If you've thought it through and made the decision that a leopard gecko is the pet you want, then you can begin your search for your new pet. You should choose carefully and you should go into the shopping process having decided on a couple of things.
One of these factors is the color and pattern you'd prefer your new gecko to have. You should choose one which you find attractive; geckos can live a long time, so select a color you enjoy looking at! You'll also need to know how to properly care for your new pet. You have to know what to feed your leopard gecko, when they need to be fed and as much as possible about their behavior. You'll also want to have their vivarium ready to go for when you bring them home.
You should then start looking for a pet shop which deals in reptiles. Many pet shops sell geckos and there are also specialized gecko breeders who breed leopard geckos for particular colors and patterns, so you may want to look into this if you have your heart set on a certain color of leopard gecko.
You can find all of the information you need about owning and caring for a leopard gecko from a variety of books and websites, as well as forums which are frequented by people who have pet leopard geckos themselves. Reptiles like these geckos have different needs than do cats or dogs, so make sure you know all of the important facts before you pick up your new pet.
When you're actually looking at leopard geckos, you'll obviously want to choose one which is healthy. The following tips can help ensure that the gecko you pick is in good health:
1) You should be looking for a gecko which is lively and alert. If they run and hide when you get near their cage, this is actually a good sign. A gecko which doesn't seem to mind you approaching it is probably sick.
2) A healthy gecko should have lustrous, healthy looking skin. If their skin looks dull or has bits of old skin which should have been shed sticking to it, then it is likely not in good health and has been cared for poorly.
3) Make sure that any gecko you're thinking of adopting does not have any broken or weak limbs or other signs of injury. If a leopard gecko you're looking at has an injury which seems not to have healed or a missing tail which is showing no signs of growing back, this is an indicator that they are in poor health and that you should keep looking for another leopard gecko to take home.
4) Check for signs of parasites. One of the most common parasites which affect leopard geckos will be manifested by red specks on their skin, especially around the base of their legs, on their necks, around their eyes and around their rectum.
5) A well fed gecko is a healthy gecko, so make sure that any gecko you want to take home as your new pet does not have extremely prominent pelvic bones (this is a sign of malnutrition).
By Phoenix Hayes Simmons and Janet Simmons Hayes
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