Stress is a common, natural occurrence for all animals. Stress helps keep an animal alert and safe.
But when stress goes on for too long, it can be harmful to an animal’s health. This article will focus on leopard gecko stress and how to destress leopard geckos.
Leopard geckos don’t have the same signs of stress as we do (stress in humans is caused by lots of things like school or work).
Instead, leopard geckos might show different signs of stress depending on what is causing the stress (like temperature being too high or low) and these signs can also affect their immune system, making them more likely to get sick!
How to tell if your leopard gecko is stressed?
It’s important to know how to tell if your leopard gecko is stressed because it can lead to or be indicative of health issues.
Stress causes a variety of physical responses in leopard geckos, and you can observe them to get a better understanding of what your leopard gecko might be feeling.
Signs of stressed leopard geckos
- Body language and behavior of your pet. This will help you determine if something is wrong with your pet.
- The breathing rate and droppings of your lizard are both indicators of stress or illness in reptiles.
- Their eyes and shed skin as they should be clear, not cloudy-looking or dull. Abnormal eye colors could indicate an infection or some kind of internal problem as well.
- Aggression is another sign of stress in leopard geckos. They may strike at their keepers or lash out with their tails when they’re cornered or scared by something in their environment, such as loud noises or moving objects like fans or lamps that move air around in the tank.
- Inactivity. If your leopard gecko is not moving much or at all, this could be a sign that something is wrong. It may be sleeping or just resting, but if you notice an increase in inactivity over time, it may be time to make an appointment with your vet.
- Shell Shedding. Leopard Geckos shed their skin periodically as part of their normal growth cycleStress can also cause shedding problems such as “popcorning”
- Abdominal swelling or bloating of the body
- Change of color or markings on body or skin
- Molting problems after changing environments
- Hiding and not wanting to be handled
How to destress a leopard gecko?
If you’re concerned that your leopard gecko is stressed, your best course of action is to try to determine the cause.
If it’s related to their environment, you can take steps to remedy it—keeping them in a clean environment, paying attention to temperature and lighting, and making sure they have a place to hide.
When diet is the issue, consider whether they are getting enough nutrients or too much protein.
A lack of fat can also be problematic for them. Make sure they have plenty of water available and serve live insects in moderation so they don’t become overweight.
You should also pay close attention when handling them. Avoid picking them up by their tail and hold them gently but firmly with two hands around their body.
Avoid handling new geckos for the first few weeks so that they have time to adjust and get used to their new surroundings before interacting with you directly.