If you have ever considered keeping a snake as a pet, this article is for you. I’ve been keeping and researching these amazing animals for more than 20 years now, so I’m happy to explain the key factors of snake care. Follow the advice below, and you’ll be more successful as a snake keeper — and your pet will be healthier as well.
1. Select the Right Species
This is an important consideration that many people gloss over. They choose an animal they think is “cool,” and then they learn about it after they’ve already brought it home. This is backward. You need to begin this process by choosing a snake that will make a good pet. Some species are hard to care for and should be kept only by advanced keepers with years of experience. Other species are much easier to care for, and therefore make excellent “starter snakes.”
If this will be your first pet snake, I recommend starting out with one of the species that are easiest to care for. I would put several into categories, including the corn snake, the kingsnakes, and the various types of milksnakes. All of these species do well in captivity, and if their basic needs are met they’ll live a long time. They are also widely varied in appearance, and some are beautifully coloured.
For the first-time keeper, I recommend avoiding snakes that are too large (like the Burmese python) or those that require specialized care (such as some of the arboreal snakes). Leave those to the more advanced keepers.
2. Research the Snake’s Requirements
So now you’ve chosen a species you want to keep. What next? Well, you’ve got some homework to do. To be a responsible keeper, and to provide the best possible care for your pet snake, you need to learn as much as you can about the captive requirements for that species. What kind of temperatures does it need? How big of a cage do you need, and what should be included inside the cage? How often does it need to be fed? These are questions you must answer before you bring the animal home because it will depend on you from day one.
3. Provide the Right Environment
Next, take everything you learn from step #2 above, and put it into practice. Create the kind of enclosure/habitat that meets your snake’s needs. Again, you should do this before bringing your new pet home.
Keep in mind that snakes do not show emotion as dogs and cats do. They cannot howl or cry when they are uncomfortable. They really have only one expression, and it’s the one they always wear. So if their environmental needs are not met, they will suffer in silence. You must prevent this. You must do thorough research to find out what your snake needs, and then you must provide it.
You’ll be happy to know that there are plenty of great products to help you in this area. The reptile industry has come a long way over the last ten years or so. As a result, the caging, heating and lighting systems on the market today make snake care easier than ever. Do an Internet search for “reptile supplies” and check out some of the big websites that are online today. They offer everything you might need to create a healthy environment for your pet.
I hope this article helps you prepare for your snake-keeping journey, and I urge you to visit my informative blog (listed below) for more care tips and advice.