It is important to quarantine a new pet snake from any other snakes when you bring it home. The primary reason is the health and safety of you collection, but also because it allows your new snake to get settled in. There are a few things you’ll need to do in order to prepare so be sure to give yourself enough time to do everything.
- Set up the quarantine area
- Ideally you’ll be able to dedicate an entire separate room to be used, but for many people that isn’t possible. At least make sure the new snake is as far away from your other snakes as possible. When I don’t have an extra room I like to place my new snake setup in a closet with a door. Even though it isn’t technically a different room it gives that extra degree of separation.
When you get the snake home (or in the mail) the only thing you want to do is to quickly inspect it and then put it in its newly quarantined habitat. This means everything needs to be setup before that time comes. In case you aren’t familiar or need a refresher take a look at this article about taking care of your first pet snake. It will tell you exactly what you’ll need to provide for your newest snake.
Aside from the separation the most important part of quarantine is that each snake has its own PERSONAL care items. Do NOT cross contaminate the equipment by allowing it to be used between various snakes.
- Plan for the long haul
- Some people say the quarantine should last a year, others 6 months, and still others say 3 months. That’s a decision you need to make based on what you are comfortable with. A good length of time is a 3 month “hard” quarantine (totally separate rooms) followed by a 3 month “soft” quarantine (opposite sides of the same room).
If you have family or room mates it is also important to involve them so they know what is going on so they’ll know how everything is supposed to work.
- Final thoughts on quarantine
- Here are some final things to think about when you are quarantining pet snakes.
- Spend time with each animal. Even while they are in quarantine you should be enjoying the new arrivals on a daily basis once the initial settling in period has passed
- Each time a new snake comes into the quarantine room the clock should be rest to day 0 for all of them. It might sound drastic but it is better to keep them separated than to introduce something to your general collection.
- Quarantined animals should have the bare necessities in their tanks and nothing more. Don’t worry about pretty decor keep it simple. Newspaper substrate, a water bowl, and a hide are all there should be in the tank
- Record keeping is important in general, but especially important when it comes to quarantined animals
- Clearly label the quarantine area with a sign saying exactly what is there and why. This way no one can “just forget” about it
Finally here is a video talking about the importance of quarantining your new snakes. In this case it is “only” a case of mites, but it could be much more serious.