While you usually see dogs and the occasional cat on leashes going on walks, every once in a while, you will see a unique animal ranging from birds to pigs to even reptiles.
As a leopard gecko owner, you may want to show off your little friendly reptile to the world, and what better way than putting it on a leash and taking it around town!
It is possible to take a leopard gecko on a walk on a small reptile leash. However, there are many risks to consider. Consider staying indoors with these curious creatures, or prepare to be on your toes and minimize risks.
This article will cover the benefits and drawbacks of walking a gecko, how to do it safely, and some other fun activities to do instead.
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What Are The Risks Of Walking A Leopard Gecko?
Walking a gecko, especially outside, comes with all sorts of risks and the possibility of running into dangerous objects and animals.
Birds are one of the major predators in the wild for geckos and will happily scoop one up if given a chance.
Cats, dogs, and other mammals might also be potential predators, and with leopard geckos being as small as they are, they might be an unfortunate snack in a worst-case scenario.
There is also the risk of pesticides, parasites, and other risks that may cause health issues if they get into something they shouldn’t.
Geckos are incredibly curious and active creatures, and given enough time, they will get into something and get lost or stuck if you are not paying attention.
While it is possible to avoid and prevent many of these risks, awareness of them and the environment you plan to walk the gecko in will ensure nothing bad happens.
How To Safely Walk A Leopard Gecko
The first step to safely walking a gecko is to start with a relaxed and happy gecko.
Once the gecko has become acclimated with you and lots of handling, it’s time to leash train the gecko.
The first step is choosing an appropriately sized harness, such as this dragon reptile leash on Amazon.
Use a harness instead of a collar because a collar might be slipped out of and poses a choking hazard, while the harness is safer and more secure.
Any harness materials should be soft and gentle on your gecko; for example, soft leather materials and an adjustable nylon leash are preferred.
Some other harnesses come with fun decorations like dragon wings or colorful beads, so shop around or get creative and make your own!
The next step is slowly introducing your gecko to the harness and having them wear it for short periods indoors and always when they are in a good mood.
If you notice puffing up, hissing noises, tail wagging, or other signs of stress, it is a good idea to take a break and let your gecko calm down.
However, after a few sessions, your gecko should be ready and comfortable enough with the harness to take for a walk!
Make sure to check out any areas you plan on taking your gecko for dangers first, especially if you are taking them outside.
While they may not be interested in going on as long of walks as dogs, geckos will love to explore new areas and crawl around, checking out their environment!
As friendlier reptiles, anybody who comes across you walking your gecko may also be excited to say hi too, which is a great way to show them off!
Other Ways To Have Fun With Your Gecko
Like people, not all geckos have the same personalities, and some may be more independent creatures who are not interested in being put on a leash.
While they may not like walking on a leash, there are still plenty of ways to provide enrichment and have fun with your gecko.
Further Reading: Playing with your leopard gecko
Creating a Playpen
Creating a playpen outside of a gecko’s enclosure is one of the best ways to add enrichment and entertainment for your gecko.
Almost any objects you find around the house offer opportunities to be used to create a playpen.
Reusing materials such as cardboard boxes, paper towels/toilet paper tubes, or anything else you have is a great way to turn waste materials into something fun.
During active times for your gecko, they will enjoy exploring new areas and finding new smells; just be sure to watch and ensure they are safe.
Create Clay Tunnels And Other Hides
Excavator clay is easily shaped into tunnels, or a container placed in the enclosure will offer a natural substrate allowing them to dig and be safe.
Dirt and sand are dangerous if swallowed, and excavator clay makes a great substrate for the whole tank or just a container to allow the gecko to behave similarly to how they do in nature.
Making a hide for your gecko is another fun way to change up their enclosure, although changes should be slow and only once every couple of months to not stress out the gecko with too many new structures in their enclosure.
Hides may easily be made of cardboard, plastic, or even PVC pipes cut to size and smoothed out to not have any protruding sharp bits.
This is a way to have fun with your gecko and be creative too!
Watch A Movie
One of my favorite ways to bond with my gecko is to watch movies with them.
While they are not as interested in the movie as I am, they enjoy sleeping on me as I provide heat and a comfortable place to lay down.
Using a blanket can provide a feeling of safety and another layer of warmth, and this activity works better with adult geckos who have calmed down rather than a young one who is still very skittish.