An important responsibility that you get as a pet owner is the hygiene and sanitation of your pets.
When you have a dog or a cat as a pet, you can always bathe them when they get visibly dirty.
But how do you keep your pet crested gecko clean?
As it turns out, you should not bathe your crested gecko the way you would bathe a cat or a dog.
There are alternatives such as soaking and sauna that can help you maintain the hygiene and cleanliness of your pet crested gecko.
Crested geckos don’t need baths. Misting and maintaining the correct level of humidity is enough to keep them clean.
Do Crested Geckos Need To Be Bathed?
Crested geckos do not need to be bathed. Maintaining the correct level of humidity inside the enclosure of your crested gecko is more than enough.
An important thing to understand as a crested gecko pet owner is that what is conventionally “dirty” for a human being is not dirty for a crested gecko – or any other reptile for that matter.
For us, humans, soiling our clothes, being covered in mud, and being sweaty are all signs that we need a shower.
But, for your crested gecko, the substrate, the branches, the “dirt” and the “sweat” from high humidity are not exactly dirty.
That is how they normally live. They are meant to be in an environment that has a substrate, branches, leaves, roots, etc. This is how they normally are, even in the wild.
So, when you look at it this way, you don’t need to bathe your crested gecko on any normal day.
What can be unhygienic is if your crested gecko gets fecal matter or urates stuck in the spaces between its toes or at the corner of its vent. But even that does not require a complete bath.
You can simply remove the stuck fecal matter and maybe wipe that region with a wipe that is safe and non-toxic for reptiles.
Don’t use human soaps and chemicals on your crested gecko. Those chemicals are not meant for use on reptiles and can lead to health complications.
Should You Bath a Crested Gecko?
No, you should not bathe a crested gecko. Your crested gecko does not need a bath in the first place.
Forcing it to bathe can lead to undue stress on your pet and it may even make it sick.
Moreover, it is important that you don’t use any chemicals on your crested gecko unless it is clearly mentioned that the product is safe for use on reptiles.
Why You Shouldn’t Bath a Crested Gecko?
You should not bathe a crested gecko because:
- Crested geckos do not need a bath.
- Chemicals in products that are not meant for reptiles can lead to skin infections and toxic shocks for crested geckos.
- Accidental ingestion of such cleaning products can lead to poisoning and health issues.
- Bathing is a stressor that will make your crested gecko feel that it is drowning. This will activate a flight or fight response, stress your crested gecko out, and may make it very sick because of the fear and stress.
How To Keep Your Crested Gecko Clean
The best part about keeping your crested gecko clean is that you don’t need to do anything extra.
You just need to maintain the humidity of the enclosure of your crested gecko. In order to do that, you must ensure that the glass enclosure is perfectly sealed.
Misting the enclosure 2 to 3 times a day will maintain the humidity of the enclosure, clean the walls of the tank, act as a small shower for your crested gecko, and keep your pet hydrated.
Just remember to first bring the humidity of your crested gecko enclosure to 50% before misting.
This will ensure that bacterial and fungal growth is kept in check.
Alternatives To Giving Your Crested Gecko A Bath
In case of stuck fecal matter or shed skin near the toes or vent, you may need to intervene.
Otherwise, it can lead to necrosis by rotting the stuck matter. But even then, you should not bathe your crested gecko. Instead, you should opt for soaking and sauna.
Soaking your crested gecko.
For this, you need to take a shallow container and fill it with 0.5 to 1-inch lukewarm water.
Do not exceed the depth of 1 inch. Crested geckos are prone to drowning in pools of water that are deeper than an inch of water.
Then you need to simply put your crested gecko in the tub for some time.
Don’t force your crested gecko to sit in the tub if it is frantically coming out again and again.
Give it some time and keep it in the tub again. If your crested gecko seems to be very agitated by soaking, you can opt for a sauna instead.
Sauna for your crested gecko.
For this, you need a small glass cage that can be used as a substitute enclosure temporarily.
As a substrate, you need to put paper towels drenched in lukewarm water on the floor of the tank. Next, place your crested gecko inside the tank.
Then you need to manually mist the tank with lukewarm distilled water using a spray bottle.
The humidity in the tank will rehydrate your crested gecko and make it easy for the stuck shed or fecal matter to come off.
If it still doesn’t work, you can consult a reptile vet for grooming and carefully removing the stuck organic matter from your crested gecko’s body.
Crested geckos are not like cats and dogs – you cannot and should not bathe your pet crested gecko.
Not only does a crested gecko not require bathing, but bathing as an activity can become a major stressor for your pet.
It can make your crested gecko feel as if it is drowning – as crested geckos are not used to being in the water too much.
Such feelings may activate the flight or fight response of your crested gecko.
Such a high level of stress can then lead to health issues, behavioral problems, and even the dropping of the tail.
The only time when you need to intervene for hygiene is when there is a stuck shed or fecal matter.
And even that does not require bathing. Soaking or a sauna will help you clean your crested gecko in such a case.