Over the past several years as snakes have become more popular as pets a number of resources have become available to help new hobbyists. Some of these resources have been around for a respectable amount of time while others have recently burst onto the scene. The important thing is that they give good, relevant, and up-to-date information no matter how old they are.
- Physical Resources
- These are the places you actually go and the materials you actually can touch. These are real people places and things. This list is not meant to be a ranking so the order means nothing.
- Breeders, hobbyists, and other snake owners
- One of the best places you can go to learn more about snakes is to other people who deal with them on a daily basis. Personally I’ve never met one of these people who isn’t willing to talk about their snakes with you. In fact once they realize they have a willing ear you might find yourself trying to sneak away before they talk you to death! That’s a good thing actually as these people have a lot of knowledge to impart and wisdom to share.
- Local veterinarians
- Vets are always a good place to get information, especially relating to health care of your snakes. You’re better off finding a vet that is knowledgeable in reptile care as it is a very specialized form of medicine. Don’t hesitate to open your local phone book and seek out some of these people to answer your questions
- Herpetological Societies
- These are clubs where all the members share a passion for reptiles. These are often great resources as they will usually have a wide mixture of people in them. Some will just be starting while others will have been involved with snakes and other herps for many years. If you need help finding one in your area a good place to look is at this list of herp societies.
- There are a lot of books and magazines out there talking about snakes. Like any other resource you must use discernment before you accept what they say as fact. One problem is that many of the books you will find, particularly in your public library, are outdated. They give information which has been found to be untrue, unreliable, and in some cases just plain dangerous for your snakes and maybe even for yourself. My personal rule of thumb when it comes to books about snakes is that if it is more than 5 years old I’m going to be extra wary of what it has to say and I’m going to spend some extra time researching that information.
A really good resource is Reptiles Magazine. It is printed on a monthly basis so the information in there is always “cutting edge”. It is generally written from a hobbyist standpoint so there’s not a lot of scientific terminology to confuse and confound you when you only want to gain some understanding.
- Virtual resources
- These are the online sources of information pertaining to snakes. They are the websites, social networking communities, and discussion forums where people offer and exchange information. As with the physical resources this listing of virtual resources is not meant to be in any particular order.
- Bulletin Boards/Forums
- An online bulletin board system allows users to write short posts asking questions of other readers and then other people are able to respond to those questions if they have an account and have logged in. There are many sites with this type of system setup. Some examples include:
- Social networking sites
- If you are familiar with sites such as Facebook or Myspace then you know what social networking sites are. If you need an explanation click the video below to watch and it will tell you what you need to know.
There are many other blogs that relate to snakes. Some example include:
- Podcasts and webcasts
- One of the most popular forms of media these days is podcasts and webcasts. A variety of them have been created relating to snakes. In fact if you go to Youtube and do a search for snakes you’ll come across all kinds of options. If you find videos you find useful you should consider joining the publisher’s community and subscribing to their channel. Some channels to get you started are:
Podcasts are like radio broadcasts that you can download and save to an MP3 player such as ITunes and take with you to listen to at your leisure. Like anything everyone else snake keepers have podcasts available to them as well. One of the more popular podcasts dealing with snakes is from a site called Blog Talk Radio which combines audio shows with blogs in something known as audio blogging. You can listen to an audio podcast by going to the top of this page and clicking on the media player under the heading Reptile Radio over on the right hand side.
As you can now see there are a TON of resources to help you with your pet snakes. They come in a variety of forms and media and most are free of charge. The only limit is how much looking you are willing to do.