Reptiles and amphibians: Healthy animals, healthy people

Pets can be a great addition to any home. They make us happy and provide many health benefits, but even healthy animals can carry germs that can make people sick. Follow these simple rules to share the love and not the germs.

WASH: Make sure to immediately wash your hands after touching reptiles or amphibians, or anything in the area where they live, play, or touch.

DISINFECT: Thoroughly clean any surfaces or objects your reptile or amphibian touches with soapy water followed by a household sanitizer.

SEPARATE: Reptiles and amphibians should be kept in habitats specifically designed for them. Bathe your pet in a dedicated plastic bin, not in a household sink or tub. Keep pets and all their supplies (e.g. food, containers, toys) away from the kitchen and other places where food is made or eaten.

SUPERVISE: Always watch children when they touch or play with reptiles and amphibians. Do not let them put pets or pet supplies near their face or share their food or drinks with pets.

PROTECT: Reptiles and amphibians can be great pets, but aren't the right choice for everyone. Families that include these groups should choose a different pet: children under 5 years of age, people with a weakened immune system, pregnant women, or adults 65 years of age and older. Talk to your health care provider or veterinarian.

For more information visit

Download the alternative format
(PDF format, 1.6 MB, 2 pages)

Type: Publication
Date published: 2016-04-19

Page details

Date modified: