Having any type of pet is a big commitment, and the crested gecko is no exception. You may wonder whether choosing crested gecko ownership means that you won’t be able to go on vacation.
You can leave your crested gecko alone for a week if you have a caretaker come to check on them midway through your absence and if you have an automated system to provide care for your gecko. It’s smart to have a video surveillance system set up so you can supervise your gecko while you’re gone.
Here’s everything that you need to know about leaving your crested gecko alone, how to do it safely, and some alternatives to leaving your gecko at home when you travel.
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Can You Leave Your Crested Gecko Alone for a Week?
You can leave your crested gecko alone for up to a week or more, but not without help from a caregiver. Your adult crested gecko can be alone for a day or two without trouble, which is about how long they can safely go without eating.
However, because food needs to be supplied at least every few days, you’ll need to have somebody check in and feed your gecko.
Can You Leave Your Gecko With a Week’s Worth of Food?
Don’t make the mistake of thinking that you can just leave a week’s worth of food with your crested gecko when you leave. Here are a few reasons why:
- Insects can be very dangerous when left to roam with a gecko. Your gecko may not have any self-control and eat all of the insects at once. This can be a significant impaction risk as well as resulting in a gecko that is stuffed for a few days and hungry for the rest of the week. Furthermore, crickets, mealworms, and other feeder insects may chew at your gecko while they’re sleeping, potentially resulting in injury.
- Fruit will rot. Fruit needs to be changed out every couple of days. Leaving fruit in your gecko’s enclosure can result in the fruit rotting. It can make your gecko sick if they eat it and also attract unwanted insects like gnats.
How to Leave Your Crested Gecko Alone for a Week With Someone to Check In
Since crested geckos need to eat at a minimum of every three days, you should be able to get away with feeding your crested gecko before you leave, having someone check on them and feed them halfway through the week, and feeding them again as soon as you get home.
However, everything about your crested gecko setup needs to be carefully controlled in order for this to be safe.
Here are some things that you can do to safely leave your gecko alone for a week with a midweek check-in from a trusted caregiver:
Get an Automated Misting System
It is extremely important to maintain humidity for your crested geckos. Furthermore, crested geckos are more likely to drink from droplets accumulating on the glass and on plants from a misting system than they are to drink from a bowl.
While you may hand mist your gecko’s enclosure every day when you’re around, you’ll need an automated misting system if you leave for even a couple of days, much less a week.
Make sure to set up your misting system on a timer at least a week or so before you leave so you can ensure that it is working properly.
Keep in mind that misting systems require reverse osmosis or distilled water to eliminate minerals that otherwise clog up the misting system and leave unattractive water stains in your terrarium.
It may be best to run the misting system twice a day depending on the general humidity in your terrarium.
Here is an example of a simple automated mister system that will serve your needs very well. Make sure that the glass and plants have plenty of droplets left on them after misting, as they do in this video:
Set up Automated Lighting and Heat
It is very important that your crested gecko has reliable lighting in order to maintain its circadian rhythm and keep them healthy. Furthermore, your gecko needs heat during the day, which most people provide via a heat lamp.
You do not want to simply leave the lights on the entire time that you are gone. Leaving lights on will result in confusion for your gecko’s sense of night and day and also prevent the appropriate fluctuations in heat that geckos need to stay healthy.
Leaving lights on can also be negative for the lights themselves, making it more likely that a bulb will blow out.
Therefore, it is best to put lighting on a timer system so that it will turn on and off automatically. Set up your scheduled lighting and heat system at least a week before you leave so that you will be able to ensure that it is working properly.
Consider a Bioactive Enclosure
One issue that may come up when your crested gecko is left alone in the enclosure for a week is the accumulation of feces. Accumulated feces can result in bacteria and undesirable insects in the terrarium which can lead to disease for your crested gecko.
Another issue is that the fruit that you leave out for your gecko on the day you leave will likely be beginning to rot within a couple of days, likely before the caretaker arrives.
You can have the caretaker who checks in on your crested gecko remove feces and rotting fruit when they feed your gecko, but it is possible that these issues will already have resulted in problems.
A better solution is to set up a bioactive enclosure. Helpful insects like isopods and springtails will eat the rotting fruit, feces, and any mold that begins to develop.
These insects are always convenient for helping you keep your crested gecko’s cage as clean as possible, but they are even more important when you’ll be leaving your crested gecko for a couple of days.
