The cost of a gecko is more than the initial cost of the animal. Gecko owners also need money for an aquarium, crickets, and the occasional veterinarian visit. The aquarium can be relatively small, with width counting more than height. Young geckos should be fed every day, whereas older ones can usually be fed every other day. In addition, a gecko can become sick or injured like any other animal, so owners should have emergency vet care money on hand.
Geckos can be purchased at pet stores or directly from a breeder. This factor can significantly affect the cost of a gecko, depending on the prices of a specific area. Sometimes breeders are a lot cheaper than pet stores, because they are not selling geckos at a mark up. All geckos come from a breeder, but pet stores usually buy from mass breeders at a discount.
The total cost of a gecko includes the occasional visit to an exotic animal veterinarian. Geckos can get sick, accidentally injure themselves, or be injured by their owners due to poor handling. Weight loss, poor appetite, and labored breathing are common signs of a sick gecko. Generally, reputable breeders produce healthier animals than ones who operate solely to mass breed animals for overstocked pet stores.
Gecko aquariums and associated equipment contribute to the cost of a gecko. For most geckos to be comfortable, proper habitat accessories are required. For example, geckos need comfortable surfaces to climb and spend time on. A heat source, thermometer, and method of controlling humidity are also necessary to maintain a healthy habitat. When all of these habitat-related costs are combined, they represent a sizable portion of the total cost of owning a gecko.
A gecko aquarium needs sufficient lighting for the animal to bask in. The light bulb should be on 10 to 12 hours every day, which costs just as much as leaving another light on in the house. While the electricity costs of this alone are relatively insignificant month to month, it adds up. Depending on the gecko and its gender and overall health, the animal can live more than 20 years.
Mealworms and crickets are two common pet gecko foods. Compared to other pets, the cost and complication of feeding a gecko is relatively large. For example, it is recommended to feed the crickets before feeding them to a gecko because starving crickets are not as nutritious.