Both we and our pets might experience stress when things aren’t going smoothly. We want to ensure that our pets are happy and well-cared for by pet owners. Identifying stress indicators is the first step in creating a better atmosphere. How can you identify a stressed leopard gecko?
The following leopard gecko behaviors are typical indicators of stress: decreased appetite, weight loss, excessive hiding, swimming in glass, and tail wagging. Most stress-related concerns are the result of improper setup and handling.
Let’s talk about the symptoms, causes, and prevention of stress in leopard geckos.
What Are The Signs Of Stress In A Leopard Gecko?
The following list of the most typical stress indicators in captive leopard geckos:
- Stress Licking
Leopard geckos detect their surroundings with the help of their tongues. When they are in the exploratory mode, they will do it without hesitation. When you take your Leo out of the tank, you can see him attentively using that adorable, short tongue to take in the smells of his surroundings.
- Stress Waving
In advantageous situations, such as when stalking prey or courting a female, leopard geckos will occasionally wave or shake their tails.
Waving the tail, though, typically only says “Stay away. Leos frequently wave in an effort to ward off a threat, be it a rival, a predator, or any other species they feel threatened by.
A leopard gecko will make a squeaking, chirping, or quacking noise when startled. Vocalization serves the same purpose as tail waving, therefore you should follow suit and release your hold on the animal or return him to the tank if you hear him squeak while being handled.
- Excessive Hiding
Numerous things can be implied by excessive concealment.
If your leopard gecko had just acquired, hiding is a fairly common behavior. He must have some time to adjust. Allow him to hide for up to a few weeks as long as he is not on a hunger strike.
- Shut eyes
Check to see whether the temps are too low if the gecko is unresponsive and frequently closes his eyes.
An otherwise healthy gecko may exhibit excessive eye closure as a symptom that his tank lights are too bright or that he doesn’t have a favorite hide.
- Glass Surfing
A gecko that is distressed and tries to flee the uncomfortable circumstance may surf or dance on the glass. Glass surfing may be brought on by cohabitation stress, mites in the tank, excessive heat, an inadequate tank, or even a dull tank.
- Cohabitation Stress
Leopard geckos live in isolation. They are not dependent on one another. However, cohabitation has become common since two or more females can get along with one another.
However, events are bound to happen, particularly when feeding. The majority of Leos are quick and bold hunters. Things can easily turn nasty when they direct their hostility on each other while eating.
What Causes Stress To A Leopard Gecko?
New Environment or Enclosure
Any animal (as well as people) will likely experience stress when going through a significant transition like moving into a new house. When you initially bring your pet home or relocate it to a new gecko enclosure, it could take some time for it to acclimate.
A wrong-sized tank
For a young gecko, a 10-gallon tank is an excellent size because it has room for a few decent hiding places and natural movement. The amount of space should increase as the animal does.
A 20-gallon tank is a suitable size for one adult gecko in good health. Choosing the 20-gallon long or 20L size earns you more points. Leopard geckos are not keen climbers and won’t make much use of the vertical area, so these tanks are longer than they are tall to provide more floor space and less height.
Leopard geckos prefer temperatures between around 80 °F (27 °C) to 90 °F (32 °C). Having said that, the temperature throughout the entire tank shouldn’t be the same. There should be a distinct temperature gradient between the heated and chilly sides. Your cold-blooded acquaintance will be able to choose the location where they feel most at ease to control their body temperature in this way.
Bright Lights, or Lack of Day and Night Cycle
Crepuscular leopard geckos are most active in the twilight hours between dark and morning. They often don’t get much daylight in their natural environment and sleep during the day.
In your tank layout, you should try to mimic a natural day and night cycle. Smart outlets or programmable light fixtures make this simple to accomplish.
Competition for Food
Any animal (or person) will experience stress if their fundamental needs, such as having enough food, are not met. There will be food rivalry if leopard geckos are housed in the same enclosure. Stronger or bigger geckos could make it difficult for their tank mates to consume enough.
Stress is frequently caused by eating too little or having a bad diet. Your pet will continuously be on the prowl, hunting for something that isn’t there, if it doesn’t get enough nourishment. If its most fundamental need is not addressed, it may begin to exhibit indications of stress.
Competition for Shelter
Leopard geckos are typically solitary creatures, and after they reach the age of around a year, keeping them together may cause cohabitation stress. Each lizard will require options for various temperatures and needs its own spot to bunker down and feel safe.
Breeding causes female leopard geckos to experience increased levels of stress. First, if the female is constantly pressured to mate or is subject to competition for food and shelter as a result of sharing her area, cohabitation may be stressful.
Your gecko could become defensive or take cover if you handle it roughly or improperly. It’s crucial to handle your pet with care and patience. More information about how to handle leopard geckos can be found on our page.
How To Avoid Stress In A Leopard Gecko?
- Before choosing your pet and taking it home, do extensive study from reliable sources.
- The best way to prevent stress in leopard geckos is to set up his terrarium in accordance with the most highly recommended procedures. Keep in mind that pet stores are typically not the finest sources of information.
- Finding a healthy person with decent genetics also makes sure the animal won’t experience stress from being mistreated while being kept in the trade. Typically, purchasing a leopard gecko from a respected breeder will be sufficient to guarantee that your new pet will begin his life in good health.
- Avoid handling your leopard gecko excessively. Put your Leo back in his tank when you notice him becoming agitated or anxious. When handling them, avoid tugging or squeezing them. Allow for some natural movement, but always maintain control.
- Not to mention, giving your gecko the proper diet with the right amount of supplements and paying close attention to safety when giving it feisty feeders like crickets and super worms will go a long way toward ensuring a stress-free life for your gecko.
In conclusion, there are a variety of reasons why your Leo can be anxious. The best course of action is to maintain the cage tidy, engage with your gecko every day, and make sure they are receiving enough food and water.
Check the cage frequently for optimal humidity and temperature. All of these actions are vital to maintaining your Leo stress-free.