Are Crested Geckos Good Pets?

Are Crested Geckos Good Pets? A Complete Guide for Reptile Lovers

Crested geckos are one of the most popular and fascinating reptiles in the pet trade. They are known for their unique appearance, easy care, and friendly personality. But are crested geckos good pets for everyone? What are the pros and cons of owning a crested gecko? How do you care for a crested gecko? What are the different types of crested geckos? These are some of the questions that you may have if you are considering getting a crested gecko as a pet.

 

Are Crested Geckos Good Pets? Are Crested Geckos Good Pets?

In this article, we will answer all these questions and more. We will provide you with a comprehensive guide on everything you need to know about crested geckos as pets. We will also show you some of the best resources and tips to help you make the most of your crested gecko experience. By the end of this article, you will have a clear idea of whether crested geckos are good pets for you and how to take care of them properly.

Key takeaways:

  • Crested geckos are good pets for many reasons, such as their appearance, variety, personality, and simplicity.
  • Crested geckos have pros and cons as pets, such as their low maintenance, long lifespan, and calm temperament, but also their fragility, nocturnal habits, and tail loss.
  • Crested geckos are suitable for different age groups, but they require proper handling and supervision, especially for young children.
  • Crested geckos are easy to care for, but they need a suitable enclosure, diet, and health care to thrive.
  • Crested geckos come in many colors and patterns, called morphs, and they can be chosen based on your preference and budget.

Crested Geckos as Pets: Pros and Cons

Crested geckos are one of the best pet reptiles for many different people. They have many advantages and disadvantages as pets, and you should weigh them carefully before deciding to get one. Here are some of the pros and cons of crested geckos as pets:

Pros

  • Low maintenance: Crested geckos are easy to keep and do not require a lot of equipment or attention. They do not need any special lighting, heating, or UVB, as they are adapted to moderate temperatures and low light. They also do not need a large enclosure, as they are small and arboreal. They can be fed with a commercial crested gecko diet, which is a complete and balanced food that contains all the nutrients they need. They only need fresh water and occasional insects as treats. They also do not need frequent cleaning, as they are very clean and produce little waste.
  • Long lifespan: Crested geckos can live up to 15 to 20 years in captivity with proper care and conditions. This means that you can enjoy a long and rewarding relationship with your crested gecko, and watch them grow and change over time. However, this also means that you should be prepared to commit to your crested gecko for a long time, and provide them with a stable and consistent environment.
  • Calm temperament: Crested geckos are generally docile and friendly animals that can tolerate a moderate amount of handling. They are not aggressive or territorial, and they rarely bite. They are also curious and intelligent, and they can recognize their owners and show affection. They can be handled gently and carefully, and they will usually sit on your hand or shoulder without jumping or escaping. However, they can also be shy and nervous, and they may need some time to get used to you and your environment.

Cons

  • Fragility: Crested geckos are delicate and sensitive animals that can be easily injured or stressed. They have thin skin and bones, and they can suffer from cuts, bruises, fractures, infections, and parasites. They also have a defense mechanism called tail autotomy, which means that they can drop their tail when they feel threatened or scared. The tail will not grow back, and the wound can get infected if not treated properly. They also need a humid and clean environment, as they can get dehydrated and sick if the humidity is too low or the enclosure is dirty.
  • Nocturnal habits: Crested geckos are nocturnal animals, which means that they are active at night and sleep during the day. This can make them less visible and interactive for some owners, who may prefer a diurnal pet that is awake and alert during the day. It can also make them more sensitive to noise and light, which can disturb their sleep cycle and cause stress. They also need a regular day and night cycle, which can be achieved by using a timer or a natural light source.
  • Variability: Crested geckos are highly variable animals, which means that they can differ in many aspects, such as their size, color, pattern, personality, and behavior. This can make them more interesting and diverse, but also more unpredictable and inconsistent. You may not get the exact crested gecko that you want or expect, and you may have to adapt to their individual needs and preferences. You may also have to deal with some challenges, such as picky eating, shedding problems, or breeding issues.

