Having a leopard gecko goes beyond comfort and safety.
To keep your pet healthy and alive for a long time, you also need to meet up the nutritional requirements of your pet.
If properly taken care of, leopard geckos can live for over 20 years, so what nutritional requirements are necessary for a strong and healthy gecko?
And what is the best food for leopard geckos?
Leopard geckos are insect eaters in the wild.
They eat small and boneless insects like crickets, grasshoppers, worms, and flies.
Some also eat berries but as they are mainly carnivores, the best food for them are insects.
Your aim as a pet parent is to provide the same type of food your pet would eat in the wild so it can benefit from the protein and other nutrients it would get in the wild.
Complete Guide for Best Food for Leopard Geckos
The amount of food you give to your leopard gecko depends on its age and health.
An adult leopard gecko would be fed more than a baby gecko obviously, and a sick pet would have a little difference in nutrition compared to a healthy one.
A baby leopard gecko would be satisfied with 5 to 8 insects a day divided into two.
As they get bigger, their needs would increase and you should also increase the number of insects to 10.
Give them a variety by alternating between insects rich in fat and those rich in protein.
Insects rich in fat will whet their appetite, and the inclusion of calcium supplements and vitamins is also very important.
If you have a sick gecko, feed it with a variety of meals and nutrients constantly until they are healthy again.
This variety of nutrients will help with quick recovery and good health.
If your gecko is however picky, a trick is to feed it with fast-moving insects.
The movement will trigger their instincts to catch the prey and eat.
Baby leopard geckos need to eat regularly as they are still growing, and so you need to feed them every day.
The adults on the other hand can be fed in-between and not necessarily daily.
Note that female leopard geckos need to be fed even more than the males for increased fertility chances.
Their tails are an indicator of the nutrients they are consuming.
They store fats in their tails so you can know when it becomes necessary to increase or decrease the ratio of insects you feed your pet.
To maintain a balanced diet, increase ration when the tail is too slim, and reduce ration when the tail is too fat.
Best Food for Leopard Gecko
Crickets are one of the most popular insects fed to leopard geckos.
This is because they are readily available, easy to gut load, are inexpensive, and most importantly, are nutritious.
You can choose to either catch the crickets yourself or buy them in bulk from the store.
Either way, your leopard gecko would be grateful to you.
When choosing crickets, make sure its length isn’t more than the gecko’s head.
Also, gut loads the crickets for about two days before feeding them to your pet.
Some of the reasons why you should choose crickets over other pets are their activity which stimulates feeding instincts in your gecko.
They are also very easy to gut load and have high protein content compared to fat.
And for convenience, you can get them anywhere for a cheap price.
Mealworms are another popular type of food for your geckos.
They are less noisy unlike crickets and don’t bite your geckos.
They live longer than crickets making them an even better choice for those who love to buy in bulk.
They don’t move much so you can leave them in the food bowl and they will remain there until your leopard gecko eats them.
Mealworms are easy to find, have high protein content, and are very affordable.
They are not noisy and won’t make your life a living hell, plus their long lifespan makes it possible to store a large quantity.
The downside to using mealworms is their lack of active movements which helps to stimulate feeding in geckos.
They also have high-fat content and are not as easy to digest as crickets.
Waxworms are appealing to leopard geckos, but it isn’t healthy as they are high fat and will leave the geckos obese.
So instead of feeding waxworms to your pet regularly, reserve it as a treat and feed it to them once in a while.
You can also use waxworms to whet the appetite of your geckos if they are not eating so they can eat properly.
They are also easy to find and cheap, so it’s convenient to use.
The disadvantage of using waxworms is that they cannot be gut loaded, and so feeding them to your pet would deprive it of many necessary nutrients.
They have short lifespans and smell bad to humans making it uncomfortable to keep close.
4. Dubia Roaches
Dubia roaches are difficult to find hence their high cost, but they are an excellent source of protein for your leopard gecko.
So many pet owners breed the roaches themselves to make it convenient to feed their geckos.
They have low-fat content, so there is no fear of your pet getting obese.
They live for long, can’t fly, and are not noisy, so it’s easy to keep them around.
An important feature with dubia roaches is that they gut load easily, and so you can provide your geckos with all the nutrients they need.
Superworms also referred to as morio worms are popular as food for geckos because of their high calcium content and easy digestion.
