Do you know how to keep your gecko safe and healthy while you go away on vacation?
You have several options depending on the duration of your trip. Simply, you should decide whether to take your gecko along or leave it alone, in a shelter, or with a caregiver.
Read on for more options. This article gives you a comprehensive guide on what to do with a gecko while on vacation.
Most gecko species can tolerate living without care for two to four days. In fact, these animals store enough food in their tails to keep them going for about two weeks.
However, you don’t want to leave your gecko without food and water for more than a weekend. Otherwise, you risk forcing it into a starvation period that affects its health.
To do that safely, make sure you have these six factors under control:
Your adult gecko can survive without food while you’re away. All you need to do is give it a hearty meal before leaving. However, the younger geckos might need daily feeding.
Whether you’re leaving adults or juveniles, we don’t recommend leaving food inside their cage while you’re away because:
- The food may rot.
- Live crickets can bite your young geckos, causing infections.
- Your gecko may overeat and develop an ingestion problem.
Instead, you may ask a friend to check on your pet or install an automatic feeder. For a short vacation that doesn’t exceed a couple of days, everything should work smoothly.
Geckos of all ages and species require regular access to fresh water. Therefore, no matter how short your vacation is, ensure that your gecko gets its water needs.
You can leave a large bowl of water. However, your juveniles might sink into it. Thus, we suggest that you use an automatic water dispenser if you keep young geckos.
A day and night cycle is essential for the well-being of your gecko. Therefore, don’t leave your gecko in a totally dark place.
Typically, your pet needs between 10 and 12 hours of light per day. You can open the curtains to allow daylight into the room where you keep your gecko.
The most important thing is to know the specific requirements of your gecko species.
Several heating solutions can help you maintain the temperature of the gecko tank, such as heating pads, heating cables, or heating lambs.
In fact, that’s a necessary step even when you’re available to care for your pet. Although not all geckos require high temperatures, it’s a good idea to install such systems to make sure that your gecko gets its needs.
Keeping your gecko in a clean environment is key to a long healthy life. Geckos can develop many health problems in an unclean environment.
Unfortunately, geckos can transmit some diseases to humans. Therefore, always keep your gecko in a clean enclosure to avoid health issues that may be fatal to your pet or your family.
If your vacation is longer than a weekend, you shouldn’t leave your gecko alone. Instead, you can choose one of two options: getting a caregiver or temporarily transferring your gecko to a facility.
You can ask a family member or friend to visit your gecko daily for help or hire a professional caregiver.
Either way, it’ll be helpful to take the same measures as if you’re going on a short vacation. That way, you make it easier for the caregiver and make sure that everything is done your way.
Whether you hire a professional or ask a friend for help, it’s much safer to have someone with your gecko. To ensure that everything goes smoothly, follow these steps:
- Prepare the food yourself: you know more about your gecko’s diet, so prepare the right meals for your pet.
- Put everything in writing: even if you seek the help of a friend or family member, keeping a written list of instructions makes it easier to remember.
- Leave emergency contacts: give the caregiver the contact information of your vet in case of an emergency.
- Label the cages: if you have more than one gecko, label the cages with species and any special information or requirements.
Some animal shelters and pet stores offer pet boarding. This option allows you to board your pet in this facility to leave it under the supervision of professionals.
Every facility has its rules, so check with your local shelter whether it offers this service. That way, you’ll know what exactly you’re supposed to do.
Despite its high cost, this service can be your best option, especially if your gecko requires any special medical or professional attention.
Theoretically, you can take your gecko along with you, but we don’t recommend it as it may cause much stress. The decision should depend on several factors, such as:
- Means of transportation: planes, trains, ships, and buses won’t allow live reptiles on board. Thus, your only option is to travel by car.
- The health condition: you have to make sure that your gecko is healthy enough to endure a road trip.
- The weather: some species have specific requirements. Make sure your gecko gets the right temperature, humidity level, and light while on the move.
If you decide to take your gecko with you, it has to be by car. To have a safe trip with your pet, follow these guidelines:
Your gecko should travel in a crate, not its terrarium. Make sure the crate is strong, spacious, and properly ventilated. You should also line the bottom of the crate with some sturdy material to endure the trip.
We suggest that you familiarize your pet with the crate beforehand. Put the gecko inside that crate for an hour every day the week before your trip. This step helps reduce stress.
You know your gecko and its requirements. Ensure that these requirements are fulfilled in the travel crate.
The temperature, humidity level, and light should be under control to avoid stress that may lead to serious problems.
Although you shouldn’t allow your gecko out of the crate during the trip, you should check on it regularly to make sure that everything is alright.
You should keep an eye out for any sign of sickness. Simply, look for any signs of change in your pet’s look or behavior.
Wondering what to do with a gecko while on vacation?
If it’s a short vacation, leave your gecko alone, and it’ll be fine. You only need to set the right environment for its well-being.
However, in case of a longer vacation, you can either find a caregiver or board your pet into a shelter. That way, you can find someone to check on it.
You can also take your gecko along but according to certain rules to keep it safe.
I have a bachelor’s degree in Film/Video/Media Studies, as well as an associates degree in Communications. I began producing videos and musical recordings nearly 15 years ago. I am a guitarist and bassist in Southwest MI and have been in a few different bands since 2009, and in 2012 I began building custom guitars and basses in my home workshop as well. When I’m home, I love spending time with my three pets (a dog, cat, and snake) and gardening in my backyard. I also like photographing wild birds, especially birds of prey.