Leopard Geckos

Can You Overfeed a Leopard Gecko?

Yes, you can overfeed a Leopard Gecko but they will usually stop eating when they are full.

Overfeeding is not usually something owners do on purpose but it can be fairly common among new gecko owners who are just a little too keen to make sure their new pet is happy.

How Often Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko?

If you want to avoid overfeeding, the first thing to know is how often should you feed your gecko.

Hatchlings (0-4 months) should be fed every day. Juvenile geckos (up to the age of around 12 months old) should be fed every other day while adult geckos should be fed 2-3 times per week.

Younger geckos need feeding much more often to support the rapid growth and changes their bodies undergo in the first year of their lives. Once they are a little older the frequency of feeding comes down but the portion size (and size of the actual insects they are eating) goes up to balance this out.

How Much Should I Feed My Leopard Gecko?

Now you know how often, let’s talk about how much to feed them.

Leopard Gecko meals are usually measured by the number of insects offered in that sitting. Of course, not all insects are the same size so there is a little more to it than just a certain number per meal.

When choosing insects for your gecko, keep in mind that the size of the insects should be no more than the width of their head. For hatchlings that will usually be around 3/8 inch, juveniles around 1/4 inch, and adult geckos can eat full grown crickets.

In terms of the number of insects to feed your gecko, a good rule of thumb is 2 insects for every inch of body length. That is just a guideline though as not all insects have the same nutrient density. You may need to increase that number slightly if your gecko’s diet is heavier in mealworms than crickets or lower the number if you are treating your gecko to a lot of waxworms as they are much higher in fat.

Whatever you choose to feed your gecko, it’s important that you supplement their diet with additional vitamins to keep them healthy, You can do this through gut loading or dusting their food with a powder supplement before feeding.

Can a Leopard Gecko Die From Overeating?

No. They will stop eating when they are full. Even if they do overeat they will simply regurgitate the contents of their stomach so there will be no lasting damage done, you will just have a mess to clean up.

If you consistently overfeed your gecko they will pick up bad habits and can become overweight but it’s still extremely unlikely that this would ever become fatal.

Why Does My Leopard Gecko Eat So Much?

OK, so they won’t die from overeating but if you still feel like they’re never full and wondering why my leopard gecko eats so much, let’s see why that might be.

First up is bad habits. Just like people, geckos get into habits and settle into schedules so if you keep dropping food into their tank every day they’ll soon come to expect it and look forward to devouring their next meal. Even though a gecko will usually stop eating once it’s full, it can build up their appetite over time (in the same way that I never take just one cookie from the jar anymore) so it’s up to you to keep their consumption in check.

The second thing to check is the nutritional quality of their diet. Everyone likes to treat their little guy now and then but just like those cookies I mentioned, some food is not very nutritious and that means it’s also not very filling. Your gecko will probably love waxworms, and might even develop a bit of an addiction, but they are very high in fat and won’t leave him full for long. Keep them as a treat and offer more of the staples like crickets, butterworms, mealworms etc. and your gecko should be more satisfied and start eating a normal amount again.

Lastly, consider your Leos age. You can’t really overfeed a young leopard gecko so let them have as much food as they will eat! Before they are full grown they are just like teenagers, eating everything in sight with no consequences. Don’t leave food lying around in their tank but certainly don’t worry about giving them a bit more than you expected while they are still growing.

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