Leopard geckos (Leos) have been kept as pets in the United States for more than 30 years, and their demand has steadily increased over the past several years. Because of the high level of demand for leos, the cost of these reptiles has a propensity to rise, mainly when there is a rush at the market. If you are interested in purchasing a captive-bred lizard, the question “Are leopard geckos expensive to keep?” is sure to cross your mind.
Leopard geckos can purchased for anywhere between $25 and $50, and their monthly upkeep can run anywhere from $30 to $40, with initial setup Costs ranging between $100-$350 or more. The majority of this is comprised of expenses related to lighting and food.
In order to keep expenses to a minimum, simply raise crickets and mealworms on your own. Having said that, purchasing one of them from a breeder isn’t going to break the bank either.
Investing in the appropriate heat mat will help you cut down on your monthly power bill. The first investment is manageable, and you should plan to spend between $250 and $280 to have everything set up.
In general, leopard geckos are one of the most cost-effective kinds of reptiles that you can maintain as a pet. This is one of the many reasons they are so well suited for those just starting out.
Some other costs related to buying and keeping leopard geckos
If you make all your purchases online, the final price you pay can already include the delivery cost, mainly if you make all your purchases from the same vendor. However, shipping for some of the items needed can really add to the cost and can cost around $10-$20 depending on the item.
Leopard Gecko Enclosures Cost
Glass aquariums with a height of one foot might serve as a suitable home for your animal companion. Even though leos do not have adhesive or sticky feet and are not often able to climb, you will still need to cover their enclosure with wire or mesh in order to keep other animals out.
The general rule of thumb for this situation is that there should be ten gallons of tank space available for each gecko. However, it is not recommended to go greater than this size as it becomes more difficult for these reptiles to locate their heat source in larger settings. There is a possibility that this may cost you between $35 and $45.
Because it is a reptile, your gecko needs access to a heat source whenever it desires. A simple incandescent bulb that costs eight dollars will do the trick. You may put it on one side of the terrarium so that your pet has unrestricted access to both the cooler (72 degrees Fahrenheit) and warmer (86 degrees Fahrenheit) parts of the enclosure. A thermometer, the cost of which is often somewhere around ten dollars, may assist you in keeping track of the temperature.
In order to keep an eye on the conditions that your gecko calls home, you will also want a hygrometer. The best humidity range for the little one to lose its skin is between 22 and 38 percent, especially when it’s time for the tiny one to do so. This item is available for purchase in your local retailers as well as online. It costs somewhere between $18 and $20 per one.
A paper towel might serve as a substitute for the beddings. The droppings left behind by leopard geckos are simple to remove, which is one of the benefits of keeping these reptiles. To prevent accidental consumption, you should never use sand or stones as a substrate.
It is essential to create a secure enclosure for your gecko so that it has a place to sleep and shed its skin. Some shops provide little logs and many additional hiding spots at relatively low prices (ranging from $6 to $10). If you would rather not spend money on these items, you may quickly find one in your backyard and use it without paying anything extra.
A Leo habitat can set you back somewhere between $50 and $100 to put up. In some of the local pet stores, you may find one that has already been constructed. This will spare you from the stress and inconvenience of creating your own, but it will not come cheap.
Leopard Gecko Food Cost
Last but not least, when you have finished constructing the cage for your gecko, you will need to ensure that there is food accessible for it. Because they consume insects, leopard geckos don’t cost much to keep as pets because their diet is so simple. You shouldn’t just give your gecko any old insects you discover in your backyard. Wild insects frequently harbor various pathogens, including parasites and diseases, as well as a variety of pesticides and other toxins. You’ll need to get your feeder insects from a pet store or an internet merchant that grows and sells them under-regulated and hygienic circumstances, as that’s the only place they’ll be available.
Feeder insects that are great for leopard geckos are crickets, mealworms, super worms, and waxworms. Dubia roaches are another excellent option. You should budget something in the range of $25 to $35 every month to buy food for your leopard gecko.
Leopard Gecko Supplement Cost
These reptiles also do not require a lot of maintenance on your part. However, they have a high demand for vitamin D3 in their diet. Geckos that are deficient in this nutrient become pale, and their tails get shorter. If this occurs, you may get Vitamin D3 supplements from internet merchants at the cost of ten dollars for each bottle.
Caution is required, however, because an excessive amount of Vitamin D3 might result in a lack of calcium. The proper dose must be adhered to at all times.
Advice on How to Save Money
Although the initial setup cost of $300-$350 and the monthly maintenance cost of $50-$60 may not seem like much to some people, it might be a significant financial burden for others.
In light of this fact, we will now discuss some of the ways in which keeping a leopard gecko as a pet might help you save money.
- The use of indoor/outdoor carpet as a substrate is recommended since not only is this type of carpet reasonably priced, but it also does not require replacement every few months. To clean and sterilize them, you just only remove them!
- You may save money on decorations by using something as basic as a shoe box for the gecko’s hide boxes. Your gecko will not be impressed by a lush and gorgeous enclosure, but you will. It is beneficial to their mental health to provide them with some barriers to go around and different items to look at, but they won’t be able to appreciate any beauty that is shown to them.
- Obtain a thermostat for the enclosing structure. The price of thermostats for cages housing reptiles ranges from $30 to $40. While this may increase your initial investment, you will see a reduction in the amount of money you spend each month on power for your pet by around 25 percent. In less than a year, you will recoup the cost of the thermostat, plus it will actually improve the lizard’s health.
- Only turn on UV lamps for a few hours each day at the most. UV bulbs may be pricey, not to mention the additional power that is required to run one. Allowing leopard geckos to UVB radiation for around two hours daily is beneficial.
- The importance of purchasing from a reputable breeder cannot be overstated. If you acquire a creature for a pet from a respected individual breeder instead of a pet store or dealer, you will have a far better chance of getting a pet in good health. (Check out our article Are Leopard Geckos easy to handel to learn More) They can only keep their excellent reputation by ensuring that all of their animals are in good health. The amount of money you spend on veterinary care might be significantly reduced.
- Purchase a pre-owned enclosure, but check it well to ensure that it is sound and free of any cracks.
Can you keep wild Leopard Geckos?
While you can keep a wild gecko, (check out our article Are Leopard Geckos Exotic to learn More) it is advised that you do not. Geckos that live in the wild are at risk of contracting a wide variety of pathogens, including bacteria, viruses, and parasites. There is a possibility that certain wild leopard geckos might spread illness. And if you already have other creatures in captivity, this “newcomer” might unintentionally cause chaos for all of them.
To clarify, taking a leopard gecko from its natural environment is not unethical. However, before you bring your newly discovered reptile into your home, you must bring it to the veterinarian for an examination. Your reptile will need to go through specific quizzes and tests before the doctor can offer it a clean bill of health. If something is wrong with your lizard, the veterinarian is in the best position to tell you about it.