Aside from dogs and cats, there are many animals out there that make great pets – which you probably may have never thought about. For sure, Geckos are one of them. These fast-moving, omnivorous creatures belong to the reptile world and feed on both animals and plants. Although it’s uncommon for reptiles to be kept as domestic pets, geckos are an entirely different matter. Due to their little size and docile, fun nature, they can quickly become part of the family. They are comfortable with humans and can happily walk on your hands and legs without any qualms.
There are over two thousand species of geckos known to man, and the House Gecko is one of them. However, don’t be fooled by the word ‘house’, as although this is the most common gecko found in homes, it is rarely desirable as a pet. It is very small and intruding in the sense that it is usually an unwanted visitor. It quietly creeps into homes and shares it stealthily with the owner. Across so many homes, house geckos are usually found feeding on cockroaches, insects, ants, spiders and the likes. Their dull color, parasitic and intrusive nature, makes them uninteresting as pets. However, if you are looking for an additional pet for your kids apart from dogs and cats, there are a good number of geckos are another complement to your already existing list. Here are seven types of geckos that make great pets.
The Leopard Gecko
Geckos are ranked according to diet, adaptability, suitability, size, ease of keeping, temperament, physical features, and general behavioral traits. If you are looking to keep a gecko as a pet, as a general rule, you must ensure you have a constant supply of the appropriate diet for your lizard friend. The good news is that there are many geckos that have very cheap and easy to feed diet such as the Leopard Gecko. As the name suggests, this gecko has a leopard-like skin color and pattern and is the most common of all domestic geckos; perhaps because of its amazing color. They have eyelids unlike other geckos, also, they do not have sticky toe pads and do not climb walls like other geckos. They are gentle and easy to tame and play with and have no tendency to bite.
This kind of gecko is also very cheap and easy to maintain and requires no complicated meal to stay alive and in good shape. It feeds mainly on assorted types of worms and ants and is nocturnal; therefore, requires little or no lighting as most lizard pets do.
Because it is most active at night, you don’t get to see the most exciting part of its life. However, if you do not mind playing with a calm gecko, handling it during the day can also be so much fun for pet lovers. If you are sold already, it’s vital to keep in mind that baby leopard geckos need to be fed daily while adult types may be fed at least once every two days.
The Crested Gecko
This is another gecko type that many people love to keep as a pet. It derives its name from the crest on its body and eyes and is also very colorful and beautiful to behold. Just like the Leopard Gecko, it is nocturnal and requires no special lighting and warmth as they can survive at very low temperature. If you are purchasing the Crested Gecko for companionship or entertainment purposes, you would either have to adjust your own schedule to watch it play during its active time or ensure you get a daytime pet, so you can watch it play during the day. Do not attempt to force a nocturnal gecko to play during the day – you might just irritate it and some geckos have been known to bite when angered. Adjusting to your pet’s natural sleeping pattern is something that is expedient to do.
With the Crested Gecko, they come in different colors and patterns from dots to stripes and the likes. They are easy to tame and nurture and their diet consists of a simple powdery meal mixed with water, so no worms or insects are required for this type of gecko.
What is interesting about this gecko is that it has a tendency of losing its tail at times which it does not usually grow back. This, however, does not expose it to any danger and it can live a normal life without its tail. Even better, they can live up to 25 years and have earned a reputation of being easy climbers. So if you are interested in keeping this reptile as a friend, you must get it a habitat and provide a lot of roof space so it can do with all the climbing it desires.
The Bearded Dragon
The Bearded Dragon is another favorite for gecko pet lovers. As its name suggests, it has a fleshy patch that looks like a beard on its neck. It is very active at day time and makes a great entertainment mate. Its trusting and peaceful nature makes it easy to handle and comfortable to take care of. Bearded Dragons are omnivorous animals who feed on insects, worms, and vegetables. This flexible eating pattern is another factor that makes them a very easy animal to keep. They are bigger than most geckos and are just the right size for a pet keeper.
The Red Ackie is another darling of gecko pet lovers and keepers. Just like its name suggests. It is reddish in color and is sometimes referred to a spiny-tailed lizard. It looks very much like a miniature monitor and is easy to tame and exciting to watch. This animal can live for 10 years and above and measures between 19-26 inches. It, however, requires controlled heating and a lot of lighting to survive while in captivity. Luckily, Ackies don’t need too much space to fit into because of their small size. For a pet keeper, providing space won’t be too much of a problem. Just get a small and cozy tank and your reptile friend is ready to settle down in its new habitat.
