How To Help Your Leopard Gecko Gain Weight: A Comprehensive Guide

how to get my leopard gecko to gain weight

Are you a proud owner of a leopard gecko, but concerned about its weight? Just like humans, leopard geckos may also need to gain a few extra pounds for optimum health. Whether you have a young gecko that needs to bulk up or an adult that could use a little more meat on its bones, we've got some tips and tricks to help you ensure your scaly friend gains weight in a healthy way. So, grab your gecko and let's embark on a journey towards a plumper, happier reptile!

Characteristics Values
Proper diet High in fat
Regular feeding schedule 2-3 times a day
Offer a variety of food Insects such as crickets, mealworms, and superworms
Gut-loading insects before feeding Feeding nutrient-rich food to insects before offering them to gecko
Dust insects with calcium and vitamin supplements To ensure gecko receives necessary nutrients
Provide a warm basking spot Temperature of 88-92°F
Monitor enclosure temperature and humidity Optimal range: 75-85°F, humid hide to maintain humidity
Provide a shallow water dish Fresh, clean water available at all times
Limit stress and handle gecko gently Avoid excessive handling, loud noises, or sudden changes in environment
Regular health check-ups Consult with a reptile veterinarian
Create a suitable habitat Appropriate-sized enclosure, hiding spots, and proper substrate


What kind of diet should I provide to help my leopard gecko gain weight?

Leopard geckos are popular pet reptiles known for their unique appearance and low maintenance. However, there are cases when a leopard gecko may be underweight and require special attention to regain its health. If you find yourself in a situation where your leopard gecko needs to gain weight, providing a proper diet is essential. In this article, we will discuss the kind of diet you should provide to help your leopard gecko gain weight.

Before diving into the specifics of their diet, it's important to understand the factors that may contribute to a leopard gecko being underweight. Many times, it could be due to inadequate feeding or an illness. If you suspect illness, it is crucial to consult a reptile veterinarian to rule out any underlying health issues.

When it comes to the diet of a leopard gecko, their main source of nutrition is insects. The primary insects you should feed your leopard gecko are gut-loaded and dusted with calcium and vitamin D3. Crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches are excellent choices. These insects provide necessary protein for muscle growth and energy. Additionally, gut-loading the insects with nutritious foods, such as dark leafy greens and vegetables, will increase their nutritional value.

To help your leopard gecko gain weight, consider feeding them larger quantities of insects. Offer a variety of insects, alternating between crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. Small, frequent feedings are recommended, as leopard geckos have relatively small stomachs. Aim to feed your gecko around five to seven insects per feeding, two to three times a day.

It's crucial to keep an eye on your gecko's weight and body condition. A healthy leopard gecko should have a plump, rounded tail and be free of any visible bones. If you notice your gecko's tail becoming thin or any other signs of malnourishment, it may be necessary to increase the frequency or quantity of feedings.

In addition to insects, leopard geckos also require a small amount of fruit in their diet. Offer a small piece of a fruit like melon or papaya once every two weeks. Fruits should be given sparingly as they contain high amounts of sugar, which can lead to obesity or other health issues if overfed.

Water is another crucial aspect of a leopard gecko's diet. Ensure your gecko has access to freshwater at all times. You can provide water in a shallow dish or using a reptile water drip system. Additionally, consider misting the enclosure daily to increase humidity, which aids in shedding and hydration.

Aside from providing a proper diet, it's important to create an ideal habitat for your leopard gecko. Ensure the enclosure has appropriate temperature gradients, as well as a hideout for their comfort. Proper lighting, including a UVB bulb, should be provided to promote good health and calcium absorption.

In conclusion, if your leopard gecko is underweight, providing a proper diet is essential for them to regain weight and overall health. Focus on a diet that consists of gut-loaded and dusted insects, supplemented with a small amount of fruit. Monitor your gecko's weight and body condition, adjusting the feeding quantity and frequency if necessary. In addition to a proper diet, maintain a suitable habitat for your gecko's well-being. By following these steps, you can help your leopard gecko gain weight and thrive.


Are there any specific supplements or vitamins I should give my leopard gecko to promote weight gain?

