How Often do Leopard Geckos Shed?

by David Lowbridge
how often do leopard geckos shed

If you are asking yourself how often do Leopard Geckos shed, then we have the answer for you here. A healthy baby or juvenile gecko will shed every 1-2 weeks. An adult Leopard Gecko will shed every four to eight weeks. If you would like more information about the leopard geckos shedding, then read on.

What is a Leopard Gecko Shed?

As a Leopard Gecko grows it sheds the previous layer skin and replaces it with a new layer of skin. The old skin separates from new skin beneath and then comes away. Leopard Geckos, and some other lizards, tear their old shed off in chunks and generally eat the old skin. This is different to snakes whose sheds usually come away in one piece and are discarded. Though interesting we’ve noticed that barking geckos will also discard their old skin.

Will I see my new Leopard Gecko Shed?

You might see your Leopard Gecko shed. Just recently, I observed one of the babies peel off her shed, drop it in her water dish and then she proudly ate it in front of me. Other Leopard Geckos are very secretive about their shedding, we have some adult Leopard Geckos that we have never seen shed!

So try not to worry if you don’t see your Leopard Gecko shed. Look out for the other signs of shedding instead.

How Will I know my Leopard Gecko has Shed?

If you don’t actually see the shed itself you can watch out for signs of a Leopard Gecko shedding. You might notice your Leopard Gecko go paler or a dull colour. This can be confusing if your Leopard Gecko is a Ghost morph. The Ghost morph can change the shade based on mood, temperature and more. However, you will be able to tell that your Leopard Gecko has shed because the next day your Leopard Gecko will look lovely and bright again.

Your Leopard Gecko may also go off their food a day before shedding. So a paler Leopard Gecko that is not so interested in food is likely to be about to shed. They may also spend a lot of time in their mist box or hide.

Once a Leopard Gecko has shed they will be hungry and their appetite should go back to normal. A couple of our Leopard Geckos will eat a lot more the day after a shed.

What can go Wrong With a Shed?

Most Leopard Geckos will shed and you will never know it. However, it isn’t always easy for the gecko.

Occasionally, Leopard Geckos can have some stuck shed. Problematic areas are around the eyelids, tips of the tails and specifically on the toes. These are delicate areas, so care needs to be provided and it should be taken seriously. Shed that remains can be a cause of toe loss. Try not to worry, we have not experienced this problem and with good care, you are unlikely to either but it is always wise to be aware of health risks.

If your Leopard Gecko has a stuck shed, first check that you have a humidity gradient of 30 to 60 across your enclosure. Or, if you are using a moist hide, check that it has plenty of damp moss in it. If there is an obvious cause for the stuck shed, like the moist hide is to dry, correct the problem and you can see if this helps.

You can also use an earbud to apply water to the shed and then gently try to wipe away the shed if there is no obvious cause for it. If you are not confident with this or if there is no improvement in 12 hours then you should seek veterinary advice. There may be another problem that you are not aware of.

Another option is to try to get your Leopard Gecko to walk several times over a damp paper towel or a short bath in a shallow dish. However, these two options, in our experience, don’t work as well.

Good daily care and preventative measures are the best way to keep your Leopard Gecko healthy during their shed. Your Leopard Gecko needs to be eating well to grow and healthy sheds. Regularly weighing your Leopard Gecko can be a reassuring way of documenting that your Leopard Gecko is eating and growing as she should be.

How can I Help My Leopard Gecko Shed?

You shouldn’t need to help your Leopard Gecko shed. The skin will loosen and peel off and your Leopard Gecko will eat the shed. They will do all this in about 15 minutes to 2 hours so you might miss it. In fact this can be a worry for many new owners who ask what has happened to their leopard gecko shed. It is nothing to worry about.

You can make it easier for your Leopard Gecko to shed by including a mist box/hide that is kept damp or by setting up a humidity gradient if you have a more naturalistic or bioactive set-up.

A humidity gradient is when you have an area of your enclosure that is slightly more humid than another area of the enclosure.

This can be easily achieved by lightly spraying one side of the enclosure every day or every other day. Though you would need a substrate for this. We use leolife that is perfect for helping to maintain this humid gradient as the sand can stay moist for the higher ends of the gradient, but is also perfect for drier side of the enclosure.

Final Word: How Often Do Leopard Geckos Shed?

Leopard Geckos make excellent pet reptiles and are perfect for beginners. A pet Leopard Gecko is a fascinating way to learn about reptiles and how reptiles shed their skin. If you’ve been wondering how often do leopard geckos shed, then hopefully we’ve answered your question.

If you notice that your Leopard Gecko is not shedding correctly, then you can provide care to help correct the matter. Then you need to look at your setup to ensure that the right environment is being provided for your gecko. Correct humidity, a good diet and excellent observation are just some of the ways to ensure that your Leopard Gecko regularly has a good and healthy shed.

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