Crested Gecko

Dehydrated Crested Gecko Signs & How to Rehydrate Safely

It’s very concerning when your pet doesn’t want to drink water. Crested geckos need humidity and water to thrive and remain healthy.

Crested geckos can only go three days without water. If you notice your gecko looks dehydrated, you’ll want to mist them as soon as possible. Letting them go without fresh water for very long is not good.

There’s more to learn about keeping your crested geckos hydrated, so keep reading.

How To Tell if Crested Gecko Is Dehydrated

There are several signs that a crested gecko is dehydrated. If you notice these signs, make sure you take steps to keep your pet hydrated and happy. 

  • Dry or flakey-looking skin
  • Skin that’s more wrinkled than normal
  • Skin that stretches but won’t return shape
  • You can see bones jutting out through the skin
  • Wavy tail
  • Sunken eyes
  • Decrease in appetite
  • Gecko appears sick and lethargic

Dehydration has many causes in geckos. You must provide them with a fresh water source and control their habitat’s temperature and humidity levels. If you don’t stick with a care routine, your crested gecko probably won’t get the amount of water that they need.

Overall, keep an eye out for these signs of dehydration in geckos. You’ll need to act fast if you notice them!

How To Hydrate a Dehydrated Crested Gecko

How you hydrate your crested gecko will depend on how dehydrated they are. For severe cases of dehydration, you’ll need to bring your gecko to an exotic pet veterinarian. These experts can put your gecko on an I.V. to help with fluid intake.

Mild dehydration is usually something you can take care of at home. Simply provide your gecko with a new water source to drink and soak in, then mist them if needed. Your geck should recover very quickly at this stage.

For moderate dehydration, you need to follow the steps for mild dehydration, but also contact your vet. You want to take care of the issue before it progresses to severe dehydration. 

In most cases, your pet should recover quickly once you give them the necessary water. You must check in on your crested gecko daily and provide them with fresh water. It’s also good to monitor the humidity levels in their habitat so it doesn’t become too dry.

How Much Water Do They Normally Need

Crested geckos need to have a water bowl in their habitat. They can drink out of it and might soak in it when they need additional moisture. You must also mist their cage twice daily to help them get the necessary water intake. Geckos enjoy misting and will lick water droplets off the surfaces in their habitat.

Use a tall glass tank such asa 20 gallon tank. These containers better hold humidity and make it easier to maintain the proper conditions for your gecko. You want to provide enough water to keep the habitat between 70% and 80% humidity- adding a water dish to the space can help greatly. 

Crested geckos actually don’t drink a lot of water. Instead, they absorb most of it through their skin, so it’s not uncommon to only see your pet drinking a few times a week.

Still, you should always offer your crested gecko fresh water, so they can drink it whenever needed. 

Other Ways To Give Them Water

There are other ways to offer your crested gecko water than giving them a water bowl. They’re sure to appreciate these other methods more, so add them to your pet’s daily care routine. 

Here’s what you can do so you know your crested gecko gets enough moisture every day!

Misting the Tank

Misting the tank is an essential part of crested geck care. Many geckos don’t like drinking out of water bowls and prefer to soak in them instead. Since they get most of their water intake through absorbing moisture, misting is one of the best ways to give them more water.

All you need to do is spray the crested gecko’s tank with water from a misting bottle. You want to ensure you spray enough so that water droplets form on the leaves and glass in your pet’s habitat. The gecko will lick up these droplets when they feel thirsty.

Plus, misting the tanks adds more humidity to the tank, which is essential for your pet’s health. Overall, you’ll want to spray the enclosure two times per day. Many crested gecko parents do this once in the morning and again in the evening.

During your misting routine, it’s also a good chance to check on your pet. If they seem dehydrated, you’ll want to take additional steps to help them feel better. Always reach out to a professional if they seem sick!

Add Moss to the Tank

Including sphagnum moss in your crested gecko’s tank is another way to ensure they get enough water. The moss holds onto the moisture when you mist their tank, allowing the gecko to drink water from it when needed.

Plus, the moss releases the extra moisture slowly back into the air, helping to create more humidity for your pet!

Sphagnum moss is the best option because it doesn’t compact easily, so it should last a long time in your tank. Many pet parents use it in their substrate for the environment.

Use a Water Dropper To Add More

Finally, you can use a water dropper when your pet is dehydrated. Fill the dropper with fresh water and use it to apply water droplets to the leaves and other surfaces in the tank. Your crested gecko will lap them up if they’re feeling thirsty.

You can also hold the dropper over them and let them lick the water up. However, you won’t want to do this if your gecko is skittish because it can cause stress. 

Final Thoughts

To summarize, you should first contact your vet when you suspect your gecko is dehydrated. Geckos require a lot of water, so you must always have ample water in the tank for them to drink. Misting your gecko often is also essential- so don’t forget! 


Chris is a reptile enthusiast, breeder, and blogger from the Milwaukee, WI area. After breeding hundreds of bearded dragons to supply local pet stores and owning many other types of reptiles, he is now focused on sharing knowledge to help owners properly care for their little reptiles friends.

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