Do Leopard Geckos Drink Water? All You Need to Know!

Taking care of a leopard gecko differs from caring for most other pets, like cats and dogs. Most leopard gecko owners often wonder if they provide their reptiles with suitable habitats, living conditions, and diet. Given that leopard geckos are natively from hot, dry environments, most owners often wonder;

Do Geckos Drink Water?

Yes, leopard geckos drink water but not as often as mammals. They do so by lapping up the water, just like a cat does, or licking it from accessories in the vivarium. Leopard geckos need water to function and will barely survive more than 72 hours without water. It is, therefore, essential to provide fresh, clean water for the reptile to drink.

Unlike the common belief of many people, most arid and semi-arid animals drink water, which is one of the necessary items for survival. Below, we will discuss more on the water needs of a leopard gecko to help you provide adequate hydration care for the pet.

Can Geckos Drink Tap Water?

Yes, these lizards can drink tap water. However, not all tap water is safe, as some contain dirt, chlorine, and other chemicals. If yours has such, treat it first before giving it to the lizard by distillation, filtration, or using a water conditioner.

Water quality can significantly affect your pet’s health. As a general measure, provide the leopard gecko with water you can comfortably drink.

While tap water is what is readily available in captivity, it is also good to provide spring water if you can. In the wild, spring water is what leopard geckos are used to, making it the best choice for drinking, misting, and soaking the pet.

Besides tap and spring water, leopard geckos can also drink distilled water. However, it should only be provided as an alternative solution since it does not contain minerals and is sometimes acidic.

On the other hand, filtered water is a sure bet in terms of safety. However, depending on the filtration process, the water will be safe by removing dangerous metals but also lacking essential minerals. To avoid this, choose a re-mineralizer filter system, which adds back vital minerals such as calcium, sodium, magnesium, and potassium.

Leopard gecko

How Often Do Geckos Drink Water?

These reptiles need water every 48 to 72 hours, especially when they cannot get it from the insects they eat. Beyond that, the gecko will get dehydrated, leading to issues such as lethargy, dry skin, not eating, weight loss, general body weakness, acidosis, uremia, and even death in severe cases.

Do Leopard Geckos Like Water?

No, leopard geckos do not like water even though they need it to prevent shedding issues, constipation, and other dehydration problems. You should not put the reptile in water because this can stress it. In addition, they are not good swimmers and might drown when you put them in water.

Leopard geckos also don’t like getting wet and do not need baths. They are adapted to the arid habitat where they hardly get water bodies.

Do Leopard Geckos Need Water?

Yes, Leopard geckos need water, and they receive most of it from the insects they eat. Besides, they also drink water to supplement the one from the insects. As with other living things, water is essential, even though these reptiles do not need as much as most mammals and amphibians.

Here are ways through which you can provide water to your leopard gecko:

1. Water Bowl

Leopard geckos can hydrate by drinking water from a dish. Even though you might not see the pet drinking the water, you should put clean, fresh water in the habitat daily. Use a shallow dish and place it near the warmer side of the habitat.

2. Misting

Misting the pet and its enclosure increases the chances of its moisture intake. The lizard can absorb the water through its skin or lick it from the accessories in the tank.

In addition, misting the enclosure increases the habitat’s humidity enabling you to achieve ideal humidity levels of between 30 and 40%. Suitable humidity helps keep the leopard gecko hydrated.

Leopard gecko - Eublepharis macularius

Do Leopard Geckos Need Water Dish?                       

Yes, a water dish is more suitable for leopard geckos than a bowl. It should be wide instead of deep to reduce the chances of water-related hazards in the enclosure. Further, the dish should be stable. Some dishes have stairs to make it easier for the lizard to access the water.

Things to Consider When Giving a Leopard Gecko Water

1. Water Quality

Quality water for a leopard gecko should be clean and free of chemicals. In addition, it should have naturally-occurring minerals meaning that the cleaning process should not remove these. Filtered and distilled water is clean but might not have essential minerals. The best choice is spring water. Besides ensuring that the water is clean, you should change the water daily.

2. Water Dish Size

Leopard geckos are small animals and can easily drown if the feeding bowl is too big. To avoid this, choose a small bowl with a stable base. The size ensures that even if it gets in the water accidentally or for cooling off, it will not drown. Stability ensures that the lizard does not overturn the bowl, which can injure it besides wetting the vivarium.

gecko Leopard

Frequently Asked Questions

Why is My Leopard Gecko Not Drinking Water?

Leopard geckos get some moisture from the insects they feed on. In addition, these reptiles are most active at night. It should, therefore, not alarm you if you do not see your leopard gecko drinking water as long as they have no signs of dehydration.

Can a Leopard Gecko Swim?

No, these lizards can’t swim. If they get into a shallow water body, they will stay afloat for a few minutes before drowning if not rescued. To avoid such, never leave the gecko in a water bath unsupervised, and ensure that the water dish is very shallow.

Are Leopard Geckos Good Pets?

Yes, these lizards are great pets and are some of the most common gecko pets. They do not need much attention as long as you provide effective care, diet and hydration. If you are unsure about leopard gecko care, consult an exotic vet.

Leopard gecko (Eublepharis macularius)


Leopard geckos do drink water, although it is more like lapping it up. They lick it from accessories in the habitat when you mist or from a water dish. As with most living things, water is vital for the reptile’s growth and development. Even so, leopard geckos do not drink as much water as most pets.

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