Crested geckos can eat a surprising variety of food, unlike some other reptiles which are strictly insectivorous. One of the types of food you may be wondering about feeding your crested gecko is honey.
Crested geckos can eat honey. It can be a beneficial treat for them as well as being useful for treating injuries. However, crested gecko should only eat a very small amount of honey, only a drop at a time. They shouldn’t consume honey more than once a week under any circumstances.
Here’s what you need to know about the benefits and potential negative effects of feeding your gecko honey, as well as some tips on how to feed and use honey topically.
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Is it Okay to Give a Crested Gecko Honey?
Wild crested geckos consume nectar and fruit, so you may wonder if they would enjoy another sugary treat: honey.
It is very likely that given the opportunity, a wild crested gecko would indulge in some honey, although it is probably pretty unlikely that they would take on the risk of a swarm of bees in order to get this treat in the wild.
In captivity, it is just fine to occasionally give your crested gecko a very small amount of honey. Keep in mind that honey is packed with sugar and offers very little nutritional benefit.
However, if you’re struggling to get your crested gecko to eat or if you are trying to increase their weight, a drop of honey isn’t a bad idea.
How to Give Honey to Your Crested Gecko
A good way to do add honey to your crested gecko’s diet may be to put a single drop of honey into mashed fruit. It’s a good idea to choose fruit that is very high in calcium, such as papaya, to provide this important mineral to your crested gecko.
Don’t give your gecko this sugary treat too often, even if you are trying to put weight on it. In general, you can offer a treat that includes honey every other week or so.
If you are trying to encourage your gecko to eat or get them to gain weight, every week may be acceptable, but never offer more than a drop at a time.
Honey and fruit can also be a great treat to help your crested gecko become acclimated to being handled. Some crested geckos will respond better to this kind of treat than they would to insects.
Try out a number of treats including honeyed fruit to see what your gecko likes best.
As you can see from this video, straight honey can be overwhelming for your crested gecko:
What Kind of Honey to Give to Your Crested Gecko?
Since you will only be giving your crested gecko an extremely small amount of honey, it may not be extremely important what type of honey you choose. However, it is best to choose honey that is organic to avoid any potential preservatives or chemicals.
Manuka honey is especially recommended because it has a wide variety of health benefits for people and pet animals that may also be very beneficial for your gecko.
For instance, Manuka honey has been found to improve oral health, and it may also improve your gecko’s teeth and gums (and if it doesn’t at least you are giving your crested gecko a high-quality product).
Another honey worth consideration is orange blossom honey. Since oranges are high in calcium, it may be that honey made from orange blossoms also has a very slightly higher calcium level, although this degree of calcium may not be a noteworthy amount to be worth including in your crested gecko’s diet.
Is Honey Safe to Use Topically on Your Gecko?
Sometimes you may want to give your crested gecko honey topically, rather than as a treat. Honey can be a very effective way to reduce bacterial and fungal infections on injuries.
Honey can be an especially effective treatment for thermal burns, which unfortunately can be very common in crested geckos as well as in other reptiles.
If you are trying to heal a gecko that has not been raised with proper husbandry, thermal burns are very likely an issue that you’ll be dealing with. Your veterinarian may prescribe a honey-infused dressing which you will change daily.
Depending on where the burn or injury is, it may be very difficult to keep it on your gecko. Very sick geckoes may tolerate dressings better than healthier individuals.
If your gecko can get the dressing off, it may need to be sutured on by your vet. Honey is a better option for this kind of treatment than another choice such as silver since if your gecko licks the honey it will be unlikely to have any negative consequences for their health.
What are the Consequences of Giving Your Crested Gecko too Much Honey?
Honey should only ever be offered to your crested gecko in very small amounts. Like other primarily carnivorous reptiles, crested geckos can be prone to obesity. An obese crested gecko may be more likely to develop a very serious illness because its organs will also develop excess cholesterol and fat.
Reptiles like the crested gecko can also develop diabetes, which is a lack of glucose in the blood and reduced output of insulin very similar to the disease that may occur in humans and mammals.
If your crested gecko is developing diabetes, they may seem weak and lethargic, urinate more, and eat more. Insulin injections, as well as glucose monitoring, may be necessary to treat diabetes in your crested gecko.
While it can be tempting to indulge your crested gecko in a snack they are very likely to love, like honey, the potential health consequences are very serious, so it is important to limit yourself in the amount of honey you give your crested gecko.
Indulge Your Crested Gecko
If you would like to give your crested gecko a special treat every now and then, honey may be the perfect option.
Just keep in mind that even a single drop of honey will go a very long way for the little crested gecko and that the consequences of overfeeding honey can be very serious, and you’ll likely find honey to be a beneficial addition to your crested gecko’s diet and lifestyle.