Do Crested Geckos Have Teeth? (Biting, Handling & Tips)
If you are like me, the thought of getting a new pet, such as a crested Gecko, starts to make you think of all the things that it may or might do (Click here for my 3 Best Crested Gecko Waterfalls to keep them happy). Understanding if it has teeth is important because you need to know if it will even bite you, or if its bites will hurt. Let us dive in.
Do crested geckos have teeth? Yes, but they are not sharp or any real threat. If you are bitten by one, it is more of a mild nip, more than anything. They will bite, but only in self-defence, in reality they are quite docile and well behaved pets.
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So, now you know that Cresties have teeth, the question is what do they use these teeth for? Could they bite you? are they dangerous around your children or pets? Let me answer these questions for you now.
Do crested geckos Use their Teeth to Chew?
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As discussed, Cresties do have teeth, but they are very small. They are not sharp at all, in fact they are so ineffective that they typically eat soft fruits, which are overripe or even pureed. They also often swallow insects (small insects) whole. So their teeth do very little when it comes to breaking down the food that they consume (Click here to see if Cresties can eat Strawberries).
If you are a Crested Gecko keeper, and you offer them insects, it is important that you get the portion sizing right, to avoid choking them. As I have explained earlier, they consume some foods whole, so the size is critical.
A general rule of thumb is that you should not offer them insects which are bigger than the distance between their eyes.
Will a Crested Gecko bite You?
Generally speaking the crested gecko is quite a docile and well behaved lizard. They are ideal for pets, especially for a beginner keepers. However they will bite you if they are aggravated. But this is quite rare.
This is not really their temperament or usual behaviour. If you try to handle them too much or touch them when they are not used to you, then prepare yourself to get bitten. This is a natural defensive mechanism.
Does a crested geckos bite actually hurt?
Even if you are bitten by a Crested Gecko, the reality is the bite is really nothing to be worried about. It is more of a nip than a real bite. As discussed earlier, typically they are well behaved and are not really up for biting.
Are crested geckos safe to handle?
Crested geckos do not necessarily like to be handled all the time. Especially when they are new to an enclosure or to you in general. If you try to handle them when they do not expect it, they will probably give you a nip.
As explained earlier, in general they are quite well behaved and you can actually train them to get used to you. And with training you can learn how to handle them correctly (more on this later).
Are crested geckos safe around your children?
As discussed earlier Cresties are usually well behaved, and are a good lizard for children. They are also good for beginner lizard keepers because they are low maintenance and easy to look after.
However, whenever you involve children into the mix you still need to be quite cautious. It is advised that you monitor your children’s behaviour with any lizard, or pet for that matter.
Especially if they are young children. You need to make sure that they understand and respect lizards and how to treat it. A lizard is quite small and delicate in comparison to a child, and if they are pulled, squeezed or prodded, they can react violently and may lash out, scratch or bite as a defensive mechanism.
Are leopard geckos safe around your pets?
Let me explain some of the concerns or best solutions for keeping crested geckos around your house pets. Whether this be cats, dogs or any other popular domestic pet.
If we take cats as an example, they are natural hunters. They will always be inquisitive and looking for small moving animals, such as mice and unfortunately your crested gecko.
Your Crestie is relatively small and moves around fast, it is a target and will be seen as food to your cat. Doesn’t matter how much you try to train your cat not to attack your lizard, if there is a slight opportunity, your cat will definitely strike.
Home Pet Hazards
There are some obvious hazards as well as some that are not so obvious the ones. An example of a not so obvious one, is your cat lying or sleeping on top of the lizard enclosure (Click here to see the best enclosures) that you have for your crested gecko.
The problem is, it may inadvertently knock the enclosure over. As soon as your crested gecko is exposed, it will be seen as food for your cat. So, the best thing to do is to have a secure cover on the enclosure.
To be perfectly honest with you the ideal solution, to avoid any chance of your lizard being harmed, is to have him in a completely separate room, with that room closed off by a door. This would mean that your cat, or dog for that matter, would not have an opportunity to strike and attack your lizard whether you were in the room or not.
However I understand that this is not always possible in everyone’s house but is more of an ideal. In the absence of not having a completely separate room available, you just need to secure the enclosure as much as possible.
Is it safe to handle a Crested Gecko?
When it comes to handling crested geckos they are usually fine with a weekly clean out of their enclosure which will include clearing out any substrate that’s not required or any missed as built up during the week and may also include relocating them using your hands while you clear out the enclosure
However not all crested geckos like to be handled all the time and even the most docile crested gecko main it if you grab it at the wrong time
Brand new crested geckos whether they are new to your enclosure or are baby ones that have hatched it is a good idea to leave them for at least a couple of weeks to get climatised to the new enclosure before considering handling them
4 female geckos that are established but are gravid and when I say gravid this is the Reptile term for pregnant this term is sometimes mistaken as pregnant in lizards but in reality pregnancy is only a term for mammals that lay live birth where is eggs that are laid are referred to as gravid birth
If you have a gravid female she may be a little bit inclined to nipper you because she is being defensive about what she is carrying if you are bitten you could be tempted to drop her as a shock but you need to be careful with this because if you drop her gravid female there is a chance that you could cause damage to the eggs inside of her and a couple of things could happen she could find that she’s not able to lay the leg eggs very easily or you could damage the eggs inside which could cause internal injuries so you need to be extra careful when they are actually gravid
Teenage geckos need to be handled with care because they are in their growing stage and they can be unpredictable sometimes and made mistake in your fingers for food and may occasionally give you a little nip
So what is the best way to handle Cresties?
In this section I’m going to give you some tips about how you can handle crested geckos the right way. And how you can get them used to handling and being around you.
Best Time of Day To Handle Them
The best time of day to handle a crested geckos is in a daytime. This is because, in the night-time they may be darting around and are harder to become relaxed and used to you.
One of the best techniques that you can use is something which is called “hand walking”, and this is effectively allowing your crested gecko to run up and down your arms. It sounds a little bit scary at first, while you’re reading this, but in reality it is fine.
You just need to take your time with it and allow your crested gecko to walk up your arm and then provide the next arm and it gradually it will walk up your arms like a slinky.
Overall the best advice is to start slow and give your leopard gecko time to get used to you. You can start off by just doing 1 or 2 minutes a day. Then see how they react to you and in time you can gradually increase this to 15 minute periods.
You can also avoid using your hands to begin with if you wish. You could instead start by getting them used to other objects, such as cardboard tubing or any other item that you feel is necessary. Then gradually move them towards your hands after they get comfortable with this.
If this is done correctly you should be seeing positive result within about a month of consistent training and handling. In some cases you may get a really stubborn crested gecko that doesn’t really want to be handled, or is quite jumpy. This is quite rare, but unfortunately you will get some of these sometimes.
Even if this is the case, you should see a marked improvement. Even if it’s not exactly what you prefer. But it will help nevertheless
How big is a crested Gecko? They can grow up to 8 inches in total length, thats from snout to the end of their tail. They are not big, but not too small either, a good sized pet.