Gecko care

Does a gecko shed its skin?

Geckos do shed their skin but unlike snakes, a gecko sheds its skin in small pieces. As they grow very rapidly, young geckos will shed their skin almost constantly. This slows down as they reach maturity.

Having access to a damp area — like a hide with damp moss inside or a box with sterilised sand that is dampened daily — can help your gecko shed its skin. A fresh supply of clean water should always be available.

Geckos can sometimes end up with bits of shed skin stuck to their eyes. If this happens, it's important that this is removed quickly in order to avoid permanent damage to the eye.

How often should you clean out a gecko's vivarium?

Your gecko's vivarium should be spot cleaned every day to remove any faeces.

Every three to four weeks the entire vivarium should be emptied and cleaned with a pet-safe disinfectant, along with any cage furniture.

It's important to remember to wash your hands thoroughly after handling your gecko, any of his food or any of the items inside his vivarium.

Do geckos enjoy being handled? 

Geckos will tolerate careful and responsible handling but are unlikely to find the experience enjoyable. They should only be handled by older children and adults as they are very fast movers, making them easy to drop. Never grab a gecko by its tail. Geckos can drop their tail if it is grabbed — this is a defence reaction enabling them to escape predators. The process is unpleasant for the gecko and is bad for its health as the tail also acts as a fat store. The tail will never fully regrow once it has been dropped.

Do geckos bite?

Geckos can bite, but it usually feels more like a pinch — most owners report a leopard gecko's bite does not hurt. Young geckos may bite, but once they realise you are not food and get used to being handled, they should stop doing it.

Can two geckos live together?

Geckos prefer living alone but may tolerate another gecko. Do not put two males together and do not put different species of gecko together. A male and a female are likely to breed and therefore it is not recommended that you put them together either. Two females should be ok but ensure your set-up is big enough to accommodate two geckos. It is not recommended that novice owners keep more than one gecko.

Pet care advice