Can Crested Geckos Eat Apples – Everything You Need To Know
As you start learning more about your Crested gecko’s diet, you will find out that not all fruits are safe to feed to your gecko and some are even dangerous. And where does the apple stand in the gecko’s diet? Can Crested geckos eat apples? The short answer to this question is yes but only as a treat.
People eat apples daily in all shapes and forms. But what about geckos? Can Crested geckos eat apples safely?
In this article, you will find out why Crested geckos can only eat apples as an occasional treat and not as a staple diet.
In addition to that, we will also be looking at:
- Crested gecko’s diet in the wild vs captivity
- What makes a fruit safe for Crested gecko to eat
- Benefits and negatives of feeding your Crested gecko apples
- Can Crested geckos eat apples – Summary
- How often and how many apples can you feed a Crested gecko
And much more…
Crested Gecko Diet – In The Wild vs In Captivity
Before exploring can Crested geckos eat apples and what are the benefits and negatives, you need to be familiar with their diet in the wild and in captivity.
In their natural habitat, on the island of New Caledonia, the Crested gecko’s diet consist of the following components:
- Insects 49.6%
- Fruits 11.7%
- Fruit nectars 7.52%
- Seeds 1.8%
- Pollen 10.3%
In the wild, fruits and fruit nectar is part of the Crested gecko’s diet. However, when kept as pets, fruit should only be fed in moderation.
One of the reasons for that is – if your Crested gecko is on a commercial diet, they will be getting all the nutrient they need from their main food source and won’t need any fruits added to their nutrition.
What Makes A Fruit Safe For Crested Gecko To Eat
Although, fruits are part of the Crested gecko’s diet in the wild, when kept as pets fruits shouldn’t be fed too often.
Essential knowledge for any Crested gecko owner is understanding the factors that make a fruit safe to feed to your gecko. This information is especially important to know as some fruits are even dangerous and should be avoided all together.
The following are factors that affect how healthy a fruit is for your Crested gecko’s diet:
- Calcium to phosphorus ratio (Ca:P). Foods that have a 2:1 (or better) calcium to phosphorus ratio are considered good
- Oxalic acid. In people, the consumption of additional oxalic acid may result in stone formation in the urinary tract. Similarly, Crested geckos should avoid eating foods with a medium to high levels of oxalic acid
As most fruits don’t have a desirable Ca:P ratio, they can’t be included as a staple diet.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t feed your Crested gecko any fruits. Depending on the fruit’s nutrition and type, it can be either:
- Fed to your gecko more often
- Served only as an occasional treat
- Never fed to your gecko as it can be dangerous to their health
Where does the apple stand in terms of Ca:P and oxalic acid and can Crested geckos eat apples often?
Can Crested Geckos Eat Apples
Before including apples in your Crested gecko’s diet, you should get familiar with the benefits and negatives of feeding your gecko apples.
Benefits Of Feeding Your Crested Gecko Apples
Apples have many benefits for us, humans but what are the effects on Crested geckos’ health? The following are the main benefits of eating apples for Crested geckos:
- Low level of oxalic acid. Peeled apples have a low level of oxalic acid which is good for your gecko. On the other hand, the level of oxalic acid in unpeeled apples is medium. This is because most of the oxalic acid content is in the peel. However, as you’ll need to peel the apple before giving it to your gecko, the oxalic level for this fruit is considered as low (good)
- Apples are rich in a range of antioxidants, such as quercetin, catechin and more
- Apples have variety of vitamins and minerals such as Vitamin C, Fiber, Potassium
Negatives Of Feeding Your Crested Gecko Apples
The main negative of feeding your Crested gecko apples is:
- Calcium to phosphorus ratio. Unfortunately, the Ca:P ratio of the apple is 1:1:8. This is considered bad for your Crested gecko compared to the desirable Ca:P which is 2:1 or better. However, this only means that apples can’t have be your Crested gecko’s staple diet
Can Crested Geckos Eat Apples – Conclusion
Healthy foods for your Crested gecko have a good calcium to potassium ratio Ca:P and low in oxalic acid.
