Housing, Feeding, and Owning a Golden Gecko

18th Feb 2015

For a limited time only, use the coupon code " GoldenGecko" and receive 20% off your all Dubia and Orange Heads.

If you had a cat or dog to take care of, your life might feel a little easier right about now. But that Golden Gecko that’s your responsibility? That pet feels like a lot more work, a lot more to know, and a lot more to keep in mind than any other kind of pet that you can imagine. In reality though, once you familiarize yourself with how to care for and house your Golden Gecko, you’ll learn that having a gecko for a pet isn’t so hard and is absolutely worth the learning curve.

Why are Golden Geckos harder to take care of than a dog or cat? Partially, familiarity: since they aren’t as popular of a pet in the U.S. compared to some other animals, many people just haven’t encountered a Gecko before and just don’t know what to expect. Partially though, a Golden Gecko is harder to take care of than many other animals because Geckos are an exoctic and fragile species that require special care and housing considerations. Read on for tips on treating your Golden Gecko right!

Housing a Golden Gecko

Golden Geckos, which can measure up to eight inches long for fully developed males, have some very particular housing requirements. First, since they can grow fairly large compared to many reptiles and amphibians that are kept for pets, they will need a relatively large tank. A 20 gallon terrarium is considered sufficient. However, if you have the space and funding consider a larger tank: Golden Geckos are very active and need room to run around!

Additionally, Golden Geckos are accustomed to getting a lot of their exercise through climbing when in their natural environment, and if your housing allows your Gecko room to climb you are bound to have a happier pet. Consider looking for an especially tall terrarium. Also, installing climbing poles is a good idea. Even better, consider providing a live plant and some branches, drift wood, and other more life like materials for your Gecko’s enjoyment. By filling their tank with places to hide and climb, you are replicating the Golden Gecko’s natural environment, and you will have a happier pet as a result.

Golden Gecko Accessories

In addition to providing your Gecko with places to climb and hide, there are a few other things that you should consider installing in your pet’s living area. A small and very shallow water bowl is appropriate (just remember to change the water every day to keep your Gecko’s drinking supply fresh.) And again, make sure that your Gecko has somewhere to hide, and consider installing clay pots and specially designed reptile hide zones to meet this need.

Very importantly for your Gecko’s health, you will need to choose the right “substrate,” or ground level dirt replicating material, for your terrarium. The perfect Golden Gecko substrate is one that retains moisture well. But don’t be tempted to go and collect some moss or other natural substrate, as these materials can often have organisms living in them that will harm your Gecko. Instead, go for reptile bark or shredded coconut fiber lizard bedding.

Finally, your Gecko’s living environment will need a heat source to ensure that your pet remains healthy. During daytime hours, your Golden Gecko will need to have a constant temperature of 74-90 degrees Fahrenheit in their terrarium. But this is where things get tricky: at night, your Golden Gecko can only handle temperatures in the 70-75 degrees range, so you will need an adjustable heat source with a thermometer to make sure that temperatures remain where they should. Heat can be provided by a ceramic heating element or a special reptile heat lamp, but make sure that wherever your heat source is, it isn’t easy for your Geckos to climb and reach the heat, as these athletic climbing wonders are susceptible to burn injuries.

Golden Geckos and Humidity

Since they live in very wet environments in the wild, your Golden Gecko will need a moderate to high humidity level in their living environment. Your will want to aim for 60-80 percent relative humidity. Don’t worry too much about what that means, just get a well tuned hygrometer. This special tool will allow you to monitor humidity levels, and adjust your Golden Gecko’s living environment as needed. This is a VERY important thing to consider, so please don’t skimp on a hygrometer, or your Gecko will suffer.

Providing regular misting is the best way to regulated humidity for a variety of reasons. First, the moist air will simulate a Gecko’s natural environment well. More importantly though, Golden Geckos drink a majority of their water intake in the form of water droplets left on leaves, and moist air means your Gecko won’t be thirsty. You can get an automatic, programmable mister to help keep your Gecko’s tank moist, just make sure that it isn’t in a place where your Gecko can climb to easily. These curious creatures really do love to climb everywhere, and you will want to make sure your mister isn’t tampered with by rambunctious reptiles!

