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Care, Health and Growth, Crested Geckos, Geckos

3 Reasons on Why Does Your Crested Gecko eat His Poop 2023

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by The Pet Engineers

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The scientific term for an animal’s act of ingesting poop – whether of its own or some other animal’s – is called coprophagia. A lot of animals, especially insects, show the tendency to follow coprophagia.

A crested gecko, however, isn’t one of those. Crested geckos – or even reptiles in general – do not incline towards eating their own poop.

However, this does not mean that it has never happened.

While there is no research-based or scientific theory backing up this behavior, a lot of pet owners have observed or claimed that their crested geckos have eaten their own poop.

Here’s why your crested gecko eats his poop.

Do Crested Geckos Eat Their Poop?

The best indicator of how coprophagy is uncommon in crested geckos is shown by the mere fact that there are no research-based or experimental backings that talk about coprophagy of crested geckos.

Whatever knowledge does exist is via the anecdotes of pet owners and veterinary doctors.

So, it is safe to claim that normally, under usual circumstances, a crested gecko will not eat its own poop.

Most anecdotes or experiences of pet owners and vets observing and claiming that their crested gecko has indeed eaten its poop are based on accidental ingestion.

This basically means that when, in a rare case, a crested gecko does eat its own poop, there are high chances that it did so by mistake. It was accidental ingestion.

This could happen when your crested gecko mistakes the poop to be a worm or an insect.

Or, this may even happen when the food is kept too close to the excrement of the crested gecko – in which case, it is of utmost importance to keep the enclosure of your crested gecko very clean and hygienic.

Sometimes, when a pet owner claims that their crested gecko has eaten its own poop, it may not be an accurate assumption.

Some crested geckos simply bury their poop – and sometimes, there is quick decomposition if the poop amount is small.

In such a case, the pet owner may be confused by the sudden absence of excrement from the tank and may think that the crested gecko has eaten it.

Therefore, it is better to only believe your crested gecko has ingested its own poop when you see, with your own eyes, that your crested gecko has eaten it.

Otherwise, it may cause pointless worry and overthink on your part.

crested gecko
It is rare for a crested gecko to eat their poop

Reasons Why Would A Crested Gecko Eat Poop?

Although it is very rare for a crested gecko to indulge in eating its own poop, it may happen for one of the following reasons:

An Honest Mistake or Accident

Sometimes, your crested gecko may either mistake the poop to be an insect or eat the poop while eating its food if the food is placed too close to excrement in the tank.

In that case, your crested gecko will immediately spit the poop out.

Lack of Nutrition

This is more common among the wild population of crested geckos.

Crested geckos that are kept as pets in captivity will rarely resort to eating their own poop since they get prepared meals that are packed with nutrients.

However, in the wild, the nutrition content of the food they eat isn’t fixed or guaranteed. So, when they start feeding off relatively low-nutrient worms and insects, they may start eating their own food.

Coprophagy As A Means to Avoid Food Wastage

This, again, is much more common in the wild species than in the domesticated ones. Sometimes, a crested gecko may eat its own poop if it contains undigested or partially digested food.

crested gecko
Wild Crested geckos usually eat their own poop

Is It Safe For Crested Geckos To Eat Their Poop?

While a healthy crested gecko will not suffer from any major health issues by consuming some of its own poop every once in a while, you need to ensure that this does not become a frequent occurrence.

The frequent consumption of poop or excrement by the crested gecko may lead to parasitic infections.

In case your crested gecko is cohabitating with others, there is also an added risk that by ingesting some of its cage mate’s poop.

Your crested gecko may actually accidentally ingest some medication that the cage mate might be on. This can also cause several health problems.

The risk of parasitic infections is much more prominent and your crested gecko can end up with parasites such as salmonella and staphylococcus. This may prove fatal for your crested gecko.

crested gecko
crested geckos can get infected if they consume poop frequently

Tips For Preventing Them From Eating Poop

Here are some tips to ensure that your crested gecko does not feast on its own poop:

  1. Keep your crested gecko well-fed with a proper diet that consists of all the required nutrients. Have a good mix of fruits, insects, and prepared powder meals. This will ensure that your crested gecko does not feel nutrient deficiency and does not try to eat its own poop.
  2. Keep the enclosure clean at all times. Remove excrement from the tank regularly to prevent any accidental ingestion of poop by your crested gecko.
  3. Have an enclosure as large as possible so that there is ample space for your crested gecko to poop in one corner and eat in a completely different corner.
  4. Train your crested gecko to poop in one designated corner always.
  5. Maintain proper moisture content in the tank. It may seem irrelevant but it is of utmost importance. When the enclosure gets too humid for the crested gecko, it may start feeling like there are parasites on its body. This may cause your crested gecko to eat its own poop and skin at the rear end in order to “remove the parasites”.
  6. Ensure that there is a sufficient amount of substrate in the enclosure so that your crested gecko can dig and bury its poop if it wants to.
  7. Switch to a completely bio-active setup to ensure continual cleaning and decomposition of the fecal matter present in the enclosure.
  8. Do not allow your crested gecko to hunt in the same corner of the enclosure where it defecates.
  9. Ensure that your crested gecko is getting all of its nutrients either through meals or through a combination of meals and supplements prescribed by your vet.
  10. In case the problem continues to persist, consult a vet to find a permanent solution that stops your crested gecko from eating its own poop.

Conclusion

Crested geckos do not normally engage in the habit of eating their own poop.

So, if you do observe your crested gecko eat its own poop, and if it doesn’t immediately spit it out, you may want to consult a vet to check if there are any nutrient deficiencies that your crested gecko is dealing with.

Do not let your crested gecko eat poop frequently as it can cause health issues via parasitic infections.

Your crested gecko may get infected by salmonella or staphylococcus.

The possibility of your crested gecko eating its own poop can be reduced drastically by simple changes in its diet, habitat, and lifestyle.

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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