Can Crested Geckos Eat Strawberries? Everything You Need To Know
Important part of owning a Crested gecko is making sure they are fed a well-balanced and nutritious diet. Any owner needs to know that some fruits are not safe for your gecko and should be excluded from their diet.
With that said can Crested geckos eat strawberries and are they a safe fruit? The short answer is – yes but only as an occasional treat.
Strawberries are a popular fruit amongst humans and have many health benefits. However, does the same go for pets such as the Crested gecko?
In this article, we will be looking at:
- Crested gecko’s diet
- How to tell what fruits are safe for Crested geckos
- Can Crested geckos eat strawberries
- Benefits and negatives of strawberries
- How often and how many strawberries can you feed a Crested gecko
Crested Gecko Diet – In The Wild vs In Captivity
Before diving into a detailed answer to the question can Crested geckos eat strawberries, you need to have an understanding what is their diet in the wild vs when kept as pets.
The Crested gecko is native to the island of New Caledonia. There, in their natural habitat, the Crested gecko’s diet consist of:
- Insects 49.6%
- Fruits 11.7%
- Fruit nectars 7.52%
- Seeds 1.8%
- Pollen 10.3%
As you can see, in the wild, Crested geckos consumes a good amount of fruits and fruit nectars.
On the other hand, when kept as pets, most owners, especially beginners choose a commercial diet for their Crested geckos. Commercial diets are designed to provide your gecko with all the nutrition they need.
Therefore, with a commercial diet, your gecko won’t need any fruits added from a nutritional point of view as they will be getting everything they need from the pre-formulated food.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t feed your Crested gecko fruits such as strawberries as an occasional treat.
Before feeding strawberries to your Crested gecko, it’s important that you know the benefits and negatives and how it can impact your gecko’s health.
How To Tell What Fruits Are Healthy For Crested Geckos
As mentioned earlier, Crested geckos eat a good amount of fruit and insects in the wild. However, in captivity fruit should only be fed to your gecko in moderation.
Knowing how to tell what fruits are safe and healthy is important knowledge that can help you take better care of your Crested gecko and maintain their health.
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
Unfortunately, most fruits have a bad Ca:P ratio. However, are strawberries one of them and can Crested geckos eat strawberries safely?
If you are curious to find out can Crested geckos eat bananas click here Can Crested Geckos Eat Bananas? Everything You Need To Know
Can Crested Geckos Eat Strawberries
Before including strawberries to your Crested gecko’s diet, let’s take a closer look at the benefits and negatives.
Benefits Of Feeding Your Crested Gecko Strawberries
- Low oxalic acid – One of the main factors to consider when answering the question – can Crested geckos eat strawberries – is the levels of oxalic acid. As strawberries have roughly 2 mg of oxalates per serving, they are considered with a low level of oxalic acid and are safe for geckos from that perspective
- Strawberries are a great source of vitamins C and K as well as fibre, folic acid, manganese and potassium
- Strawberries are sodium-free, fat-free, cholesterol-free, low-calorie food
Negatives Of Feeding Your Crested Gecko Strawberries
The main negative of feeding your Crested gecko strawberries is:
- Calcium to phosphorus ratio. Unfortunately, the Ca:P ratio of strawberries is 1:1.5 which is considered bad for the Crested gecko. However, this doesn’t mean strawberries are bad, it just means that there are fruits that are more beneficial such as papayas
Can Crested Geckos Eat Strawberries – Conclusion
After looking at both the positives and negatives, we have come to the following conclusion on “can Crested geckos eat strawberries”.
Strawberries are low in oxalic acid, which is considered good. However, they have a bad Ca:P ratio which is not so good for your Crested gecko. Therefore, strawberries are not the most nutritious choice and you should avoid feeding them to your gecko too often.
However, that doesn’t mean you can’t feed your Crested gecko strawberries!
Strawberries are perfectly safe to be given as an occasional treat, once a month. As long as they are fed in moderation, your Crested gecko can enjoy snacking on strawberries from time to time.
With that said, now to look at how to feed your Crested gecko strawberries.
