Owning a Leopard gecko means you need to take care of all its daily activities, including bathing as well. Being a reptile, your Gecko needs a bath too and this helps them to stay clean and healthy. But bathing them in the wrong way can do the opposite to them. Hence for proper bathing, you might want to know- How to bathe a Leopard Gecko?
For bathing a Leopard Gecko, you will need lukewarm water, a container, a thermometer, etc., with your gentle behavior. Leopard Geckos often do not need baths and they only need them when their skin is stuck during shedding or they are dirty. Hence do not bathe Leopard Geckos unnecessarily.
If you want to know more about how to bathe your Leopard Gecko, stick till the end!
Bathing a Leopard Gecko requires some simple steps and carefulness. To start with Leopard Gecko bathing:
- Check if your Gecko is dirty
- Wash your hands
- Fill a container with lukewarm water
- Measure the temperature of the water
- Bath your Gecko
- Dry your Gecko after bathing
1. Check if your Gecko is dirty
Before bathing your Gecko, you need to inspect if your Gecko is dirty or if its skin is stuck in the shedding process.
Leopard Geckos do not need to bathe every now and then. Moreover, Geckos do not prefer being in water and panic easily. Geckos cannot swim or also do not breathe well in water. For these reasons, you need to first assure if your Gecko actually needs a bath or not.
2. Wash your hands
If you see that your Leopard Gecko is noticeably dirty, then you need to give them a bath property. For that, wash your own hands prior as it will prevent microbes from your hands from passing to your Gecko.
Make sure to clean your hands with soap and clean the soap completely as it can harm your Gecko.
Also, wash your hands after bathing your Leopard Gecko.
3. Fill a container with lukewarm water
For bathing your Leopard Gecko, you need to choose a container that is large enough to fit your Gecko comfortably in it. Then fill the container with water to 0.5 inches (13 mm) of the container.
You need to be very careful with the temperature of the water. The temperature range of the water should be between 85-90℉ which is 30-33℃. The water should touch the bottom of the belly of your Gecko and should not go beyond that.
If your Gecko has stuck skin, you can add a drop of mineral oil to make the stuck skin come out easily. You can also add Sphagnum moss into the water to make bathing more comfortable for your Gecko.
If you want, you can place a paper towel or cloth under the bottom of the container to relax your Gecko.
4. Measure the temperature of the water
The water temperature should be always monitored to make it comfortable for your Gecko. You can use a thermometer to check the temperature of the water.
Remember that Geckos do not regulate their body temperature on their own. Hence the water temperature should be monitored perfectly.
5. Bath your Gecko
To bathe your Gecko, you always need to monitor it so that it does not go inside the water. You can gently rub its skin to clean all dirt and loosen the stuck skin.
To help your Gecko shed, let it soak in water for 10-15 minutes. Do not leave it unattended this time. You can pour water on its back gently and avoid its eye areas.
To scrub your Gecko, you can use a damp water cloth or Q-tip and rub its skin gently. You can use your fingertips if you want.
If you see the skin is loosening, you can use tweezers to gently pull off the dead skin. If there is any skin left, you can use a toothbrush to clean them.
6. Dry your Gecko after bathing
After bathing, wrap your Gecko gently with a dry paper towel and keep its head exposed. Gently dry its entire body using the towel in a circular motion.
After that, place it inside the enclosure again and immediately wash your hands and clean your clothes.
While bathing your Leopard Gecko you need to be very careful. The lack of carefulness can cause them to lose their tails or drown in water. You need to avoid some mistakes:
- Unclean hands before and after bathing
- Filling the tube full of water
- Not checking the temperature
- Take a small container for bathing
- Letting Gecko soak without monitoring
- Taking soap for bathing
- Plucking out stuck skin
Unclean hands before and after bathing
Before you handle your Leopard Gecko, you must wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water. This will assure the killing of any microbes present in your hands. Microbes can attack or kill your Geckos easily hence cleaning hands prevent this situation from occurring.
Also, rinse the soap well because the soap can make your Gecko very ill as well.
You need to wash your hands after bathing your Leopard Gecko to prevent the passing of any substance or microbes from the Gecko to others.
Filling the tube full of water
Leopard Geckos are not water-like animals and they cannot swim. If you fill the tub fully with water, then it will make your Gecko drown in it.
Hence always fill the water till the bottom of your Gecko’s belly and it should not touch its shoulder or head.
Not checking the temperature
The temperature of the plastic tub or the tube water should be equivalent to the temperature of the enclosure.
The temperature needs to be around 86-90℉. The water should be lukewarm as too cold or too hot water can make your Gecko suffer.
Taking a small container for bathing
A container smaller than your Leopard Gecko can never be an option to choose for bathing it. The container should be bigger than the actual size of the Gecko to make it comfortable while bathing.
Letting Gecko soak without monitoring
When your Gecko soaks in the warm water, do not leave it unmonitored for once. As mentioned earlier, Geckos cannot swim and there is a high chance that your Gecko will drown due to panicking.
Taking soap for bathing
For bathing the Leopard Gecko, you can make soap that does not contain any chemicals that can harm your Gecko.
Try to avoid using any soap unless it’s very necessary and if your Gecko cannot be cleaned with normal water only.
Plucking out stuck skin
The shedding causes the skin of the Gecko to become stuck while the process is occurring. This actually is a painful thing for any Leopard Gecko and make sure you do not pull the left skin when it starts to loosen. As this will make things even more difficult for your Gecko.
You should bathe your Gecko when it’s needed. Normally Leopard Geckos do not bathe as they can keep themselves clean and tidy.
