Crested Geckos, Diet and Food, Geckos

Can Crested Geckos Eat Cinnamon Or Not?

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by The Pet Engineers

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Cinnamon may seem like an all-around delicacy, with its leaves, bark, and powder having edible uses in many cuisines of us humans – but that’s not the case with crested geckos.

Crested geckos, like most other lizards, are actually repelled by the pungent smell of cinnamon.

You should not leave any part of cinnamon – neither its leaves nor its bark or powder – in the enclosure of your pet crested gecko.

Can Crested Geckos Eat Cinnamon?

No, crested geckos cannot eat cinnamon.

Crested geckos are known to be insectivorous and frugivorous. That means that a crested gecko will eat insects, fruits, nuts, seeds, and leaves as part of its natural diet.

But no part of cinnamon can be included in a crested gecko’s diet.

A crested gecko should never be fed the leaves of cinnamon. Moreover, you should also ensure that the bark of cinnamon is not used as a decoration for your crested gecko’s tank.

This is to ensure that your pet crested gecko does not accidentally ingest pieces of cinnamon wood while playing around.

You should also never put loose powdered cinnamon inside the tank of your pet crested gecko. Inhaling loose cinnamon powder can cause your pet crested gecko to develop respiratory problems.

crested gecko on tree stump
Crested geckos shouldn’t eat cinnamon

Is Cinnamon Powder Or Leaves Toxic To Crested Geckos?

Ingesting cinnamon powder, leaves, or bark is toxic to crested geckos. Your pet crested gecko should be kept away from all parts and forms of cinnamon.

In fact, the dangers of cinnamon for your pet crested gecko are evident from the fact that cinnamon is a popular ingredient in many DIY lizard repellents that people make to drive away lizards from their houses and premises.

Even the essential oil of cinnamon is considered potent for driving lizards away.

So, not only will your pet crested gecko be at risk of toxic shocks if it accidentally ingests a part of cinnamon, but it will also be disgusting and repelled by the strong smell of cinnamon.

And such strong smells that your crested gecko repels will stress it out if the smells are not removed or countered quickly.

This stress can also lead to health problems for your crested gecko in the form of loss of appetite or vomiting.

grinded cinnamon
Cinnamon can cause health problems to your crested gecko

What Happens When A Crested Gecko Eats Or Digest Cinnamon?

If your pet crested gecko has accidentally ingested leaves, bark, or powder of cinnamon in small amounts, you just need to monitor its health for the next couple of hours.

Mostly, a little bit of accidental cinnamon ingestion would not do great harm.

However, if your pet crested gecko eats a lot of cinnamon, you need to immediately take it to the vet.

Poisoning due to cinnamon can cause your pet crested gecko to experience a toxic shock and suffer from symptoms such as vomiting, gastrointestinal problems, loss of appetite, and in the worst case, even death either due to poisoning or in the case of ingestion of a lot of loose powdered cinnamon, even impaction or asphyxiation.

If your crested gecko inhales a lot of loose powdered cinnamon, it can develop respiratory problems.

The powder of cinnamon is very fine and it can cause irritation in the nostrils and throat of your pet crested gecko.

5 Alternatives To Cinnamon

Crested geckos are naturally frugivorous. So, it is completely understandable if your pet crested gecko loves having a variety of leafy foods in its diet.

While cinnamon is out of the list for the aforementioned reasons, there are several alternative leafy foods that you can feed to your crested gecko without any worries:

1 – Celery

chopped celery
Celery

Celery is one of the best alternatives to cinnamon if your pet crested gecko loves leafy vegetables.

Celery is packed with nutrients, has smooth leaves and crunchy stems which compensate for the leaves and bark of cinnamon, and can be added to the regular staple diet of your pet crested gecko.

Celery has a good ratio of calcium to phosphorus – close to 1.6:1, which is close to the recommended ratio of 2:1. Celery is also rich in iron, vitamin A, and fiber.

All in all, if your pet crested gecko lives leafy foods, celery is a must-have in its diet.

2 – Dandelion Greens

dandelion-in-bowl
Dandelions

Yet another plant that’s best for your pet crested gecko is the Dandelion.

This plant has one of the best ratios of Calcium to Phosphorus, a staggering 2.8:1 – much better than the recommended ratio, and well within the healthy range! Dandelion greens are also a great source of vitamin A.

The one precaution you need to take when feeding dandelion greens to your pet crested gecko is that you should never feed your pet the dandelions that you pick from the wild.

Always use dandelions that have been bought from the store or farmers’ market only. This will ensure that your pet crested gecko does not accidentally ingest any harmful insecticides, pesticides, or parasites from the flower.

3 – Spinach

spinach
Spinach

Now, this is a leafy food that should only be given to your pet crested gecko occasionally. Spinach is high in calcium, vitamin A, and iron.

It has the ideal recommended ratio of calcium to phosphorus of 2:1. However, it is also high in goitrogenic compounds which can cause thyroid problems in your pet crested gecko.

When fed in limited amounts on occasion, spinach can prove to be a healthy source of calcium and iron that helps keep your pet crested gecko healthy.

4 – Alfalfa Sprouts

alfalfa sprouts
Alfalfa Sprouts

Alfalfa is another good choice to feed your pet crested gecko. It is rich in vitamin A and iron and is a good source of protein and calcium as well.

Wash the alfalfa sprouts thoroughly and chop them into finer pieces to make them easy to ingest and digest for your pet crested gecko.

Owing to low potassium and oxalates, along with the fact that over 50% of the calories of alfalfa sprouts are proteins, this is a high-protein snack and can be given to your pet crested gecko with every other meal.

5 – Escarole

escarole
Escarole

Escarole is another really good leafy food to give to your pet crested gecko. It is high in calcium (52g calcium in a 100g serving) and has a great ratio of calcium to phosphorus of 1.85:1 – very close to the recommended ratio of 2:1. Escarole is also rich in vitamin A, iron, vitamin K, and has a decent amount of protein.

However, since escarole is rich in potassium as well, you should only give a regulated amount of escarole to your pet crested gecko.

Excess potassium can reduce the absorption of calcium in your crested gecko’s body and make it more susceptible to developing the metabolic bone disorder.

So, a limited amount of escarole will prove to be beneficial – too much of it could backfire.

Summary

In terms of human food, cinnamon can be considered a superfood because of how every part of it can be used in cooking.

However, our crested gecko friends do not share the same liking toward cinnamon. Cinnamon can in fact prove to be toxic for crested geckos.

You should never leave any part of cinnamon in the enclosure of your crested gecko – this includes leaves, bark, and loose powder of cinnamon.

Loose powdered cinnamon can prove to be harmful in two ways – toxic if accidentally ingested, and cause respiratory problems if inhaled in large amounts.

If your pet crested gecko does want leafy greens or crunchy stalks to be included in its diet, you can always opt for safer and much healthier alternatives such as escarole and dandelion greens.

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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