Wondering if Leopard Geckos Need Water? This guide is for you!
If you are a new leopard gecko keeper, you’re definitely interested in making your pet as comfortable as possible.
One thing that puzzles potential gecko owners is whether these reptiles need water.
Leopard geckos need water – but not on the scale that mammals do. These reptiles may not require much water because they get most of their moisture content from the fresh insects they consume. All the same, it’s essential to keep a dish of fresh water handy should your pet need it.
Don’t expect your leopard gecko to demand water all the time. However, your pet’s water demand increases if they have gone for a considerable time without feeding.
For example, provide enough water for your pet when it is shedding. Ordinarily, leopard geckos do not eat when they’re shedding off skin.
As such, they need more water to replenish their moisture content.
Does My Leopard Gecko Need Water?
Your leopard gecko gets most of its water needs from the insects it feeds on. You’ll realize that some insects are fleshier than others.
If your gecko lives on hardy and skinny insects, you may have to supplement its moisture needs by giving it water.
Your pet’s water needs will also be considerably high if you live in a hot and dry area.
It’s noteworthy that the leopard gecko does not drink as much water as mammals. However, they still need to quench their thirst every now and then.
It’s a good idea to keep a bowl of fresh water close by that your pet can use to quench its thirst whenever the need arises.
Why Should I Give My Leopard Gecko Water?
Although leopard geckos don’t like being around water bodies, they need water to perform bodily functions.
As noted above, your pet needs water occasionally to quench thirst. Water also helps this mammal to maintain the correct body moisture content.
Without adequate water, your pet may become too dehydrated, attracting a myriad of health concerns.
Water is also necessary for misting. You need to use water to increase humidity in parched weather.
Keeping some sections of your pet’s play area damp helps regulate this reptile’s body temperature. But, of course, you also need water to give your leopard gecko the occasional bath.
What Kind of Water Does My Leopard Gecko Need?
Your pet needs fresh water for drinking, bathing, and misting. However, being a sensitive creature, it can be adversely affected by chlorine-loaded water.
Water with any form of chemicals should be avoided as it is likely to cause irritations and inflammations.
If tap water is not good enough, you can use filtered or distilled water. Your tap water will suffice if it doesn’t have too much chlorine and other strong chemicals.
If you can drink the water in question, you can be sure it is good enough for your pet.
All the same, make it a habit to condition tap water to eliminate the chlorine and chemicals before giving it to your pet.
Is Water Safe for My Leopard Gecko?
Leopard geckos are not watery creatures, and they can’t swim. Actually, they try to keep away from water as much as possible.
However, they cannot survive without water. As noted above, they need water to carry out their bodily functions.
Ensure that only clean water is made available for your pet’s use. Contaminated water will adversely affect your pet and attract a raft of health issues.
Additionally, don’t expose your leopard gecko to deep water, as this puts it at risk of drowning.
Water should be presented in a wide, shallow bowl that your pet can quickly get out of. You can also have wet hides near the tank to help regulate humidity.
Does My Gecko Need Water for Swimming?
Have you been thinking of providing your pet with water for swimming? Bad idea! Your leopard gecko cannot swim.
This creature is not adapted to life in water. If you’re keen enough, you’ll realize your pet keeps away from water as much as possible.
Forcing your leopard gecko to swim is a bad idea. It subjects your pet to the risk of drowning and sickness.
As such, it’s better to offer your pet water in a shallow dish than in a deep bowl. But, unfortunately, even a little water poses a great danger to the younger geckos.
A water dish is wider and allows the gecko to get out should it fall into the water accidentally. In addition, you can opt for a dish with little grooves that your pet can hold on to as it drinks.
Similarly, don’t use too much water when bathing your gecko. A shallow, wide dish of warm water can give your pet its occasional dip.
Ensure you refrain from serving food in the water dish, as this may present additional problems. Change the water and clean the dish regularly to avoid poisoning your pet with contaminants.
How Often Should I Clean My Leopard Gecko’s Water Dish?
Keeping water in a dish in your pet’s enclosure is essential as it plays several roles. However, the water may become contaminated if it stays in the tank for too long.