Consider a Camera
Even if you have someone coming to check on your crested gecko after a few days or even every day, things can still go wrong between visits. It’s a very good idea to set up a camera so that you can monitor your crested gecko anytime you want.
This camera will enable you to see whether your crested geckos are moving around normally, check to make sure lighting and misting are occurring at the scheduled times, and generally let you check on the well-being of your pet while you’re away.
A surveillance system can help you to catch problems before they become serious and set your mind at rest while you’re away.
Make sure that there is someone on call who can come to help your geckos if you do notice a problem in your surveillance system.
Check All Equipment Before You Leave
Before you leave your crested gecko for a week, make sure to check all of the equipment to make sure that everything is in ideal condition. This is not the time when you want a bulb to blow out on your lighting system or get a clog in your misting system.
If you’ve been running equipment for some time, it’s a good idea to clean it, change bulbs, and potentially even set up backup equipment to set your mind at ease.
You can set up two lighting, heating, or misting systems so that you’ll know that even if one goes out, the other will be functional.
It’s also a good idea to set up a backup battery power source in case the electricity goes out.
Are Fights Between Crested Geckos More Likely When Geckos are Left Alone?
If you typically feed your crested gecko more often than every few days, it is entirely possible for a fight to break out between crested geckos in one enclosure if they are suddenly asked to go longer than their usual amount of time without food.
If you currently only feed your crested geckos every several days, there is no reason to believe that they will be more likely to fight when you’re away than when you are there.
However, behavior can change unexpectedly. It is best to use a camera to monitor your crested gecko so you can look for signs of fighting and notify the local caretaker to separate geckos if necessary.
If you believe that fighting may break out, a separate enclosure is a very good idea in case of emergencies. Just be sure that your caretaker is comfortable handling geckos in order to separate them.
Will Your Crested Gecko Get Lonely If Left Alone For A Week?
Many owners notice that their crested geckos respond to their presence and seem to have a bond with them. Therefore, you may wonder whether your crested gecko will miss you if you’re gone for a week.
Although your crested gecko may notice your absence, it is not likely that they will suffer any ill effects from loneliness while you’re away. As long as their needs are met, your crested gecko will likely wait patiently for your return.
Alternatives to Leaving Your Crested Gecko Home Alone
If the thought of leaving your crested gecko home alone is giving you anxiety or if you can’t find a trusted caretaker to check in on them while you’re away, you’ll be glad to know that there are some alternatives:
Take Them With You
Depending on your destination and how you’ll be traveling, it may be possible for you to bring your crested gecko with you. Your crested gecko can be transported securely in a small container with holes popped into the lid.
Never transport your gecko in their enclosure as things may fall on them or they may panic and run into the glass.
A smaller enclosure than your gecko’s typical enclosure can be appropriate for trips. Don’t feed your gecko prior to going in the car as many become car sick.
As long as temperatures in the vehicle aren’t extreme, your gecko will likely do just fine in a small container for a day of travel. Once you get to your destination, set up your gecko’s enclosure appropriately and feed and care for them as usual.
Consider “Kenneling” Your Gecko
Another option is to bring your gecko and their enclosure to somebody who is knowledgeable about gecko care. Sometimes this is easier to arrange than getting someone to come to your home, and you have the advantage of allowing your gecko to maintain closer to the usual schedule.
A friend with reptile experience or a pet store may be a good option. You can transport your gecko in the same way as you would if you were taking them with you on your trip.
Make sure that the caretaker knows your gecko’s usual schedule and understands the risk of transmitting disease from one reptile to another.
Make sure that they will wash their hands and any equipment that they use when caring for their own collection before they handle your gecko. Also, ensure that they have contact information for you so that they’ll be able to get in touch with you if anything goes wrong.
This may be the best option if you’ll be gone for more than a week at a time or if you have multiple geckos within one enclosure that need care. It may also be ideal if you have young geckos that need daily feeding.
It’s not a bad idea to provide your own food source and any other equipment that may be necessary so that you can have total confidence that your gecko will get the same care while you’re away as at home.
Put Your Mind at Ease When You go on Vacation
Having a gecko does not necessarily mean that you can’t ever enjoy a break. However, you do need to take extra steps to ensure your gecko’s comfort and safety while you’re away.
By thinking ahead, putting automated systems in place, and planning for your absence, you will be able to leave your gecko without concern.