There are various ways a Leopard gecko's food can be complemented. This article discusses Leopard gecko supplementation through food dusting.
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Introduction to Leopard gecko supplementation
Food supplementation plays a vital part in keeping pet Leopard geckos healthy. Dusting is the process of coating insects, or other foodstuffs, with a powdered supplement prior to being fed. Other ways of supplementing a Leopard gecko’s food include gut-loading and sprinkling.
Leopard gecko supplementation
Leopard geckos have special needs when it comes to calcium and vitamin D supplementation. They will tolerate the absence of ultraviolet lighting (UV) if adequate dietary calcium and vitamin D are provided(32).
Being crepuscular to nocturnal, not a lot of basking takes place, so there is not a lot of opportunities to metabolise vitamin D. Calcium and vitamin D are consumed from adequate amounts in their diets(34).
Supplementation through dusting
Dusting can be done on any feeder insect, but it is very popular (and quite simple) to do with live crickets and mealworms. Food is simply mixed with a moderate amount of supplement powder in a spill- or escape-proof plastic bag or container.
In order to keep it fresh, dusting should be done just prior to feeding the insects or greens to Leopard geckos.
Supplements for dusting
Any powdered form of Leopard gecko supplementation can be used for dusting food. Commercial reptile or Leopard gecko supplements should be used.
The two main supplements recommended for Leopard geckos are multi-vitamin mixtures and calcium/Vitamin D3 combinations. Calcium supplementation should be done 2 to 3 times a week, and multi-vitamin mixtures should be given every other day.