When it comes to the choice of your leopard gecko substrate, you may have a variety of options to choose from. You can decide to use small stones, sand, or reptile carpet. However, before you decide to use either of the substrates, you must ensure the safety of your gecko.
Reptile carpets are a great option for leos due to the low risk of impaction. Reptile carpets aren’t made of sand or small stones, so you won’t have to worry about your gecko accidentally swallowing some particles when feeding. Plus, the small pieces of plastic used in making the carpets are non-toxic.
What Is a Reptile Carpet?
A reptile carpet is a liner placed on the bottom of a gecko’s enclosure rather than using other types of substrates and is a preferred choice over the loose substrate.
There’re different types of reptile carpets in the market ranging in color, size, and material.
The materials making these reptile carpets are mainly recycled plastics and high-density tech compact fibres, which means they’re durable and can serve you and your geckos for years to come.
Not only that. They’re reusable, easy to wash, and non-toxic.
Is Reptile Carpet Good for Leopard Geckos?
The fact that reptile carpets are safe, as there is no risk of impaction, doesn’t mean they lack some downsides. Continue reading to have an in-depth view of the pros and cons.
1. No Risk of Impaction
The risk of impaction is one of the greatest concerns to any leopard gecko owner. The love gecko parents have for their adorable geckos is unwavering, and they can’t stand watching their pets suffer from avoidable circumstances.
Luckily for them, the reptile carpet isn’t made of sand or small stones that your gecko can accidentally swallow when enjoying its meal.
The ability to reuse a reptile carpet is one of their most essential benefits, as it helps save on costs.
You can easily remove your leopard gecko carpet, wash it, and then use it as often as you like before needing replacement.
3. Readily Available
Availability is key when it comes to the choice of leopard gecko carpet. Compared to linoleum, tiles, or coconut coir substrates specifically designed for geckos, reptile carpets are available in most exotic pet shops and online.
Plus, you’ll find the perfect one that suits your need depending on the color and size of your lizard’s enclosure.
4. Machine Washable
While most leopard geckos substrates such as tiles, sands, and small stones are not machine washable, reptile carpets are machine washable.
Therefore, reptile carpets are a must-have substrate if you’re looking for an easy-to-wash leopard gecko substrate.
Reptile carpets don’t come at a hefty price, considering you can buy two of them and change them whenever required. Plus, you’ll only need to replace them when frills develop after the fourth wash when well maintained.
However, shelf liners or tiles may be more effective and cheaper substrate options compared to reptile carpets.
There’re several cons you need to consider when deciding if a reptile carpet is an ideal substrate for your leopard gecko. Come along.
1. High Risk of Bacteria
One of the serious downsides of reptile carpets is the risk of harbouring bacteria. The main reason is that proper cleaning involves a lot of hassle. As such, the rate of your pet getting an infection in the future is very high.
2. You’ll Need to Clean it Regularly
Most leopard gecko substrates will require spot cleaning daily, a more thorough cleaning weekly, and deep cleaning once a month. But that’s not the case with reptile carpets.
Since gecko pee and poop get stuck in the fibers easily, you’ll have to clean it twice a week. Otherwise, your adorable reptile will be at a high risk of getting an infection from the bacteria stuck in the carpet.
3. Hard to Clean
While reptile carpets are machine washable, removing gecko poop on a daily basis is a lot of hard work.
You must be very vigilant when cleaning the waste, as leaving the gecko’s waste unattended for a long time can make cleaning exceptionally difficult.
Spot-cleaning reptile carpets are one thing, but even with proper machine washing and spot cleaning, there’s always a risk that the carpet will get stained. So consider cleaning the reptile carpet regularly.
5. Frills Develop
Reptile carpets are not designed to be washed regularly. By the second wash, you’ll notice your reptile carpet taking on a frilly appearance, increasing the risk of your little pal injuring himself.
6. The Gecko’s Claws get Stuck Easily
Leos are known to injure themselves when claws get stuck in reptile carpet fibers, especially when frills start developing. You may need to replace the reptile carpet if frills start developing to prevent your gecko from pulling its claw off.
What is the Best Flooring for Leopard Geckos?
Leos like to live in warm, humid environments. So before using reptile carpet on your gecko’s enclosure, remember that your choice of the substrate must provide your pet with warmth and moisture.
Apart from reptile carpet, some ideal substrates to use on the floor of its tank include paper towels, newspapers, bioactive substrate, tile, and rubber shelf liner.
Make sure not to use loose substrate as they may increase the risk of impaction. Play sand, soil, wood chips, bark, mulch, hay, moss, and alfalfa pellets can harm your adorable lizard and should be avoided at all costs.