Leopard gecko (E. macularius) care & information
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Leopard gecko supplementation through gut-loading

This article is tagged to be informative to veterinarians too. The information is not a substitute for advice from a veterinarian.

Mineral supplementation plays a vital part in keeping your pet Leopard gecko healthy. One way to add these supplements to their diet is by gut-loading their food. In order to feed good quality feeder insects to your Leopard geckos, they also need to eat good quality food. Gut-loading literally translates to loading the intestines with a highly nutritious food.

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Supplementation through gut-loading

Feeder insects such as crickets, mealwormsDubia roaches, etc. are easy to gut-load. Gut-loading is done by feeding insects a highly palatable and nutritious diet almost immediately prior to feeding them to Leopard geckos. Insects are therefore the ‘transport medium’ for these vitamins and minerals.

Gut-loading food can be dry or fresh. A combination of fresh, everyday fruit and vegetable remains be fed to feeder insects. Dry gut-loading foods can be in the form of various commercial or self-made gut-loading mixtures.

Gut-loading crickets

Crickets are probably the most important insects fed to Leopard geckos. Fortunately, cricket gut-loading is a simple process. It is simply done by replacing their regular (maintenance) food with a high-quality cricket gut-loading food. Crickets should be gut-loaded 48 to 24 hours prior to feeding them to Leopard geckos.

Gut-loading foods

Various commercial cricket gut-load foods are available from most specialised reptile or exotic animal pet shops. The internet can also be valuable in finding gut-loaded foods for crickets and other feeder insects.

Other ways to add supplements to a Leopard gecko’s diet are by dusting powdered, or sprinkling liquid forms directly on their food (usually mealworms).