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Have you ever witnessed your leopard gecko smiling? If so, you’re not alone; we posted a survey on Reddit and discovered that 67% of leopard gecko owners had witnessed their little friend smiling at some point.
But what does this behavior mean? Why do leopard geckos smile? Do they smile because they’re happy – or is it something else?
Don’t fret – today we will answer all your questions regarding this quirky behavior. And if you’re only here for the cute leopard gecko smiling pics, we’ve also got you covered!
Why Do Leopard Geckos Smile?
Interestingly, leopard geckos have a natural curvature to their mouth that creates the illusion of a smile.
Therefore, unlike humans who smile when happy, leopard geckos may appear to be smiling at any given moment. While we may not always notice it, it may become more apparent whenever you observe your leopard gecko from eye level or have a clear view of its mouth.
Although we cannot use smiling to indicate that our leopard geckos are living their best life, there are other signs to determine whether your leopard gecko is happy. We’ll check some of them out later on.
What Makes Leopard Geckos Smile?
As discussed earlier, leopard geckos smile (or appear to smile) due to their genetic makeup. It has nothing to do with their behavior or feelings.
This is similar to the phenomenon commonly referred to as the pitty smile in pitbull dogs. This dog breed has a natural curve in its mouth line, giving the illusion they are smiling. This illusion is enhanced when their mouth is open and they’re panting.
How to Tell if Your Leopard Gecko is Happy
Although your leopard gecko smiling may not be indicative of its feelings, there are several behavioral clues to help you determine how your leopard gecko is feeling.
Fortunately, we have an entire article on three clear signs that your leopard gecko is happy, as well as tips on how to make them happy. To summarize, here are some of the most telling signs that your leopard gecko is happy
Similar to humans, leopard geckos can feel a range of emotions, from fear to happiness. Let’s explore several methods to ensure your leopard gecko is a happy camper.
How to Make Your Leopard Gecko Happy
A happy leopard gecko is a healthy leopard gecko. Just because your leopard gecko is smiling doesn’t mean it’s happy. As previously mentioned, a smiling leopard gecko is entirely normal and shouldn’t be taken as a sign that your leopard gecko is happy.
However, here are some surefire ways to ensure your leopard gecko is as happy as can be:
#1. Handle Them Regularly
One of the most critical aspects of keeping a leopard gecko is handling it. Because you’re around your leopard gecko so often, you need to make them comfortable in your presence.
To do this, be sure to handle your leopard gecko at least twice weekly for a minimum of 15 minutes. Leopard geckos are naturally afraid of people since we could be predators. Therefore, you must socialize your leopard gecko to prove you’re their friend and caretaker.
#2. Feed Them Consistently
One of the most common reasons leopard geckos end up underweight or overweight is irregular feeding. An unhealthy leopard gecko is not a happy leopard gecko.
To ensure that your leopard gecko is eating healthy, be sure to feed them consistently, preferably at the same time each day. If needed, you can set an alarm on your phone to remind you to feed your little friend.
#3. Ensure Their Enclosure is Set Up Properly
One of the most important things to consider when keeping a leopard gecko is its habitat. Your leopard gecko won’t be smiling if its tank isn’t up to standard.
First, ensure your leopard gecko has adequate space to move around. The minimum enclosure size for a baby leopard gecko is 10 gallons, while adults require a 20-gallon enclosure minimum.
You should also have a minimum of two hides for your leopard gecko. One hide should have your heating mat underneath; this will be your warm hide.
Your other hide is the cool hide, which should be on the opposite side of the tank, far from the heat source.
Some people opt to have a humid hide as well. This hide should contain a damp paper towel and will help your leopard gecko shed its skin. Although it’s not necessary to have a humid hide, we highly recommend it to avoid shedding issues.
The Truth About Leopard Geckos Smiling
A leopard gecko smiling isn’t indicative that it is happy. Instead, it’s just a part of their anatomical appearance. So, although it may look cute to see your leopard gecko smile, it doesn’t mean much of anything.
The truth is, a happy leopard gecko is one that is well-cared for. Your leopard gecko should have a fat tail, an adequate home, and be well-fed on a consistent schedule. If you have these things in order, you’ll have a happy little friend.
We hope you enjoyed this article. Be sure to check out our other articles on leopard gecko housing, handling, feeding, and more!