When most of us hear the word “pet,” we think of hamsters, cats, or even dogs, but very few people think of reptiles, especially snakes. The latter have been demonized throughout history, and movies like Anaconda and Snakes on a Plane have not done their cause justice. Before I had my first pet, I was one of those who viewed them with suspicion and was afraid of them deep down.
But once you know more about them, you realize that they can be an excellent pet and a great alternative to cats and dogs. But before you rush out and buy your own best reptile friends, here are the things you should know before keeping a snake as a pet.
1. What breed should I buy?
Again, it’s all up to you, but there are a few species you should know before you take the big step. There are plenty of snake breeds, and each has different patterns and colors. Their prices can also vary, ranging from $40 to $600, and that’s only for domestic and non-poisonous ones.
The pet we recommend for beginners is the corn snake, a cute little bundle of joy that costs between $40 and $100 and can live up to eight years. Prices for more exotic snakes can be much higher. My two favorites are the ball python and the milk snake, which are some of the most beautiful pets you can find. some of the most common ones are: King and Milk, Corn, Garter, Ball, Rat Snake
The kind of food you’ll need to feed your exotic companion will depend on the kind and speice you have. They are carnivores, and they eat their food whole. Although they can swallow preys bigger than them, to be on the safe side, always feed them things that are smaller than their head.
They love to splash and soak in water, and this is especially true before they shed. They also need to nave a dish of water that you recommend you clean at least once a day. If you have a corn snake that we highly recommend having as a first snake, they need to be fed pre-killed mice, which you can get at your local pet store.
Young snakes need to be fed twice a week because they are still growing, and their body needs this to develop, but once they’ve grown up, they only need feeding once every week or so or every 10 days. Take care of your pet by making sure that they have a balanced diet and have all the space they need to move around.
When you first get your pet, you need to leave it alone for the first couple of days for it to acclimate to its new space. After it has had time to familiarize itself with its new home, then you can start handling it. At first, only handle them for a short period of time and do so gently. You wouldn’t want to startle it in any shape or form.
A good way for you to handle your snake and create a bond with it is to feed it in a separate enclosure. This way, they get used to your touch and know that a meal will later reward this. Your little munchkin will need time to get used to you, but this is the name of the game when it comes to any pet.
4. Heat and humidity
Most snake owners will tell you to buy overhead incandescent heat lights instead of hot ricks or under-tank heat pads when it comes to heating. Even though heat pads work well enough, it doesn’t allow you to monitor the temperature accurately, and this is a must when you own snakes.
Hot rocks are a big no-no; even if they come with your pet snake kits, they are bad for your little munchkin. They can burn your exotic companion, and we don’t want to harm them. So, overhead incandescent heat light is the way to go when it comes to heating. The perfect or adequate temperature for corn snakes is about 70 to 85°F.
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