We all know that unlike other pet lizards such as Crested Geckos and Bearded Dragons, the Leopard Gecko is actually a insectivore. This means that they predominantly only eat meat in the shape of small insects, worms and other invertebrates.
Due to the fact they can consume meat many owners of leopard geckos may wonder if this also includes fish. I mean surely their bodies must be capable of breaking down fish proteins if they can eat meat?
So this post is going to let you know if it is safe to feed your leopard gecko fish as part of its diet.
Is it ok to feed a leopard gecko fish?
At this point I just want to jump straight in and give you the quick answer. Further on in the post I will go a little more into the benefits although mainly negatives of feeding your leopard gecko fish.
So can a leopard gecko eat fish? Feeding your Leopard Gecko fish is a really bad idea for two reasons. The first reason is that Leopard geckos are from desert environments and as such do not naturally eat fish. The second reason is that many species of fish contain high levels of Mercury which is very dangerous for your Leopard Gecko.
So that is the short and sweet answer. Unfortunately you really should not be feeding fish to your pet leopard gecko.
Nows let’s take a deeper dive into it and I will go through all of the reasonings so that you can decide for yourself if it is a good idea.
Before we start I wrote an awesome and detailed leopard gecko care guide that will teach you all about the appropriate diet.
The benefits of feeding fish to your leopard gecko.
I am going to be totally honest with you from the start, there are not many benefits to feeding fish to your pet Leo. But here goes anyway…
- Protein: Fish is very high in protein and a growing leopard gecko needs protein to help build muscle, skin and its skeletal system.
- Low fat: Fish is generally very low in fat with exceptions of Mackerel and other oily Fish. This means that your leopard gecko will not get overweight from eating fish.
That is it, all of the benefits of fish in the diet are above.
The negatives of feeding fish to your leopard gecko.
Now it is time to have a look at some of the negatives.
- Not natural: For me this is a big one to be honest. Leopard geckos originate from dry, arid, deserts that are very sparse in waters were fish would be present. That means that fish would never be on the menu for a leopard gecko in the wild and for that reason their bodies are not suited to consuming fish.
- Mercury content: Due to industrial action there is a lot of Mercury in the season and when predator fish such as tuna eat other fish they end up consuming this Mercury which builds up in their bodies. If you feed fish to your leopard gecko there is a high chance that they may suffer from Mercury poisoning.
- Bones: Fish contain hundreds of tiny and some times difficult to see bones. If your Leo was to swallow one of these bones it could easily get lodged in its throat. This would be a life threatening situation.
- Parasites: Fish, especially when raw is known to have parasites such as worms and other nasties. This could cause serious issues for your leopard gecko if consumed.
Hopefully after reading that nasty list of negatives you will know that it is best to keep your leopard gecko away from fish.
Can A leopard gecko eat tuna?
Tuna is one of the most popular fish in the human diet. It is high in protein and full of omega-3 acid and tastes yummy.
As mentioned above though it is one of the worst offenders when it comes to dangerously house amount of the toxic heavy metal called Mercury.
For this reason I strongly recommend that if you do plan to feed your leopard gecko fish that you stay away from tuna. Tuna contains way to much Mercury which will cause poisoning in your leopard gecko and as such is not safe for your leopard gecko to eat.
Final thoughts on feeding fish to a leopard gecko.
I know this topic has been pretty grim really and it has probably come as a surprise that you can’t feed your leopard gecko fish.
Ultimately though it is not a natural food for your Leo and could cause it some health issues in reality.
There are however plenty of different insects and worms that you can try feeding to your leopard gecko instead that are healthy and nutritious.
My name is Andy Baines and I am the owner and writer here at Super Crazy Pets.
For the last 20 years I have been the carer/parent of many exotic pets, from reptiles to amphibians I have cared for and looked after them all.
I created this website to share my knowledge of looking after pets with other fellow owners.
My works and articles have been shared on many online publications including The Spruce Pets.
You can read more about my story by visiting the about me page.