Why Do Leopard Geckos Eat Their Shed Skin? (And Why They Might Not)

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Because their tough outer skin doesn’t stretch to accommodate them as they grow, geckos shed a lot more as they get bigger. They shed more frequently than other geckos, depending on how quickly they grow. It’s a sign that the gecko is healthy if it eats its shed skin.

The minerals stored in the shed, which they devour for nourishment to help them grow, is one reason. They eat it because no one likes a dirty room, including animals like geckos, who eat the shed to keep the “room” tidy.

Why do leopard geckos eat their shed skin?

Leopard Geckos eat their skin since it takes a lot of effort to remove the skin, and they’re hungry by the time they’re done. Their shed skin is rich in essential nutrients and they need to replenish themselves after the energy consumed in the shedding process.

Leopard Gecko Shedding it's skin

It may sound disgusting, but it is actually a wise choice because it is a quick and easy supper. If they were in the wild, they would shed and then consume their skin to avoid attracting predators. When they start shedding, they also don’t eat as much, if at all, which is normal. When they eat their shed skin, they will have a full stomach as well as a lot of energy.

Do leopard geckos always eat their skin?

While it is common for leopard geckos to eat their shed skin, this is not always the case. However, I would keep an eye on your leopard gecko during the shedding process because they don’t eat much.

Make sure they feed after they shed; if they don’t eat for a few days later, I’d be concerned. Eating their shed skin provides them with an energy boost, nourishment, and a sense of security. Some geckos will eat some of their shed skin, but not all of it, because the bit they have eaten may have satisfied their appetite.

Do leopard geckos need to eat their skin?

Not all of the time. Some geckos may opt to consume their shed skin for the nutrients indicated, but it’s fine if they don’t, as long as they get nutrition from their food if they’re eating well, growing normally, and possessing the energy required for the shedding process.

Even if they don’t need it, they will try to eat their shed skin as soon as it is shed. Shedding takes a lot of energy out of the gecko, so it’s preferable if they can regain that energy by receiving their nutrition back. If the gecko isn’t eating even a week after shedding, see a veterinarian right away.

Related: Why Leopard Geckos Have Bumpy Skin

Why didn’t my leopard gecko eat their skin?

If a gecko is stressed in his current habitat or the temperature is too low, he may avoid eating his skin.

Internal parasites could cause a lack of appetite, but I wouldn’t be concerned unless, as previously stated, he is still not eating anything a week later.

Some lizards have small appetites and may already eat sparingly, so they may avoid eating the shed skin. If the geckos can see a reduction in sunlight where the enclosure is, they may avoid eating. A gecko’s dietary patterns may be influenced by the breeding season.

How can I help my Leopard Gecko shed?

You understand that this is a hard and demanding process for the gecko, so you naturally want to assist.

Begin by providing him with a safe and secure location to shed in the dark. If his enclosure is in a busy room, put a screen or barrier in front of it. Increase the humidity in the enclosure because they require a lot of moisture to help with the shedding process.

You can also put the gecko in a dark, quiet box with moist paper towels to prevent their skin from drying up. Also, make sure there are enough hiding places for the geckos to feel safe during this process. If the female gecko is pregnant, ensure nothing at all could cause stress to her during the pregnancy. 

Substrate for the shedding process

Choose bedding or flooring that is both easy to clean and won’t harm the gecko if he consumes some. As previously indicated, paper products such as paper towels, newspapers, and even pulp litter are examples. Artificial turf, aquarium gravel, and synthetic sand developed for reptile habitats can also be used.

To increase humidity, sprinkle wet vermiculite under enclosed hiding spots. Vermiculite is an old favorite for reptiles when it comes to incubation, which is why it’s important to keep some female geckos in hidden enclosures. Female geckos prefer to lay their eggs in hidden cages because they feel safe there.

Shedding frequency

 The shedding technique of a gecko is determined by its growth rather than a set schedule. As a result, young geckos rapidly growing are more likely to shed regularly. When a gecko is preparing to shed, its skin will become dull, and its colors will become subdued.

It may show as a white veil on the gecko prior to shedding, or you may find some flakes that shed off while cleaning the habitat. When they are finally shedding, make sure to check their feet since shedding strings might get lodged on a gecko’s toe. As a result, the geckos’ circulation is cut off, so keep an eye on them as they shed.

This is a given because they must be checked for eating habits throughout the procedure, but it is crucial during the shedding stage.

Is it possible for leopard geckos to eat their own shed? Yes, geckos will consume their own shed the majority of the time. If they don’t, keep an eye on what they eat.

If they are still not eating a week after shedding, take them to the vet to ensure that the gecko is in good health. To make the shedding process easier and more comfortable for them, make the enclosure as dark, damp, and moist as possible. Don’t worry if your juvenile leopard gecko sheds a lot more than an adult; they develop quickly and shed frequently.

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