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How much does a leopard gecko cost?

How much does a leopard gecko cost?

Leopard geckos are becoming increasingly popular pets due to their relatively small size, easy care requirements, and docile nature. Many first-time reptile owners start out with a leopard gecko. While leopard geckos are relatively affordable compared to other reptile pets, there are still costs associated with buying and properly caring for them. In this article, we’ll break down the different costs of owning a leopard gecko so you know what to expect before bringing one home.

Purchase Price

The upfront cost of purchasing a leopard gecko ranges from $20 to $75. Here are the main factors affecting the purchase price:


Younger leopard geckos are cheaper to buy. A baby leopard gecko that is just a few months old may cost $20 to $40. Older juveniles around 6-12 months old range from $30 to $60. Adult leopard geckos over 1 year old cost $40 to $75.


There are many different color and pattern variations, known as morphs, of leopard geckos. Some popular morphs include albino, patternless, and high yellow. Rarer designer morphs can cost over $100. Standard morphs tend to be the most affordable.


Male and female leopard gecko babies (called hatchlings) are usually priced the same. As adults, females tend to cost slightly more than males since they can lay eggs and breed.

Breeder vs Pet Store

Leopard geckos from specialty reptile breeders tend to cost more than those from chain pet stores. Breeders often focus on quality genetics and health, so they charge a premium. Pet store geckos are cheaper but sometimes lack documentation on genetics and health.

Geographic Location

Availability and demand for leopard geckos can vary by geographic region. Prices are often higher in areas where leopard geckos are less common. In regions with many breeders, competition helps keep prices lower.


A proper habitat for a leopard gecko does require an initial investment, but many of the items will last a long time with proper care. Here are the main housing costs:


A glass tank or plastic terrarium is the most common housing for leopard geckos. For an adult, a 20-gallon tank (24” x 12” x 12”) costs $50 to $150. For a juvenile, a 10-gallon tank costs $30 to $60.


Recommended substrates like reptile carpeting, paper towels, or tile cost $10 to $30. Calcium sand should be avoided as it can cause impaction if ingested.


You need a cool hide, warm hide, and moist hide for proper temperature regulation. Hides can be homemade or purchased for $5 to $20 each.

Heating & Lighting

An under tank heating mat provides a warm spot and costs $20 to $40. No special lighting is required, but a simple dome fixture runs $10 to $20.

Other Accessories

Water dish, thermometers, humid hide box, and decor items can cost another $30 or more.

So expect to spend $150 to $300 on initial housing for a leopard gecko. The size of the tank is the biggest cost factor.

Food & Supplies

Here are the estimated costs for food and necessary supplies for a leopard gecko:


Crickets, mealworms, or dubia roaches are staple feeders. Expect to spend $5 to $20 per month depending on appetite.


Calcium, vitamins, and gutload for feeders runs about $10 to $30 monthly.


Replace substrate every 1-3 months for $10 to $20.

Tank Cleaning

Cleaning supplies like reptile-safe disinfectant average $5 monthly.


Electricity for lighting and heating ranges from $5 to $15 per month depending on wattage.

In total, the recurring costs of food and supplies often range between $30 to $60 per month. This can be higher if you have more than one gecko. Buying feeder insects in bulk helps save money.

Vet Costs

Bringing a new leopard gecko to an exotic vet for its first check-up costs $75 to $150. Annual exams cost $50 to $100. Treating any health issues that arise also incurs additional fees. Some common expenses include:

  • Parasite exam & treatment: $50 – $200
  • Respiratory infection treatment: $100 – $300
  • Broken bones or lacerations: $200 – $800+

Have an emergency fund of at least $400 – $500 set aside for potential vet costs. Good husbandry and nutrition help keep vet visits to a minimum.

Other Potential Costs

Here are a few other costs that can come up:

  • Replacing UVB bulbs every 6 months: $20 – $40
  • Habitat sanitization or replacements: $20 – $60
  • New decor items: $10 – $30
  • Boarding or pet sitting if traveling: $15 – $35 per day

These are not regular monthly expenses but can occur periodically.

Total First Year Cost Breakdown

Here is an estimate of the total costs in the first year of owning a leopard gecko:

Purchase Price $30 – $75
Habitat & Supplies $150 – $300
First Vet Visit $75 – $150
Monthly Food & Supplies $360 – $720 ($30 – $60 per month)
Misc Costs (decor, vet, etc) $100 – $200
Total First Year Cost $715 – $1445

As you can see, the overall first year costs range between $715 and $1,445. The monthly costs are quite affordable at $30 to $60, but the initial habitat setup and potential vet fees can be pricey. With proper care though, a leopard gecko can live over 10 years, so the initial investment pays off.


Leopard geckos make great pets for first-time reptile owners. While the upfront cost is $150 to $300 for a proper setup, the recurring monthly costs are very affordable at just $30 to $60 for food and supplies. Vet fees can vary based on the gecko’s health. Overall, expect to spend between $715 and $1,445 in the first year of owning a leopard gecko. Their long lifespan of over 10 years makes them a worthwhile investment for reptile lovers. With proper care and husbandry, a leopard gecko can thrive and be an enjoyable pet reptile.