The Big Debate: Sand or No Sand?

Hello everyone! Today I wanted to give my side on the debate on sand. I kind of cheat while debating this because I stand by both sides of the debate, but in my opinion, it kind of depends on the situation. Now, if you care to leave your thoughts down in the comments, please feel free to do so, but please do not start a huge argument on my blog. That’s the last thing I want to happen.

Yes, sand can cause impaction in leopard geckos. That’s the biggie here. Impaction can be fatal. (Another main point to be taken into consideration). But with these two thoughts in mind, why, in their natural habitat, do they live on sand? They are desert animals, after all. Here are my thoughts.

Babies and juvenile leopard geckos should not be kept on sand at all, if you were to ask me. They are not skilled enough in their hunting to get their prey the first try every single time. Even Sammy, being one year old, misses his food sometimes. If you were to keep an unskilled gecko on sand, they would end up eating their substrate almost every time they pounce at their prey. Every little bit of sand can add up, causing impaction, which can potentially kill your precious baby.

Another thought about babies: They tend to lick everything. As weird as this sounds, it’s usually true. Every single baby leopard gecko I’ve ever seen, whether it’s at a pet store or in someone’s home, licks everything. It’s just one of their senses. You can’t stop them from doing it. And yes, they will lick their substrate. If their substrate happens to be sand, they can gain impaction.

Now, if you have an adult leo on sand, this could end up a whole different story. Adults are better at stalking their prey, however, like I said, even my adult misses on the odd occasion. If they are on sand and miss their food, just like babies, they are going to end up eating some of their substrate, possibly leading to the very known impaction that I’ve spoke of a lot today.

However, if your adult leopard gecko eats his/her prey items out of a dish, this shouldn’t be a problem. This is where I begin to understand the other side of my argument.

In their natural habitats, leos actually live on sand, so many people new to this hobby think it is just fine and dandy to put their pet on the same substrate. Yes, it is more natural-looking, but it is not exactly the same, as the sand you buy from the pet store is manufactured. A lot of the time, this manufactured sand has dyes in it, and the dyes can rub off onto your gecko. Depending on the type of dyes, they may or may not be harmful.

As you have probably noticed, I’ve only stated two reasons sand might be alright for your leo (as it looks natural and not every gecko misses their prey), I have listed many more reasons that it is bad for them. You most likely can tell that I more support the “No Sand” side of this debate, but I in fact do understand the other side of the story as well.

Are you for or against sand?


Okay! So now that my main idea is out of the way, I have a really big favor I must ask of you! I am almost out of post ideas. Oh no! If you have a request for anything, please, please, please let me know down in the comments! I would really appreciate it. Also, if you could go vote on my pole for a new theme, that would help me out quite a bit, too.

That’s all for now!


Erin 😀


One thought on “The Big Debate: Sand or No Sand?

  1. Sand really depends on the species of gecko. Crested geckos should not be on sand. Leopard geckos can tolerate sand, but should not be put on sand until they are older. It also depends on what KIND of sand you use. Silver sand is some of the finest (size wise) type of sand commercially available, usually found at fish supply stores.

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