Due to the specific needs of pet lizards, including geckos, or Gekkonidae, special care should be taken when purchasing and housing these animals. To make the process of acquiring all of the necessary equipment easier, many shops that sell exotic pets offer gecko starter kits. While the package contents may vary from shop to shop, gecko starter kits should include certain basic necessities and the best starter kits come with a full range of products and information to assist new pet owners.
Appropriate housing for your pet lizard is important. Some shops send geckos home in small containers which are perfect for a short trip from the pet shop to home but are not suitably sized for full time living quarters for these animals. Depending upon the breed and size of the lizard, cages of different sizes may be appropriate. For the majority of gecko species, a ten gallon (37.85 liters) aquarium with a securely fastened lid or a comparable enclosure is suitable.
Geckos and other reptiles are cold blooded and rely on external heat sources such as the sun to regulate body temperatures. Reptiles also rely on the light of the sun to process vitamins and minerals in their food. In captivity, this Ultra Violet (UV) light and heat must be furnished artificially. Undertank heaters may be included in more expensive kits. Other options for heat include heat stones or lights. Since many gecko species are nocturnal, a specialized red lamp bulb may provide a greater opportunity to actually observe the animal while providing the heat and light it needs to survive.
The best gecko starter kits will include thermometers and hydrometers, as well as a water source. Temperature and humidity are important factors in the health and well being of geckos. While the water source can be something as simple as a shallow dish or spray bottle, it is one of the most important pieces of equipment to have in the kit. The measuring instruments are extremely useful, particularly to new hobbyist, because accurate measurements of temperature and humidity serve to ensure the continued health of the pet and can be used to troubleshoot common health problems.
Food is an important consideration when purchasing any pet and the gecko is no different. Most gecko species feed on live insects and the best gecko starter kits will include a small supply of species appropriate food for the new pet. In some cases, the starter kit may also include vitamin supplements to further promote the good health of geckos.
For the first time reptile keeper, one of the most important things is information. If you are purchasing gecko starter kits in a pet shop, the better kits will often include an easy to read book or pamphlet on the care and keeping of your new pet species. This extra information is usually just the basics of care for the species but it can be an invaluable aid to first time gecko owners who want to ensure the best possible pet owner experience.