Having a crested gecko is a delightful experience for beginner and expert reptile enthusiasts alike.
However, one important thing after becoming the pet owner of a crested gecko is to monitor the weight of the crested gecko on a regular basis.
You will not be able to visibly gauge if your crested gecko is too overweight or underweight unless it becomes too late.
The drastic fluctuations in weight – either increase or decrease – are sometimes the symptoms of some underlying health conditions.
That is why monitoring the weight of your pet crested gecko will allow you to detect any early signs and symptoms of health issues and give your pet timely and proper medical treatment.
However, an underweight crested gecko will be easily detectable with its bony limbs and overall weak demeanor.
A lot of times it is an indication that your pet is either not eating or not getting the required nourishment from its diet.
Here’s how to fatten up an underweight crested gecko.
What Is A Healthy Weight For A Crested Gecko?
Before you gauge whether your pet crested gecko is overweight, underweight, or just right, you need to know what exactly it means to have the right or healthy weight for a crested gecko.
Speaking of adult crested geckos that have fully grown in terms of their physique, a healthy crested gecko should weigh between 40 and 60 grams. A little difference here and there is okay. For instance, you don’t need to worry too much if your crested gecko is at 35 grams or 65 grams – a small margin of +/- 5 grams is perfectly normal.
But your adult crested gecko should not be weighing more than 70 grams or less than 30 grams. That is when there is a potential underlying health problem at play – maybe overeating or undereating, being malnourished, or symptoms of any other medical condition.
Crested Gecko Growth Rate
The following chart shows you the ideal growth rate for a crested gecko in terms of its age and corresponding ideal weight and size at that age:
|Hatchling||1.5 to 2 grams||2.5 to 3 inches|
|Baby (2 months)||3 grams||3 to 4 inches|
|Juvenile (3 months)||4 grams||3 to 5 inches|
|Juvenile (4 months)||5 grams||4 to 6 inches|
|Juvenile (5 months)||7 grams||4 to 6 inches|
|Juvenile (9 months)||16 to 35 grams||6 to 9 inches|
|Adult (12 months)||35 to 50 grams||9 to 16 inches|
|Adult (18 to 24+ months)||35 to 55+ grams||9 to 16+ inches|
How Often Should I Feed My Crested Gecko?
If you are new to the petkeeping of reptiles and crested geckos, in particular, you might be a little surprised when you notice that your crested gecko is not eating every day. But don’t be alarmed.
It isn’t uncommon for reptiles to only eat every other day. The same holds true for your crested gecko. You only need to feed it every other day – it does not eat every day. The frequency of eating depends largely on the crested gecko’s age.
Hatchlings (0 to 2 months): they need to eat 6 to 7 times per week after their first molting.
Baby Juveniles (2 to 6 months): they need to eat 5 to 6 times per week.
Juveniles (6 to 12 months): they need to eat 4 to 5 times per week.
Sub-adults (12 to 18 months): their food consumption drops drastically to only 3 to 4 times per week.
Mature adults (18 months and above): they eat only 2 to 3 times per week.
Having a proper age-wise feeding schedule for your crested gecko and monitoring its weight regularly will allow you to adjust the feeding schedules and make dietary changes if required.
What To Feed Your Crested Gecko?
Crested geckos in the wild are frugivorous and insectivorous. This means that your pet crested gecko will love to munch on fruits, seeds, and insects.
But you cannot simply give your pet crested gecko fruits or insects in a random fashion. This is because a lot of fruits and insects do not have all the required nutrients when given in isolation.
You will need to prepare a proper mix of the foods that your pet crested gecko eats while keeping in mind the proportion of nutrients that needs to be maintained.
If you find it difficult to prepare such a meal on your own from scratch, you could opt for commercially available crested gecko food mixes.
These prepared diets have all the required nutrients in the proper proportion that will ensure that your pet crested gecko gets the nourishment it requires.
If your crested gecko seems to be very underweight, you could increase the frequency of insects such as mealworms along with the meals.
Mealworms and other live food contain healthy fats that can help your underweight crested gecko increase its weight to healthy levels.
Some of the insects that could help you fatten your crested gecko are:
But remember that any change in the dietary plan of your crested gecko should be gradual – and once your pet starts regaining healthy weight and comes in the ideal range.
You should gradually decrease the number of fatty treats back to the older levels. Or else you may risk your crested gecko becoming overweight, which comes with its own set of health problems.
All being said and done, moderation is always key.
Why Hydration Is Important?
Drinking water regularly is as important for your pet crested gecko as it is for you. Without proper consumption of water, your pet will run the risk of getting severely dehydrated and that will cause a lot of health problems.
Hydration is important for your crested gecko because:
- Low water intake can lead to constipation and impaction.
- Dehydration will make shedding difficult. And incomplete shedding can lead to necrosis, which can be fatal.
- Not hydrating properly will also make your crested gecko vulnerable to failure of internal organs.
Avoid Harmful Food
Harmful foods for a crested gecko include foods that are either toxic to the body of a crested gecko or foods that, when consumed in unregulated amounts, can lead to obesity.
Some toxic foods for crested geckos include avocados, lime, lemon, and other varieties of citrus fruits. They are straight-up harmful to the health of your pet.
Some unhealthy foods that you need to strictly regulate in quantity when feeding your crested gecko include mealworms.
Now, these are not directly harmful to the health of your pet. In fact, your crested gecko may even enjoy eating mealworms as a treat.
But mealworms are fatty foods and unregulated amounts of them can cause obesity and nutritional imbalance, which will further cause health problems for your pet.
Follow A Feeding Schedule
When feeding your crested gecko, it is best to follow a proper feeding schedule. This again depends on the age of your crested gecko.
The general rule of thumb that you could follow, however, is to give your pet crested gecko its prepared meal powders 3 to 4 times a week and live insects and treats 1 to 2 times a week.
In addition to a scheduled feeding, you should also provide your crested gecko with enough foliage and decorations for it to have some enrichment and physical activity to keep its weight in check.
Having overweight or underweight crested gecko can cause a lot of health problems.
That is why, as the pet owner of a crested gecko, it is pertinent that you follow a proper feeding schedule, ensure that the food being fed to your crested gecko is properly balanced in nutrients, and regularly weigh your crested gecko to monitor any fluctuations in the weight of your pet.