The most probable reason why your pet crested gecko isn’t eating is probably related to an environmental factor or environmental change. However, an inappropriate diet, illness, stress, brumation, dehydration, impaction, and shedding could also be why your pet crested gecko isn’t eating.
9 Reasons Why Your Crested Gecko is Not Eating
Let us see one by one the reasons why your pet crested gecko does not seem interested in eating its food:
- Environmental Factors
The most obvious and primary reason your pet crested gecko isn’t eating is due to a change in environmental factors or an inappropriate environment.
If your pet crested gecko is newly brought or you have changed the location of your existing crested gecko, it may take some time for your pet to adjust to its surroundings. Typically it can take a few days or a couple of weeks to get familiar with its environment.
Another environmental factor impacting your pet’s appetite is an incorrect pet enclosure setup. Things like small tank size, bad ventilation, poor humidity levels, wrong temperature conditions, not providing enough hiding spots, and unhygienic tank conditions can affect the eating habits of your pet crested gecko.
- Inappropriate or Invariable Diet
Just as humans get bored of the same diet repeatedly, crested geckos get bored if you offer them the same food every single day.
If the diet you have been offering to your pet is monotonous and not varied, your pet crested gecko may lose interest in eating.
Another cause for loss of appetite is incorrect proportions of food or too much protein in the diet.
A change in food pellets could also be one of the reasons for your pet crested gecko losing interest in food.
- Illnesses and Infections
One of the reasons your pet crested gecko isn’t eating its food, which needs immediate attention, is the presence of some illness, infection, or parasites in your pet crested gecko.
Crested geckos find it hard to eat when ill or have some parasitic infection.
When they do not seem to eat for days, it is best to take your pet crested gecko to a veterinarian doctor.
Your pet may also lose its appetite if it is under a lot of stress. When crested geckos are under a lot of pressure, they may skip their food and spend a lot of time hiding.
The reasons behind stress could be:
- The presence of your other pets, like cats and dogs, around your pet crested gecko’s tank
- Too much loud sounds or noises near the pet enclosure
- Not enough hiding spots
- Inappropriate habitat conditions
If your pet crested gecko is housed with another crested gecko in the same enclosure, it may induce stress in either or both.
- Bad Oral Hygiene
Tooth decay or mouth rot are signs of infections and bad oral hygiene. If your pet crested gecko has a dental problem like mouth rot or swollen gums, it will be hard for them to consume any food items.
In the case of dental problems caused by bacterial infections, your pet can lose its appetite.
You need to immediately seek help from a veterinary doctor if this is the reason for losing interest in food.
Dehydration could be another reason your pet crested gecko isn’t consuming any food. You can read our Dehydrated Crested Gecko Symptoms article for more information.
If your pet is dehydrated due to lower humidity levels or simply not getting enough fluids, it will become lethargic and might stop eating.
Shedding is a natural but somewhat stressful phase for crested geckos by which they shed their old skins.
During shedding, your pet crested gecko is stressed out and may lose its appetite. Usually, the loss of appetite, in this case, occurs two-three days before and after shedding.
Your pet might also not seem to eat food during the actual process of shedding.
- Stomach Blockage or Impaction
Suppose your pet crested gecko has accidentally ingested a giant or hard-shelled insect or consumed some substrate matter. In that case, it can have its gut or stomach impacted, leading to appetite loss.
This condition needs immediate medical attention.
Lastly, your pet crested gecko may enter its brumation or hibernation cycle when the climatic temperature starts getting low.
During brumation, crested geckos try to preserve their energies. Therefore, they reduce their activities like moving around, eating, and drinking water. This is why your pet crested gecko may not seem to eat during brumation, usually during winter.
Once the brumation cycle is done, your pet will resume eating and moving around of its own accord.
How Long Can a Crested Gecko Not Eat Without Affecting Its Health?
A crested gecko can usually go without food for up to 2 weeks without impacting its health. However, it would definitely be best if you started investigating the cause behind why your pet crested gecko is refraining from any food; immediately after two days, you start observing this behavior.
What Should I Do to Ensure My Crested Gecko Eats Food?
If your pet crested gecko is suffering from any illnesses, infections, nausea, dental problems, or gut impaction, it means medical intervention is required.
Do not force your pet crested gecko to eat any food at such times. It will just further add to their stress. Instead, take them to a vet, and follow the doctor’s treatment.
However, if the loss of appetite or lack of interest in food is caused due to an inappropriate diet or environmental factors, including stress, you might try fixing those.
How Can I Fix My Crested Geckos Diet?
You can start by providing more food items in your crested gecko’s diet.
You should include a good range of fruits, vegetables, leafy greens, gut-loaded insects, and pellets.
While offering insects or live food, gut-load them with vital nutrients like calcium, Vitamin D3, and other supplements. This will add to the variety of food and ensure your pet crested gecko remains healthy and its immune system stays strong.
Do not overdo the protein or other nutrient content; it can harm your pet crested gecko.
Also, make sure you do not overfeed your pet crested gecko. Overfeeding them will fill their stomach capacities, so they naturally tend not to eat at regular meal times.
How Can I Fix My Crested Geckos Environment?
You can create a suitable environment for the crested gecko by following the below simple methods:
- Large Terrarium
The first and foremost thing is to provide a spacious and large enough terrarium for your pet crested gecko.
If the pet enclosure is too small, your pet crested gecko may feel cramped and stressed out, causing it to lose interest in food.
A large enough terrarium will ensure your pet crested gecko has plenty of space to roam around.
A terrarium of size 5 gallons is recommended for baby crested geckos, and an enclosure of size 20-30 gallons is recommended for adult crested geckos.
- Stress-Free Environment
Below are some simple measures to create a stress-free environment for your pet:
- If you are housing two crested geckos together, separating them into different pet enclosures is ideal. The presence of another crested gecko can cause aggression and stress for either or both of them.
- To eliminate another stress factor, ensure your other pets, like cats and dogs, are away from the terrarium where your pet crested gecko is housed. The presence of another animal can make a crested gecko feel threatened, thereby increasing its stress.
- Prevent your cat or dog from entering the room where your pet crested gecko is housed, or cover the terrarium with a small cover.
- Cutting out any sources of loud noises also helps reduce stress levels in your pet crested gecko. Make sure the room where your pet crested gecko is housed is calm and quiet.
- Also, avoid placing the terrarium near a window. If your pet crested gecko spots any bird or animal outside the window, it may perceive it as a threat and get stressed.
- Appropriate Habitat Conditions
If your pet crested gecko has recently moved into its new habitat, give it some time to get used to its new habitat.
Along with this, always ensure that the temperature levels are maintained. Too high a temperature will agitate your pet and prevent it from eating any food due to stress, whereas too low a temperature will make it lose its appetite.
Invest in a suitable heating device and thermometer to maintain the correct temperature between 71- 79 degrees Fahrenheit.
Investing in a good hygrometer to maintain the correct humidity levels is advisable.
Along with all the requirements mentioned above, ensure the pet enclosure has plenty of hiding spots, a good quality substrate, and hygienic tank conditions for creating an optimal enclosure for your pet.
Not taking food is sometimes a natural outcome of fixable stress, diet, or environmental factors. Sometimes it is an outcome of naturally occurring processes like shedding or brumation. If repairable, you can try to improve the environmental factors and diet.
However, if the causes are natural, you should let your pet crested gecko be. However, in case of a disease or infection, you should immediately get some medical attention for your pet.