Like just about every other kind of reptile on the planet, there’s going to come a time when they start to shed their skin. Leopard Geckos however shed their skin all at once rather than in pieces or over time. It kind of comes off like a suit.
How often does it happen?
This will vary for certain ages and maturity level but it’s obviously going to happen a lot more with baby Geckos than it will with adults. Depending on the age and maturity of your Leopard Geckos, they can shed at different frequencies and there’s not really a set timer under which this is going to or when this should happen. If you want to get a decent idea of how often this is going to happen, then you can easily just watch your Gecko and track its growth progress. The quicker it’s growing, the more frequently that it’s going to shed.
How do you know when it’s going to happen?
As babies will often shed far more than adults, there’s one very easy and one very telltale sign that a Gecko is about to shed off its skin. When this is about to happen, you’ll notice that the colors of the Gecko get considerably duller and as the skin starts to separate from the body, it’ll start turning white just before it happens. When they do skin, Leopard Geckos tend to eat all of their skin in the process while they’re shedding. There are actually a couple of fundamental reasons as to why they do this.
When a Gecko sheds its skin, it has to expel a lot of energy to do and it’s kind of like getting a very rigorous workout for the animal. So what do you want to do after you do a hard and long work out? You more than likely want to eat something and the very skin it shed just happens to be right there after the work out is done. Besides, all that energy has to be put back into the body somehow and the skin is the easiest way to do so.
Also, this is a trick that most Geckos pick up from being out in the wild and is something that’s kind of an internal alarm for them, but when they’re out in the wild, they’re best bet to stay safe is to not leave any tracks, kind of like a Green Beret. So to do this, it’s easier to just eat the skin rather than trying to hide it and giving potential predators a clue as to where it has been and where it’s going. Some animals use smell to pick up prey and leaving the skin behind could give off smell to help it find the Gecko, this is why it’s essential for them to eat the skin.
Shedding is usually a very simple and relatively simple process but in rare occasions, they don’t have the humidity that’s required to perform the self-procedure. You should make sure they have adequate housing and humidity if you notice your Leopard Geckos are about to start shedding because if you don’t have an efficient cage setup to do so, they’re going to have issues. It’s always essential to make sure that a Gecko sheds all of its skin off to ensure that the humidity is perfect because if there’s still some skin hanging onto it that it couldn’t shed off, the humidity may be to blame.
Commonly when there’s a problem shedding, skin will stick to the toe of the Gecko and while this may not sound like a problem, down the road, the toe can become restricted and blood flow to the tow may be cut off causing it to lose a toe. Sure, your Gecko will live, but I assume you’d want all of your toes would you not?
High humidity is basically the most important thing that you want to provide your Geckos when they start to shed. Leopard Geckos will usually try to migrate or go to a moist hiding place anyways, when they are shedding or when they’re not shedding. Some of the most common ways to obtain a moist shelter is to use a container that’s plastic and a lot of people have stated that a plastic cottage cheese container worked the best for them. Everyone finds their own preferred container. Just remember to cut a hole large enough that it can fit in but not too large to where a lot of light can get in.
You can use mulch inside of the container if you’d like to provide some bedding to help and aid the moisture inside the container. Make sure that the bedding that you do use (if you use any at all) isn’t dripping wet and is just moist enough to be enjoyable for your Leopard Geckos.
Don’t be afraid to devote a hand to helping your Gecko shed its skin off; it’s not going to hurt you. If you notice some of the skin hasn’t come off the big toe or that you think some of the skin wasn’t successfully shredded off, then you can use the following method:
1) Find a nice, small and suitable plastic container that’s clean to place wet towels in. Again, you don’t want them to be dripping but went enough to get the job done. Make sure they’re warm as well, cold water will probably frighten the Gecko.
2) Put a top on top of the container and let the Gecko sit like that for half an hour or longer if you feel that it’s not humid enough.
Once you feel it’s humid enough, what should happen now is, it should be easy to remove the skin with a pair of tweezers, since there more than likely won’t be a lot of skin to peel off. If that wasn’t long enough, then feel free to give it another 30 minutes.