Title: Promoting Weight Gain in Leopard Geckos: The Role of Supplements and Vitamins


Leopard geckos, like all pets, require a balanced and nutritious diet to maintain optimal health and weight. While there are no specific supplements or vitamins that directly promote weight gain in leopard geckos, providing necessary nutritional requirements is critical. This article will explore the essential components of a leopard gecko's diet and offer guidelines on promoting weight gain through appropriate feeding practices.

Importance of a Balanced Diet:

Leopard geckos thrive on a diet that simulates their natural feeding habits. In the wild, these nocturnal reptiles primarily consume insects such as crickets, mealworms, and dubia roaches. A balanced diet for captive leopard geckos should consist of a variety of appropriately sized prey insects to ensure a diverse range of nutrients.

Feeder Insects:

When selecting feeder insects for your leopard gecko, it is important to consider their nutritional value. Gut-loading, a practice where insects are fed nutrient-rich diets before being offered to your gecko, significantly enhances their nutritional profile. Feeder insects can be gut-loaded using a specialized diet or by providing them with fruits and vegetables high in vitamins and minerals such as carrots, sweet potatoes, and leafy greens.


To ensure your leopard gecko receives essential nutrients not provided by feeder insects alone, supplementation is necessary. Two key supplements widely recommended for leopard geckos are calcium and multivitamin powders:

  • Calcium Powder: Calcium is crucial for proper bone development, egg production in females, and overall health. It is recommended to dust feeder insects with calcium powder at every feeding. Choose a calcium powder formulated specifically for reptiles, without added phosphorus or vitamin D3.
  • Multivitamin Powder: A multivitamin powder provides a range of essential vitamins and minerals that support your gecko's overall well-being. It should be used sparingly compared to calcium powder, typically once or twice a month.

Proper Supplement Application:

To ensure your leopard gecko absorbs the supplements effectively, it is necessary to "dust" the feeder insects. Place a small amount of the supplement powder in a plastic bag or container and add a few insects. Shake gently so that the insects are coated evenly but not excessively. Avoid overcrowding the container to prevent accidental ingestion of excessive powder by the insects.

Water Intake:

Maintaining proper hydration is vital for promoting weight gain in leopard geckos. Fresh, chlorine-free water should always be available in a shallow dish that allows the gecko to drink without submerging its entire body. Leopard geckos can also derive moisture from their food, but ensuring sufficient water availability is essential for their well-being.

Observation and Adjustments:

Monitor your leopard gecko's weight regularly and assess its body condition. If you notice your gecko losing weight or not gaining enough, consult a reptile veterinarian for a thorough evaluation. The veterinarian may recommend changes in diet, supplement usage, or other necessary adjustments to ensure your gecko's health and well-being.

Promoting weight gain in leopard geckos involves providing a well-balanced diet, gut-loaded feeder insects, and appropriate supplementation. By following these guidelines, you can ensure that your gecko receives the necessary nutrients to maintain a healthy weight and overall well-being. Remember to monitor your gecko's weight regularly and consult a veterinarian if concerns arise. A healthy, well-fed leopard gecko will thrive and bring joy to its keepers for years to come.


Leopard geckos are known for their unique appearance and low maintenance requirements, making them a popular choice among reptile enthusiasts. However, sometimes these creatures may need assistance in gaining weight, especially if they are underweight or experiencing health issues. Providing a proper feeding schedule is crucial in promoting healthy weight gain in leopard geckos.

Before implementing any changes to your gecko's feeding routine, it is important to consult with a veterinarian who specializes in reptiles. They will be able to assess your gecko's overall health and provide specific recommendations tailored to your pet's needs.

