How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Food?

How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Food?

 

How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Food? How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Food?

Crested geckos are fascinating creatures that have become popular pets in recent years. They are native to New Caledonia, a group of islands in the South Pacific, where they live in humid forests. They have distinctive features, such as eyelashes, crests, and sticky toes, that make them unique and adorable.

But how long can crested geckos go without food? And what are the factors that affect their appetite? These are important questions to ask if you want to keep your crested gecko healthy and happy.

In this article, we will answer these questions and provide you with some useful tips on how to care for your crested gecko. Here are the key takeaways:

  • Crested geckos can go without food for up to three weeks, but this is not a healthy or sustainable practice.
  • Crested geckos may stop eating due to stress, illness, shedding, or seasonal changes.
  • Crested geckos need a balanced and diverse diet, including live insects, fruit, and commercially available crested gecko diets.
  • Crested geckos also need clean and fresh water daily, and a humid environment to prevent dehydration.
  • Crested geckos should be monitored for their food intake and weight, and consulted with a vet if they show signs of poor health.

 

How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Food?

Crested geckos are omnivorous animals, meaning they eat both plant and animal matter. In the wild, they feed on a variety of insects, fruits, nectar, and pollen. In captivity, they can be fed with live insects, fruit, and commercially available crested gecko diets (CGD).

But how long can crested geckos go without food? The answer is: it depends.

Crested geckos can survive for up to three weeks without food, but this is not a healthy or recommended practice. Going without food for too long can cause serious health problems, such as weight loss, muscle loss, organ damage, and even death.

Crested geckos may stop eating for various reasons, such as:

  • Stress: Crested geckos are sensitive animals that can get stressed by changes in their environment, such as temperature, humidity, lighting, noise, or cage mates. Stress can affect their appetite and digestion, and make them more prone to infections and diseases.
  • Illness: Crested geckos may stop eating if they are sick or injured. Some common health issues that can affect crested geckos are parasites, infections, impaction, metabolic bone disease (MBD), and mouth rot. If your crested gecko shows signs of illness, such as lethargy, drooling, swelling, or discharge, you should take it to a vet as soon as possible.
  • Shedding: Crested geckos shed their skin regularly, usually every few weeks. During this time, they may lose their appetite and hide more. This is normal and temporary, and they should resume eating after they finish shedding. You can help your crested gecko shed by misting its enclosure and providing a moist hide.
  • Seasonal changes: Crested geckos may experience seasonal changes in their appetite and activity, depending on the photoperiod (the length of daylight) and temperature. In the winter, when the days are shorter and cooler, crested geckos may eat less and sleep more. This is called brumation, and it is a natural response to conserve energy. In the spring and summer, when the days are longer and warmer, crested geckos may eat more and be more active. This is especially true during the breeding season, when they need more energy and nutrients.

The table below summarizes how long can crested geckos go without food under different scenarios:

Scenario Duration Explanation
Normal 2-3 days Crested geckos do not need to eat every day, and can skip a meal or two without any problem.
Stress 1-2 weeks Crested geckos may stop eating due to stress, but they should resume eating once the stressor is removed or reduced.
Illness 1-2 weeks Crested geckos may stop eating due to illness, but they should be treated by a vet and given supportive care.
Shedding 3-5 days Crested geckos may stop eating during shedding, but they should resume eating after they finish shedding.
Seasonal changes 2-3 weeks Crested geckos may stop eating due to seasonal changes, but they should resume eating when the conditions change.
Starvation 3-4 weeks Crested geckos can survive without food for up to a month, but this is not healthy or advisable.

As you can see, crested geckos can go without food for a long time, but this is not a good idea. Crested geckos need a balanced and diverse diet to thrive and prevent health problems.

