Although African Fat Tailed geckos are not that hard to care of, they do require frequent attention when they’re out of their regular environment. Whether you’re planning on a quick trip to the vet, moving houses, or going on a holiday traveling with a gecko can seem like a daunting task.
You probably have a lot of questions – as you should. You’re probably wondering, “How should I do it safely?” “What will I need?” “How do I keep them warm” etc. As long as you prepare ahead of time, transporting your Aftg can be a stress-free task. Read on to learn how you can make the journey a breeze for you and your gecko.
Traveling with your gecko in a car may sound scary. However, with a little planning and preparation, you can make sure that it is a smooth ride for you and your pet. Here are some useful tips on how to transport a gecko in a car:
You must transport your gecko in a sturdy, secure, and well-ventilated container. If you’re planning on staying at your destination for a long time or if you are moving houses, you may want to transport it in its usual container. But if you’re just going for a short journey such as traveling to the vet, you should place your gecko in a smaller container. It should be big enough for the gecko to move around in. But you don’t want something so spacious it gets thrown about when the car’s moving.
You can use any kind of sealable plastic container as your gecko’s travel enclosure. You just need to punch some air holes and line the bottom of the carrier with wet or dry towels depending on what environment is suitable for your gecko. This will also provide some extra cushioning.
You also need to make sure that the container is secure. You don’t want them to be sliding around the car. Remove any objects that could fall into the container so that your gecko won’t get hurt if the ride gets bumpy.
If you want to minimize the stress of traveling with your gecko, try to get its travel container ready at least one week in advance. You can introduce its new traveling home by keeping the gecko inside for a few minutes at a time. This way, it can get used to being in a different environment.
Depending on the weather, and the length of the journey, you may need to warm the container. You must protect your gecko from getting a cold shock. This could seriously harm it or even kill it.
So, if you’re transporting your gecko in a car, make sure to warm up the vehicle for a few minutes. Then, place the gecko inside. You can also add some towels or have a hot water bottle inside the carrier.
However, you need to be careful to not burn your gecko. So, if you’re planning on adding the hot water bottle, it’s better to wrap it in a towel. Also, if you think that it’s going to be a bumpy journey, then it’s probably best to leave the hot water bottle out so it won’t harm your gecko.
To prepare your gecko for a comfortable journey, these are some essentials that you’d need to pack:
- Food and water
- Bedding, blankets, and towels
- Cleaning supplies
- Heaters – hot water bottle, hand warmers, or heat packs
- Misting Spray
- UVB and/or basking light
Depending on how long the car trip will be, you must prepare the basics and might also need to pack more for emergencies.
While you might’ve prepared the other essentials in advance, these are some of the things you need to do on the day:
- Secure the gecko’s container. Make sure that it won’t slide or fall over by securing it in the passenger seat or the backseat with a seatbelt; you can also place it on the floor.
- Avoid leaving it in extreme conditions such as direct sunlight. Also, never have the car’s air conditioner or heating vents blowing directly onto your gecko.
- Keep stops to a minimum. Be sure to keep breaks short as the sooner you get your gecko to its destination and back to its habitual environment, the less negative impact it will have on it.
- Pay attention to your gecko. Make sure that it’s eating and drinking well and be on the lookout for any abnormal behavior.
Some airlines may allow you to travel with your gecko. However, it’s best to check with the airlines and local laws before making any arrangements as different cities, states, and countries have different rules.
Nevertheless, if you’re thinking of transporting your gecko on a plane, it’s safe to say that the requirements are the same as how you’d transport a gecko in a car (you can refer back to the section above). But there are a couple of additional things that you need to keep in mind:
- Get your gecko checked by a vet 10 days before leaving. You may need to get a health certificate so you know whether or not your gecko is fit to travel.
- Label the carrier. Make sure to mark the carrier on all sides with your contact information and place warning labels. This will ensure that whoever handles the carrier will take extra care with it.
You need to settle your gecko into its regular environment as soon as possible after traveling. Make sure that the temperature is set correctly, its enclosure is cleaned and fitted with suitable materials, and resume feeding time normally.
Your gecko may experience stress from undergoing the change in the environment as well as experiencing new sights, smells, and sounds. So, it may take some time for your gecko to get back to its normal routine. If you notice that your gecko is acting frightened or defensive, then it’s best to wait for them to settle and become comfortable before you start handling it again.
You also need to be aware that stressed geckos are prone to getting sick. So, if you notice changes in its appetite (ie. they stop eating) or changes to its poop (ie. not pooping or its poop is runny or a darker color), you should consult with a vet immediately.
If you’re having second thoughts about transporting your gecko with you, there are other methods that you can use. These options might not only provide you with stress-free solutions but they will also be safer for your gecko too.
For one, you can use a professional pet transportation service. It’s probably the best way to have your gecko transported to where it needs to be, safely and without hassle. Second, you can also just ask for help from your loved ones to take care of your pet gecko especially if you’re planning to be away for a longer period. Who better to take care of your favorite boy or girl than the people you trust?