Also known as the Eyelash Gecko, the Crested Gecko is a small reptile, only growing to 10 inches at the most. It is well-suited for first-time and experienced reptile keepers alike.
Crested Geckos are native to New Caledonia, which is a collection of French territory islands in the Southwest Pacific Ocean. They have crests, or small spines, that grow above their eyes, giving them the appearance of eyelashes, and down the back, starting at the head and ending at the tail.
They can live to be 20 years old, so Crested Geckos are not a short-term commitment, which is good, considering the cost of acquiring a Crested Gecko and setting up an appropriate home for one.
Bringing Home a New Crested Gecko: One-Time Costs
When you first bring home a Crested Gecko, you should expect multiple expenses. Not only will you pay the cost of acquiring a Crested Gecko, but you’ll also need to consider the cost of all of the items needed to get things set up. Initial expenses can include the cost of an enclosure and all equipment necessary to provide a safe and appropriate home.
Although not common, you may manage to find a Crested Gecko for free. Oftentimes, though, these animals have not been cared for properly and their keepers are desperate to get rid of them. This can mean that you’ll be bringing home a sick Gecko that will require a significant amount of care to bring to health.
You may pay just as much to adopt a Crested Gecko as you would to purchase one. This is partially due to the overall costs that rescues take on by caring for them, and partially due to organizations attempting to discourage unprepared people from bringing home a Crested Gecko.
At the average pet store, you can expect to spend up to $200 on your Crested Gecko, with most costing $100 or less. There are multiple color and pattern morphs of Crested Geckos, though.
Rare and specialty morphs can cost upwards of $1,000, so don’t be surprised if you see an unusual Crested Gecko retailing from a breeder for this price.
Initial Setup and Supplies
The initial setup associated with Crested Geckos isn’t cheap, although it’s not likely to break the bank either. The costliest expense is the terrarium that you will need for your Crested Gecko, but there are many supplies that you’ll need in order to get your Crested Gecko’s home properly ready and safe for them.
List of Crested Gecko Care Supplies and Costs
How Much Does a Crested Gecko Cost Per Month?
The primary monthly expenses associated with a Crested Gecko are food, supplements, and substrate. You will need to replace the UVA/UVB lighting routinely since these lights lose efficacy over time, and batteries are going to routinely be needed for the thermometer and hygrometer for the terrarium. Some of these expenses may not appear every month, though.
You may be able to stretch a package of substrate over multiple weeks, and, depending on the type of food you’re feeding, you may be able to go a few weeks without purchasing more food.
Unlike cats and dogs, most Crested Geckos don’t require routine vet visits. They can get sick, though, especially if husbandry is not up to par. While you won’t need to take your Crested Gecko to the vet every month, you should set aside a little bit of money monthly so you’re prepared when a vet visit needs to occur.
For an exotic vet visit, you can expect to spend at least $40–$70, but depending on diagnostic procedures and medications, these visits can cost up to $200. For advanced imaging, you can potentially spend upwards of $1,000.
Crested Geckos are omnivores that primarily eat insects, like crickets and mealworms, and fresh fruits. There are also commercial diets from Repashy and Pangea that are made specifically to meet the dietary needs of a Crested Gecko. These reptiles need a varied diet to support their health. When it comes to fruits and insects, your Crested Gecko will likely need their food dusted with calcium powder once or twice weekly.
Most people don’t get pet insurance for their pet reptiles. This is due to the difficulty of finding pet insurance coverage for Crested Geckos, as well as the low level of vet care routinely required by most Crested Geckos.
Pet insurance can help make your Crested Gecko’s care more affordable when the need arises, though. There are a handful of companies that offer this type of pet insurance, so it isn’t impossible to find coverage.
The only potential monthly expense related to your Crested Gecko’s environment is substrate, which can cost up to $20, but it’s unlikely to cost more than a few dollars per month. Every few months, you’ll also end up paying for a replacement UVA/UVB bulb and batteries to power your enclosure’s hygrometer and thermometer.
Crested Geckos are arboreal reptiles, which means they spend most of their time climbing. They need tall enclosures that can fit multiple branches and plants for them to climb on. While making significant changes to your Crested Gecko’s environment may cause stress, changing up their climbing surfaces with different textures and shapes can provide some enrichment for your reptilian friend.
Total Monthly Cost of Owning a Crested Gecko
Most months, your expenses related to your Crested Gecko will be quite low. Food and substrate will be your most common costs. If you invest in pet insurance for your Crested Gecko, you can expect a monthly fee associated with that. Other expenses, like replacement supplies and vet visits, aren’t typical monthly expenses.
Owning a Crested Gecko on a Budget
Owning a Crested Gecko can be done on a budget once you’ve already established the environment that your reptile needs. The monthly expenses for Crested Geckos are relatively inexpensive, but for really tight budgets, it’s important not to skip out on food or environmental maintenance.
Keeping up with the non-monthly maintenance, like bulb replacements, is also a necessity. By setting aside a little bit of money every month, you’ll be able to afford the additional expenses as soon as they come up.
Saving Money on Crested Gecko Care
You can save money on the care of your Crested Gecko by choosing less expensive foods and substrates. There is a small range in the cost of these items, but as long as you are feeding your Crested Gecko enough appropriate food and keeping their enclosure clean and safe, then it’s ok to choose the less expensive options.
Crested Geckos are relatively easy to care for in the world of reptiles, but that doesn’t mean they’re an appropriate pet to get without research and preparation. They have specific needs that should be met to keep them healthy, and the initial costs associated with Crested Geckos can be quite high, especially if you’re on a budget.
Choosing less expensive but still, appropriate foods and substrates can help you save a little bit of money every month, but the month-to-month costs of caring for a Crested Gecko are generally low.
Featured Image Credit: Jeff McGraw, Shutterstock