Is Incense & Candles Harmful to Lizards?

Incense is often used for its ability to make a home smell pleasant. But the smoke created by burning incense may be more harmful than you think, especially to lizards. This article will discuss why incense may be detrimental to your pet lizard and how you can keep it safe.


Is incense bad for lizards?


Incense has a long history of spiritual and ceremonial use, dating back thousands of years, but scientists are still debating how the smoke affects lizards.

Studies have shown that lizards may be more sensitive to the chemicals in incense than humans, so they should be kept from direct contact with incense smoke.

While many choose to use incense in their home or to clear stagnant energy, keeping your pet lizards far away while burning them would be a wise choice.

If you must burn incense near your lizards, ensure proper ventilation to minimize air pollutants and toxic substances being breathed in by them.


The Dangers of Incense Smoke


The smoke from burning incense contains various chemicals that can harm lizards, including carcinogens and other toxins.

Additionally, the smoke can irritate the eyes and nose of lizards or even lead to respiratory issues like asthma or bronchitis if exposed over time.

If your lizard is experiencing any signs of distress, such as wheezing or coughing, it’s essential to take them to the vet immediately.

Another potential danger is that some types of incense contain heavy metals like mercury, arsenic, and lead, which can be very toxic if inhaled by a lizard.

These metals can accumulate in their bodies over time and cause various health problems such as anemia or organ damage.

It’s best to avoid these types of incense altogether if you want to keep your pet lizard safe and healthy.


Tips for Keeping Your Lizard Safe From Incense & Candle Smoke


If you enjoy burning incense but want to keep your pet lizard safe from its effects, there are several things you can do:

  • Move the lizard’s cage away from any areas where incense is burned (the further away, the better!) –


  • Make sure the windows in your home are open when burning incense so that airflow is maximized –


  • Avoid using scented candles or other forms of air fresheners that contain chemicals that could harm your pet –


  • Consider investing in an air purifier for your home which will remove any lingering toxins from the smoke –


  • Check with your vet about what type of ventilation system would be best for keeping your pet safe from airborne toxins –


  • Avoid burning any heavily scented varieties of incense near your pet’s cage.


Is burning candles a danger to Lizards?


While traditional candles burning with wax and a flame do not present a direct danger to lizards, over-exposure to the smoke can be hazardous.

Burning a candle for long periods can release particulate matter into the air that could impact lizards’ respiratory or nervous system function.

This is especially true if the candle contains heavy metals such as lead, arsenic, or mercury in the wick material or wax used to form the candle.

In prolonged exposure, it would be wise to be aware of any notable changes in behavior experienced by your pet reptile and contact an experienced veterinarian for assistance with diagnosis and treatment.




Burning incense and candles have been known to have potentially harmful effects on lizards due to certain chemicals in their smoke. To ensure your pet remains safe and healthy, take necessary precautions, such as moving their cage away from areas where you burn incense and candles and investing in an air purifier if possible. By following these tips, you can rest assured that your beloved reptile will remain healthy while enjoying the pleasant aroma of burning incense.

Mike Grover

Mike Grover is the owner of this website (Reptiles and Amphibians), a website dedicated to providing expert care and information for these animals. Mike has been keeping reptiles and amphibians as pets for over 20 years and has extensive knowledge of their care. He currently resides in the United Kindom with his wife and two children. Reptiles and amphibians can make excellent pets, but they require special care to stay healthy and happy. Mike's website provides detailed information on how to care for these animals, including what to feed them, what type of housing they need, and how to maintain their health. Mike's website is a valuable resource for keeping your pet healthy and happy, whether you’re considering adding a reptile or amphibian to your family or you’re already a pet parent.

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