  • Assess your gecko's current weight: To determine whether your leopard gecko is underweight or needs to gain weight, it is essential to weigh them using a reptile-specific scale. Compare the weight to the average weight for their age and species.
  • Offer a balanced diet: Leopard geckos are insectivores, meaning they primarily eat insects. Crickets, mealworms, dubia roaches, and silkworms are some suitable options. It is crucial to ensure that the insects are gut-loaded, which means they are fed with a nutritious diet before being offered to your gecko.
  • Age-specific feeding frequency: Younger leopard geckos require more frequent feeding compared to adults. Generally, hatchlings should be fed daily or every other day, while adult leopard geckos can be fed every two to three days. Adjust the feeding frequency based on your gecko's individual needs.
  • Mealtime portion size: To encourage weight gain, increase the portion size of each meal gradually. Start by offering a few extra insects each feeding session, and monitor your gecko's weight and overall health to ensure they are adjusting well to the increased intake.
  • Provide a variety of feeder insects: Offering a variety of feeder insects helps ensure a well-rounded diet and prevents your gecko from getting bored with the same type of food. Experiment with different insects and observe your gecko's interest and response to varying prey items.
  • Supplementation: In addition to feeding live insects, certain supplements may be necessary to promote weight gain in leopard geckos. Calcium and vitamin D3 supplements are commonly recommended to prevent metabolic bone disease and aid in overall health.
  • Water availability: Always provide fresh, clean water in a shallow dish within your gecko's enclosure. Although leopard geckos obtain most of their moisture through their prey, having access to water is essential for hydration.

Observing your gecko's appetite, energy levels, and weight gain progress is crucial during this feeding schedule adjustment. Keep a record of their weight and monitor any significant changes. Regular veterinary check-ups are recommended to ensure the well-being of your leopard gecko.

Remember, every leopard gecko is unique, and their dietary requirements may differ. Always consult with a reptile veterinarian who can guide you in creating an appropriate feeding schedule based on your gecko's individual needs.


Are there any specific feeding techniques or tricks that can help my leopard gecko eat more and gain weight?

Leopard geckos are charming and popular reptile pets known for their unique appearance and docile nature. However, some owners may become concerned if they notice their gecko not eating or not gaining weight. There are several feeding techniques and tricks that can help your leopard gecko eat more and gain weight in a healthy and sustainable way.

  • Offer a varied and balanced diet: Leopard geckos are insectivores, and their diet in captivity should primarily consist of live insects. Crickets, mealworms, and waxworms are commonly fed to leopard geckos. However, it is crucial to provide a varied diet to ensure they receive all the necessary nutrients. Gut-loading the insects with nutritious foods before feeding them to your gecko can also improve their nutritional content.
  • Dust insects with calcium powder: Calcium is essential for leopard geckos' bone health and overall well-being. Dusting the live insects with a calcium powder supplement before feeding them to your gecko ensures they receive an adequate amount of calcium. This is especially important for growing geckos and females, as they have higher calcium requirements.
  • Utilize mealworm dishes: Some leopard geckos may not be as active or enthusiastic eaters. In such cases, placing mealworms in shallow dishes rather than directly on the enclosure floor can make it easier for your gecko to find and consume the prey. This can be particularly helpful for geckos that may struggle to hunt or have reduced mobility.
  • Use feeding ledges or platforms: Leopard geckos are ground-dwelling reptiles and may struggle to reach prey that is placed too high. Using feeding ledges or platforms can elevate the prey and make it more accessible for your gecko. Additionally, placing food in different areas of the enclosure can encourage natural foraging behavior and increase their appetite.
  • Monitor temperature and lighting: Leopard geckos are ectothermic animals, which means they rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. Providing a suitable temperature gradient in their enclosure is crucial for their overall health and digestion. Ensure that the warm side of the enclosure remains around 88-90°F (31-32°C) during the day and drops slightly to 75-80°F (24-27°C) at night. Additionally, providing a proper light cycle with a 12-hour day and night cycle can help regulate their feeding behavior.
  • Offer food during their active period: Leopard geckos are primarily nocturnal, and their natural hunting and feeding behavior occurs during the night. Taking advantage of their natural activity cycle by offering food during the evening or early morning can increase their appetite and willingness to eat.
  • Seek veterinary advice: If your leopard gecko continues to show a lack of appetite or fails to gain weight despite your best efforts, it is crucial to consult a reptile veterinarian. They can perform a thorough examination, address any underlying health issues, and provide further guidance on managing your gecko's diet.

Remember, every leopard gecko is unique, and it may take some time to find the right combination of feeding techniques that works for your individual gecko. Patience and persistence are key when it comes to encouraging healthy eating habits and weight gain in leopard geckos. By providing a varied diet, ensuring proper husbandry conditions, and seeking veterinary advice when needed, you can help your gecko thrive and maintain a healthy weight.


Are there any underlying health issues or conditions that could be causing my leopard gecko to struggle with gaining weight, and how can I address them?

