What do I do if I have allergies and want to adopt a reptile?



What to Consider When Adopting a Reptile with Allergies


Having allergies doesn't mean you can't enjoy the companionship of a reptile. Reptiles make great pets for people with allergies to common household pets like cats and dogs. However, before bringing a reptile into your home, there are several factors you need to consider to ensure a safe and allergy-free environment. In this article, we will explore what you should do if you have allergies and want to adopt a reptile.

Understanding Reptile Allergies

Reptile allergies are less common compared to allergies to furry animals. Most reptile allergies are caused by proteins found in their skin cells, saliva, urine, or feces. These proteins, known as allergens, can trigger allergic reactions in sensitive individuals. It's important to note that not all reptiles produce allergens, so choosing the right species is key.

Consult with an Allergist

Before making any decisions, it is essential to consult with an allergist. They can perform specific tests to determine if you are allergic to reptiles or specific species. An allergist can also provide advice on managing your allergies and offer suggestions on reptiles that are less likely to cause an allergic reaction.

Choosing the Right Reptile

Once you have consulted with an allergist, it's time to choose a reptile that suits your allergies. Some reptiles are known to produce fewer allergens or are less likely to trigger allergic reactions. Consider the following reptiles that are generally considered hypoallergenic:

Hypoallergenic Reptiles

1. Leopard Gecko: These small, docile geckos are a popular choice for individuals with allergies. They have minimal shedding and produce fewer allergens compared to other reptiles.

2. Corn Snake: Corn snakes have a smooth and dry skin, reducing the likelihood of allergens being released into the air. They are relatively low maintenance and have a friendly temperament.

3. Bearded Dragon: These lizards are known for their calm nature and are less likely to trigger allergies. Regular cleaning of their enclosure will help minimize allergens.

4. African Fat-Tailed Gecko: Similar to leopard geckos, African fat-tailed geckos have minimal shedding and produce fewer allergens. They are also known for their docile temperament.

Allergy Management Strategies

Even with hypoallergenic reptiles, it's important to take additional steps to minimize allergens in your home. Consider the following strategies:

1. Regular Cleaning: Clean your reptile's enclosure frequently to remove any potential allergens. This includes washing their bedding, hiding spots, and accessories.

2. Hand Hygiene: Wash your hands thoroughly after handling your reptile or cleaning their enclosure. This will help prevent allergens from spreading to other areas of your home.

3. Air Purification: Consider using an air purifier with a HEPA filter to reduce airborne allergens. This can help improve air quality and minimize allergic reactions.

4. Allergy Medication: Consult with your allergist about appropriate allergy medication to manage your symptoms. This can provide additional relief during peak allergy seasons.


Having allergies doesn't mean you can't enjoy the companionship of a reptile. By consulting with an allergist, choosing a hypoallergenic reptile, and implementing proper allergy management strategies, you can create a safe and enjoyable environment for both you and your scaly friend. Remember, always prioritize your health and well-being when considering adopting a pet. If you need further information or assistance, visit our website and explore our resources dedicated to pet adoption for allergy sufferers.

Julieth Bill

Hi, I'm Julieth Bill. Before I was a writer for the NBCpet.com blog I was known for inventive and unusual treatments of dogs, cats, bird, fish, snakes, horses, rabbit, reptiles, and guinea pigs. Julieth worked for major zoos around the world. He Also Receives Pets a Scholarship.

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