They are also convenient to keep as they don’t smell bad, and are not noisy.
Note that superworms can bite the gecko if not eaten, and they don’t gut load properly, so you may not be able to provide your gecko with the proper nutrition.
Silkworms are another great choice of food for leopard geckos.
They are small-sized and perfect to feed juvenile leos, plus their high nutritional content.
They are short-lived and are not suitable for long term storage.
The Best Food for Leopard Geckos
1. Dubia Roaches
First on our list of the best food for leopard gecko are these Dubia Roaches.
They are great for daily consumption as they are high in protein and low in fat, keeping your pet healthy.
They are also easy to gut load, so you can feed them properly so your pet benefits from all its nutrients.
If your pet isn’t eating properly, the quick movements of these roaches can stimulate their hunting and feeding instincts.
Breeding Dubia roaches is fairly easy and as they have a long life, you can consider breeding.
It will save you from the expenses of regular purchases as it’s fairly expensive.
It’ll also be more convenient as these roaches are not the easiest insects to find.
- High protein content
- Quick movements which stimulate feeding behavior in your pet
- Easy to gut load
- Easy to breed
- Not as easy to find
2. Live Mealworms
Mealworms are one of the staple meals to feed your leopard gecko to ensure good health and growth.
They are high in protein, meeting the protein needs of your gecko adequately, but they are also high in fat so you need to be careful.
They are less messy and smelly when compared to other insects, so you can have a good quantity and feed your pet with it without causing much discomfort to yourself.
Mealworms are convenient meals to feed your pet as they are cheap and easy to find.
You can also dust them with vitamin supplement powder to meet up with your pet’s nutritional needs.
Note however that they don’t have active movements and won’t stimulate feeding behavior in your pet.
- Easy to find
- Affordable gecko food
- Not as smelly and discomforting as most insects
- High protein content
- High-fat content
- The slow movement doesn’t stimulate feeding behavior
3. Galleria Mellonella Live Waxworms
Waxworms are one of the favorite insects leopard geckos love to eat, but you shouldn’t give in to this desire.
This is because waxworms are rich in fat with low protein content, meaning too much would lead to obesity.
So use them as treats, or appetizers and only feed your pet every other day.
Check their tails to be sure you are not overfeeding them with fat and regulate the ratio accordingly.
Waxworms are easy to find and very convenient for you.
They are also cheap, so you can always have a good supply handy.
- Very affordable
- Easy to find
- A good appetizer
- Can serve as treats
- High-fat content
- Not easy to gut load
4. Josh’s Frogs ½” Branded Crickets
Crickets are one of the most popular food for leopard geckos.
Their high protein content makes them ideal for everyday feeding of your pet, and their low-fat content ensures a healthy diet.
You can also gut load them easily, so your gecko gets the best in terms of nutrition from every meal.
Since they are easy to find, you will get them at affordable prices, so your pet can stay satisfied without creating a hole in your pocket.
Crickets are noisy and have an unpleasant smell, so you may need to keep them away from your home.
Ensure you secure them properly because they are always looking for ways to escape and can hide very well.
- High protein content
- Low in fat
- Affordable and easy to find
- Easy to gut load
- Loved by leopard geckos
- Have an unpleasant smell
- They are noisy
5. Predator Foods Bulk Live Mealworms
We will conclude this list of the best food for leopard geckos with Predator Foods Bulk Live Mealworms.
Unlike waxworms, these are high in protein and can serve as great staple meals for your leopard gecko.
Their low-fat content and high calcium levels also make them healthy for your pet.
You don’t have to buy small quantities every time as it can get stressful fast.
They are easy to store and to provide better care for your pet, a bulk purchase would be better.
Gut loading them isn’t easy though, so you would need to use other means to ensure your leopard gecko gets the required nutrients in a balanced way.
- High calcium and protein contents
- Low-fat content
- Can be stored for long periods
- It’s expensive
- Difficult to gut load
Feeding Your Leopard Gecko Properly
- Avoid feeding your gecko with the same insect every day but try to make its nutrition a variety. Mix it up with mealworms, crickets, butterworms, and so on.
- Your choice of insects should be greatly influenced by the age of your pet. Feeding your juvenile pet with large insects will only cause trouble. So feed small insects to small pets and bigger insects to adult geckos.
