Owning a pet snake can be less stressful than owning many other pets like dogs or cats. Snakes don’t require you to walk them or even take them outside to play with them. Even still, before deciding to bring a pet snake into your home, there are certain things you should take into consideration.
Their diet is usually the problem you face when you get a pet snake. This shouldn’t be a problem if you don’t mind that your snake will eat the likes of rats or mice and so on, because snakes are carnivores.
Let’s discuss in details what you need to know before getting a pet snake below:
1. Do Your Research
You should read and understand everything there is to know about owning a snake to build a beautiful relationship with your pet. The snake enthusiasts from www.mysnakepet.com advise doing extensive research to decide on what species of snake you want and do enough research on that species. Popular types of pet snakes for new owners are ball python, corn snakes, garter snakes, gopher snakes, and king snakes. These snakes are not the aggressive types, and they usually mind being handled.
If you are a first-time owner, you should avoid venomous or other dangerous snakes. Even for experienced pet snake owners or enthusiasts, venomous snakes are usually a very stressful choice.
Most snakes live for a long while in captivity, Kingsnakes live for up to 20years, while ball pythons can live till 40years. Housing requirements for these snakes are quite similar, but they only usually vary in terms of temperature and dietary needs.
2. Housing Your Pet Snake
So you’ve decided on what type of snake you are getting, now you know the size and temperature requirement and so on. The next step is to make an appropriate enclosure for your pet. This enclosure should be big enough to house your snake, even when it reaches its maximum size. Many snake owners use a glass aquarium or a Plexiglas enclosure with a tight mesh atop. A snake enclosure is called a vivarium; making them a glass or Plexiglas vivarium makes it even easier to maintain an appropriate temperature for your snake.
You are also going to make bedding materials available at the bottom of the enclosure. Indoor or outdoor carpet, butcher paper, terry cloth towels, and newspapers can serve as good bedding materials. Don’t use pea gravel or wood chips, as these materials can harbor bacteria that can cause intestinal problems for your snakes. Also, provide a private space for your snake, where it can feel secure and feed well. There should be clean branches or something of that sort in their vivarium for them to climb. This serves as a means of exercising. You just have to make sure they can’t open the top of their enclosure to escape.
A lot of tropical snakes require a temperature between 80 and 85 Fahrenheit in the day and 70 to 75 Fahrenheit at night. American snakes usually want a temperature fixed between 70 to 80 Fahrenheit. To meet their temperature needs, you can put a heating pad under one side of their vivarium or use a heat lamp. You need one side of their enclosure to be cool, so your snake can move there when they feel too warm. Do not use certain heating materials like rocks, and this can easily overheat or get burned.
Lastly, allow between 10 to 12 hours of daylight into their enclosure and 12 to 14 hours of darkness every day. A location where they get natural sunlight is good for your snake.
3. Handling Your Pet Snake
You want to be able to handle your pet, to feel its muscular body slip through your arm when you finally get it. Most pet snakes are easy to tame, and they even enjoy human interaction. The best thing you can do to ensure you can handle your pet snake is to buy from a reputable dealer. Be sure that they hand-reared their young snake, so you know that the snake is used to interacting with humans. You should wait to watch the snake feed to see there is no trouble with feeding.
Try to handle your snake for a few minutes every day, so it gets used to you and remains calm when you pick it up.
Most reptiles harbor salmonella, and this includes snakes. Salmonella poses a great danger for babies and young kids, even though it isn’t all that harmful to adults and older children. Therefore, you should always wash your hands thoroughly after handling your snake and be a lot more careful around children. Most snake experts advise against keeping a snake in your house if you have under 5-year-old children.
Do not, under any circumstance, put a large snake around your neck. You might feel like “my snakes, and therefore, it cannot harm me,” avoid this at all cost. It could be very dangerous if your snake’s crushing instinct kicks in.
4. Feeding Your Pet Snake
This is usually the biggest drawback for many people. Snakes are not vegetarians, and they only eat frogs, mice, rats, and even rabbits. Some snakes don’t mind eating pre-killed food, which would be convenient for you if you don’t mind having one or two bags of dead mice, rats, and so on in your freezer. It’s safer to give your snake pre-killed food than live food. You might need to teach your snake to eat pre-killed food, and some won’t eat it. Then, you need to feed your snake live prey. The good of this is that your snake gets fresh nutrients from live prey compared to pre-killed food. Plus, it feels like your snake is hunting for its food, which is more like the natural way for snakes to feed.
The negative is that your snake can get hurt if the live prey fights back. Your snake could get bit or scratched and get infected as a result.
You also need to provide a clean source of water for your snake for bathing and drinking. Make sure you change their water regularly to reduce any possibility of bacteria growing in their water.
Snakes are not like the average dog or cat pets, and snakes won’t come running to you when you call them or wag their tail in excitement when they see you. There’s just something beautiful and soothing about watching your snake slowly explore its vivarium.