Do Crested Geckos Make Great Pets? (Explained!)

Are you looking for a new pet to add to your family? If so, have you considered a Crested Gecko? These little lizards are quickly becoming one of the most popular pets around and for good reason. They are adorable, gentle creatures that make perfect pets for reptile lovers.

In this blog post, we will discuss everything you need to know about Crested Geckos before making the decision to bring one into your home.

Do Crested Geckos Make Great Pets?

Do Crested Geckos Make Great Pets?

Do Crested Geckos make great pets? Yes. Crested Geckos make great pets. They are simple to handle creatures that come in a surprisingly varied range of colors and patterns. They sleep during the day and are active at night as they are nocturnal. Their evening activity involves a lot of entertaining activities such as jumping. Although docile and lovable, they prefer minimum handling.

Housing a crested gecko is a simple affair as they live in small enclosures of 1 to 2 gallons when they are young. You can upgrade to a 20-gallon tank when they reach adulthood. Crested Gecko loves to climb and hunt, so in addition to providing substrate to keep them comfortable, add in some branches and a hiding place.

If you’re thinking about adding a crested gecko to your family, there are a few things you need to know before you bring your new pet home:

  • Crested Gecko’s only need to eat 2 or 3 times a week, but you should give them fresh water daily. They eat a varied diet of insects, worms and fruits, which makes it easy to have something for them to eat at hand. Remember to feed them in the evening.
  • You only need to clean out food remains and fecal matter once a day, but do a thorough cleaning of their tank once a week
  • They won’t keep you occupied during the day as they are asleep. This means you can go about your day and leave your crested gecko to rest.
  • You don’t need to worry about your crested gecko getting lonely as they can get by with very minimal handling.

Do Crested Geckos Like to Be Handled?

Do Crested Geckos Make Great Pets

No. Like many reptiles, crested geckos aren’t great fans of being held. They are however more docile than most lizards, and as long as you practice patience and handle them with care, they become used to being handled after some time. However, it is important to note that each individual crested gecko has its own unique personality, so some may be more tolerant of handling than others.

This doesn’t however mean that you should increase handling time when they seem used to it. It is always good to rely on their body language so that you know when you’ve done enough handling. If you notice your crested gecko getting restless or show signs of irritation, you should put it back in its tank.

Most crested lizards can tolerate 10 minutes of handling, although some can extend to 30 minutes. It’s better to stick to a shorter handling time as crested geckos need to be inside of their tank where the temperature and humidity conditions are conducive for them. As well, during handling, don’t try to cuddle it as it might interpret this the wrong way and get scared.

Some things that might happen when a crested gecko doesn’t want to be handled either because of unsuitable temperature and humidity or because of fear include:

  • It might jump away, perhaps trying to find its way back into its tank
  • The gecko can get aggressive and even bite
  • It might drop its tail (more on this below). This is a typical response to stress among crested lizards.

Do Crested Geckos Bite?

Yes. Crested geckos can bite, but this is quite rare. Biting by crested geckos happens more as a defense mechanism as opposed to a sign of aggression. Cresties try to warn off potential attackers with a variety of noises such as barks. Another unusual defense mechanism unique to these reptiles is tail loss: they literally drop off their tail as a last resort when they feel cornered.

But typically, crested geckos run and hide whenever they are confronted with danger. This is why when building a terrarium for your crestie, you must put it in a hiding place that’s large enough to make the gecko feel safe whenever it needs to retreat.

Reasons that may provoke your Crested Gecko to bite

  • Fear. Owner behavior such as reaching for a crested gecko from above can be interpreted as an attack by a predator. The gecko will bite in an attempt to get away.
  • Stress. This can happen when for instance a crested gecko doesn’t want to be handled for reasons such as illness or just a need for rest.
  • Unfamiliar surroundings. Change in surroundings can get a bit long to get used to. Until then, it’s better to leave your crested gecko to adjust to its new environment before you handle it.

With all this being said, a new gecko is more likely to bite you than one that’s been in your home for a while.

How can you know when a crested gecko is preparing for a bite?

Crested geckos issue other warning signs before they bite. But besides these vocalizations, they also display the following signals:

  • Staring at you with its mouth agape
  • Twitching its tail. The crested gecko uses its tail as a defensive tool. It will flick and twitch it when it is feeling aggressive.
  • Tail dropping. This is a very unusual flightresponse as it happens suddenly. It is a sign of extreme stress. The tails don’t grow back, so it’s best to prevent this as much as possible.
  • Closely watching you. Crested geckos are known for their curiosity. But it’s not normal for them to watch every move you make. If you notice your pet crestie doing this or if it jumps against its tank walls when you approach, it’s better to leave it alone.

Do Crested Geckos Get Easily Stressed?

Yes. Crested geckos get easily stressed. They are small reptiles that are commonly preyed on by larger terrestrial reptiles and birds. So, they are always on the alert. Aggression is a common reaction to a stressful environment. But even more common is fearful behavior.

This means that any time a crested gecko sees someone approaching its tank, it leaps off and hides. This skittishness is common when the reptile is new in its environment. But if it happens after several weeks of being in their new home, you should be concerned.

You can ease your crested lizard’s discomfort in the following ways:

  • Keep the temperature in the room the same as that in the tank. Do this before you get it out of the tank so that the transition is smooth.
  • Humidify the room to match the tank’s humidity. Again, do this before you get the crested gecko out of its tank. Just like a sudden temperature change is bad for your gecko, so too is a dramatic change in humidity.
  • Eliminate stressors in the home. Loud noises, loud music and the presence of large pets such as dogs and cats are factors that might build up stress levels in a crested gecko.

Do Crested Geckos Die When They Drop Their Tails?

No. Crested Geckos don’t die when their tails fall off. They can drop their tails as a defense mechanism in cases where the larger predator will bite their tail and they need to get away. However, once the Crested Gecko drops its tail, it will not grow back again.

You do however need to keep an eye on the wound healing process to prevent infections. Substrate getting lodged into the wound is a common factor that may interfere with healing, so keep the gecko on a clean paper towel during the healing process.

After the tail falls off, some bleeding happens, but this usually subsides quite quickly. The crested gecko will have a problem balancing, but it soon learns to do so after some practice.

If you feel that the wound is taking longer than usual to heal, take your crested gecko to the vet.

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