How to Feed a Crested Gecko

So, how should you feed your crested gecko? Here are some guidelines and tips on how to provide a proper diet for your crested gecko:

  • Live insects: Live insects are a great source of protein, calcium, and other nutrients for your crested gecko. You should feed your crested gecko with live insects 2-3 times a week, depending on its age and size. The insects should be gut-loaded (fed with nutritious food) and dusted with calcium and vitamin D3 supplements before feeding. The insects should also be appropriate for the size of your crested gecko, and not larger than the space between its eyes. Some suitable insects for crested geckos are crickets, roaches, mealworms, waxworms, and silkworms. You can offer the insects in a shallow dish or let them roam freely in the enclosure, but make sure to remove any uneaten insects after a few hours.
  • Fruit: Fruit is a great source of carbohydrates, vitamins, and antioxidants for your crested gecko. You should feed your crested gecko with fruit 2-3 times a week, alternating with live insects. The fruit should be fresh, ripe, and chopped into small pieces. You can also mash or puree the fruit and offer it in a shallow dish. Some suitable fruits for crested geckos are bananas, mangoes, papayas, peaches, apricots, figs, and berries. You can also mix different fruits to create a fruit salad for your crested gecko. You should avoid fruits that are too acidic, such as citrus fruits, or too watery, such as melons, as they can cause digestive problems or diarrhea.
  • Commercially available crested gecko diets (CGD): CGD are specially formulated products that provide a complete and balanced diet for your crested gecko. They are convenient, easy to use, and have a long shelf life. You should feed your crested gecko with CGD 2-3 times a week, alternating with live insects and fruit. The CGD should be mixed with water according to the instructions on the package, and offered in a shallow dish. You should replace the CGD every 24 hours, or sooner if it dries out or gets contaminated. Some reputable brands of CGD for crested geckos are Repashy, Pangea, Zoo Med, and Arcadia.

The table below summarizes how to feed a crested gecko under different scenarios:

Scenario Frequency Food Options
Baby (0-6 months) Daily Live insects (small) + CGD
Juvenile (6-12 months) Every other day Live insects (medium) + CGD + Fruit
Adult (12+ months) 2-3 times a week Live insects (large) + CGD + Fruit

 

How Long Can Crested Geckos Go Without Water?

Water is essential for all living beings, and crested geckos are no exception. Water helps regulate the body temperature, transport nutrients and oxygen, flush out toxins, and lubricate the joints and eyes of crested geckos.

But how long can crested geckos go without water? The answer is: not very long.

Crested geckos can survive for up to three days without water, but this can lead to severe dehydration and health problems. Dehydration can cause symptoms such as sunken eyes, wrinkled skin, lethargy, loss of appetite, and reduced urination and defecation. Dehydration can also affect the blood pressure, heart rate, and kidney function of crested geckos, and increase the risk of infections and diseases.

Crested geckos may stop drinking water for various reasons, such as:

  • Lack of access: Crested geckos may not have access to clean and fresh water if their water dish is empty, dirty, or hard to reach. You should check and refill the water dish daily, and clean it regularly to prevent bacteria and algae growth. You should also use a shallow and wide water dish that is easy for your crested gecko to access and drink from.
  • Lack of humidity: Crested geckos may not drink enough water if their enclosure is too dry or has poor ventilation. Crested geckos are used to humid environments, and they absorb water through their skin and mouth. You should maintain the humidity level of the enclosure between 50% and 80%, and mist the enclosure regularly to create droplets that your crested gecko can lick. You should also use a hygrometer to measure the humidity level, and a fan or an air conditioner to improve the air circulation.
  • Lack of preference: Crested geckos may not like the taste or smell of the water that you provide. Crested geckos are sensitive to chemicals and contaminants that may be present in tap water, such as chlorine, fluoride, or metals. You should use filtered, bottled, or distilled water for your crested gecko, and avoid using mineral or spring water that may have high levels of calcium or other minerals.

The table below summarizes how long can crested geckos go without water under different scenarios:

Scenario Duration Explanation
Normal Daily Crested geckos need to drink water daily, either from a water dish or from misting.
Lack of access 1-2 days Crested geckos may not have access to water if their water dish is empty, dirty, or hard to reach.
Lack of humidity 1-2 days Crested geckos may not drink enough water if their enclosure is too dry or has poor ventilation.
Lack of preference 1-2 days Crested geckos may not like the taste or smell of the water that you provide.
Dehydration 3-4 days Crested geckos can survive without water for up to four days, but this can cause serious health problems.

