Handling A Leopard Gecko

The great thing about these animals is they’re quite social and make great companions. Many of our geckos love attention and will even crawl into your hand from their cage. There are some things to remember when handling them though.

Handle With Care

Small children should especially be supervised when handling their gecko. Leopard Geckos can stress easily, so be gentle and take it slow with your new friend. Never pick them up by their tail, they can drop their tails if they feel threatened. Here’s and example of a recently dropped tail as well as what the regenerated one looks like later.

This is even more of a reason to handle them with care. Be sure to fully support then in your hand or lap. Don’t let their tails or feet dangle, they need them for balance.

Can You Hold Babies?

We recommend leaving newborns and babies alone until they reach 2 months of age. When geckos are young, they tend to stress easily and require a small, dark hide. They will spend most of their time in their hide sleeping, and love to eat. After they’ve reached about 2 months of age, you can start to handle them, but be very careful as they will more then likely be very skittish. Any sudden movements or loud noises will scare them, so make sure that they are safe and can’t walk right out of your hand. Overtime your gecko should get used to being handled and may even look forward to it, but there are always exceptions. Some geckos never get used to handling and doing so will stress them, so take the time to get to know your geckos and their different personalities.

I Bought My Gecko As An Adult

Again, you’ll really have to watch you gecko’s personality and temperament. Sometimes when you buy a gecko as an adult they won’t get used to handling if they weren’t before. You can try to get them used to handling over time, but don’t rush them. You can also try to treat your gecko to some food items when you hold them to encourage them to come out.

Do Geckos Bite?

Leopard Geckos make great pets but as with any pet, they can bite. Babies may try to bite you when you put your hand in their enclosure, however since they’re still little, you’ll only feel a slight pinch. If they don’t let go right away, remember to not freak out and fling them across the room. They should let go quickly.

Unlike babies, when an adult bites it can be quite painful. Many times when adults bite they won’t let go right away, and may even bite you a few times. Leos DO have teeth, and they are sharp and will draw blood. It is possible for them to take a small chunk from your hand or finger and possibly cause the need for stitches. In the event of a bite, try to stay calm and remove your hand once they’ve let go. Be sure to disinfect the wound, and if it seems bad seek medical attention. It’s not common for leos to bite, but if they feel threatened they can so be sure and take your time when handling your geckos!

Wash Your Hands

There’s always the possibility that reptiles can carry Salmonella. It can come from their poo, and geckos are bound to come in contact with it. Be sure to avoid touching your mouth and eyes when handling them, and be sure to wash your hands thoroughly with anti bacterial soap afterwards.


Geckos are great companions! If you’ve ever thought about getting a lizard, a leopard gecko would be a great choice. Email us any questions you may have! We highly recommend educating yourself on the proper care of a gecko BEFORE you welcome your new friend into your home.

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