Thanks to their striking appearance and active personalities, leopard geckos are one of the most popular reptiles kept as pets. And because they are easy to care for, these geckos are suitable for even beginner reptile keepers.
If you’ve decided you want a leopard gecko, the next question is where do you buy one? Depending on where you live, a chain pet store such as PetSmart might be your easiest option. But how much do leopard geckos cost at PetSmart? You can expect to pay 20-$40 per leopard gecko.
Keep reading to learn about the cost and availability of leopard geckos at PetSmart. And since you need somewhere to keep your new pet, we’ll also go over the supplies you should purchase along with your leopard gecko to create the perfect habitat.
How Much Do Leopard Geckos Cost At PetSmart?
At PetSmart, leopard geckos generally cost $20-$40 per reptile. The store does not sell live animals online so you’ll need to be able to go to the actual store to purchase your pet. Every store is different when it comes to types of exotic pets available so it’s a good idea to give your local PetSmart a call to see if they are currently carrying leopard geckos.
If you are looking for a certain size or gender of leopard gecko, those will vary by store as well. Again, a quick phone call will save you a trip if your local store doesn’t have what you need. And of course, also double-check that you’re not prohibited from owning a leopard gecko either by state or local regulations or your landlord.
Preparing For Your New Leopard Gecko
Before bringing home your new leopard gecko, you’ll need to have a proper habitat set up for them. In the wild, leopard geckos are native to warm, dry climates full of rocks and scrub plants. Their captive habitat should be as similar as possible to the wild one.
Here are some basics about setting up your leopard gecko’s new enclosure, including some specific items you’ll want to add to your shopping list.
Leopard geckos should be kept in a glass terrarium or aquarium with a wire lid. One leopard gecko can be kept in a minimum 10-gallon tank but you’ll need a larger enclosure for two or more reptiles. The bottom of the tank should be covered in a safe substrate such as reptile carpet, newspaper, or ceramic tiles.
Within the terrarium, you’ll need to set up at least one basking spot and one hiding spot. A flat stone makes a nice basking area, while logs, artificial plants, and rocks can be used to create hiding and activity areas for the gecko. Complete the tank set up with a shallow water dish.
Don’t use a wire cage for your leopard gecko for safety reasons. Also, avoid sharp rocks, dusty substrates, and cedar or pine materials.
Leopard geckos are nocturnal and don’t require bright, UV lighting. Red lamps or black heat lamps can be used on a 12-14 hour light cycle depending on the season. Automatic timers can help you easily maintain the right amount of light and darkness.
Temperature And Humidity
Leopard geckos need both warmer and cooler regions in their tank. The temperature should be kept at a range of 77-90 degrees Fahrenheit, with the highest temperature at the basking spot. Heat lamps or heating pads may be used to maintain the right temperature. Two thermometers are recommended to monitor temperature, one for each side of the tank.
An overall humidity of 30-40% is ideal for a leopard gecko. If their tank is too damp, geckos may develop respiratory problems, while dry conditions can cause skin trouble. A hygrometer can help you accurately monitor and adjust the tank humidity.
Leopard geckos also need an extra humid area to retreat to when they’re shedding their skin. A hiding box lined with a moist substrate like peat moss is a good option.
Besides a place to live, your new leopard gecko will need food and water. We already discussed an appropriate water bowl. Change the water and clean out the water bowl daily.
Leopard geckos eat only insects, and most will only eat live food. All live food should be gut-loaded and dusted with a calcium supplement before feeding to your gecko. Crickets, roaches, or worms are all possible food sources for your leopard gecko.
Leopard Gecko Shopping List
Whether you choose to buy your leopard gecko at PetSmart or from another source, make sure you also pick up all the supplies you need to keep your new pet safe and comfortable. As with any pet, be sure you’ve prepared for the responsibility of caring for a leopard gecko before you bring one home.
Leopard geckos don’t require a lot of day-to-day care, but they do live surprisingly long lives, 6-10 years on average but possibly up to 20 years. This is definitely something to keep in mind as you consider purchasing a leopard gecko.
Featured Image Credit: BANK lloyd LIGHT, Shutterstock