Leopard gecko (E. macularius) care & information
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Leopard gecko supplementation

Leopard gecko nutritional supplementation

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

Leopard gecko supplementation is required to add nutrients to their diets. Supplements for Leopard geckos are added directly, through dusting or through gut-loading.

Esitmated reading time: About 1 min. (338 words)

Introduction to Leopard gecko supplementation

Nutritional supplementation is the addition of nutrients like amino acids, vitamins and minerals to a diet. It is necessary for Leopard geckos because their diets are often deficient in required nutrients such as amino acids, vitamins and minerals.

For Leopard geckos, food supplements can either be added by the dusting of live prey, feeding gut-loaded foods to live prey or by direct supply.

Feeder insects such as crickets and cockroaches can be gut-loaded with an appropriate mineral/vitamin supplement. Gut-loading should take place at least 24 to 48 hours prior to feeding to Leopard geckos

In addition to gut-loading, all feeder insects, including mealworms, waxworms and Phoenix worms, should be dusted two to three times a week with an appropriate Calcium/vitamin D3 combination powder.

Leopard gecko eating powdered mealworms

Image by Renier Delport

An ad lib supply of powdered Leopard gecko calcium/vitamin D3 supplement should be supplied in a small dish or lid for extra Calcium needs.

Natural Leopard gecko supplements

In their natural environment, Leopard geckos are adapted to eat a variety of food. Natural foods generally complement each other in the supply of all the nutrients they need. Vertebrates and invertebrates, an important food component in wild Leopard geckos, are generally more balanced with regard to vitamins and minerals because they are fresh and exposed to balanced wild vegetation.

What supplements to use for Leopard geckos

The most important mineral supplement for Leopard geckos is calcium. This is especially true for growing and gravid Leopard geckos. A good quality lizard calcium supplementation includes some form of vitamin D3.  Calcium supplements usually come in a powdered form which can be used to dust insects with. Calcium supplementation should be supplied three times a week for growing and gravid Leopard geckos and two times a week for adult males.

Note that multivitamin / multi-mineral supplementation is not sufficient as a Leopard gecko calcium-only supplementation. When these supplements are used, they must be used in addition to a good calcium supplement.