Most of us know leopard geckos for primarily eating insects such as mealworms, crickets, and other commonly fed feeders. But what we don’t know about is them eating other foods and treats outside of insects, such as honey. There are other species of lizards out there that are able to eat foods outside of the insect diet, but are leopard geckos one of these lizards? Let’s find out.
Can leopard geckos eat honey? Unfortunately, no they can’t. Leopard geckos are insectivores, so as the name implies, their digestive system is only meant to digest and break down insects.
While honey would be a great treat to feed to leopard geckos if they were actually about to indulge in it, it’s not the only thing that can be fed to them as a treat. Having the ability to feed them items that other lizards wouldn’t have a problem eating would be amazing as it would save us a lot of money, but sadly, there’s no way around the insect diet. Here’s what they can eat instead.
Leopard Gecko Treats
While it’s unfortunate that we’re unable to feed our leopard geckos honey amongst other foods that aren’t healthy for them, that doesn’t mean that there still aren’t treats out there that they can eat as an alternative. And before I name what these treats are, it’s important to know that that’s all that they are, treats.
The reason for this is because if they overindulge in these particular treats, they could not only gain massive amounts of weight from eating them due to the high percentage of fat some of them carry, but they could also become addicted to them as well and may even refuse to eat other insects as a result.
With that said, each one should only be fed to them once every two weeks or so to prevent either of those two issues from happening. Now that that’s out of the way, here are the treats that they can eat in substitution for honey:
While these are all still insects, most leopard geckos absolutely love them. Hence why they become addicted to them. Because these worms are like the potato chips of a leopard geckos diet, it’s mandatory that they’re only fed to your lizard very sparingly.
In my opinion, too much of any feeder insect is unhealthy for your leopard gecko, but with these worms, you really have to be responsible with how many you’re feeding them. The same goes for other insects such as mealworms and crickets as well, but at least with those you don’t have to be overly concerned about them gaining unhealthy amounts of weight.
If you’d like to know where I get my waxworms, super worms, and butter worms, I recommend going to this page here that I put together of all the feeder insects that I give to my leopard gecko and check them out. In addition to these worms, there are other insects within that list that you might be interested in as well.
Giving your leopard gecko the occasional treat is not an issue at all when mixed with other feeder insects so that they’re getting a proper nutritional balance, but just keep in mind that too much of what you think might be a good thing for them might actually not be so good.
Can They Eat Anything Besides Honey?
While there are plenty of other owners who wonder if leopard geckos can eat honey or not, there are just as many others who wonder if they can eat other foods besides what they’re meant to eat and the answer to that is no as well.
If you want a lizard that can eat many different foods such as vegetables and different kinds of meats, then I suggest getting another lizard such as a bearded dragon so that you’ll have a lot more options when it comes to what you can give them.
I’ve seen close friends of mine give their bearded dragons things like strawberries, bananas, and even small pieces of lean, unseasoned meat. But, when it comes to leopard geckos, their diet has to strictly stick to insects.
Feeding them anything besides that can cause havoc in their stomach and could even cause them to become frequently impacted due to the inability to break down these different kinds of food. Honey might seem like a harmless food seeing as it isn’t a solid like some of the other foods I’ve listed, but that doesn’t mean that it still won’t wreak havoc on your leopard geckos digestive system.
If you’re lactose intolerant or you know somebody that is lactose intolerant then you might know what I mean. Because your body lacks the enzymes needed in order to digest dairy products, you’re likely to experience cramps, diarrhea, headaches, and many other symptoms. The same goes for your leopard gecko when eating foods that their stomachs can’t break down.
While honey, meats, and fruits are all amazing, delicious, and healthy foods for us, they’re not for our leopard geckos. So please keep that in mind when not only thinking about feeding them honey but when considering any of those other foods as well.
Ignore False Information
As a leopard gecko owner, I’ve done a lot of research on them over the years and in the midst of doing so, I’ve found a ton of misleading, false, and outdated information that has been very harmful to the leopard gecko community.
I’ve not only seen people say that feeding their leopard geckos honey is perfectly normal, but I’ve also seen them say that feeding them other treats or foods such as fruit, vegetables, insects from outside, and other things that they shouldn’t be eating is also normal as well.
With that said, it’s best to do your own research whenever you hear someone tell you that you can do this or that with your leopard gecko.
For example, for many years and still to this day, people have recommended that putting your leopard gecko on sand would not be harmful, but because of the many reports of impaction that the leopard gecko community has seen as a result of using a substrate like this, we now know that using it within our tanks is not safe.
I don’t mean to make this article about sand and impaction, but it’s just to give you an idea of what can happen when you listen to people who are not knowledgeable enough on how to properly care for their geckos.
Unfortunately because of this false information, not only have many owners lost their geckos, but they’ve also had to come out of their pockets to pay huge vet bills in order to get their geckos treated for something that happened from having something in the tank that shouldn’t have been in there because of a bad recommendation that given to them.
Misinformation runs rampant on the internet and if you’re not careful then your leopard gecko could be the next victim of an accident that they may not be able to recover from.
This isn’t only to say that honey isn’t good for them, but it’s also to say that you should take all the information you see on the internet about leopard geckos with a grain of salt and do your own research before potentially putting them in harm’s way.
It’s really easy to take what you see and run with it, but sadly, a lot of people are misinformed when it comes to information on these sweet little geckos and not only are they putting your leopard gecko in harm, but they’re putting their leopard gecko in harm as well.
Leopard geckos pass away every day so in order to avoid that happening to yours, double or even triple check some of the commonly suggested recommendations that you see online so that your gecko doesn’t meet the same fate.
It may be a little disappointing knowing that leopard geckos are not allowed to snack on honey, but trust me, they’d probably thank you for not giving it to them if they could. Honey is very tasty and we can get away with feeding it to other commonly owned pets such as cats and dogs, but when it comes to leopard geckos, feeding it to them is a no-go.
If you want to treat your leopard gecko because you feel like they should be able to enjoy the occasional ‘junk food’ snack every now and then, then wax worms, butterworms, and superworms are great for that.
Not only will your leopard gecko love you for not feeding them something that will likely upset their tummies, but they’ll also love you for treating them to something that is much more satisfying to their taste buds as well.
Just remember though, only feed your leopard gecko these worms sparingly or else they will and can become overweight and addicted to them. Neither of these two issues are fun to deal with and can bring on a host of different problems for obvious reasons. So when or if you decide to get these worms for your gecko, just keep that in mind.