Crested Geckos, Diet and Food, Geckos

Can Crested Geckos Eat Cilantro Or Not?

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by The Pet Engineers

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Feeding a crested gecko can become a little overwhelming, especially when your pet crested gecko is being fussy about eating commercially available crested gecko diet powders.

In such a case, you may need to look for organic alternatives of food for your crested gecko that fulfill its nutritional requirements.

Cilantro is not a very widely preferred leafy vegetable for crested geckos. Not only does it lack important nutrients required by a crested gecko, but it is also high in potassium, which inhibits the absorption of calcium.

So, even if your pet crested gecko is showing a liking towards cilantro, only ever feed it as a treat occasionally, and in regulated amounts.

Can Crested Geckos Eat Cilantro?

Crested geckos in the wild eat a lot of fruits, nuts, seeds, and even leafy greens. So, it should not come as a surprise if your pet crested gecko shows a liking towards eating cilantro.

Crested geckos can eat cilantro but they should be given only regulated amounts occasionally, as a one-off treat.

In fact, because cilantro is not a widely found leafy vegetable in the wilderness of New Caledonia rainforests, it is very unlikely that your pet crested gecko may even be aware of it.

So, a crested gecko will only ever taste cilantro if it is fed by its owner. In other words, cilantro will only be a foreign addition to your pet crested gecko’s diet, as it is not a part of its staple diet.

crested-gecko-sideview
Crested geckos can eat cilantro

Should You Feed Cilantro to Crested Geckos?

It is recommended that you do not feed cilantro to your pet crested gecko. The problem does not lie with the composition of cilantro – it is not a toxic food item for crested geckos.

The problem, however, lies in the nutritional value of cilantro.

Cilantro is known to have good reserves of iron, but you will need to feed a lot of cilantro to your pet crested gecko for the levels of iron to be of significance.

The weight proportion of iron in cilantro is very low. What that means is that in a normal-sized serving of cilantro, the quantity of iron is too low to be of any significance.

Moreover, other than iron, there is hardly any important nutrient present in good quantity. Cilantro has a very low content of calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, folate, or even fiber.

So, feeding cilantro to your pet crested gecko will practically amount to nothing in terms of nutritional value.

Owing to this, it is advised that even though there is no potential harm in feeding cilantro to your pet crested gecko, you should not add it to the diet.

Not only is it a foreign addition, but it is also pointless in terms of nutrition.

Is Cilantro Safe for Baby and Juvenile Crested Geckos?

There is no potential harm in feeding cilantro to crested geckos. But, caution must be exercised when giving cilantro to baby and juvenile crested geckos.

Cilantro is very high in potassium. And potassium is a nutrient that reduces the absorption of calcium in the body.

So, giving cilantro to your crested gecko would mean that the absorption of calcium in its body will get reduced.

Thus, effectively, your crested gecko will have a reduced intake of calcium. This can put your pet crested gecko at risk of severe deficiency of calcium, which can further lead to metabolic bone disorder.

The greatest risk of this deficiency and metabolic bone disorder is experienced by baby and juvenile crested geckos.

baby crested geckos
Exercise caution when feeding cilantro to baby crested gecko

They are in a growing phase and require a lot of calcium in order to grow into healthy adult crested geckos.

Any deficiency in the growing phase can lead to your pet crested gecko developing metabolic bone disorder very early in its life – and it can quickly become fatal.

Thus, it is best to avoid feeding foods with high potassium, such as cilantro, to baby and juvenile crested geckos.

Nutritional Value of Cilantro

The following table gives a rough approximation of the number of different nutrients found in 1/4th cup or 4 grams of cilantro:

NUTRIENTSQUANTITY
Fats0g
Proteins0.1g
Fiber0.1g
Calcium2.7mg
Phosphorus1.9mg
Iron0.1mg
Potassium20.8mg
Nutritional Value of Cilantro

Why Cilantro Is Nutritionally Empty For Crested Geckos

  1. If you look at the Calcium and Phosphorus amounts in cilantro, you will notice that firstly, the quantity of calcium is very low – in fact, it is too low to even be useful for your pet crested gecko. Secondly, the Calcium to Phosphorus ratio is approximately 1.4:1, which is lower than the required ratio of at least 2:1 to maintain healthy levels of calcium in a crested gecko’s body.
  2. The highest amount of micronutrients in cilantro is Potassium, which is close to 21mg. The level of potassium is about 8 times more than the level of calcium available in cilantro. Potassium binds calcium and thus reduces its absorption in the body.

So, from the aforementioned data, it can be seen that not only does cilantro provide almost negligible calcium or any other nutrients to the crested gecko.

But the high levels of potassium in cilantro further inhibit and reduce the absorption of calcium in the crested gecko’s body.

It is important to note here that cilantro is not toxic for crested geckos. It is not inherently bad. It is just nutritionally empty, and therefore, not inherently good either.

How To Feed Cilantro to Crested Geckos

If your crested gecko has developed a taste for cilantro, then you can feed it occasionally in one or more of the following ways:

  • Directly feed the cilantro leaves.
  • Dust the cilantro leaves with calcium powder.
  • Make a paste of cilantro leaves and feed it.
  • Mix cilantro paste with calcium powder and feed it.
  • Make a mixed paste of cilantro, crickets, and other insects, fruits, and seeds that your pet crested gecko likes.
  • Gut load the live insects with cilantro before feeding them to your pet crested gecko.

How Many Times Can Cilantro Be Fed to Crested Geckos?

Cilantro should only be an occasional treat for your pet crested gecko because it is high in potassium.

Too much cilantro will start causing a deficiency of calcium in your pet crested gecko. So, feeding cilantro once a week, along with other treats, will be a good frequency.

Do not feed cilantro to your pet crested gecko with every meal.

cilantro
Cilantro should be served occasionally

Summary

Cilantro is a salad favorite for a lot of humans. Naturally, considering how crested geckos eat leafy greens too, you may be tempted to feed cilantro to your pet crested gecko.

Cilantro does not have any toxins that can poison a crested gecko – so, it is not exactly unsafe to feed cilantro to your pet crested gecko.

You can give a few leaves of cilantro to your crested gecko every now and then.

However, cilantro is nutritionally empty. It has negligible amounts of important nutrients such as iron, folate, calcium, phosphorus, vitamin A, vitamin D3, etc.

So, cilantro will not be adding any nutritional value to the diet of your crested gecko. And cilantro is not a part of the staple diet of wild crested geckos either – so it will just be a pointless foreign addition to the diet of your pet.

Moreover, cilantro has high levels of potassium. Potassium is known to reduce the absorption of calcium in the body.

So, even if you choose to give cilantro to your pet crested gecko, it should only be done occasionally and in controlled amounts.

Too much cilantro can indirectly end up causing calcium deficiency in your pet crested gecko, which can bring up a plethora of health problems.

About
The Pet Engineers

A team of pet lovers. We have owned various pets over their years. From dogs to reptiles, etc. Our love of pets, strive to us to create up-to-date and accurate helpful guides on pets.

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