leopard gecko

8 Reasons Why We Adopted a Mini Velociraptor, I Mean Leopard Gecko

A couple of years ago, my husband and I happened upon an exotic animals expo and it was SO COOL! I probably asked all of the owners a million questions because I was so curious about everything. We got to see rare creatures, watch them being fed, and learn all about the poisonous ones. There were snakes, lizards, spiders, all kinds of awesome things that freak some people out. I fell in love with the bearded dragon and my husband said that I could get one! However, when I went home and did research, I got really cold feet. There were so many specifics involved with caring for one that I felt too afraid to handle it and decided not to get one.

Fast forward to Sunday! We spent some time at the Wheaton Arts Fantasy Faire and just like last year, I spent most of my time there at Tori’s Critters. Tori’s Critters is an animal education service that travels with a bunch of different species of animals. We were able to pet them and I coaxed the children into petting the sweet, soft snakes, that they would otherwise be terrified of. I have to say that I think it’s such a fantastic educational program to be able to learn all about the animals and also to get over your fears, if you have them! They do birthday parties and events, all kinds of entertaining things.

Anyway, while checking out the legless lizard and numerous types of lizards, we got a peek at the most gorgeous little (actually, big for his kind!) leopard gecko! She told me about how he was one of their many rescues and how easy geckos were to care for. This caught my interest and I started looking into it. After some reading and conversations with our very responsible eight year old, we decided that she would be his owner and I would supervise. So here we are, welcoming a new member of our family… Blue Terro, the leopard gecko!

leopard gecko

Blue is obviously named after the leading velociraptor in the Jurassic World movies, which is probably a common gecko name right now because they really do look like small dinosaurs! We’ve already decided that geckos make awesome pets and I want to share why, so you can consider if these pets might be right for your family at some point!

1. Geckos are friendly! They’re shy at first because, well, you’re ginormous and their instinct is to run away from this massive person who is probably about to eat them. After your gecko gets used to you though, they will walk on you and let you pet them. After you get a gecko, you wait a day or two before trying to pick them up and the best way to ease into it is by placing your hand at the bottom of the tank and letting the gecko come to you. They may lick you but don’t hesitate or pull away, just let them familiarize themselves with you. Eventually, they should be comfortable enough to climb into your hand. You let them walk from hand to hand, don’t grip them. It can take a week or two before they’re used to you but you just have to be patient and let them get comfortable with their surroundings.

leopard gecko

2. They won’t bite! They can bite, which apparently feels more like a pinch and definitely doesn’t hurt, but it is very uncommon for them to ever bite at all! Of all of the people I’ve spoken to that have had geckos, nobody has ever been bitten!

3. Geckos are a lower maintenance pet. They need a tank set to warm temperatures, only eat a few times a week, and the tank is pretty easy to clean. No grooming needed as they regularly shed their skin (and they usually eat it so you don’t even have to clean that up)!

4. They aren’t expensive to care for. Geckos eat insects, like crickets, roaches, and a variety of worms, which are pretty cheap. Each feeding is less than a few dollars, all depending on what you’re feeding.

5. They’re nocturnal! Kind of like your cat, these guys are sleeping a lot while you’re awake. Your window to play with them is a little smaller because you keep different hours. I consider this a good thing so you won’t be tempted to play with them all day while they’re awake, giving them the opportunity to be alone for a while! I think this contributes to the low maintenance thing too.

leopard gecko

6. Geckos live a LONG time! While some breeds of dog are only with you for ten years, geckos normally live 15-20 years! Your kids will go off to college kissing this little buddy goodbye!

7. Get over your fears! Whether it’s a fear of reptiles or insects, geckos are the perfect way to push yourself past it! My husband shudders at the sight of a reptile but he absolutely has gone in to feed and pet our little guy several times already. Don’t tell him I told you though. As for a fear of insects, my eight year old is still working on hers but I find that I’m getting over it pretty quickly as I help Blue to his meals!

8. It’s educational. I find that I’m learning so much about geckos and reptiles in general. I’m entranced watching him feed, stalking and gobbling his prey. I’ve learned about their natural habitats and how they react to things in the wild. They can drop their tails right off of their bodies as a defense mechanism and then they can regenerate, as can other parts of their bodies! This has led to a curiosity about more reptiles and where they come from, what they do and eat. Watching them behind the glass is fascinating, honestly.

leopard gecko

BONUS ONE! They’re gorgeous! Maybe it’s me, but I think those big doe eyes are so beautiful to look into. The designs on their skin, the texture, the way that they always look like they’re smiling. I’m in love.

Would you adopt a leopard gecko? Why kinds of exotic animals have you thought about getting? What kind of pets do you have now?

8 Reasons to Adopt a Leopard Gecko for the Family

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