 

How to Supplement a Crested Gecko

Supplements are an important part of crested gecko care, as they provide essential minerals and vitamins that may be lacking in their diet. Supplements can help prevent and treat common health problems, such as metabolic bone disease (MBD), which is caused by calcium deficiency or imbalance.

But how should you supplement your crested gecko? Here are some guidelines and tips on how to provide proper supplements for your crested gecko:

  • Calcium: Calcium is a vital mineral for crested geckos, as it helps build and maintain strong bones, teeth, and nails. Calcium deficiency can cause MBD, which can result in deformities, fractures, and paralysis. You should supplement your crested gecko with calcium 2-3 times a week, by dusting the insects or fruit with calcium powder before feeding. You should also use calcium with vitamin D3, which helps the body absorb and use calcium. Some reputable brands of calcium with vitamin D3 for crested geckos are Rep-Cal, Zoo Med, and Exo Terra.
  • Vitamin D3: Vitamin D3 is a vital vitamin for crested geckos, as it helps regulate the calcium and phosphorus levels in the body. Vitamin D3 deficiency can also cause MBD, as well as immune system problems and infections. You should supplement your crested gecko with vitamin D3 2-3 times a week, by dusting the insects or fruit with vitamin D3 powder before feeding. You should also use vitamin D3 with calcium, as they work together to prevent and treat MBD. Some reputable brands of vitamin D3 with calcium for crested geckos are Rep-Cal, Zoo Med, and Exo Terra.
  • Multivitamins: Multivitamins are a good way to provide a variety of vitamins and minerals for your crested gecko, such as vitamin A, vitamin C, vitamin E, iron, zinc, and magnesium. Multivitamins can help boost the overall health and well-being of your crested gecko, and prevent deficiencies and diseases. You should supplement your crested gecko with multivitamins once a week, by dusting the insects or fruit with multivitamin powder before feeding. You should also use multivitamins that are specially formulated for reptiles, and avoid human or dog multivitamins, as they may contain harmful ingredients or incorrect dosages. Some reputable brands of multivitamins for crested geckos are Repashy, Pangea, and Herptivite.

The table below summarizes how to supplement a crested gecko under different scenarios:

Scenario Frequency Supplement Options
Normal 2-3 times a week Calcium with vitamin D3
Normal Once a week Multivitamins
MBD Daily Calcium with vitamin D3 + Vet consultation

 

How to Handle a Crested Gecko

Handling a crested gecko can be a rewarding and enjoyable experience, as it allows you to bond with your pet and observe its behavior and personality. Handling a crested gecko can also help socialize and tame it, and make it more comfortable and confident around you.

But how should you handle your crested gecko? Here are some guidelines and tips on how to handle your crested gecko safely and gently:

  • Wash your hands: You should wash your hands before and after handling your crested gecko, to prevent the transmission of germs and diseases. You should also avoid using any perfumes, lotions, or chemicals on your hands, as they may irritate or harm your crested gecko. You should also remove any jewelry or accessories that may snag or scratch your crested gecko.
  • Support the body and the tail: You should handle your crested gecko with both hands, and support its body and tail. You should avoid grabbing, squeezing, or pulling your crested gecko, as this may hurt or scare it. You should also avoid touching or holding its head, as this may stress or anger it. You should let your crested gecko walk or jump from one hand to another, and follow its movements. You should also be careful not to drop or lose your crested gecko, as it may injure itself or escape.
  • Avoid the tail: You should avoid touching or holding the tail of your crested gecko, as this may trigger its defense mechanism of tail autotomy, which means dropping the tail to escape a predator. The tail will grow back, but it will not look the same, and it will take a lot of energy and nutrients from your crested gecko. You should also avoid stressing or startling your crested gecko, as this may also cause it to drop its tail. If your crested gecko does drop its tail, you should keep the wound clean and prevent infection, and provide extra food and water to help it recover.
  • Limit the duration and frequency: You should handle your crested gecko only when necessary, and only for a short time. You should limit the handling to 10-15 minutes per session, and 2-3 times a week. You should also avoid handling your crested gecko during the day, when it is sleeping, or during shedding, when it is sensitive. You should handle your crested gecko in the evening, when it is awake and active, and after feeding, when it is full and calm.

