Bringing a pet snake at your home requires preparation. You’d have to ensure that everyone else in your
home is comfortable with the addition of a new member in the family. Before getting a pet snake, you’d have to take into consideration a plethora of things. One of them is its enclosure. You have to have a spacious home to keep snake species that measure up to 10 feet. This is just one of the many considerations that you’d have to keep in mind before getting a snake. This article will act as a detailed guide for the first-time pet snake owners.
1. Choosing a snake
As a first time snake owner, you might be wondering that old snakes are the best option for you because they aren’t offensive in nature. But, snake experts across the world opine that you should start with pet snakes such as Corn Snake, Ball Python and King Snake.
2. Be informed about possible risks:
Pet snakes are dangerous, and it isn’t solely about their bites. It’s a bad idea to leave your kids to play alone with snakes. Though, snakes can be tamed, but their wild instincts remain intact until their death. You should stay around while your kids are playing with the snake. Here, it’s essential for you to remember that most snakes don’t like their tales pulled, so you should teach your child not to do so.
3. Understand about the likes & likes of your Pet Snake:
The basic characteristic trait of most snakes is that they are solitary by nature. Unlike other pet animals such as cats & dogs, snakes don’t enjoy being in crowd and loud noises. This is one of the reasons why would be a bad idea to take them in social gatherings. Most snakes don’t like being touched constantly, so you should keep the handling as less as possible. They also prefer consistency & routine, so make a strict routine for their changing of water, feeding and tank cleaning time.
4. Maintain an ideal environment:
For most snakes, ideal environment is the key for a healthy life. Now, you won’t be able to bring the flora, dirt and water from the tropical rainforests, but you can certainly create an ideal environment for your pet snake where she can live happily. Firstly, you have to work on maintaining the humidity and temperature at proper levels. You can fix a gauge and thermometer for maintaining these things. Fixing a heat lamp is a great option for maintaining heat in vivarium, but you should remember to fix it on only one side because snakes need cool area too for getting retreat from heat.
Some people might suggest you to use heat rocks for heat in the vivarium, but these rocks are absolutely unsafe for the sensitive skin of snakes. Some smart snake owners also use innovative techniques for maintaining an ideal humidity & temperature in the vivarium. You can take a cue from them. For instance, you can place a plant and a bowl of water under the lamp to maintain the desired level of humidity inside the vivarium. If the environment in your home is dry, then you can even consider placing a humidifier near the vivarium.
5. Play time for your Pet Snake
You should engage in hide-and-seek game with your pet. Snakes love hiding inside or under the holes, so you can consider adding a log or branch in the vivarium. You should experiment with various items to find which one of them is most liked by your snake. There are times when fake objects are more effective than real ones.
Snakes are easy to clean up after they are done having their meal. Since, their diet primarily includes meat, so you can expect faeces droppings, but lining the vivarium with a newspaper is a great idea to easily clean the area.
It is the natural tendency of snakes to hibernate during winter season. This process is essential if they are breeding. In order to allow them an ideal breeding place, you have to ensure that the room is cool & dark. You just need to remember about their existence and don’t forget about them. You would have to keep a check on humidity & temperature in the vivarium. Also, you would have to change the water in their enclosure on a regular basis. You should never compromise on the basic hygiene of your pet snake.
8. Essential Nutritional Needs of Snakes
Pet snakes must have access to clean and fresh water. You should provide water in a large container or tank wherein the snake can immerse its entire body at one go. Rarely do snakes drink, but soaking is an important aspect of their survival. Also, as the water in the bowl evaporates, it helps in creating an ideal temperature within the vivarium. It is essential to clean the water bowl regularly by using an antibacterial soap. Apart from this, you should also thoroughly clean the vivarium on a fortnightly basis. It is advisable to place a heavy bowl of water for preventing water spillage.
The primary diet of most pet snakes includes insects and mice. It is recommended to feed them a dead mouse or
insect rather than a live rodent. This is to ensure that the insect or mouse doesn’t injure your pet snake during its struggle for survival. If you are using a frozen prey, then it is essential to completely thaw in the refrigerator, and slightly heat the prey before eventually feeding it to the snake. You can use tongs for feeding the prey to your pet snake. After feeding the prey, you must wait near the vivarium to check whether the snake is interested in the prey or not. If your pet snake doesn’t eat the prey within 10-15 minutes, then you should remove the prey.
Unlike most reptiles, pet snakes hardly ever face nutritional deficiencies primarily because they are allowed to consume the entire prey, which resembles to those living in the wild. As long as you continue feeding your snakes with insects and mice, it would not experience vitamin deficiency. Generally, snakes in their early years face this issue, but you can get rid of the issue by improving their diet. Nutritional deficiency might be also caused by inadequate UV light.