Crested Geckos for Adults and Children

Crested geckos are suitable pets for different age groups, but they have different requirements and expectations depending on the owner’s age and experience. Here are some of the things that you should consider if you are an adult or a child who wants to get a crested gecko as a pet:

Adults

  • Responsibility: As an adult, you are responsible for your crested gecko’s well-being and happiness. You should be able to provide them with a suitable enclosure, diet, and health care, and monitor their condition and behavior regularly. You should also be able to handle them properly and safely, and respect their needs and boundaries. You should also be aware of the legal and ethical aspects of owning a crested gecko, such as the permits, regulations, and conservation issues that may apply in your area.
  • Lifestyle: As an adult, you have a certain lifestyle and schedule that may affect your crested gecko’s care and interaction. You should be able to balance your work, family, and social obligations with your crested gecko’s needs and expectations. You should also be able to accommodate your crested gecko’s nocturnal habits, and provide them with a quiet and dark place to sleep during the day. You should also be able to travel with your crested gecko or find a reliable pet sitter if you need to leave them for a long time.
  • Fun: As an adult, you can have a lot of fun and enjoyment with your crested gecko. You can appreciate their beauty, variety, and personality, and learn more about their natural history and behavior. You can also bond with your crested gecko and develop a trusting and loving relationship with them. You can also share your crested gecko experience with other people, such as your friends, family, or online community, and get support and advice from other crested gecko enthusiasts.

Children

  • Supervision: As a child, you need adult supervision and guidance when you get a crested gecko as a pet. You should not get a crested gecko without your parent’s or guardian’s permission and approval, and you should always follow their rules and instructions. You should also ask for their help and advice when you need to set up, maintain, or clean your crested gecko’s enclosure, or when you need to feed, handle, or treat your crested gecko. You should also respect your adult’s decision and responsibility, and not pressure them to get a crested gecko if they are not ready or willing.
  • Education: As a child, you can learn a lot from your crested gecko as a pet. You can improve your knowledge, skills, and values, and develop a sense of curiosity, responsibility, and empathy. You can learn about the biology, ecology, and evolution of crested geckos, and how they are adapted to their environment and interact with other animals and plants. You can also learn how to care for your crested gecko, and how to handle them gently and respectfully. You can also learn how to appreciate and respect the diversity and uniqueness of crested geckos, and how to protect and conserve them and their habitat.
  • Entertainment: As a child, you can have a lot of fun and excitement with your crested gecko as a pet. You can watch them move, explore, and display their amazing features and behaviors, and marvel at their appearance, variety, and personality. You can also play with your crested gecko and enjoy their company and affection. You can also share your crested gecko experience with other people, such as your friends, family, or classmates, and show them your crested gecko and tell them about them.

 

How to Care for Your Crested Gecko

Crested geckos are easy to care for, but they need a suitable enclosure, diet, and health care to thrive. Here are some of the basic requirements and tips on how to care for your crested gecko:

Enclosure

  • Size: Crested geckos need a vertical enclosure that is at least 18 inches tall, 12 inches wide, and 12 inches deep for one adult. You can use a glass terrarium, a plastic tub, or a mesh cage, as long as it has a secure lid and ventilation. You can house more than one crested gecko in the same enclosure, but you should avoid housing two males together, as they can fight and injure each other. You should also provide enough space and hiding places for each crested gecko, and monitor their behavior and health regularly.
  • Substrate: Crested geckos need a substrate that can retain moisture and prevent impaction. You can use paper towels, coconut fiber, sphagnum moss, or orchid bark, as long as they are clean and non-toxic. You should avoid using sand, gravel, or wood chips, as they can cause ingestion or infection. You should also change the substrate regularly and remove any waste or debris.
  • Decoration: Crested geckos need decoration that can provide them with hiding, climbing, and resting places. You can use artificial or live plants, such as pothos, philodendron, or bromeliads, as long as they are safe and sturdy. You can also use branches, vines, cork bark, or bamboo, as long as they are clean and secure. You should avoid using sharp or unstable objects, such as rocks, metal, or glass, as they can injure or stress your crested gecko.
  • Humidity: Crested geckos need a humidity level of 60 to 80 percent, as they are native to humid tropical forests. You can maintain the humidity by misting the enclosure with water once or twice a day, depending on the ambient humidity and temperature. You can also use a humidifier, a fogger, or a waterfall, as long as they are clean and functional. You should avoid letting the enclosure get too wet or too dry, as it can cause dehydration or mold. You should also use a hygrometer to measure the humidity and adjust it accordingly.
  • Temperature: Crested geckos need a temperature range of 72 to 80 degrees Fahrenheit during the day, and 65 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit during the night, as they are adapted to moderate temperatures. You can maintain the temperature by using a room heater, a heat mat, or a ceramic heat emitter, as long as they are controlled by a thermostat and do not overheat the enclosure. You should avoid using a heat lamp, a heat rock, or a basking light, as they can cause burns or stress. You should also use a thermometer to measure the temperature and adjust it accordingly.
  • Lighting: Crested geckos do not need any special lighting, as they are nocturnal and do not need UVB. You can use a natural light source, such as a window or a skylight, or an artificial light source, such as a LED or a fluorescent bulb, as long as they provide a regular day and night cycle of 12 hours each. You should avoid using a bright or direct light source, such as a halogen or a incandescent bulb, as they can cause eye damage or stress. You should also use a timer or a dimmer to regulate the lighting and mimic the natural cycle.

