Can Leopard Geckos Travel in a Car?

Leopard geckos are best kept in their tanks within the safety of our homes but because there are situations in life that happen that call for us to be away for a long period of time or even when moving from one house to another, we wonder whether or not we can safely bring our leopard geckos along with us in our car.  That being said, here is the answer to this very important topic.

Can leopard geckos travel in a car?  Yes, they can.  In order for them to do that though, you will need to make sure that they are warm, secure, and safe while you travel.

As stated above, leopard geckos are best kept at home.  Because things happen that require us to temporarily transport them to a different location though, having them ride along with us is something that is completely possible to do with the right preparation and carefulness.  Now that you know that, here’s exactly what you’ll need to do in order to make the trip a success.

Preparation

Unlike other commonly owned animals such as cats and dogs, for example, a lot more thought and planning will need to go into prepping your leopard gecko for the trip that you both will be having together.

The reason for this is that not only are leopard geckos very small animals that can easily get injured during your travels but because they’re also animals that require a very specific type of environment to be in, in order to live comfortably and safely as well.

That said, you will likely need to look into getting a few items that will help ensure that they are in fact comfortable and safe before you decide to place them in your car.  These items will include the following:

  • Insulated bubble wrap
  • Hand warmers
  • Food
  • Water
  • Calcium
  • Plastic container
  • Hide
  • Gloves
  • Hand sanitizer

Some things you can bring with you from home such as their food, water, hide, and other items that you may have.  But when it comes to the other things on the list, you will need to get those as they will serve as a temporary substitute to the items that you have set up in your house.

The plastic container will be used for transporting, the hand warmers will be used to keep them warm, and the insulated bubble wrap will be used for blocking out the sun so that they don’t overheat while out on the road.  Everything else will be used for sanitary reasons.

You may be wondering why exactly you need to use insulated bubble wrap instead of a regular blanket or any other type of cover to put over their containers for protection, but because insulated bubble wrap is made specifically for blocking out the sun while covers, tarps, or whatever else can be used for coverage aren’t, it’s best to use the bubble wrap as it does not absorb heat from the sun.

To know what insulated bubble wrap I use for whenever I need to keep my leopard gecko or any other belongings that I may need to protect from the sun safe, click here to check it out over on Amazon.

Also, because that stuff is lightweight, it can be cut without any problem to your liking.  And since you’ll be placing your leopard gecko in a fairly small container, it’s likely that you will have to cut it in order to securely cover your leopard gecko’s container without it taking up too much space in the car.

After you’ve got that, you’ll now need a plastic container to actually place them in.  You can either make one using Tupperware and poking holes in it for proper ventilation or you can do what I did and get a more sturdy container like this one here from Amazon. 

Just like the bubble wrap, it is the same container that I use whenever I need to transport my leopard gecko from one location to another and I absolutely love it.

As for the hand warmers for their heat, check them out here.  The cool thing about those is that they have been made specifically for shipping and transporting lizards amongst other things that need to stay warm and will do a great job at keeping your leopard gecko nice and warm for the duration of your trip.

One packet will give you up to and sometimes over 3 days of usage and will ensure that they’re getting their heat while you travel.  When using those, you will need to place them under the container and not in it so that they don’t get overly hot. 

Their food, water, hide, and calcium are items that can be brought from home.  You will likely not be able to fit all four in your container, so placing your hide in first and then substituting the food, water, and calcium bowls for small plastic containers that you may be able to pick up in the crafts section at your local retail store or online will work just fine since your trip is only temporary.

Also, because so many items have to go into the container, I recommended getting the largest size available so that you have as much room as possible for not only your leopard gecko’s items but for your leopard gecko as well.

Security

If you’ve ever placed groceries or almost anything else made of a slippery material in your car then you know that when turning corners or stopping too quickly, things slide.  That said, because Tupperware containers or even the container that I recommended to you are made out of plastic material, then it’s likely that if not secure, those two things will slide as well.

In order to avoid that, you’ll want to be very mindful of your leopard gecko and the items that are in his container and drive very, very carefully. 

That’s not to say that you shouldn’t be driving carefully anyways, but when driving with something as important as a leopard gecko in the car, it is probably safe to be a little more cautious of preventing them from sliding around then you normally would so that they don’t get hurt.

This means that you should turn corners slowly and also put your foot on the brakes gradually as you bring the car to a stop.  Another good way to ensure that things aren’t sliding around too much is to get some double-sided tape and tape everything down so that the chances of things moving around is less likely to happen.

That includes the water container, food container, calcium container, and the container that they’re enclosed in as well.  In addition to that, strapping your leopard gecko in with a seatbelt will also be very helpful with keeping your leopard gecko secure and in one spot.

If you’re traveling alone, then keep your leopard gecko in the front seat so that you can keep an eye on their container more easily as you drive. 

That doesn’t mean that you should constantly be taking your eyes off of the road to check on them, but instead, glancing over at them whenever traffic is not too heavy or at times where you are able to stop the car such as at a red light or stop sign so that you’re ensuring your safety.

Regular Maintenance

Although this is a trip, it’s still important that you make sure you’re staying on top of everything within their container just as you would if they were in their tanks at home.  That means picking up and disposing of their feces and urates, feeding them the same way you’d feed them at home, and just overall checking up on how they’re doing the duration of the trip.

Leopard geckos get easily stressed out and having them in a container that is too small for their liking probably doesn’t help with keeping that stress down, but keeping an eye on them and giving them what they need when they need it in addition to cleaning up after them after they’ve eaten or excreted their waste will.

You can do absolutely everything else right but if you’re not checking to make sure they’re okay or neglecting their container while you’re on your trip, then this can take a toll on their health and wellbeing.

If you’re planning on being on the road for longer than a week for whatever reason, then I recommend taking a look at this article here that I’ve put together.  While traveling with leopard geckos can be a success, it’s not safe to have them out of their tanks for too long and you may need to find someone who can help care for them while you’re gone.

Conclusion

Taking trips with leopard geckos isn’t something that you hear people do too often but at the same time, it’s also not something that is unheard of either.  It can be done successfully but in order for it to be that way you have to make sure you come fully prepared for any and every situation that can possibly happen.

That may include bringing gloves and hand sanitizer to keep your hands clean after touching their droppings, bringing extra food and water so that there’s no chance of them running out of either of those, or bringing more calcium and vitamins than you might think you need so that you don’t run the risk of them running out of it due to it potentially falling out of the container.

You can’t be too careful or too prepared when planning a trip with your leopard gecko so make sure that you have everything that you need before you leave to ensure their safety so that things don’t go bad for you while you’re on your trip.

Many people have successfully taken trips with their leopard geckos, including me, so if I can do it and many other owners can do it, then with the right equipment and the right cautionary steps, you can do it as well.