Leopard geckos are becoming one of the most popular pet reptiles and are definitely the most popular among pet geckos. But have you ever thought of keeping a lizard as a pet? It may sound weird to you if you have never had a lizard before, but many people keep lizards, including geckos, as pets, and they love it.
Leopard Geckos are common ground-dwelling lizards and make excellent pets for many reasons. They have minimal care requirements and need little attention, which makes them the best pet lizards (yes, geckos are lizards) for beginners. These colorful creatures are quiet and easy to handle and can be left alone for several days if necessary.
However, before adopting a Leopard gecko, many questions may arise in your head: How to care for a Leopard gecko? How long do they go without eating? And finally, do Leopard geckos have teeth? Do Leopard geckos bite? And so on and so forth.
To get the answers to the above questions, check the relevant links, and for questions related to Leopard gecko teeth, continue reading the blog to find out all the interesting facts that you must know about gecko teeth and bites.
Do Leopard Geckos Have Teeth?
Leopard geckos have teeth, but their shape, size, and numbers depend on the species. An average number of 100 teeth are commonly present in a gecko’s mouth. Yes, you have read it right! These tiny creatures have around 100 teeth. They are polyphyodont—their teeth are replaced continually throughout their lifetime.
After every 3 to 4 months, geckos replace their entire set of teeth. Unlike humans, who replace their primary teeth with a set of permanent teeth just once in a lifetime, some animals, including geckos, can shed their teeth every few months throughout their lifespan. Leopard Geckos are born with a fully developed set of teeth.
Most geckos have rows of tiny, conical teeth, whose sides converge incisively on both jaws. Usually, the lower jaw has lesser teeth than the upper ones.
Do Leopard Geckos Bite?
Before owning a pet, pet owners always keep an eye on the foreseeable issues that can affect pets’ health or their own. Any allergies, health issues, or abnormal symptoms can have adverse effects. It is also necessary to make sure your pet is harmless and won’t be dangerous to you, especially children.
Many reptiles have formidable teeth that have created fear in pet owners to keep a gecko as a pet. Leopard Geckos have teeth, but do they bite too?
Yes, Leopard geckos can bite. However, the chances of being bitten by a Leopard gecko are slim—they only bite if they are over-stressed, disturbed, or feel attacked.
Luckily, these nocturnal animals are not venomous and do not bite unless provoked or attacked. They are easy-to-care-for and have docile nature that makes them ideal pets for beginners. But any animal will do self-defense when attacked or disturbed.
Following are the factors that arouse geckos to bite:
1) Extremely Territorial
Leopard geckos are very territorial, which means they like to have their space, especially males. It is better to keep only one male gecko in a tank. The scent of another male gecko can easily trigger them. If you don’t wash your hands properly to get rid of the gecko scent while handling different male geckos, they can mistake the scent on your hands as another male gecko and bite you.
2) Hunger Can Cause Them to Bite
When hungry, they can mistake your fingers for food. If you pick them up before feeding them, they might bite your fingers, misperceiving them as food. Though Leopard geckos can around 10 to 14 days without food, you should not pick them when they have not been fed in days.
3) Scared or Provoked
Every animal turn on the defensive mode when scared, provoked, or stressed. The same goes for Leopard geckos, if they perceive you as a threat, it is normal for geckos to bite you. Any new environment or owner can also make them anxious, resulting in your pet being restless or aggressive. Overstress may also result in gecko tail loss.
Young geckos are more aggressive than adult ones. As they grow older, they become tame. Overhanding can make your gecko overstressed and bite the handler.
Does Geckos Bite Hurt?
No, it does not hurt. It feels like a little pinch, and Leopard gecko’s teeth will not even penetrate your skin, thanks to their small teeth size. You may not even feel its bite, let alone bleed. They rarely penetrate through your skin, and if sometimes they can, then it would be a small wound and nothing serious! However, if the concerned Leopard gecko morph is a Giant Leopard Gecko, the bite will hurt a bit.
What to Do if Leopard Geckos Bites You?
These docile lizards are harmless pets but can bite you if provoked. They are small non-venomous creatures with tiny teeth—even when they bite you, it will cause nothing more than a scratch on the skin.
Their teeth are not properly aligned, and they do not use their teeth to chew food. Instead, they swallow the whole insect with the help of muscles movements and a flexible tongue. Their teeth just make the whole process a lot easier.
However, Leopard gecko bites can sometimes be infectious. Normally, all animals carry some type of bacteria or germs in their saliva. It is better to take precautionary measures always and wash your hands after interacting with your pet. Leopard geckos are harmless pets, but an open wounded can get infected. It is better to visit your doctor when you notice any signs of infection.
How Bad is Leopard Geckos Bite?
Leopard Geckos are harmless, and their bite does not cause any harm, as discussed earlier. However, if you try to pull a gecko off your skin fiercely, it will try to hold stronger onto your skin, resulting in a small cut and can draw blood in rare cases.
Their bite can sometimes cause infection as many reptiles carry salmonella bacteria which can transfer to you through their bite. It is advised to wash your hands with anti-bacterial soap or use any disinfector as soon as possible. The use of alcohol or hydrogen peroxide on the wound can also fasten the healing.
How to Keep Leopard Gecko from Biting?
These placid nature reptiles do not bite or panic for no reason. They bite when scared, stressed, provoked, or hungry. Children are especially fond of pets, and it is important to make sure that your kids are safe when interacting with the pet. Anyhow, you can reduce the likelihood of Leopard gecko bite by adopting the following habits:
- Wash your hands every time before handling your pet geckos, for they can mistake the smell on your hands for another gecko, perceive you as a threat which can cause them to bite you.
- Do not pick them up before feeding. When they are hungry, they see everything as their food, so your fingers might look like a yummy meal to them. A healthy diet is also necessary to avoid health issues.
- Place single male Leopard gecko per habitat. They are highly territorial reptiles and don’t like living with other males. Otherwise, they may end up in a fight that results in injuries or sometimes casualties. However, if you place a male or a female in the same tank, they will most likely mate.
- The sudden approach or any loud noise can make them scared. Try to speak not so loudly around them or when you pick them up, try to touch them gently.
- If your lizard pet is new to the environment, then it may take some time to adjust. They may be aggressive at the start, but they will be okay with handling once they are comfortable.
- Last but not least, keep your Leopard gecko happy by providing them the best gecko lighting setup, comfy substrate, and a tank setup that resembles their natural habitat.
Final Verdict: Do Leopard Geckos Have Teeth?
Leopard Geckos have teeth. They have around 100 of them. Though their teeth play a vital role in their survival as it helps hold the prey and crush it if it’s large, they do not bite their owner, and if they do, it feels like a pinch only. They are non-venomous reptiles and do not cause any serious harm to people when they bite. Their non-poisonous, docile, and easygoing nature makes them everyone’s favorite pet gecko. That said, you should keep in mind that the bite of a Giant Leopard Gecko may hurt a little more than usual Leopard geckos.