Wondering how long your leopard gecko will live? This guide is for you!
Sadly, many owners hardly get to interrogate how long they expect their pets to live. They are, therefore, left devastated when their pet departs at the moment they think it is too soon.
As a leopard gecko owner, have you ever considered how long your pet will live?
A well-taken care of leopard gecko lives to a ripe old age of 15 to 20 years in captivity. But unfortunately, not many leopard geckos live to see their 15th or 20th birthday. This is because of what can only be termed human error.
So what can you do to improve the chances of your pet living a full life?
How Long is a Leopard Gecko Expected to Live?
Leopard geckos in the wild have a different life expectancy from those in captivity. Since wild leopard geckos are exposed to all kinds of perils, their lifespans are understandably shorter.
What’s the Lifespan of a Leopard Gecko in the Wild?
Leopard geckos in the wild live to about 15 years, slightly lower than the captive leos. Although wild leopard geckos can access wholesome diets, these meals are usually contaminated.
Look at it this way. Wild leopard geckos feed on insects that have come into contact with insecticides, pesticides, and herbicides.
These chemicals are directly transferred to the leopard gecko’s internal systems, thus compromising his immunity.
At the same time, leopard geckos in the wild don’t have access to a stable supply of food. So their survival depends on the vagaries of nature.
Sometimes, a leopard gecko in the wild is forced to go for long periods without food. Unfortunately, this invites a myriad of health issues.
Wild leopard geckos are in constant threat of predators. As such, they have constantly elevated stress, which exposes them to opportunistic infections and diseases.
It has always been argued that stress is the number one killer of wild leopard geckos. But, of course, we know that stress in itself does not kill animals (or even humans).
However, stress makes internal parasites in the animal multiply. In addition, it lowers leo’s immune system, exposing him to attacks from all corners.
Stress leads to loss of appetite, which makes the animal weak, lethargic, and easy prey for predators.
For three reasons, leopard geckos in the wild have a short lifespan. First, they may run out of food supply, get caught by predators, or die from diseases.
These things often happen in the arid deserts the leopard geckos call their natural home.
What’s the Lifespan of a Captive Leopard Gecko?
Leopard gecko pets live for up to 20 years.
This is expected, considering they are well sheltered from all the perils their brother and sisters in the wild face every day.
Captive leopard geckos enjoy the benefit of a regular diet. They are provided with the highest possible quality of food, free of harmful chemicals.
Also, these leos have well-lit and heated homes. Captive leos are given all the attention they deserve to ensure they don’t have to live with stressors like the wild leos do.
Captive leopard geckos are well protected from cold seasons and the vagaries of freak weather.
Also, they have at their disposal the services of expert vets to nurse them back to health whenever they are sick or injured.
In short, they have everything they need to live their lives to the full.
Of course, here we’re talking about the ideal.
Unfortunately, some pet owners forget to provide their leos the care they need to achieve their full potential.
As such, a few leos never get to see their 20th birthday.
How Old Is My Leopard Gecko?
You can tell how old your leopard gecko is by measuring his height or weight. Both ways give a reasonably accurate age count because as leo grows, he goes through a pattern of changes.
At the same time, these changes affect males and females differently.
Here’s a look at how to use length and weight to estimate your leopard gecko’s age. Note that this only applies if the leopard gecko is healthy, and has had an everyday life.
|3 Inches||3 Inches||2-5g||2-5g||Birth|
How Can You Increase Your Leopard Gecko’s Lifespan?
Leopard geckos in captivity live longer than those in the wild because they are better-taken care of. In the same way, your pet leo will live longer if you take care of it.
Basically, this means providing him with the proper nourishment, eliminating stressors, and taking care of his medical needs.
Here’s what you can do to give your leopard gecko a long, happy life:
Your leopard gecko will spend his entire life in the accommodation you build for him in your home. If this enclosure makes him feel safe and comfortable, he’ll likely live a long life.
The ideal leopard gecko terrarium should be at least 20 gallons. In addition, it should extend more horizontally than vertically.
Your leopard gecko will thrive at 320 C (900 F) during the day and 220 C (720 F) at night.
You also need to ensure the humidity is between 30 – 40%.
Give this enclosure a comfy feel by putting low rock, hanging branches, and adequate hides for this reptile.
Don’t forget to put a shallow water dish to keep the leo well hydrated.
Leopard geckos are easily affected by what’s happening in their environment. Also, they dislike sudden changes.
If they feel threatened, they drop their tails to confuse an actual or perceived enemy and escape hiding.
Temperature and humidity changes significantly affect this little reptile’s life. Also, if the humidity levels become untenable, he refuses to eat and may spend all his time in his hide.
All these contribute to what’s called stressors. These things affect your leopard gecko’s life to the extent that he no longer follows his regular routine.
By eliminating stressors, you give your leopard gecko a new lease on life. This is because stressors invite all kinds of infections, infirmities, and diseases into your pet’s life.
Your leopard gecko should enjoy a healthy diet to live an entire life. Unfortunately, this reptile becomes weak and susceptible to parasite attacks, infections, and disease without proper nourishment.
Leopard geckos should be fed according to their age and health needs. For example, a baby gecko should be fed about 3 to 4 times daily.
Juveniles should be fed about once daily, while adults should be fed once every other day.
Some of the best diets for your leopard gecko include dubia roaches, mealworms, and crickets. At the same time, you need to provide them with the proper amounts of vitamin, calcium, and Vitamin D supplements.
Take Care of His Health
The key to longevity for leopard geckos is their health. So don’t assume or ignore any health anomalies. For example, talk to your vet when your leopard gecko loses its appetite and starts losing weight.
Also, watch out for signs of trauma, dehydration, lethargy, change in feces, difficulty breathing, constipation, and impaction.
Avoid Breeding Your Female Leo
Breeding leopard geckos have shorter lifespans than males because breeding takes a toll on their health.
To increase the chances of your female leopard gecko living longer, don’t breed her. But, of course, we know that female leopard geckos can produce eggs without mating.
However, you can improve the situation by not pairing her with a male.
Gravid female leos are prone to dystocia. This is when the eggs refuse to leave the body regardless of how much the leo tries to expel them.
This is one of the most stressful conditions for female leopard geckos. It leads to cloacal prolapse, a condition that can take your pet’s life if not dealt with urgently.
Egg binding also significantly contributes to other health conditions, such as impaction. In this case, the eggs in the leos body prevent food material from passing through the digestive system.
Because it is life-threatening, impaction often requires a vet’s intervention.
Combining non-breeding with good pet husbandry dramatically increases the chances of your female leopard gecko living to a ripe old age of 15 years.
This is a significant improvement from the 10 years breeding females live for.
Your leopard gecko should live to a ripe age of 15 to 20 years with proper care.
Your pet’s lifespan hinges significantly on what you feed this animal, its gender, and whether you make timely medical interventions.
Usually, healthy males outlive healthy females by about 5 years.
However, the 15 years your female leopard gecko spends with you is a better score than most leopard geckos in the wild achieve.
This is your cue to give your leopard gecko all the care it needs to perform better than those in the wild.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
What Is the Longest a Leopard Gecko Has Lived?
The oldest leopard gecko lived to be 28 years. This is a unique case and is not expected of all leopard geckos.
A male leopard gecko can live to 20 years with the proper care. On the other hand, a female leopard gecko lives for 15 years.
How Often Should I Feed My Baby Leopard Geckos?
Baby leopard geckos can be fed up to 4 times a day. Because these little ones are fast-growing, they don’t risk being obese.
Feed your baby leos insects no bigger than the space between their eyes.