So, can Crested geckos eat apples? Apples (without the peel) have a low oxalic acid which is good. On the other hand, apples’ Ca:P ratio is 1:1:8 which is considered bad.
Therefore, apples should only be given as an occasional treat, once a month and not be used as a staple diet.
With that said, let’s look at how you can feed apples to your Crested gecko.
How Often Can I Feed Apples To My Crested Gecko
It’s not recommended to feed your Crested gecko apples too often because of the bad calcium-phosphorus ratio.
Therefore, you should only feed your Crested gecko apples once a month as a treat.
How To Feed Apples To My Crested Gecko
There are a few ways to feed your Crested gecko apples:
- Cook it. One way to serve your Crested gecko an apple is by cooking it in order to soften. Then, let the apple rest in a room temperature for a few hours
- Sliced. After cooking the apple, it will be soft enough for your gecko to bite in. Then, you need to cut a thin slice for your gecko to snack on
- Mashed. After the apples have been cooked and have softened, you can mash/blend them and serve in a puree form
- Rotten. By allowing the apple to rot and become overripe, the fruit will naturally soften and will be easy for your gecko to bite on. In the wild, this is how Crested geckos will eat the fruit they find on the ground and they love it!
Also, don’t forget to peel the skin off before feeding the apple to your gecko.
How Many Apples Can I Feed To My Crested Gecko
If you are feeding your gecko sliced, cooked apples, you should only give them 1 thin slice.
However, if you’re making a mash or puree of the apples – the amount should be the same as a normal meal replacement powder.
Is There A Substitute For Apples
In case you are too worried about the health effects of feeding your Crested gecko apples because of the poor Ca:P, there are some other choices.
However, if you still want to offer your gecko natural fruits, you can choose one of the following options that have a good Calcium to potassium ratio:
- Papaya – Ca:P is 4.5:1
- Figs – Ca:P is 2.5:1
If you want to feed your Crested gecko strawberries but are not sure if they are safe click here to learn more Can Crested Geckos Eat Strawberries? Everything You Need To Know
Another option is choosing commercial fruit powder. Unfortunately, there isn’t a PFM option that’s only apple flavour.
However, they the Pangea Fruit Mix offers a flavour that’s a mix of watermelon, mango, banana & apple.
Crested gecko’s natural diet is a mix of insects, plants and fruits. However, when kept as pets, most owners will go down the commercial powder diet route.
This is the easiest and best option as your gecko will receive a well-balanced diet and get all the nutrients they need to be healthy.
What about fruits as part of their diet when kept as pets and more specifically can Crested geckos eat apples?
Apples and some other fruits can be fed to your Crested geckos some more often and some only in moderation.
However, it’s important to remember that some fruits have better nutritional value than others. This is determined by the Ca:P ratio in the fruit and the levels of oxalic acid. For the Crested gecko you want foods that are:
- High to moderate Ca:P
- Low levels of oxalic acid
With that said, fruits such as apples have a low Ca:P (bad) and low level of oxalic acid (good). Therefore, apples should only be fed to your Crested gecko as an occasion treat, once a month.
In terms of how you can serve strawberries to your Crested gecko, there are a few options:
- Mash – on its own or mixed with other fruits that have a higher Ca:P ratio
And don’t forget to remove the peel!
The quantity of apples that you should feed to your gecko depends on the form you serve the apples in:
- As a mash – you should feed your gecko the same amount as you would in powdered food
- Sliced – one thin slice
What Fruits You Should Never Feed To Your Crested Gecko
As mentioned earlier not all fruit are a healthy choice for your Crested gecko. Some are even dangerous and should never be fed.
These dangerous fruits are in the citrus family. The reason they can be so harmful is the high concentration of:
- Vitamin C – too much of this vitamin can lead to diarrhoea and intestine problems
- Oxalic Acid – this type of acid in high amounts can interfere with the absorption of calcium by the body
The following citrus fruits should not be fed to your Crested gecko:
Other foods other than the citrus that should never be fed to a Crested gecko include:
- Rhubarb – high concentration of oxalic acid
- Avocado – this fruit contains low amounts of person. This is a natural occurring chemical that can be harmful to pets and can lead to death