How Often Can I Feed Strawberries To My Crested Gecko
Feeding your Crested gecko too often and too many strawberries is not recommended because of the calcium-phosphorus ratio being low.
In terms of how often – you should feed your Crested geckos strawberries no more than once a month as a treat.
How To Feed Strawberries To My Crested Gecko
As Crested geckos can’t bite hard, it’s important to serve their food in a form that it’s easy for them to consume.
In the wild, Crested geckos normally eat fruits that have fallen on the ground, rotting. This makes the fruit soft enough for the gecko to eat.
With that said, there are a few ways you can serve strawberries to your Crested gecko:
- Sliced. One way to feed strawberries to your gecko is by slicing them. However, ensure the slices are small enough for them to bite and digest
- Mash. The most recommended way is by mashing or blending the strawberries and serving them in a puree form
- Rotten. As mentioned earlier, in their natural habitat, the Crested gecko will eat the fruit rotten as then it’s soft enough. Therefore, you can cut the strawberry, leave it out in a room temperature for a few days. When they start turning brown and mushy, means they are now the perfect treat for your Crested gecko
- Mixing fruits. There is the option of mixing the strawberries with other fruits that are more nutritious such as papaya. In addition, you can even include some CGD powder which will add calcium and vitamins to the meal
How Many Strawberries Can I Feed To My Crested Gecko
If you are feeding your gecko sliced strawberries, you should give them only 1 slice.
On the other hand, if you’re making them in a mash – the amount should be the same as a normal meal replacement powder.
Are The Seeds In The Strawberry Dangerous
A worry to many owners when feeding strawberries to their gecko are the seeds. Are they dangerous for the gecko? The short answer to that is – no. Although, geckos don’t come across strawberries in their natural habitat, the seeds are not dangerous.
On the other hand, they might not be to your gecko’s tase. As us humans, gecko’s have different preferences when it comes to foods.
If your gecko doesn’t like seeds, you have two options:
- Mash it as then the seeds are almost undetectable
- Cut around the seeds when slicing the strawberry
Is There A Substitute For Strawberry
If you are worried feeding your Crested gecko strawberries because of the low Ca:P ratio, there are commercial substitutes to choose from such as:
- Strawberry jelly pots. These jellies are high in protein. However, they should only be offered as a treat and not used as a staple diet
- Unfortunately, there isn’t PFM with strawberry flavour. However, they offer other flavours such as Banana and Apricot, Watermelon or Papaya
Native to New Caledonia, the Crested gecko’s diet in the wild is a mix of insects, plants and fruits.
When kept as pets, most owners go for a commercial powder diet. This is normally because it’s easier and it also provides your gecko with all the nutrients they need to be healthy and happy.
However, what we want to know is can Crested geckos eat strawberries and other fruits when kept as a pet?
Strawberries and other fruits can be fed to your Crested geckos in moderation. However, it’s important to remember that some fruits are healthier 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 strawberries have a low Ca:P (bad) and low level of oxalic acid (good). Therefore, strawberries should only be fed to your Crested gecko as an occasion treat and once a month.
The amount of strawberries you should feed your gecko is the same amount of powdered food you would give them normally.
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
What Fruits Are Safe To Feed Crested Gecko
As Crested gecko’s diet in the wild include fruits and fruit nectars, it makes sense to include fruit into their diet when kept as a pet.
However, it’s important to know that some fruits are safe, some are not as nutritious and some are even dangerous to feed to Crested gecko.
What it’s used to determine if a fruit is suitable for Crested geckos is the calcium to potassium ratio (Ca:P). Fruits that have moderate to high Ca:P are healthier option for your gecko and can be fed safely, more often than once a month.
On the other hand fruits with a low Ca:P are the less healthier option and should only be given as an occasional treat once a month or mix it with fruits that have high Ca:P.
Fruits With A High Ca:P Ratio
There aren’t many fruits with a high Ca:P ratio.
However, the following fruits have high to moderato ratio and are safe to feed to your Crested gecko:
- Prickly pear also known as tuna (fruit), sabra, nopal
Fruits With A Low Ca:P Ratio
The following fruits have a low Ca:P ratio. Therefore, they should only be fed to your Crested gecko as an occasional treat once a month.
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