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What Are the Pros and Cons of Geckos as Pets?

Meshell Powell
Meshell Powell

There are several pros and cons to consider before deciding upon obtaining geckos as pets. These lizards are quite easy to find and are relatively easy to care for, at least compared to other types of lizards. Geckos have extensive needs when it comes to proper housing, lighting, decoration and feeding, however, causing many people to reconsider keeping the small lizards as pets. Although geckos are quiet pets and generally are content, they are not nearly as responsive as more typical household pets. Adult geckos eat a combination of vegetables, insects and nutritional supplements, leading to quite an expensive diet in many cases.

When considering the possibility of having geckos as pets, it is important for a person to understand these lizards are considered to be among the easiest reptiles as far as care and temperament. Some lizards can be loud or might have a foul odor, but these are not issues normally associated with pet geckos. This type of lizard also is less prone to biting or attacking the owner than some other reptiles.

Crickets are the best insect food for geckos.
Crickets are the best insect food for geckos.

Properly housing these lizards can be expensive and labor intensive, frequently causing potential owners to reconsider having geckos as pets. A pet gecko requires a relatively large enclosure with a sturdy screen lid. Proper heating and lighting can can be expensive and a bit difficult to implement correctly. Precautions must be taken to make sure that a safe type of bedding is used, and the lizard must have suitable decorations, hiding places and a separate water dish for bathing or soaking.

People who have children who want pet lizards should consider keeping geckos as pets, because they are quite docile and easy to handle. These lizards are not nearly as aggressive as some other types. At the same time, geckos are wonderful escape artists, so special care should be taken to make sure that they do not get out of their enclosures.

Feeding pet geckos is not particularly difficult, although it can be expensive and time consuming. Adult geckos must be fed at least once a day and require a combination of freshly chopped vegetables in addition to crickets or meal worms that have been coated with powdered vitamins. Before deciding to keep geckos as pets, a person should locate a veterinarian who is willing to treat reptiles in the event that the new pets become ill or the owner has specific questions concerning the proper care of geckos.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the benefits of having a gecko as a pet?

Geckos are known for being low-maintenance and quiet, making them ideal for small living spaces or for pet owners with busy lifestyles. They require minimal grooming and can be quite fascinating to watch due to their unique behaviors and physical characteristics, such as their ability to climb smooth surfaces.

Do geckos require a lot of space in captivity?

No, geckos generally do not require a lot of space. A well-ventilated terrarium of appropriate size, depending on the species, is sufficient for them to thrive. For example, a leopard gecko typically needs a 10-20 gallon tank. This makes geckos suitable for people living in apartments or with limited space.

Are geckos expensive to care for?

The initial setup for a gecko, including the terrarium, heating, and lighting equipment, can be an investment, but the ongoing costs are relatively low. Geckos have modest dietary needs, primarily feeding on insects like crickets and mealworms, and they do not require frequent veterinary visits if kept in a proper environment.

Can geckos be handled and are they friendly to humans?

Many gecko species can be tamed and are tolerant of gentle handling, though they are not typically 'cuddly' pets. It's important to handle them carefully to avoid causing stress or injury. Some species, like the leopard gecko, are known for being more docile and may be a good choice for those wanting a more interactive experience.

What are the potential drawbacks of owning a gecko?

Geckos have specific habitat and dietary requirements that must be met, such as controlled temperatures and live food, which can be a con for some potential owners. They are also nocturnal, so they may not be as active during the day when most people are available to interact with them.

How long do geckos live and what commitment does this entail?

Geckos can have a surprisingly long lifespan with proper care, with some species living up to 20 years. This long-term commitment means owners should be prepared for the responsibilities of caring for their pet over many years, including habitat maintenance, feeding, and health monitoring.

Discussion Comments


@Iluviaporos - Actually they are a really good example of the extraordinary abilities that a lot of animals have as well.

In fact when my science class kept a gecko as a pet, my teacher had us speculate on how they managed to stick their feet to almost any surface and how they could practically walk upside down on glass.

No one in the class got it right. Most people thought it was something sticky or maybe by suction. But, in fact it is by using Van der Waals force, which is the attractive force between molecules.

In fact, they might be basing astronaut shoes on gecko feet, which I think is really cool. And it was very cool learning about it as a kid with an actual gecko hanging there as an example.


Geckos are a really good pet to have in a classroom since they take quite a lot of care, but aren't aggressive or too noisy or anything. I would make sure that I could take care of them at home first though, as it is all too easy for learners to let the geckos escape, or to accidentally make them sick or kill them.

I would also make sure that no one in the class is going to freak out if you have to feed the geckos with live insects.

Gecko food is not going to appeal to all of the kids, but frankly I think for a science class who are probably going to have to dissect a frog or something later on, it can be a good way to introduce them to "nature red in tooth and claw".

You can rotate the feeding and cleaning around the class and base a couple of lessons around the habits of the lizards. They are pretty good examples of things like camouflage.

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    • Crickets are the best insect food for geckos.
      By: viter
      Crickets are the best insect food for geckos.