What makes a good pet for your teenager?
They’re not a little kid anymore, but aren’t quite old enough for a complicated pet yet.
While the first response for kids’ pets is usually a dog or cat or maybe even a hamster, sometimes it’s nice to think outside of the box — or in our case, crate — and pick something a little less traditional for them.
One such pet that suits teens well is small in size but big in love — the leopard gecko.
Whether your teenager is a beginner or an experienced pet owner, here is some reasons why the leopard gecko is one of the best pets to get your teenager:
They Are Inexpensive
Leopard geckos are easy to find in most pet stores and usually don’t cost that much.
They also don’t require that much equipment. All they need is a tank, a heating lamp/pad, a place to hide, calcium powder (to dip their food in for extra nutrition), a food and water dish and you’re good to go.
The only places where there is a bit of expense is the initial purchase of the tank and having to buy food weekly for them.
However, to buy a carton of fifty mealworms (a basic food for geckos) only costs about $3.00, which is much cheaper than most quality dog and cat foods on the market right now.
Easy to Care For
Aside from the occasional cage cleaning and feeding, leopard geckos really don’t require that much care.
As long as their tanks are properly heated your teen should have no problems with caring for this pet.
This trait makes them good if your teenager has a hard time with responsibility or doesn’t want a pet that you have to walk and clean up after daily.
Don’t Take up That Much Room
Leopard geckos only grow to about seven to eight inches, sometimes up to ten inches for males.
This means that your teen can keep the gecko in the same twenty gallon tank for their whole life, from hatchling to mature adult.
As long as your teenager has space for the tank, you’ll have space for this pet.
This is a handy trait if you want to keep the tank in the teenager’s room or take it with them when they head off to college.
They’re Active at Night and Day
If there is one thing that teens bond over, it’s their penchant for staying up and sleeping in late.
Leopard geckos happen to follow a similar sleep/activity cycle of a teenager, being mostly active at night and quiet during the day.
Don’t worry — despite this, the gecko will still most likely be awake long enough during the day for you and your teenager to still handle, feed, and watch walk around their enclosure.
Your teen will enjoy having a pet that crawls out of their enclosure the same time that they crawl out of their own cave — I mean room — in the late morning.
Good with Being Handled
Most teens like to hold and touch their pets. Leopard geckos happen to treat being handled better than a lot of other geckos.
Because they’re nocturnal and have a mild temperament, during the day they are gentle and tolerant with being picked up.
Your teenager can cup the gecko in their hands or have it climb up their forearm to their shoulder or whatever else they like.
Note: Make sure you tell your teen not to hold or grab the gecko by their tail. It could scare the gecko and cause them to drop it. This doesn’t hurt the gecko and the tail will grow back within two months, but it is really gross and best avoided.
They’re Very Cool
While leopard geckos are becoming increasingly popular in households, they are still considered a unique pet.
These geckos have many interesting traits. They have a fun color scheme, have claws instead of sticky pads on their feet, and also are one of the few geckos to have an eyelid.
Leopard geckos are also a good compromise pet to get in case your teen wants a different “cool” pet that you are not personally thrilled with like, say, a snake or tarantula.
What Do You like About Leopard Geckos?
Know about another trait about leopard geckos that makes them especially good for teens? Let us hear about it in the comments’ section below!