The truth is that even Leopard Geckos feel stressed. But this is not like in the way humans feel stress and can practice mindfulness to get through it. When a Leopard Gecko feels stressed out, it can put in jeopardy their health and well-being.
That is why I decided to lay down the signs to tell if your Leopard Gecko is happy or sad. And don’t worry, these are not really complicated to figure out. These signs are easy to recognize in a Leopard Gecko because it’s often visible very quickly.
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What Could Stress A Leopard Gecko Out?
Before I give you the exact signs of distress in a Leopard Gecko, let’s understand what could possibly make a Leopard Gecko feel stressed. So you can keep these in mind and eliminate these as an integral part of keeping your pet Gecko happy and safe with you.
Here are the top 3 reasons why a Leopard Gecko may feel stressed or low…
1. Excessive Light
This is the most common reason why a Leopard Gecko may feel stressed. Stop using extremely bright lights or fluorescent lights in and around the Leopard Gecko’s house. Your pet prefers a more somber and shaded environment.
Think of a what cloudy day would look like in the monsoon season. It’s kind of gray and it’s mostly dusky. Try to replicate that in your house for your Leopard Gecko.
Excessive light and loud noises can scare and unsettle Leopard Geckos. Maintain a low-light and quiet environment for them to live in.
2. Too Many Geckos In the Same Place
Competition and fights among multiple Leopard Geckos are very common. You might need to house them in separate habitats, one for each, to maintain a positive and stress-free environment.
This regularly happens with Geckos with a wider age gap. Or between mothers and their babies or any female Gecko with babies.
If there’s also a major difference in size between 2-3 Geckos in the same habitat, feeding would become a problem. A larger Gecko will consider the tinier Gecko as his or her food. Or it may also be that the larger Gecko is taking up all the living space and food so that the smaller Gecko has nothing to eat or a place to rest.
Such wrangling and confrontations are common which is why it’s necessary to house them in different habitats.
3. It Is Their Shedding Period
All Leopard Geckos shed every 7 to 14 days. And when that happens, he or she may look stressed out or try to hide for most of the day. Leopard Geckos are always growing in size and so they shed very often. If your Leopard Gecko starts to look a bit down, pale white in color, and dull, it could mean that he or she is shedding.
Just to be sure, take your pet to the vet for confirmation. Leopard Geckos are moody when they’re shedding. They refuse to come out of their tank for food or water. So it’s best to consult with a professional for the right way forward.
Signs of Stress In A Leopard Gecko
If you find that your Leopard Gecko is doing the following things very often, this means that they are stressed and need immediate attention and care.
1. Excessive Licking
The tongue plays a key role in a Leopard Gecko’s survival instinct. It is how they inspect their environment and it’s also how they accelerate the shedding process.
They also use their tongues to sniff out new habitats or places. When you take them out of their tanks, they will lick their lips more to get a sense of the new territory.
But if you notice this all the time, check for mouth rot which is a common disease in Leopard Geckos. It is often linked with mucus, lack of appetite, and a gaping mouth.
2. Tail Waving
Excessive tail shaking or waving is another sign of distress. Leopard Geckos often do this when stalking prey or wooing or attracting a female. But beyond that, it could be a sign of stress.
If you bring home a new Leopard Gecko, he may wave his tail to you which is completely fine. Because they’re establishing a new territory and need some time adjusting to you and to their new habitat.
3. Emitting A Sound
Is your Leopard Gecko squeaking or chirping more than usual? Leopard Geckos don’t like to be touched or coddled so they might emit such a sound when you pick them up or touch them. So whenever you hear them doing this, put them back in the tank calmly and leave them alone.
4. Glass Dancing
Glass dancing is when a Leopard Gecko looks like they’re surfing the glass. There’s no reason why a Leopard Gecko would do this unless there’s something going on inside the tank that they need to get away from. This could be mites, cohabitation distress, insufficient space, too much noise or light or heat, and such things.
5. Hiding A Lot
Is your Leopard Gecko hiding more than usual for no reason at all? First of all, check the temperature of the tank, the exposure of UVB lights, and for shedding. If all these things are proper, then if your Gecko is hiding a lot, it could be a sign of distress.
Leopard Geckos are prone to a metabolic bone disease that is characterized by lack of movement, lethargy, and hiding. It’s a nutrient deficiency of calcium and vitamin D. So consult with a vet for the best possible treatment for such a condition.
A Leopard Gecko can express his or her feelings in many ways. This points to not only basic survival needs for food, sleep, and water. But it also indicates their overall health and mental well-being.
So look for the above-mentioned signs to know whether your Leopard Gecko is happy or stressed, without much trouble. I hope that this information will be of use to you if not right away then for the overall well-being of a Leopard Gecko.
Let us know if we’ve missed out on something that may have happened with your Leopard Geck. Dealing with stress and eliminating stressful triggers to keep them happy and satisfied!