- Don’t feed your pet with a steady supply of insects rich in fat. Reserve such meals as occasional treats to avoid making your pet gain too much weight.
- It’s best to feed your juvenile leopard gecko once a day, preferably in the late afternoon. This is the same time they begin hunting in the wild so they don’t have to adapt to a new lifestyle different from their instincts. Adults don’t have to be fed every day.
- For every inch of your gecko’s length, feed it with two insects of the right size. Try not to overfeed your leo as too much weight is unhealthy.
- Keep fruits and vegetables away from your leopard gecko as they can’t digest cellulose, just insects.
Gut loading refers to feeding the insects with a nutritious diet you can’t feed to your leopard gecko directly, before feeding the insects to your pet.
This way they indirectly benefit from said nutrients.
Since geckos don’t eat anything else other than insects, they rely solely on insects for nutrition.
It’ll be sad to feed your pet with an insect or worm that was probably starving as it won’t add anything to your pet.
So gut loading is a way of ensuring that your pet is having its daily nutritional requirement met.
How to Provide Your Leopard Gecko with Vitamins
Even though leopard geckos are purely insectivores and can’t digest fruits and veggies, they need vitamins such as food provides.
So how can you provide these necessities to your pet to ensure good health? Vitamin supplements are the most common and effective solution to this problem.
They also require vitamin D3 for calcium metabolism, but being nocturnal animals they miss the natural source of D3; sunlight.
So to make up for this deficiency, you will need to introduce vitamin D3 through the diet.
There are many types of vitamin supplements in the market that you can use to provide your pet with everything it needs.
Calcium is another important part of your leopard gecko’s nutrition.
Insects alone won’t provide your reptile buddy with the amount of calcium it needs, and so you need to include it through other means.
Calcium is important as it helps with reproduction and skin shedding.
As important as calcium is, however, observe your pet so you know when to stop to avoid an overdose.
Quality is important in the purchase of these products.
So always check to ensure they are in good condition and of good quality as they will directly impact the health status of your pet.
Things to Look Out for in The Best Food for Leopard Gecko
1. Natural Food
Feed your leopard gecko with more life and fresh food rather than dried or refrigerated food.
This will be of greater benefit to your pet as such food is more nutritious. So check for the state of food before you purchase.
2. Gut Loaded
Gut loading ensures that your leopard gecko gets maximum nutrients from the insects it eats.
This involves feeding the insects properly by yourself and as such, only buy those insects that are easy to gut load.
Some insects are also gut loaded before being sold and it makes it easier.
3. Right Size
Choose the right size of insects according to your leopard gecko’s age. So feed insects of about 3/8 inches to baby gecko’s, and increase the size as your pet grows.
Provide your leopard gecko with nutrient-enriched food by considering dusting them with vitamin supplements.
Commonly Asked Questions About Foods for Leopard Geckos
What Human Food Can Leopard Geckos Eat?
Leopard geckos cannot eat any human foods and so shouldn’t be fed any. They can only digest insects among which are crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches.
What Is the Best Time to Feed Your Leopard Gecko?
It’s best to feed your leopard gecko in the early evening around 7 to 9 pm. They are nocturnal and are active at this time after their daytime sleep.
Can You Overfeed a Leopard Gecko?
Leopard geckos eat a lot, and while it’s difficult to overfeed one since they store their fat in their tails, it is possible still. So feed them normally, and watch their weight.
Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko Every Day?
You can feed a baby and juvenile leopard geckos younger than a year old every day. Sick geckos should also be fed every day. But feed healthy adults once every other day to avoid overfeeding.
While keeping a leopard gecko pet is one of the easiest things you can do, particular attention should be paid to their feeding and nutrition.
A well-fed gecko would grow healthy and strong and can live for a long time, but a poorly fed gecko will suffer from malnutrition and eventually die.
There are a variety of insects you can feed your pet, but not all are good as everyday food.
If you are confused about the best food for your leopard gecko, we recommend the Dubia Roaches as they are easy to gut load, and have high protein content.
We also recommend Live Mealworms as they are affordable and easy to find. Josh’s Frog Branded Crickets are loved by geckos and are high in protein content.
All products here are nutritious and loved by geckos so you can’t go wrong with any choice you make.