If you know anything about leopard geckos, then you know that some of them absolutely love to eat. Whether you’re placing mealworms, crickets, wax worms, or super worms in front of them, they will eat it. And although this is true, it doesn’t necessarily mean that that’s a good thing. With that said, is it possible to actually give a leopard gecko too many insects? Let’s find out.
Can you overfeed a leopard gecko? Yes, you can. How hungry a leopard gecko is will differ from gecko to gecko, but because some of them can eat more than others, obesity can occur if they’re overfed.
Every leopard gecko is different so while one might eat a lot, another one might not. Because some of them seem to have bottomless stomachs though, it’s very possible that overfeeding can happen if you’re not careful with how many insects you’re them. To avoid doing that, here are a few things that you can do and watch out for so that overfeeding doesn’t happen.
Signs They’ve Been Overly Fed
It’s not easy for some people to tell whether or not their leopard geckos are overweight, so just in case you’re one of those people, I suggest taking a look at some of these signs of a leopard gecko that is so that you can determine whether or not yours is or not. Here’s what you should look for:
- Armpit bubbles
- A tail wider than their head
- A very thick and wide mid-section
- Chubby legs
- Slow movements
If your leopard gecko shows most of these signs, then there’s a good chance that they’re probably either being fed too much or that they’re being fed insects that are causing them to gain weight at a very fast rate.
Having an overweight gecko isn’t the end of the world as it is something that you can get under control if the right steps are properly taken, but because overweight leopard geckos are used to eating more than normal, getting them back down to a healthy weight could possibly take quite some time depending on how overweight they actually are.
Watch What You’re Feeding Them
Some leopard geckos will eat and eat without showing any signs of stopping, but because some of the insects that they eat can not only cause obesity but addiction as well, it’s best to keep an eye on how many insects they’re actually being fed so that neither of those two things happen.
Overfeeding can happen with anything they eat, but when it comes to three certain bugs, in particular, you can expect overfeeding to be a guarantee as these bugs will cause your leopard gecko to eat them non-stop due to how tasty they are to them.
You may have heard of these addicting bugs before but just in case you haven’t, they include wax worms, super worms, and butter worms and each one isn’t necessarily the healthiest for your leopard gecko if fed to them on a regular basis.
The reason why overfeeding happens with these bugs is because they’re all fairly high in fat and if you didn’t know, leopard geckos absolutely love insects that are high in fat just like we enjoy eating things that are high in fat as well.
Don’t get me wrong, we should be giving our leopard geckos insects that they love but in this case, giving them what they love would actually do way more harm than it would do good if not given in moderation.
Just to put everything into perspective, if you were to eat pizza, ice cream, candy, and any other junk food that you thought tasted good to you every day, you might start to see the effects of what these foods are doing to your body over the course of time because of how bad they are for you.
Although all of these foods are tasty and are good to eat on occasion, they will affect your health in some way, shape, or form, if enough of it is eaten. The same goes for your leopard gecko.
In order to avoid this, you’ll want to add a plethora of different insects to your leopard geckos diet so that they’re getting their nutrition from many different sources and as a result, may not be as hungry because they’re getting what their bodies need.
With that said, if you’d like to know where I get most of my insects for my leopard gecko, then check out this page here that I’ve put together.
Again, leopard geckos can be overfed with any insect, so feed them whenever they get hungry but if they start showing signs of gaining a considerable amount of weight, cut back a little bit on how much food you’re giving them.
Visually Watching Their Weight
Logically, you would think that using a scale to weigh your gecko would be the best way to check to see how healthy they are but because leopard geckos vary so much in weight even if they are healthy, it’s hard to base their health by what is said on the scale alone.
For example, if you take two leopard geckos that were born at the exact same time all the way down to the second and feed them the exact same foods every day for two years straight and then weigh them, it’s very possible that you might end up with very two healthy leopard geckos that weigh nowhere near the same because of their metabolism, genetics, and size.
Because of that, scales are very unreliable by themselves for checking the status of their health. Instead, and it seems so simple, you’ll want to visually watch with your own two eyes how big they’re getting and then based on what you see, you’ll want to make adjustments to the food given to them until they visually look healthy again.
If you think this is an unreliable way to check if you’re overfeeding your leopard gecko or not, don’t worry, many other leo owners do it this way and have had much success with getting their leopard gecko to the weight they want them to be at by doing so.
Also, keep in mind that babies should and most of the time can eat a lot more than adult leopard geckos and because of that, it’s much harder to overfeed them as opposed to overfeeding leos that are much older than they are because of the fact that they are still growing and benefit more from the food more than leos that are fully grown adults.
Does that mean that you should feed them whatever you want? No, because too much of certain insects can still be bad for even baby leopard geckos. But when it comes to foods like mealworms, crickets, and dubia roaches, it’s safe to be a little more lax with how much you’re feeding them.
The Best Feeders for Cutting Weight
Although all leopard geckos should be offered a variety of different insects in order to maintain a healthy diet, the fact of the matter is that some insects carry a lot more fat than others. Like the worms that I mentioned above, for example.
And while cutting back on what you feed them is important for helping them lose some of that weight, what you feed them will also play a big role in helping them with losing this weight as well.
That said, you’ll want to still offer your leopard gecko a variety as far as insects go, but at the same time, you’ll also want to give them insects that are more lean so that they can effectively start losing the weight.
There are a few different things that can be offered to them that are low in fat, but the main ones are dubia roaches and crickets. As an advocate of allowing leopard geckos to eat many different insects and not be restricted to only a few, I generally don’t advise feeding them only a handful of different insects.
But because it’s important that leopard geckos that are overweight lose their weight, feeding them insects that are low in fat only, for the time being, can be the exception. Again, if you’d like to know where I get both of these insects, please click on the link above where all my recommended feeders are.
The fact of the matter is that not all leopard geckos will overeat as some of them are very smart when it comes to knowing when to stop, but it’s also a fact that there are a lot of leopard geckos out there that don’t know how to.
Because of that, obesity can and probably will occur if nothing is done to prevent it. All this will consist of is offering them insects that are low in fat, cutting back on giving them too many high-fat insects, and visually watching their weight to make sure that they’re not continuing to gain more weight.
Although the steps are fairly easy to execute, the process may take quite some time as they’ll still be storing fat in their tails as you feed them their food whether the foods given to them are high in fat or not.
With enough patience and effort though, you’ll be able to get your leopard gecko to the weight that they should be at within a matter time.