Curiosity around the diet of your beloved crested gecko often extends to its fruit intake – what fruits are good for it? Among various options, apples often come up as a viable choice. Accordingly, in this post we address the inclusion of apples in your crested gecko’s diet.
Can crested geckos eat apples? You can feed apples to your crested gecko in moderate quantities. Remember that among the various types of geckos out there, crested geckos are frugivorous (fruit-eating), non-insectivorous by nature. And among the plentiful fruit choices available for feeding crested geckos, apples do make the cut well.
Let us show you why apples are good for crested geckos and how to feed them the right way to your gecko!
Table of Contents
Ratio of Calcium to Phosphorus among Fruits
In deciding the choice of fruit for your crested gecko, the ratio between calcium and phosphorus plays a vital part. Ideally, you should opt for fruits with twice as much of calcium as phosphorus, i.e. a 2:1 ratio between these two minerals.
Unfortunately though, most fruits tend to have an inverse ratio with more phosphorus than calcium.
Apples make the cut just fine on this front since they have a more or less 1:1 ratio of calcium and phosphorus in them.
Agreed that this ratio is not ideal but since it does not exceed possibly perilous levels of phosphorus such as those seen in case of pomegranate (1:3.3 ratio of calcium to phosphorus) or worse, purple passion fruit (1:5.6), apples prove to be a safe bet.
Moreover, from a holistic nutritional standpoint, apples score quite well since they provide crested geckos with a good amount of dietary fiber without any fat, cholesterol, or sodium.
Therefore, aside from the workable (if not ideal!) calcium phosphorus ratio, the presence of just the right nutrients – without any of the avoidable ones, renders apples all the more suitable for crested geckos.
Take Baby Steps to Feeding Your Crested Gecko with Apples
When it comes to feeding apples to your crested gecko, we recommend taking baby steps to assess your cresty’s reaction to and preference for this particular fruit.
After all, just as among us we have our own set of tastes and preferences for various kinds of foods, so do animals including crested geckos.
The way to do that is to serve apples to it at infrequent intervals and note how your crested gecko takes to it.
You can also compare with its reaction to other fruits.
If you notice a positive uptake for apples, then you can continue feeding it more frequently with this fruit.
Cooked Apples are great for your Gecko!
The advantage with cooking apples is that (obviously!) they get a whole lot softer. Now why does this matter? It’s because gecko jaws simply do not have the kind of strength that is needed to bite into these fruits in their natural form; the desired level of dentition is simply not there.
Under such circumstances, it is far more appropriate to serve them with a softer version of apples that will be easily palatable.
Is it a lot of effort to cook apples and then serve them to your gecko? Actually no; you can simply cook them a wee bit before blending and then feeding them to your gecko.
In fact you also have the option of not cooking at all; you can simply peel and grate apples to a pulp before serving them. This way, they will still have the desired soft consistency.
Peeling is especially important since the outer layer can contain harmful chemical residues such as those of pesticides, in addition to the fact that it is a whole lot harder for your gecko to chew into apples that have their peels on.
Going au naturel with Apples for your Gecko
Yet another option at your disposal is to simply let apples remain for a while and then serve them to your gecko.
Remember that in their natural habitat back in New Caledonia, crested geckos don’t typically feed on fresh fruits. Instead, they tend to eat fruit which has ripened significantly since it is a whole lot softer and therefore easier for them to ingest.
So what you can do is simply let your apples remain for a while out in the open. With exposure to the air, apples anyway tend to get a whole lot softer.
Once they have adequately softened, you can then peel these apples and serve small quantities to your crested gecko. This way you get the same texture as cooked apples without actually having to cook them.
Don’t worry about your apple having a darker texture to it with ripening; while we humans often avoid apples in that state, they are all the more ingestible for crested geckos.
Fruits to AVOID for your Crested Gecko
With so much being said about apples being good for your gecko when served in moderate quantities, it would only be appropriate that we also touch upon fruits that are best avoided.
Prime among such fruits would be citrus fruits such as oranges, grapefruits and lemons. Somehow, crested geckos simply do not have the internal constitution to digest such fruits to the extent that feeding these fruits can actually cause HARM to them.
Another category of fruits to be avoided is one with high levels of oxalate; rhubarb and starfruits are excellent examples of such fruits and should therefore NOT be served to crested geckos.
Finally, all fruits that contain the chemical persin should NEVER be served to crested geckos as it can prove deadly to them the same way it does to birds, with reptiles being closely related to the latter anyway.
In addition to the softening aspect already mentioned above in the “Cooked Apples” section, it is important that you avoid feeding any inedible parts of an apple to your crested gecko such as its pits or seeds.
Not only should you carefully remove them, you should cut the apple into really small pieces (in case you are not planning to blend or puree it).
A rule of thumb can be the space between the eyes of your crested gecko – no piece should be bigger than that.
Of course, it would be ideal that even if you do not have a food processor and therefore cannot puree the apple you are serving to your crested gecko, you are at least able to manually grate it with a grater.
As has been amply explained in this post, you can certainly feed apples to your crested gecko. The key is to be moderate and not go overboard, feeding apples to it too much or too often. Instead, consider apples as occasional treats for your gecko.
Moreover, keeping in mind abovementioned aspects such as fruits to be avoided, do consider fruits beyond apples such as figs, pears, grapes and blackberries among others that can safely be served to frugivorous geckos like the crested gecko.
Just as you wouldn’t like the same item served to you day in and day out, so wouldn’t your crested gecko! Therefore, feel free to mix things up.
Ultimately, the key will always be to create an optimal dietary blend of insects and fruits; once done, you can keep treating your crested gecko with apples from time to time!