Everything you need to know before getting a pet snake

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When most of us hear the word pet, we think of dogs, cats, or even hamsters, but very few think of reptiles, especially snakes. Snakes have been villainized throughout history, and movies like Anaconda and Snakes on a Plane have not done any justice to their cause. Prior to getting my first pet snake, I was one of those people who viewed snakes negatively and was deep down afraid of them. But once you learn more about them, you get to know that they can be a great pet and an excellent alternative to cats and dogs. But, before you run out and go to buy your own reptilian best friends, these are the things you ought to know prior to having one as a pet.

Is it legal to own a snake as a pet?

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Well, it will shock most of you, but most states allow people to keep snakes and other reptiles as pets, but most of them restrict or ban the breed of these reptiles as they get upset the natural ecosystem of an area. You might need a permit if you are thinking of capturing your pet reptile from the wild, but you won’t need a permit if you adopt one. Just check your state’s legislation on the matter. Bear in mind that it is never okay nor legal to release your pets in the wild to fend for themselves, especially for reptiles who aren’t native to that particular area, as they may take over that ecosystem.

What breed of snake to buy?

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Again this all depends on you, but there are a few kinds that you need to know before taking this big jump. There are a plethora of snakes breeds out there, and they each have different patterns and colors. The price of snakes may also vary and be from anywhere from $40 to $600, and this is only for domesticated and non-venomous snakes. The price point of more exotic snakes can be much steeper than this. The snake pet we recommend for beginners is corn snakes, which are a cute little bundle of joys that can cost $40 to $100 and can live up to 8 years. My two personal favs are ball pythons and milk snakes, some of the most beautiful pet snakes you can get out there. You should also make a distinction between domesticated snakes and venomous snakes.

Some snakes that most veterinarians and animal lovers consider as domesticated are:

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    • Boa Constrictor
    • Corn snake
    • Garter snake
    • Kingsnake
    • Python
    • Rat Snake

Some Venomous snakes are:

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    • Copperheads
    • Coral snake
    • Cottonmouth
    • Rattlesnake
    • Water moccasins

Where should I buy my pet snake?

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Remember when you are thinking of getting a new pet, always consider adoption and never buy pets from animal shops, but snakes are the exception to the rule. However, don’t and I repeat, don’t buy your snake in a pet shop as there are better options out there, and they will most likely be more ethically sourced and raised than one from a pet shop. Buy your snakes from a qualified breeder and do your research on them first and look at the ethics of these breeders first because you don’t want a pet from breeding mills. These qualified breeders can also give you a few pointers on raising and taking care of your own little reptilian friend.

Snake bites and other things you should be aware of

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When you tell someone you have a pet snake, the first question you’ll hear is, what if they bite you? Well, this is why you made a list of venomous and domesticated snakes and most people out there who own snakes own the non-venomous types, so even if they bite you, you won’t die from it. You’ll just feel a slight discomfort in that area; this is adjacent to a mosquito bite. And, if your snake bites you, it’s to defend itself and not to harm you; it’s their way to tell you to back off; it sounds more terrifying than it actually hurts. The best way to avoid this is to expose your snake to human contact, and slowly they will learn that you aren’t there to harm them, and they will eventually bond with you.

Sound off in the comments section below and tell if what’s your dream pet is.

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