Purchasing a Pet Snake – Pet ownership is both a rewarding and stressful role. But most pet owners would agree that the joy, peace, and calm that come from the companionship of your furry friend is worth the effort and time. Dogs, cats, parrots, and fishes are standard pets that most people love and adore. However, there are many individuals who have a rather unique taste and prefer to own unique pets such as iguanas, sugar gliders, and even snakes! Yes, you heard that right.
Owning snakes as pets is more common than you think. In fact, some would argue that while these creatures may not be your typical cuddly pet, they are gentle and friendly animals that can make great companions in the long run. They recognize their owner, respond to their voices, and some have even been known to enjoy being handled.
Assuming that you have done your research and are fully aware of the pros and cons of owning a snake, here’s what you should know before purchasing a pet snake.
Purchasing a Pet Snake – Different snakes have different needs –
Just like any other pet, snakes come in all shapes and sizes. Depending on the type of snake you want as a pet, you will need to be prepared to cater to its specific needs. For instance, smaller species such as garter snakes can live comfortably in a 10-gallon tank, while larger snakes like pythons and boas need at least a 20-gallon tank. In addition, some snakes are more active than others and require more space to move around freely. Do your research to know what type of snake is right for you and your home.
Snakes Can Grown Long –
Depending on the breed, your snake can grow to be quite long. The average length of a full-grown pet snake is between 4 and 6 feet, but some species can grow up to 12 feet or more! As such, you must ensure that you have enough space to accommodate your pet as it grows. This means having a larger enclosure ready as well as making sure that there are no gaps or openings that your snake can escape from.
They Are Nocturnal Animals –
Keep in mind that snakes are generally more active at night, so if you are looking for a pet you can play with during the day, a snake is probably not the right choice. That being said, there are some snakes that are more diurnal, meaning they are awake during the day and sleep at night. Do your research to find out which type of snake would be a better fit for your lifestyle.
Purchasing a Pet Snake – They Shed Their Skin –
Snakes regularly shed their skin as they grow. This process is known as molting and usually occurs every 4 to 6 weeks. While molting is a natural process, it can be stressful for your snake, so it is important to provide a comfortable and warm environment for them during this time. You should also avoid handling your snake during this period as their skin is delicate and can be easily damaged.
Snakes need a hiding place –
In the wild, snakes like to hide in trees, burrows, or under rocks. When setting up your snake’s enclosure, be sure to provide plenty of hiding places for your pet to feel secure. Hiding places can be made out of PVC pipes, cardboard boxes, or even overturned flower pots.
Purchasing a Pet Snake – Snakes have different personalities –
Just like any other animal, snakes have their own unique personalities. Some are more active and curious, while others are shyer and more reclusive. When purchasing a pet snake, it is vital to select one that has a personality that matches your own
Substrate is important –
The substrate is the material with which you line the bottom of your snake’s enclosure. It not only makes the habitat look more natural but also serves as a source of insulation and humidity control. Some popular substrates include bark chips, cypress mulch, and reptile carpet.
Most snakes are cold-blooded creatures that rely on external heat sources to regulate their body temperature. In the wild, they bask in the sun or hide under rocks to stay warm. When setting up your snake’s enclosure, be sure to include a heat source such as a heat lamp, ceramic heater, or under-tank heating pad. In addition, most snakes also need UVB lighting to prevent metabolic bone disease.
Snakes need water –
All snakes need access to fresh water at all times. A water bowl should be large enough for your snake to soak in but not too deep that your pet can’t get out if it needs to. Be sure to clean the water bowl regularly and replace the water as needed.
Feeding your snake –
Snakes are carnivores that need to eat meat to survive. In the wild, they typically eat rodents such as mice or rats. If you are feeding your snake live prey, be sure that the animal is not more significant than the circumference of your pet’s body. It is also important to note that some snakes may only eat live prey while others will accept frozen/thawed food. If you are unsure, ask your veterinarian or reptile specialist before making a purchase.
Purchasing a Pet Snake – Handling your snake –
Getting your snake used to being handled is essential so that it can become familiar with your scent and feel comfortable around you. When first handling your snake, be sure to do so gently and in a calm environment. Allow your pet to explore your body and get used to the sensation of being held. With time and patience, you will be able to build a trusting relationship with your snake.
Vet care for snakes –
Just like any other pet, snakes need to see a vet for regular check-ups and vaccinations. Be sure to find a reptile-specific vet in your area so that your pet can get the best possible care.
Purchasing a Pet Snake Bottom Line
Purchasing a pet snake can be a rewarding experience, but it is essential to do your research first. By understanding the basic needs of these creatures, you can provide your new pet with the best possible care.