Is your gecko not eating?

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It seems to be a common problem that some people have to where their leopard geckos are not eating, or quit eating randomly. This is a basic trouble shooting thread, but like always it is best to see professional hands on care from a vet.

Some of the most common reasons to why a leopard gecko stops eating is improper temperatures. It is crucial to have a warm side and a cool side with your set up. Leopard geckos do not bask in the sun, and they take their heat from their bellies, so an under tank heater (UTH) is necessary. The ground temp on the warm side should be between 88-92 degrees F. These warm ground temps are very important because leopard geckos use the heat to digest their food, and can't do so in lower temperatures. I highly recommend a thermostat to help regulate these temps. The thermostat probe should be taped to the floor inside the warm dry hide. If you are using loose substrate, I recommend you switch to paper towels or rough surfaced tiles, but in the mean time the thermostat probe should be on the surface of the substrate and not buried. Loose substrate can cause impaction and will not allow your leopard gecko to digest it's food. The UTH should be left on 24/7, and over head heat can be used along with a UTH, but IS NOT A SUBSTITUTE.

If you recently got a new leopard gecko, it is normal for them to not eat for the first few weeks while they settle into their new home. It can take up to 3 or more weeks for your new leopard gecko to settle in and start eating regularly. Unless they are losing weight, dont worry.

If your leopard gecko is female and it is breeding season, it is common for females to slow down or quit eating while ovulating. As long as they are not losing weight, don't worry.

If your leopard gecko is around 1 year old, at this age, they are starting to become adults, and their growing slows down. This means that their eating will slow down as well. It is common for leopard geckos to go from eating every day, to every other day or every third day. If your gecko is around this age I recommend you slow the amount of food you offer your leopard gecko to prevent it from getting overweight. Use your own discretion with your feeding schedule.

If your leopard gecko is overweight, then don't be alarmed if they slow down how much they eat themselves. Leopard geckos store nutrients in their tails, so if they are fat they don't need to eat everyday. They are designed to store food when it is available because in the wild they may have to go weeks without food/water.

If your leopard gecko is losing weight and not eating, please seek hands on vet care and look over your husbandry for possible problems. It may be a temperature issue, or a parasite issue, or even something else.

If your leopard gecko is not drinking water, it's not a common sight to see a leopard gecko lapping up water like a dog. Being from a hot dry climate, they don't require as much water as we think they would need. Also it is more than common for them to get hydration from the condensation inside the warm humid hide. If your gecko is dehydrated, hornworms are great feeders to help boost hydration. If their hydration is severe, please seek a vet.

Common insects to use to feed your leopard gecko are:
-Dubia Roaches
-Many others not listed
-NEVER USE WAXWORMS, Waxworms are highly addictive and are can cause your leopard gecko to refuse other types of insects. It is common for leopard geckos to stop eating unless it is a waxworm. Waxworms do not contain good nutrition and even if you only give your leopard gecko 1 or 2 a month they can still refuse to eat anything else. I highly recommend you avoid waxworms completely.

It is best to use a variety of insects. Different insects contain different nutrients and it is best to switch things up. All of your insects should be feed a good diet of food as well. We are what we eat.

Good food for your insects:
"Recommend feeding crickets, Blaptica dubia, and mealworms Albers' All Purpose Poultry Feed, Purina Layena Sunfresh Crumbles, or Zoo Med's Natural Adult Bearded Dragon Food all 24/7 with added collard greens and dandelion flowers/greens. If you feed any of the dry diets I recommend above, chances are that you'll be able to reduce the powdered supplement schedule." (Quoted from [MENTION=3989]Elizabeth Freer[/MENTION] leopard gecko care sheet)

Members on this forum can give great advise, but we cannot replace hands on vet care. If you think you have a health issue with your leopard gecko, please see a vet.

For a detailed leopard gecko care sheet that covers most everything in detail, Click this link and thank Elizabeth.

If you have a food related problem/question, please ask by posting a new thread by clicking this link and hitting the "+post new thread button" at the top left Leopard Geckos | Food & Feeding Issues

If you think I forgot a common feeding issue, please PM me and I will try to add it if it is common enough.
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