It’s crucial that you clean the water dish and change the water regularly. You can do this once every two days.
It’s even better if you can do it daily. Also, clean the water any time an unwanted matter gets into it. Say, for example, your pet poops in the water.
You need to clean it immediately because your leopard gecko should use and drink only clean water.
At the same time, keep the water in the vivarium’s cooler area, so it doesn’t evaporate. The heat bulb in the vivarium may create enough heat to evaporate the water.
You have to devise creative ways to circumvent this problem. For example, you can keep the water dish as far away from any source of heat as possible.
Although your leopard gecko does not easily take to water, it needs this resource for a number of reasons.
Clean water in a dish is suitable for your pet’s consumption. You can also use the same water to maintain humidity inside the vivarium.
Keeping clean water in a dish also helps to cool off your pet when it feels too hot. This water also comes in handy when your leopard gecko is shedding.
Dip your pet for about 20 minutes twice or thrice a week. This promotes shedding and the growth of new skin on your pet.
What is Misting?
This is occasionally spraying the vivarium with water to maintain the proper humidity content. Being a cold-blooded animal, your leopard gecko uses the environment to thermo-regulate.
The humidity around the vivarium should be around 35%. You may have to carry out regular misting to maintain this condition in dry weather.
Maintaining the right humidity makes shedding easy for your pet. As a result, the skin comes off more efficiently, and the inflammations and irritations are not pronounced.
Spraying water in the vivarium also provides the leopard gecko with drinking water. Your pet will enjoy drinking the drops of water formed during misting.
Misting plays an important role in fulfilling your gecko’s regular moisture needs. It is also critical to maintain the correct temperature inside the vivarium.
Spraying mists of water maintain the right humidity in the enclosure and helps with skin shedding.
Key Points to Observe During Misting
- Mist your pet’s enclosure daily if it doesn’t have a source of water within
- Your leopard gecko does not need as much water as mammals. However, he needs the correct humidity to easily regulate temperature and shed skin.
- The ideal humidity level for the enclosure is around 35%
- Leopard geckos get their moisture requirements from the insects they feed on
- Provide enough water to quench your pet’s thirst
- Misting too much is not good for the general environment in the enclosure -. It may cause fogging.
- Misting too often could raise the humidity level to over 40% – which is not good for your pet.
- High humidity can also encourage the growth of pathogens that cause infections.
- Take care that the humidity level does not drop below 20% – this may cause problems with shedding.
- Provide water in a shallow, wider dish that your gecko can easily get out of.
- Too much water may drown your pet or make it sick.
- Bath your leopard gecko occasionally – only when it is necessary. Your pet does not appreciate being in water all the time.
Misting is primarily done to maintain the humidity level of the enclosure. However, your pet can drink the drops formed during misting. As such, ensure that you use clean water at all times.
Why Does My Leopard Gecko Keep Sitting in Water?
You should be concerned if your leopard gecko develops a sudden affinity for water. This is because, naturally, leopard geckos try to avoid water as much as possible.
Your pet is not a good swimmer and will even try to flee when you put it in bathing water. So why does your gecko keep sitting in the water?
Skin shedding can be painful and irritating. So your leopard gecko sits in the water to soothe the inflammation caused by this process.
Don’t be surprised to find your gecko sitting in water if the humidity levels are too low. This is because this reptile should be in the water to carry out the shedding process effectively.
When the weather is too hot, your leopard gecko will have no option but to soak itself in water to cool down.
This is why having some shallow water in a bowl within your pet’s enclosure is important.
Remember that your pet is cold-blooded. Therefore, it depends on external factors to control its internal body temperature.
Your pet could be sitting in water because it wants to discover all there is in its environment. Being inquisitive creatures, leopard geckos are known to be explorative.
Your leopard gecko needs water for various reasons. You must ensure the water your pet accesses is clean and fresh.
Your pet’s water dish could be a source of health complications if you are not vigilant enough. For example, it is likely to be contaminated by insects when they die in it.
Make it a point to check your leopard Gecko’s water needs at least once daily. You should change the dish’s water daily or as often as necessary.
P.S. You might also consider reading our guide on what leopard geckos eat.