With nearly 3,000 different species of snakes in the world and a large number of those being kept as pets it is all but impossible to keep track of each ones unique needs without some assistance. That’s where care sheets come into play.
- What are care sheets?
- A care sheet is information that has been compiled to help people properly care for their pets. With the exception of cats and dogs, which have thousands of books written about them, most other animals have been the subject of care sheets.
- What information do they have?
- There’s no hard and fast rule stating what they have to contain, but in general you’ll find that snake care sheets will be broken into sections including:
- General description
- Temperature and humidity
- Illness and Disease
- Health care
To reiterate not all care sheets will have that information and even if they do it will rarely be in that exact order. It is beyond the scope of this article to explain exactly what will appear in each section but it is fairly self explanatory.
- Where to find care sheets
- Online is a great place to find care sheets. Just choose your favorite search engine and type what you’re looking for. For example: “ball python care sheet” will (as of this writing) return 2,300 results. In most cases you’ll see multiple results returned. Sometimes there might be thousands while other times you’re lucky to get 5. It all depends on how popular that species of snake is and how many people have taken the time to write and publish the care sheets.
In case you don’t want to spend time digging through care sheets for your snakes here’s a short list of some sites that have a repository of care sheets.
Another source is the local pet store. If you look around for a few seconds, especially near the reptiles and amphibians you’re almost certain to find them. Generally they are one page long (sometimes folded into three sections) and contain the same general information that the ones online do.
- Quality of care sheets
- Here’s the catch. Due to the nature of the internet your milage will vary when it comes to the quality of the care sheets you find. Some are well researched, easy to understand, and sensible. On the other hand some are the exact opposite. Either way you’ll need to use some discernment when it comes to them and deciding how trustworthy they are. Remember the health and safety of your snake might depend on it. Use common sense and you’ll be ok. For example if the snake is native to equatorial areas of South America and the care sheets recommends humidty ranges like those found in temperate climates you should probably look elsewhere.