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How To Feed A Leopard Gecko When You Are On Vacation

how to feed leopard gecko while on vacation

Feeding Leopard Geckos is a complex task that requires knowledge about the right foods, supplements, feeding times, and portions that should be given. So, what happens when you aren’t at home? Should you leave your Leopard Gecko alone, or trust someone else to feed them correctly? What is the best way to feed your Leopard Gecko when you go away on vacation? 

It is best to arrange a pet sitter to check on your Leopard Gecko daily while you are on vacation. However, if you are only going away for one or two nights, it is possible to leave a healthy adult Leopard Gecko alone if you prepare the habitat well and feed your pet before you leave. 

That’s the summary, but let’s learn more about the methods you can use to provide for your Leopard Gecko while you are away. 

It Is Best To Have Someone Care For Your Leopard Gecko While You Are On Vacation

When you go on vacation, the ideal scenario is to have someone care for your Leopard Gecko. If you’re going away for a long time, you might relocate your pet to their home.

If it’s more convenient, your pet sitter might drop in daily to check your Leopard Gecko. 

Having someone check your Leopard Gecko is important, as giving food and water is not the only care that your Leopard Gecko needs.

A pet sitter can check that your Leopard Gecko is not injured or visibly unwell. They can also check that the enclosure is clean and that the heat mat and ambient lighting are working regularly. 

How To Make It Easy For Your Leopard Gecko’s Pet Sitter

If your pet sitter is not a reptile enthusiast, they may find caring for your Leopard Gecko quite daunting. Handling live feeder insects is a particularly scary task for people who aren’t herp-lovers. 

Set your pet sitter up for success by leaving clear instructions, and keeping your Leopard Gecko’s diet as simple as possible for the time that you are away.

Ask your pet sitter how they feel about certain insects and demonstrate how to feed your Leopard Gecko before you leave. 

People who don’t handle live insects often will likely find mealworms easier to deal with than crickets.

If your Leopard Gecko will take them, and you aren’t away for an extended period, you may consider leaving dried insects for your pet sitter to give your Leopard Gecko. 

While we don’t usually recommend a monotonous diet or dried insects, seeking care for your Leopard Gecko while you are away on vacation can be challenging.

You want your pet sitter to have an enjoyable and easy experience, so that they will help you again in future and provide the best care they can. And, it is only a temporary diet that you can fix when you return. 

Tip: Read our leopard gecko diet guide here if you need some help with your leo’s diet! Read our vitamin guide here if you need a vitamin feeding schedule for your leo!

Gecko vacation feeder

You Can Leave Your Leopard Gecko Alone For 1-2 Nights

As we know, Leopard Geckos store fat in their tails. Healthy adult Leopard Geckos can live off this store for 2-3 weeks without eating. So does this mean you can go away and leave them alone for a fortnight?

Unfortunately not. Your Leopard Gecko should never be deprived of food and forced into a starvation period even though they can go for very long without food as we explain in this article here.

However, adult Leopard Geckos should only be offered food every 2-3 days, if they have been eating well and are generally healthy. 

Therefore, it is generally acceptable to leave your adult Leopard Gecko for a 1-2 night short break.

Of course, you would need to ensure that their habitat is clean, that they have water, and that their care system such as heat pads and ambient light timers are working reliably. Also, you would need to schedule a feeding for the day you leave. 

Unfortunately, there will always be a risk that your Leopard Gecko suffers an injury or acute medical trauma or illness while you are away. However, the chances are low if you have prepared well. 

Why Leaving Food In The Tank Is A Bad Idea

It is not a good idea to leave food in your Leopard Geckos tank while you go away. This is because:

  1. Your Leopard Gecko could overeat from the stockpile of food and suffer from an impaction. Impaction occurs when a bolus of food blocks the digestive tract. It is very painful and can be fatal if not treated. 
  2. The food could rot. Live insects can die or become sick. Dried insects can mold once exposed to the humidity of the air in your Leopard Gecko’s tank. When these things happen, bacteria and fungi will be present on the food. If your Leopard Gecko eats this, he could become sick.
  3. Live feeder insects have the ability to bite and injure your Leopard Gecko. If you leave a handful of crickets or superworms loose in your Leopard Gecko’s tank and go away for a vacation, he may be nibbled on while he sleeps. These injuries can become infected and cause illness. 

Tip: Read our article on why you can’t leave crickets in a leopard gecko tank to learn how this could end.

You Can Provide Food Via Automatic Feeders

There are some handy gadgets that can make feeding your Leopard Gecko while on vacation easier. 

For example, this self-filling water reservoir allows fresh water to dispense into a small water bowl. This prevents your Leopard Gecko from fouling their entire water supply the minute you leave the house. 

This automatic-release insect feeder in the video below from allows crickets to be dropped into your Leopard Gecko’s tank at set times. It is “vet approved” for use for up to a week. 

At ReptileCraze, we have mixed feelings about automatic insect feeders such as this one. The positive is that if you can’t get somebody to care for your Leopard Gecko, or they are afraid to handle crickets, you can still schedule feedings. 

However, many of the risks that we explained above are still true. If your Leopard Gecko does not eat the crickets immediately, the crickets may injure your pet.

Also, the crickets may rot in the tank. They may also refuse to leave the machine’s chamber, leaving your Leopard Geckos hungry. 

Overall, we don’t recommend leaving food in your Leopard Gecko’s tank at all. However, a machine like this could be used if no other care can be found.

It is certainly better than leaving a large number of loose insects in your Leopard Gecko’s tank. 

Pierre And The ReptileCraze Team
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