However, as these creatures are pretty small, when taking care of a Red Ackie, you will have to find the appropriate habitat within your home first. This might also mean encasing and restricting them. No pet owner wants to be saddled with the problem of looking for an escapee gecko.
Argentine Black and White Tegu
With a pet reptile like the Argentine Black and White Tegu, extra care needs to be taken to ensure the right habitat is available as it is one of the largest breeds out there. It is black and white in color, and as its name suggests, measures between 3-4 feet long. For this reason, it requires a lot of space for movement and if you want to enjoy this interesting lizard as a pet, you must create a lot of room for it to play.
Generally speaking, when purchasing a gecko, it’s vital to take cognizance of your gecko’s body size before choosing an appropriate space and case for it. It would be awkward to place a large gecko in a small tank or casing. Nothing can be more frustrating than cramping up a large animal within a small space. It might irritate it and the whole essence of keeping a pet; especially for entertainment purposes, the whole case would be defeated.
The Argentine Black and White Tegu is certainly a delight to watch and is quite entertaining too. Tegus are also known to be very smart lizards and if tamed from a very young age, can learn to walk leashed with its keeper. Wouldn’t it be a lot of fun to walk your Tegu down the road just like you would with a pet doggie?.
The Giant Day Gecko
The Giant Day Gecko is strikingly beautiful with colors of green and red. As the name connotes, it is most active during the day and provides lots of excitement for animal watchers. It is larger than most geckos and can live up to 30 years. It feeds on worms, Insects, and fruits and there is no need worrying about complexities of caring for it as a pet. It is simple to maintain – you just need to ensure it has enough of simple diet and water in its tank and it is good to go. Also, as its large size makes it easy to sight, you don’t need to worry about watching it for fun or about your pet escaping. It is certainly a pet keeper and watcher’s delight.
The White-Lined Gecko
It’s also vital to keep in mind that some geckos are lone rangers, while others like to cohabit. Some males like to possess territory while others are quite tolerant. That’s why it’s best to research and find out your pet’s preferable habitation pattern before you put them in a case. The White-Lined Gecko, for example, is about the most exciting gecko to watch owing to its communal and sociable nature.
Male and female cohabitation is a wonderful recipe for great entertainment for pet watchers who keep this type. However, because male white-lined geckos are territorial by nature, it will not be wise to make them share habitat with another male. So, in order to create an environment for great activity and fun, you will need to have at least a male and female cohabitate. And, of course, providing a bigger playing space than most conventional geckos would require is a must since habitat sharing is what this class of geckos enjoy quite a lot.
If you are also looking to adopt multiple geckos for fun or to have a collection of sellable geckos for commercial purposes, this class of geckos is your number one choice to keep. However, if you are just after a solitary lizard to keep and you have space concerns, it’s probably best to opt for another breed. Just like other geckos, you must ensure you provide them with a high enough temperature and that the humidity levels are at the lowest to ensure they live comfortably.
Today, geckos remain endangered with quite a lot of them threatened with extinction due to being dislodged from their natural habitat and being decimated as preys. Adopting a gecko is a great idea as they are free and can be sourced from your natural environment. As for feeding, food like worms, insects, and vegetables abound everywhere. Just search and you will find. This makes geckos cheaper to manage than dogs and cats whose diet are somewhat more complex. Additionally, keep in mind that some geckos like to cohabit just for the sake of companionship and just about any sex of same species will do as a play partner, but others are very territorial by nature.
Also, keeping the temperature high and constant and ensuring the humidity level is kept at the barest minimum is something that makes most geckos thrive well. Geckos have physical features that make them adapt to their environment. All geckos, except the leopard gecko, have webbed and sticky legs that make climbing easy. Watching these creatures climb can be quite a delight. They can climb at great heights without falling and usually suspend their body upside down on a wall. Most geckos have sticky pads under their feet to ensure a firm grip on surfaces
As for appearance, some geckos also change color to make them blend with their environment; which makes them difficult to detect in case of danger. So, the next time you look for your pet friend in its tank or case, and you have problems locating it, it may just have changed color to blend with its environment. You may also want to mimic the ideal physical environment that is suitable by placing rocks, sand, plants, vegetables, or whichever works well for your reptile friend.