Leopard geckos are small social lizards that are typically hardy and easy to care for. While they are easy to feed, living on a diet of crickets and meal worms, you also need to consider what they should be bedded on. Choosing the right bedding is an important part of keeping your leopard gecko healthy and comfortable, so put some thought into the substrate and the cage set-up before you bring your leopard geckos home.
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According to ReptiPro.com, leopard geckos come from Afghanistan, Pakistan and northwestern India. They are used to hot, desert climates, and sand is a natural choice for these lizards. While you can buy sand from the gardening section of your local hardware store, not just any sand will do. Use sand with grains that are 0.5mm in size or less. Only bed your adult lizards on sand, as juvenile lizards may swallow when they feed and have digestive issues. Sand has the advantage of being spot-cleaned as the lizards defecates or urinates.
Both paper towels and newspaper may be used to bed your leopard geckos. While these substrates are less attractive than sand, they are cheaper and they do not risk causing digestive problems in the younger lizards. Younger lizards may ingest sand as they eat, causing blockages in their stomachs. This issue, known as impaction, is a serious, potentially fatal issue. Paper towels and newspapers cannot be spot-cleaned as easily, and must be changed at least twice a week.
Artificial turf is another option for bedding your lizards. This material is typically used to line patios or porches, and it is intended to be very durable. It does not risk impaction, and it is an attractive alternative to newspapers or paper towels. Cut up several sheets of artificial turf in the shape of the tank and switch them out. Simply scrub the soiled material clean or stick it in the washing machine.
Moss or Vermiculite
Use moss or vermiculite stuffed in a hide box and slightly moistened to provide the lizards with a place to shed. Moisture and humidity help the lizards shed their skin completely, without leaving dry spots. A secure box filled with moss or vermiculite also gives the lizard a place to lay eggs if you plan on breeding them.
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