September 10, 2010

Snake Ownership for Beginners

Filed under: Snakes as Pets — Dr. Amber Reed @ 8:03 am

If you’ve never owned a snake before, there are some guidelines you should follow for choosing your pet snake.  While snakes can be very interesting pets, they are not ideal for every family.  A tame snake that has experienced regular handling will make an excellent pet but you should have a good idea of what it takes to own a snake.  Moreover, you should do a bit of research about the different types of pet snakes before you rush into buying a serious snake like a boa constrictor or python.

When you are first choosing your pet snake understand that some species can live up to 20 years and as such, pet snakes are a long term commitment.  In addition, snakes are predators and they generally eat rodents or insects.  If you are squeamish about feeding prey animals to your snake, you should reconsider your decision to get a pet snake.  Most snake food is pre-killed and stored frozen so you will also have to have storage space for your snake’s food.  One of the most important things to consider about owning a pet snake is that they are very good at escaping and hiding so you need to invest in a good tank; even the smallest gap will tempt your snake to escape.

Finally, when choosing your first snake, it is not recommended that you get a constricting or venomous snake as these snakes can pose a significant risk to small children and adults alike.  Your first snake should be reasonably sized and easy to care for.  Some examples of more docile snakes include corn snakes, king snakes, milk snakes, and ball pythons.  On the other hand larger constricting or venomous snakes with more difficult care needs such as boa constrictors, Burmese pythons, water snakes or green snakes don’t make very good pets for first time snake owners.

About Dr. Amber Reed

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