The table below summarizes how to handle a crested gecko under different scenarios:

Scenario Duration Frequency Tips
Normal 10-15 minutes 2-3 times a week Wash your hands, support the body and the tail, avoid the tail, handle in the evening
Stress 5 minutes or less Once a week or less Reduce the handling, identify and eliminate the stressor, monitor the behavior and health
Illness 5 minutes or less Once a week or less Reduce the handling, consult a vet, provide supportive care
Shedding No handling No handling Do not handle during shedding, mist the enclosure, provide a moist hide
Tail loss No handling No handling Do not handle until the wound heals, keep the wound clean, provide extra food and water

FAQs

Here are some frequently asked questions about crested geckos and their food and water needs:

  • How often should I feed my crested gecko? You should feed your crested gecko 2-3 times a week, alternating between live insects, fruit, and CGD. The amount and frequency of feeding may vary depending on the age, size, and activity level of your crested gecko. You can use a digital scale to weigh your crested gecko and adjust the feeding accordingly. A healthy adult crested gecko should weigh between 35 and 50 grams.
  • Do crested geckos poop? Yes, crested geckos do poop, and their poop can tell you a lot about their health and diet. Crested gecko poop consists of two parts: a brown or black solid part, and a white or yellowish liquid part. The solid part is the waste from the food, and the liquid part is the urate, which is the equivalent of urine. Crested gecko poop should be firm, moist, and well-formed, and the urate should be white or pale yellow. If the poop is too dry, hard, or crumbly, it may indicate dehydration or impaction. If the poop is too wet, soft, or runny, it may indicate diarrhea or infection. If the poop is red, green, or orange, it may indicate blood, bile, or parasites. If the urate is dark yellow, brown, or orange, it may indicate dehydration, kidney problems, or liver problems. You should check your crested gecko’s poop regularly, and clean the enclosure to prevent odor and bacteria. You should also consult a vet if you notice any abnormality or change in your crested gecko’s poop.
  • Why do geckos stop eating? Geckos may stop eating due to various reasons, such as stress, illness, shedding, or seasonal changes. You should try to identify and eliminate the cause of the loss of appetite, and monitor your gecko’s weight and behavior. You should also offer a variety of food options, and make sure the food is fresh, clean, and accessible. You should consult a vet if your gecko stops eating for more than two weeks, or shows signs of poor health.
  • How to care for a crested gecko? Crested geckos are relatively easy to care for, but they still require some basic needs to be met. Here are some tips on how to care for a crested gecko:
    • Provide a suitable enclosure that is large enough, secure, and well-ventilated. A 20-gallon tank with a screen lid is ideal for one or two adult crested geckos. You should also provide some substrate, such as paper towels, coco fiber, or reptile carpet, and some hiding places, such as cork bark, plants, or caves.
    • Provide a proper temperature and humidity level for your crested gecko. The temperature should be between 72°F and 82°F, and the humidity should be between 50% and 80%. You should use a thermometer and a hygrometer to measure the temperature and humidity, and a heat lamp or a heat mat to adjust the temperature. You should also mist the enclosure twice a day to maintain the humidity and provide drinking water.
    • Provide a balanced and diverse diet for your crested gecko. You should feed your crested gecko 2-3 times a week, alternating between live insects, fruit, and CGD. You should also provide clean and fresh water daily, and supplement the food with calcium and vitamin D3.
    • Provide a safe and gentle handling for your crested gecko. You should handle your crested gecko only when necessary, and only for a short time. You should wash your hands before and after handling, and support the body and the tail of your crested gecko. You should avoid grabbing, squeezing, or dropping your crested gecko, and respect its mood and personality.

 

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