Leopard geckos are popular pets among reptile enthusiasts due to their stunning appearance, low maintenance requirements, and docile nature. However, just like any other living creature, leopard geckos can face health issues that may impact their ability to gain weight. In this article, we will explore some of the commonly encountered underlying health issues or conditions that can cause weight loss in leopard geckos and discuss how to address them.

  • Parasites: Parasitic infestations, such as nematodes or coccidia, are a common cause of weight loss in leopard geckos. These parasites can affect the digestive system, impairing the gecko's ability to absorb nutrients from its food. Symptoms of parasitic infestations include weight loss, lethargy, diarrhea, or abnormal droppings. To address this issue, it is crucial to bring your gecko to a reptile veterinarian for a fecal examination. If parasites are detected, the veterinarian will prescribe appropriate medications to eliminate them.
  • Improper diet: Leopard geckos require a balanced diet to thrive. A diet lacking essential nutrients can lead to weight loss and other health problems. A typical leopard gecko diet consists of live insects, such as crickets or mealworms, supplemented with calcium and vitamins. If your gecko is not gaining weight, it could be due to an inadequate or unbalanced diet. Ensure that you are feeding your gecko appropriately sized insects and offering a variety of prey items. Additionally, make sure to dust the insects with calcium powder before feeding to provide the gecko with essential nutrients.
  • Impacted digestive system: Another potential cause of weight loss in leopard geckos is an impacted digestive system. This occurs when the gecko accidentally ingests a substrate material, such as sand or loose bedding, which cannot be digested and obstructs the digestive tract. Symptoms of an impacted digestive system include bloating, constipation, and reduced appetite. If you suspect your gecko has an impaction, it is crucial to seek veterinary assistance immediately. The veterinarian may need to perform a physical examination or administer treatments to help resolve the issue.
  • Metabolic bone disease: Metabolic bone disease (MBD) is a common condition in reptiles, including leopard geckos. It occurs due to a lack of calcium, vitamin D, or improper calcium-to-phosphorus ratio in the diet. MBD can lead to weakened bones, deformities, and weight loss. To prevent MBD, make sure to provide your gecko with a calcium supplement and offer UVB lighting to promote proper calcium absorption. If your gecko is already exhibiting symptoms of MBD, consult a reptile veterinarian for appropriate treatment.
  • Age or genetics: Sometimes, weight loss in leopard geckos can be attributed to age or genetics. Older geckos may experience a natural decline in appetite and reduced activity levels, resulting in weight loss. Additionally, certain genetic conditions can impact a gecko's ability to gain weight. While there may not be a specific cure for these factors, providing the gecko with a well-balanced diet, proper husbandry conditions, and regular veterinary care can help optimize its overall health.

In conclusion, weight loss in leopard geckos can be caused by various underlying health issues or conditions. If you notice that your gecko is struggling to gain weight, it is important to assess its diet, living conditions, and overall health. Seeking veterinary assistance is crucial for accurate diagnosis and appropriate treatment. By addressing the underlying cause and providing proper care, you can help your leopard gecko regain weight and thrive.

Frequently asked questions

There are a few things you can do to help your leopard gecko gain weight. First, make sure you are feeding it a diet of appropriately sized insects, such as mealworms or crickets. You can also try offering it some waxworms as a higher-calorie option.

Yes, maintaining proper temperature and humidity levels is essential for the health and well-being of your leopard gecko. If these levels are not optimal, it can affect their appetite and digestion, which can in turn impact their ability to gain weight.

If your leopard gecko is struggling to gain weight, you may consider offering it some supplemental food or vitamins. This can help ensure it is getting all the necessary nutrients it needs to thrive. However, it's important to consult with a veterinarian before making any significant changes to your gecko's diet.

Yes, it is possible that a health issue could be contributing to your leopard gecko's difficulty in gaining weight. If you have tried adjusting its diet and habitat conditions with no success, it may be a good idea to schedule a veterinarian appointment to have your gecko evaluated for any underlying health issues.

In addition to adjusting their diet and ensuring their habitat conditions are optimal, you can also try offering your leopard gecko some live insects in a dish rather than feeding them directly. This can encourage foraging behavior and help stimulate their appetite. Additionally, offering a warm soak can also help with digestion and improve their overall appetite.

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