However, due to certain circumstances, such as shedding, constipation, dirty environment, clogged pores, and more, Geckos may need bathing.
Without issues, you can give them a bath once or twice a month but never more than that. This bathing is not a pleasant experience for them.
A Leopard Gecko does not unnecessarily need a bath every day. Hence you can bathe them if they go through some events:
- Stepping on poop
- Difficulty in shedding
- Clogged femoral pores
- Dirty body
Stepping on poop
If you have an enclosure with a dirty environment and you forget to clean the poop off your Gecko, it can step on the poop.
Stepping on the poop will definitely make your Gecko dirty and you cannot touch it either. Hence you need to give it a proper bath to get rid of the poop and smell as well.
Difficulty in shedding
Shedding is the most uncomfortable yet natural process that every reptile faces in their entire lifetime and Leopard Gecko is not an exception to this case.
When your Gecko starts growing, it slowly removes its old skin. During this process, its skin may get stuck or might not shed. This is a dangerous thing for Geckos as it can also cause their blood to be cut off.
If you see your Gecko struggling with their stuck skin, you can gently rub its body with water. Water can create enough moisture for its skin to come off. However, if this trick does not work, consult a vet.
Clogged femoral pores
When Geckos breed, during their breeding season they produce a waxy substance that clogs their femoral pores. Normally the Geckos can clean themselves by rubbing themselves against something hard. Otherwise, these clogs in the pores make it swallow and red.
In such cases, you can use warm water to loosen up the waxy substance. You can then use a Q-tip or cotton swab to clean the clogs from the pores. Make sure that the water is not too hot.
Impaction is another condition where bathing can help. It’s a situation where your Gecko’s digestive system becomes impacted due to obstructed eating. Basically, any indigestible item gets stuck inside its belly and this does not allow your Gecko to poop which causes discomfort.
In this case, you can actually put your Gecko in the water and gently rub its belly or from its chest to the tail. This will give your Leopard Gecko enough comfort to make digestion easier.
You can also give them a warm bath for several days a week to see if any changes occur. If you see no changes, make sure to take your Gecko to a vet.
Your Leopard Gecko can only become dirty if it lives in a dirty enclosure. When an enclosure is dirty having uncleaned poop, insects, mold, etc. it naturally won’t suit your Gecko, and it will not only get dirty and become stressed and sad as well.
To make your Gecko feel better, you can give it a proper bath and also clean its enclosure on time. Make sure to leave no spots of its body uncleaned.
Constipation can occur due to impaction. Impaction, as mentioned earlier, is a process where the undigested items get stuck in your Gecko’s belly. This is a very uncomfortable condition for your Gecko.
As a consequence, your Gecko cannot poop for a long time which causes constipation issues as well. To make things better, you can simply give your Leopard Gecko a warm bath and massage its belly and from chest to tail. This will help to make the digestive system better.
Tap water can be used for your Leopard Gecko but it needs to be cleaned. A lot of times the tap contains dirt and insects that can make your Gecko dirtier.
You can use a water conditioner to clean the water from all toxic chemicals and dirt and then use it for your Gecko’s bath.
Impaction is a situation where any indigestible material or fecal mass gets stuck in the bowel of the Gecko. This causes suffocation and uncomfort in Leopard Geckos.
To help your Gecko with impaction, you can give it a bath for at least a week. You can also go for two rounds of baths for a day lasting for 30 minutes each.
- Take a plastic tub that has a fitted lid with the proper number of holes. You can also make ventilation holes by yourself.
- You can place your Gecko inside the water or after filling up the tub.
- The water level should be at least touching your Gecko’s belly but not its shoulder. The temperature should be around the temperature of your Gecko’s tank.
- Place your Gecko inside and gently run your fingers on its belly and chest properly.
- Do not put extra pressure on its belly and do not handle it much if you see it struggling.
- After a bath, check if it passes poop or not.
- If it does not poop yet, continue doing it for a week. If it still doesn’t, consult or take it to a vet.
The bathing temperature should be between 85-90℉ which is 30-33℃. Remember that Leopard Geckos are cold-blooded creatures and they are unable to regulate their body temperature. Hence the temperature should be between this range to make the bathing process easier for them.
You should spray your Leopard Gecko with water as it helps to keep them hydrated and makes the shedding easier.
Generally, Leopard Geckos do not need bathing. If you do mist then it helps them to be calm and satisfied. Their skin becomes soft with time and provides a proper amount of hydration for them.
You should only put a few sprays as more than that can cause a humidity level buildup issue inside the tank. This will ultimately become suffocating for Gecko and the enclosure will start having moss.
You can soak your Leopard Gecko for at least 10-15 minutes before bathing or during bathing. This makes their skin smooth and lets all the dirt and stuck skin come out easily.
This can be done 2-3 times a week or whenever you feel that your Gecko needs it.
Baths do help Leopard Geckos to poop. When your Leopard Gecko faces any impaction or constipation issue, you can help it by giving a warm bath.
While bathing, you have to gently rub Gecko’s belly, chest to tail, and let it soak in warm water. This stimulates bowel movement and will help the digestive system function properly.
This way the foods or whatever the indigestible matter is, will be able to pass through their system.
Leopard Gecko bathing is a necessity only when your Gecko is dirty or its skin is not shed properly. You can bathe your Gecko if you think it’s necessary but try to avoid it as much as possible. During bathing, make sure to be very gentle with it.
Always monitor the Gecko and never leave it unattended. By following these steps, you can bathe your Gecko easily without causing any harm and maintain a healthy and hygienic environment.