A lot of the wild and adventurous kind of people out there give a very serious thought to adopting snakes as pets, although friends, family and neighbors won’t be very warm towards the idea, having snakes for a pet could turn out to be awesome because snakes make very good pets, except for the fact that they do not really look the cuddly and cute part. Taking care of a snake means a lot of responsibility. With proper and regular handling they could be quite tame. Only those with determined commitment must take up this responsibility. Here are some basic tips on snake care for beginners so gear up!
First and foremost; to figure out if your snake is a male or female you really need to ask an expert. Know that snakes may live up to twenty years or longer, so it isn’t going to be cakewalk to have a snake. You really have to be committed and prepared for a long life of mammal – reptile bond.
Snakes are terrific escape artists, so you are going to have to search for and maintain an escape proof tank and remember that snakes are very, very stubborn, they would still keep exploring to find a way to escape. They also need a warmer place to be at for the regulation of body temperature which you have to take care of. Even if they aren’t dangerous, you need to have them safely locked in a tank because they will terrorize your entire town if they escaped and end up being hurt or even killed by the town folk.
You have to prepare yourself and convince your parents to let you set aside some space in your freezer for pre-killed frozen prey for your pet snake, which are mostly rodents.
And do not just get carried away and opt to get huger or poisonous snakes because no matter how well you tame them, things can always go out of hand. So do your homework on types of snakes, non- poisonous ones to be precise and about the sizes to which they grow, their diet and everything there is to know about them before you get one.
It is always best to find a good breeder and get a captive bred snake from them rather than running into the woods and picking up one. That way, you will be informed about all the basics of snake care and they will be easier to tame. On the other hand if you get one from the wild, they might be stressed and hard to tame, plus, they may be having parasites or be suffering from diseases.
Choose a healthy snake;
- See if they have firm rounded bodies
- Eyes must be clear. They might appear a bit cloudy if they are about to shed
- There should be no mites, check around the head, eyes and mouth, check your hands after touching the snake
- Shouldn’t have an open mouth always or keep gasping for breath
- Shiny smooth skin with no scabs
- Shouldn’t be having tremors
- Inside of mouth must be uniformly pink
Recommended beginner snakes
Corn snakes do not grow to be very large, are easy to care for and docile. They however, are excellent escape artists so you need to be very careful in those grounds. They are also very beautiful looking with an array of colors, mostly on the reddish side. They could grow to a size of 3-5, sometimes 6 feet and live for a span of 15-20 years. Check for legal permits for breeding this snake with your breeder.
King snakes or milk snakes;
These snakes could reach larger sizes of 6-7 feet living for a life span of 15-20 years. King snakes and milk snakes belong to the same family and breeding them is the same as breeding any other breed of snake, however, you need to duplicate hibernating conditions for them.
Named so, because they roll themselves into tight balls of they feel threatened. They grow to a maximum of 3-5 feet in size and if you really love the one you have then it will live to be fifty years with proper care. Otherwise 20-30 years is a more typical lifespan of a ball python.
Provide a thermal gradient for your snake because all snakes need to regulate their body temperature. Provide some accessories in the tank to help the snake shed.
How do you know if your snake is about to shed?
- Eyes turn a bluish cloudy shade. This is because the scales covering the eyes loosen up to shed as well. Just before shedding the eyes turn clear again
- Your snake becomes more anxious and defensive because it can’t see well
- Skin becomes dull and rough in appearance. The belly may appear pinkish at first
- Your snake will start hiding more often and be near the rough spots to help itself shed.
- Your snake will start avoiding food for sometime
The shedding is very important. If the skin comes off as a whole, you would know that the snake is healthy, however if they are in scraps, your snake is ill and you need to see the vet immediately.