One of the easiest reptiles to care for is the leopard gecko. Not only are they interesting creatures when domesticated, but they are not picky when it comes to their meals and this is a plus for owners who are worried about their insect-based diet. But aside from insects, can leopard geckos eat fruit?
This article will provide concrete answers to this question. So as a lover of reptiles and leopard geckos, in particular, keep reading to know whether or not you should add fruits to your pet’s diet.
Can Leopard Geckos Eat Fruit?
Simply put, leopard geckos can eat fruits. They will eat them if fed but this goes against their natural diet. This means that they shouldn’t eat fruit.
Geckos are insectivorous animals and as such depend on insects for their nutrients. Fruits don’t provide any nutrients to these reptiles, so it is advisable to leave them out of their diet or see them as treats and not staple food.
In such cases, fruits can be fed to them if the vet prescribes them for certain illnesses or advises you to use them as regular treats.
Some leopard geckos can be picky eaters. While a number of them would eat fruit for the fun of it, some would naturally abstain from them. If you have a picky eater, then you shouldn’t try to force the habit of eating fruits on them, especially since they won’t derive any nutrients whatsoever from fruits.
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Why Can’t Leopard Geckos Eat Fruit?
As earlier stated, leopard geckos are insectivorous animals. Foods that don’t classify as insects cannot provide any form of nutrient to them. So it is an unspoken rule to either feed them such foods as treats or remove them altogether from their diet since they won’t be missing out on any health benefits. This applies to fruits in particular.
Leopard geckos don’t have a cecum in their digestive tract. This is the part of the body that digests cellulose. Considering that fruits and vegetables have a high concentration of cellulose, there is no way leopard geckos can digest or derive any of the useful nutrients in them.
In addition, most fruits contain a generous amount of sugar and can be classified under the soft food diet. A soft diet for geckos is quite harmful as it can lead to plaque buildup and this can inevitably cause mouth rot in leopard geckos.
So you must not make fruits a part of their diet because the risks far outweigh the benefits.
How Can Fruits Be Fed To Leopard Geckos?
If you would like to feed your leopard gecko fruits regardless, you can do that through other feeder insects. This process involves gut loading.
In order to make the fruits more nutritious for your pet gecko, you can use insects like crickets, hoppers, locusts, and many others that can digest fruits as a medium. Just gut-load them with fruits and feed them to your gecko.
Ensure that this is done a day or a few hours before you feed your leopard gecko. This is to make sure that the fruits have already been digested in the insects before they are fed to the geckos for further nourishment.
However, there’s an alternate method of feeding leopard geckos fruits and this involves blending fruits with their natural meal to make a semi-liquid supplement. This is most effective when they are recovering from illnesses.
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What Fruits Can Be Fed To Leopard Geckos?
You can feed leopard geckos fruits like oranges, apples, bananas, squash, carrots, mangoes, papayas, peaches, and many more.
Go for fruits that have a low phosphorus content and a high level of calcium and avoid fruits like rhubarb, avocado, and starfruit because they contain compounds that are harmful to reptiles.
There You Have It!
Leopard geckos are natural insectivores. They depend primarily on insects for their nutrients. So to this end, they cannot eat fleshy meat, fruits, or vegetables since their bodies are not built to digest them.
While this may be so, however, leopard geckos can still eat fruits in puree form or through gut loading. These forms can make the fruits more nutritious for them, so you can definitely give those a try!