Feeding Your Golden Gecko

As tropical reptiles, your Golden Geckos have a slightly more varied diet than some pets. Mostly though, your Gecko will be interested in eating small to medium insects. Crickets and Dubia Roaches are a Golden Gecko’s favorite snack, and they are very easy to get your hands on at almost any pet store. Additionally, your Gecko may like  waxwormsmealwormsroaches, moths, and silkworms. Most tropically occurring insects will make good Gecko snacks.

But don’t stop there: your Golden Gecko is omnivorous and will enjoy tropical fruits from time to time as well. Try offering your pet a mashed up banana, or a piece of mango, or even a fruity bay food. If your Gecko likes to eat fruit, you can feed them fruit somewhat often. Just remember to swap in crickets from time to time as well so your pet gets a balanced diet.

Unfortunately for concerned pet owners, Golden Geckos can be notoriously finicky eaters. Your Gecko’s appetite will depend in large part on its larger health portrait, so make sure that heat and humidity conditions remain stable and appropriate, and that your Gecko has room to play. If your pet really isn’t hungry, try something different than what you usually feed. Also, consider a non standard feeding schedule.

This technique is recommended for Golden Geckos, in order to keep these reptiles interested in their food source. To feed on a non-standard feeding schedule, construct something of a random calendar for skipping feeding days. For example, feed your Gecko one day, skip the next, and then feed your gecko two days in a row. Just make sure your Golden Gecko doesn’t go for more than a day and a half or so without food. And when your Gecko does have an appetite, keep introducing a food source until your pet loses interest in that feeding session, as you want your Gecko to be able to get it’s fill when it is hungry!

Other Things to Consider When Owning a Golden Gecko

While the details above give you a good introduction to what it takes to feed and house your Golden Gecko, this amazing reptilian pet has a lot of other needs. Here are a few other things you should consider when owning a Golden Gecko.

First, male Geckos are very territorial. It is almost never a good idea to keep multiple male Geckos in one living environment. Multiple females usually do better together, just make sure that they have a very large terrarium and lots of places to hide, as they can be shy and you don’t want to force interaction. Geckos will become aggressive with each other, even females, if there aren’t adequate hiding and running places in your terrarium.

Second, your Golden Gecko probably doesn’t want to be held very much. Naturally, these Geckos have very delicate skin, and handling them often isn’t in their best health interest. Also, Golden Geckos have a reputation for biting when they are under stress, and often will not remain calm while being handled. Finally, they are very skittish, and you probably won’t be able to pick one up without putting your Gecko in danger of being dropped or otherwise hurt. Just leave them to play, and don’t pick up your Gecko often if you can help it.

The Bottom Line

Golden Geckos aren’t the easiest animal to take care of. First off, it is very important that their terrariums have proper humidity and temperature conditions, and you will need some tools and equipment to make sure these conditions are met. Second, they have a very specific diet and can be finicky eaters, so feeding your Gecko can be a point of stress. However, if you do everything you can to make sure your Gecko remains healthy, they are delightfully playful and athletic reptiles, and will be a great and rewarding pet. Just do your part as a responsible owner, and you're Golden Gecko will be a source of a lot of joy and entertainment. 

For a limited time only, use the coupon code " GoldenGecko" and receive 20% off your all Dubia and Orange Heads.

{"customer_id": "", "items":[ ], "quantity": "0", "show_primary_checkout_button": "0", "show_multiple_address_shipping": "", "discount": {"value":"", "formatted": ""}, "sub_total": {"value":"0", "formatted": "$0.00"}, "grand_total": {"value":"0", "formatted": "$0.00"}, "coupons": [ ], "taxes":[ ], "shipping_handling": { "handling_cost": {"value":"", "formatted": ""}, "show_estimator": "true", "selected_state": "", "selected_zip": "", "selected_city": "", "shipping_cost": {"value":"", "formatted": ""}, "provider": "", "show_estimator": "true", "countries": [ ], "states": [ ] }, "gift_certificates":[ ]}