has led to better awareness of their dietary needs, especially when kept as pets.
Studies looking into stomachs of many wild specimens over seasons have found pollen aggregates, berries and other fruits, insects, worms, other lizards and their hatchlings, and some young rodents in them. These are almost always consumed live.
The list of insects includes:
- Banana, Lobster, dubia, domino, discoid roaches
- Butterflies and Moths
- Stick insects
You can also feed other animals like small vertebrates’ remains to your pet gecko. If it loves fruits, you have several options like Pear, Grapes, Mango, Banana, Strawberry, Fig, Watermelon, Dates, etc.
Geckos are well adapted to do so with their sticky feet and long, sticky tongues that stretch out at incredible speeds and capture their prey whole before they can get away.
These geckos live longer in captivity but also aren’t as active in the wild. Thus, their diet has to be tailored to suit their needs accordingly.
One can feed them the wild food mentioned above, if possible. Or everyday foods the Gecko can eat too can be tried.
It’s always advised to consult the vet before trying something new for your pet Crested Gecko. Your pet might even have a condition that will prevent it from having certain types of food, even if it is part of a regular diet.
Alternatively, you could go for premix powders. These are made specifically to feed geckos and are available in many pet stores that cater to such pets. These are the dried remains of insects, fruits, and other edible stuff that your Gecko will like that have been powdered and mixed together.
You only need to add water and stir it before feeding it to your Gecko. It will contain all the nutrition that your Gecko will need to survive well. Choose a brand that offers the best nutritional value.
Importantly, always make sure there’s sufficient water for it.
Timing and Proportion
Geckos in the wild will have to keep moving for food, save themselves from predators, or find mates and shelters to lay their eggs in. All this activity keeps them from becoming overweight, which is the opposite of being in captivity.
It’s this important that you check with the vet about its diet before starting a regimen. Once started, you must stick to it stringently. The timing and amount of food to give, besides the type, must be just right. Keeping the Gecko away from flies, preferably in a box with good airflow, is also a good idea.
They can go without food for about two-three weeks. So, if yours is not eating by the end of the month, consult a vet.
The Crested Gecko can be a beloved pet to behold, and with the correct diet, it will live long and continue to give joy to you as well.