Diet

  • Commercial diet: Crested geckos can be fed with a commercial crested gecko diet, which is a complete and balanced food that contains all the nutrients they need. You can use a powder, a paste, or a pellet, as long as they are fresh and high-quality. You should follow the instructions on the package and mix the food with water to the right consistency. You should offer the food in a shallow and clean dish, and remove any leftovers after 24 hours. You should feed your crested gecko every other day, and adjust the amount and frequency according to their age, size, and activity level.
  • Insects: Crested geckos can also be fed with insects, such as crickets, roaches, or worms, as treats or supplements. You can use live or frozen insects, as long as they are gut-loaded and dusted with calcium and vitamin powder. You should offer the insects in a small and escape-proof container, and remove any uneaten insects after 15 minutes. You should feed your crested gecko insects once or twice a week, and adjust the number and size according to their appetite and preference.
  • Fruit: Crested geckos can also be fed with fruit, such as banana, mango, or papaya, as treats or supplements. You can use fresh or dried fruit, as long as they are ripe and organic. You should chop the fruit into small and bite-sized pieces, and offer them in a small and clean dish. You should feed your crested gecko fruit once or twice a week, and adjust the type and amount according to their taste and tolerance.

Health care

  • Check-up: Crested geckos need a regular check-up by a qualified and experienced reptile veterinarian, at least once a year or more if needed. You should take your crested gecko to the vet for a physical examination, a fecal test, a blood test, or any other procedure that may be necessary to assess their health and prevent or treat any disease or disorder. You should also consult your vet if you notice any signs or symptoms of illness or injury, such as weight loss, lethargy, appetite loss, diarrhea, vomiting, dehydration, swelling, bleeding, or infection.
  • Quarantine: Crested geckos need a quarantine period when they are new or introduced to another crested gecko, at least for 30 days or more if needed. You should keep your crested gecko in a separate and isolated enclosure, and monitor their condition and behavior daily. You should also avoid any contact or interaction with other crested geckos or animals, and use different equipment and utensils for each crested gecko. You should also disinfect and sanitize your hands and clothes before and after handling your crested gecko, and follow any other precautions that may be necessary to prevent or reduce the risk of transmission or infection.
  • Hygiene: Crested geckos need a good hygiene to keep them clean and healthy. You should clean and disinfect your crested gecko’s enclosure, substrate, decoration, and dishes at least once a month or more if needed. You should also remove any waste or debris daily, and change the water daily. You should also bathe your crested gecko occasionally, by gently wiping them with a damp cloth or cotton swab, or by soaking them in a shallow and lukewarm water for 10 minutes. You should also trim your crested gecko’s nails occasionally, by using a nail clipper or a file, or by letting them wear them down naturally.

Crested Gecko Morphs

Crested geckos come in many colors and patterns, called morphs, and they can be chosen based on your preference and budget. Here are some of the main types and examples of crested gecko morphs:

Base color

  • Yellow: Crested geckos with a yellow base color can range from light to dark, and from solid to patterned. They can also have red, orange, or brown markings or spots. Some examples of yellow crested geckos are lemon frost, sunburst, and banana.
  • Orange: Crested geckos with an orange base color can range from light to dark, and from solid to patterned. They can also have red, yellow, or brown markings or spots. Some examples of orange crested geckos are tangerine, creamsicle, and carrot head.
  • Red: Crested geckos with a red base color can range from light to dark, and from solid to patterned. They can also have yellow, orange, or brown markings or spots. Some examples of red crested geckos are fire, flame, and harlequin.
  • Brown: Crested geckos with a brown base color can range from light to dark, and from solid to patterned. They can also have yellow, orange, or red markings or spots. Some examples of brown crested geckos are chocolate, mocha, and latte.
  • Gray: Crested geckos with a gray base color can range from light to dark, and from solid to patterned. They can also have yellow, orange, or red markings or spots. Some examples of gray crested geckos are ash, slate, and granite.
  • Black: Crested geckos with a black base color can range from light to dark, and from solid to patterned. They can also have yellow, orange, or red markings or spots. Some examples of black crested geckos are charcoal, ink, and ebony.

