A leopard gecko is a lovable reptile that many owners enjoy handling daily. If you own a leopard gecko, you may wonder if you need to wash your hands after handling a leopard gecko. After all, mixed opinions exist on various sites.
After handling a leopard gecko, you should wash your hands before touching anything else. Failing to do so will leave you with the risk of getting dangerous salmonella from traces of the gecko’s feces.
There are many reasons why washing your hands after handling a leopard gecko is a great idea. Read on to learn more about the rationale behind this simple hygiene practice.
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Why You Need to Wash Your Hands After Handling a Leopard Gecko
Washing your hands is a seemingly basic act, but it can give you the protection that will permit the safe handling of your leopard gecko. Soap and water can make all the difference in the time you spend away from your pet.
It’s clear that you need to wash your hands after holding a leopard gecko, but why is this so? A leopard gecko bred in captivity cannot carry many diseases that are harmful to human beings. Why do you need to take up extra time by washing your hands?
Read on to learn more about the issue that can come from not washing your hands after handling a leopard gecko. Though rare, this problem is not one you should risk dealing with in your life, especially since it is preventable with a simple act.
Potential Diseases from Not Washing Your Hands
There is potential disease you might garner if you refrain from washing your hands after handling your leopard gecko. It’s uncommon to catch it but, as stated above, it’s not worth the risk. Salmonella can be deadly or at the very least cause serious illness
The main way you can get ill after handling your leopard gecko is through fecal matter. This substance can be invisible on the hands, and when you touch your face or mouth it transfers to your body.
Often, it is hidden in the terrain of your pet’s environment or on their limbs.
According to a study, humans can become ill from salmonella hidden inside the fecal matter of reptiles. It won’t make your pet sick, but it can seriously harm you if ingested or rubbed in the eyes. You should avoid it at all costs.
Even if you are certain that there is no fecal matter on your hands, it is best to stay on the safe side and wash them anyway. You never know what could be lurking at a microscopic level. It’s better to be safe and take action than avoid washing and getting sick.
It will also protect other people in your home if you both touch the same surface, as they might not be aware of the danger lurking at a microscopic level. Keep them safe by practicing safe hygiene whenever you can.
Has Anyone Ever Gotten Sick from Not Washing Their Hands?
According to the CDC, many outbreaks from reptilian salmonella have occurred over the years. While this can be scary, it should not prevent you from investing in or handling your leopard gecko.
Washing your hands is a simple way to get rid of any disease lurking on the skin after contact.
Though many have gotten sick, it is safe to assume that many have successfully prevented illness by practicing proper hygiene. This habit is great to get into for any reptile you choose to handle in your lifetime.
Though most reptiles don’t have salmonella, you should assume that all of them do for the safest results.
What Do You Wash Your Hands With?
When washing your hands, you might wonder what the best products are to use before touching your gecko. The first is water, but you will also need a soap that doesn’t contain any harsh chemicals.
Severe cleaning ingredients may not harm you, but they could cause injury to your leopard gecko.
One of the best non-toxic soaps that exist on Amazon is Seventh Generation Hand Soap (check it out here). This brand uses clean ingredients, avoiding items such as synthetic fragrances and chlorine.
This soap will protect your gecko from chemicals that could remain on your hands if you pick them up again soon after cleaning up.
Using a clean soap will keep both you and your reptile safe. Ensure you clean the sink off after to rid the area of any residue that might linger on the handles and in the basin. Salmonella can lurk at a microscopic level, so the cleaner you can be, the better.
Should You Wash Your Hands Before Handling a Leopard Gecko?
Even though washing your hands after handling the gecko is critical, you don’t need to wash your hands before touching them.
The only reason to do so would be if you had food on your hands, or if you were attempting to keep your smell consistent with the soap you use before picking them up.
If you choose to wash your hands before touching your leopard gecko, ensure you use running water and a soap that doesn’t contain toxic chemicals.
You want to avoid putting your pet in contact with anything that could cause them harm. You’re much bigger than they are, so what they come into contact with rests in your power. Ensure that you take care of them just as well as you are taking care of yourself.
Keep Yourself Safe While Handling Your Gecko
It might seem scary to know that your pet could make you sick, but these cases are rare in reality. In truth, you should be washing your hands after coming into contact with any pet.
Good hygiene is a great habit to get into as it can protect you from all kinds of diseases that exist in the world around us.
After spending quality time with your leopard gecko, ensure they are safe in their environment and wash your hands.
They deserve the best, and you can only give that to them if you are healthy enough to take care of them daily. Protect both of you by cleaning off your hands after touching your leopard gecko.