Pattern

  • Solid: Crested geckos with a solid pattern have a uniform and consistent color throughout their body, without any markings or spots. They can also change their color slightly depending on their mood, temperature, or lighting. Some examples of solid crested geckos are yellow, orange, red, brown, gray, and black.
  • Patterned: Crested geckos with a patterned pattern have different colors or shades on their body, creating various markings or spots. They can have different types and combinations of patterns, such as stripes, spots, flames, harlequins, pinstripes, dalmatians, and tricolors. Some examples of patterned crested geckos are lemon frost, sunburst, fire, flame, harlequin, chocolate, mocha, latte, ash, slate, and granite.

Price

  • Cheap: Crested geckos with a cheap price are usually common or basic morphs, such as solid or simple patterned crested geckos. They can cost anywhere from $25 to $100, depending on their quality and breeder. They are usually easy to find and available in most pet stores or online platforms. They are also usually healthy and hardy, and suitable for beginners or budget-conscious owners. Some examples of cheap crested geckos are yellow, orange, red, brown, gray, and black.
  • Expensive: Crested geckos with an expensive price are usually rare or complex morphs, such as patterned or multicolored crested geckos. They can cost anywhere from $100 to $500 or more, depending on their rarity and quality. They are usually hard to find and available only from reputable or specialized breeders. They are also usually more attractive and desirable, and suitable for collectors or enthusiasts. Some examples of expensive crested geckos are lemon frost, sunburst, fire, flame, harlequin, chocolate, mocha, latte, ash, slate, and granite.

FAQs

Here are some of the frequently asked questions and answers about crested geckos as pets:

  • Q: How big do crested geckos get as pets?
  • A: Crested geckos can grow up to 8 to 10 inches in length, including their tail, and weigh up to 50 grams. They usually reach their adult size by 18 to 24 months of age, but they can continue to grow slowly throughout their life.
  • Q: How long do crested geckos live as pets?
  • A: Crested geckos can live up to 15 to 20 years in captivity with proper care and conditions. However, their lifespan can vary depending on their genetics, diet, environment, and health.
  • Q: How much do crested geckos cost as pets?
  • A: Crested geckos can cost anywhere from $25 to $500 or more, depending on their morph, quality, and breeder. The average price for a crested gecko is around $50 to $100. However, the initial cost of the crested gecko is not the only expense that you should consider. You should also factor in the cost of the enclosure, substrate, decoration, food, water, supplements, lighting, heating, humidity, hygiene, health care, and any other accessories or services that you may need for your crested gecko.
  • Q: How to handle a crested gecko as a pet?
  • A: Crested geckos can be handled gently and carefully, as long as they are used to it and comfortable with it. You should avoid handling your crested gecko when they are sleeping, shedding, eating, or stressed. You should also wash your hands before and after handling your crested gecko, and use a soft and slow approach. You should support your crested gecko’s body and tail with your hand or fingers, and let them walk or jump from one hand to another. You should also avoid grabbing, squeezing, or pulling your crested gecko, especially their tail, as they can drop it as a defense mechanism. You should also limit your handling time to 10 to 15 minutes per session, and monitor your crested gecko’s behavior and mood during and after handling.
  • Q: How to breed a crested gecko as a pet?
  • A: Crested geckos can be bred easily and successfully, as long as they are healthy, mature, and compatible. You should only breed your crested geckos if you are experienced, prepared, and responsible, and if you have a plan and a market for the offspring. You should also consult your vet and your breeder before breeding your crested geckos, and follow their advice and recommendations. You should provide your crested geckos with a suitable breeding enclosure, diet, and conditions, and introduce them carefully and gradually. You should also monitor their mating behavior and signs, and separate them if they are aggressive or incompatible. You should also provide your female crested gecko with a laying box, where she can deposit her eggs, and incubate them in a separate and controlled container. You should also care for the hatchlings in a separate and appropriate enclosure, and feed them with a suitable diet and supplements.

 

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