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Pet Snakes provides easy to understand, practical information and facts to help the new snake owner take care of their animals. At Pet Snakes we want to provide information that will help you enjoy your reptile more than ever.

Caring for your first pet snake


Those of us who have had snakes for a while often take for granted how easy it actually is to care for them once everything is set up and ready to go. If you spend enough time looking around the internet you’ll find an overabundance of information which often leads to confusion on the part of a new or potential snake owner. In this article we will go through a basic run down of what you need to take care of a pet snake. This guide is not aimed at any particular type of snake (or owner) it is just meant to provide an overview of information. It is basic stuff that you should know.

What kind of snake
Before anything you need to decide on what kind of a snake you want. The most popular two snakes for beginners are the Ball (Royal) Pythons and the Corn Snake. You are of course not limited to those, but they are the most common for a beginner. Ultimately it comes down to what you can handle in a FULL GROWN animal. A 12 foot python is a lot different snake than a 26 inch python.

Where to get the snake
Once you’ve decided on the kind of snake it is time to decide where to buy your pet snake. This is actually one of the most important steps you will go through. Plan on spending a decent amount of time “shopping around” and getting a feel for the possible places before choosing one. The reason is that you are building a relationship with whoever you buy it from. Which could serve you very well in the future.

What you need before you get the snake
If you’ve ever bought a dog you know that forgetting a few things it needs isn’t really a big deal. You can always get that stuff tomorrow. With snakes it is such a big deal that it could cause your animal to become sick and die. Here’s a list of things you will need to get started with taking care of a pet snake.

  • An enclosure: You can either buy one or build a homemade snake cage
  • Heat source: During your research you should note what kind of heat source is best for the kind of snake you are getting. Then make sure you purchase it
  • Thermometer/Hygrometer: Don’t waste your money on the dial kind. Spend a few extra dollars and get a digital one with a probe. Much more accurate
  • Water bowl: The snake needs something to hold the water and it should be large enough that it can bathe if need be. Also keep in mind the snakes are quite adept at tipping water bowls over so before you give it a 10 gallon bucket consider the mess you might be cleaning up
  • Food: Unless you’re feeding live there’s no reason not to get 15 or 20 frozen mice or rats that you can thaw and use later. Once your snake settles in you might be surprised by how quickly those rodents will dwindle
  • Substrate: You need something to cover the bottom of the encloser the snake is in. Personally I use newspaper. The ink isn’t toxic to them, it is a cinch to clean up and it is free (if you look around a bit)
  • Hide boxes: A hide is a small dark enclosure that the snake can feel secure in. Ideally you’ll have two hides one for both the warm and the cooler end of the tank. They should be relatively close to identical
  • List of vets: Talk to a few vets and choose one to take care of your snakes. In fact you should take your snake in for an initial checkup soon after it has fully digested its first meal. Call your vet and ask for instructions for doing a fecal float. Always have a primary and two back-up vets “on call”
  • First aid kit: If you don’t have time to get to the vet sometimes you do what you have to do with what you have laying around. Of course if you already had a first aid kit together it would make taking care of your pet snake that much easier.

Getting the snake home
Once you get the snake home put it into its enclosure, make sure the lid is secure and leave it alone. Which of course means that you should have had everything setup before the snake got back to your home. Snakes are very sensitive to their environments and they need time to adjust to their new living situation before they have to adjust to people bothering them all the time. So set it up and aside from a twice daily water, temp, humidity and safety check leave the snake alone for about 5 to 7 days. After that you can start taking it out and interacting with it.

Feeding schedule
Establish a regular feeding schedule for your snake. For instance I feed mine on Saturday nights and Wednesday nights. This way I never miss a feeding, I’m never wondering if I fed or not. I also keep track of what each snake ate and how many.

Daily maintenance
Each morning before work and each evening after work I look in on each snake, change their water, check the temps and humidity, and do a spot cleaning of the enclosure. It only takes about 90 seconds per animal and serves three purposes. First it allows you to see what kind of condition your snake is in and to catch any problems early. Secondly it provides for the snakes care in a more generic sense (fresh water, fresh air, etc) and finally it allows you to interact with the snake when you might not do so.

Weekly maintenance
You should also setup a weekly schedule where everything is cleaned. This would involve cleaning the snakes tank throughly, ensuring you had enough food to last at least another week, a through handling session of 15 to 30 minutes per snake, and record keeping.
  • Mary

    This information was very helpful. Thank you.

  • joshep

    I can’t belive it………………………

  • Gloria

    This is horrid, snakes are not pets they are NOT DOMESTIC

  • Julien202

    Nasty

  • Nifncjndkcuie

    Thank You Now I Can Begin. 

  • collie dog

    thank you but three good snakes that i reconmend is child python stimson python and spotted python which is what im getting in a month but helped me  a lot thank’s:)

  • http://pet-snakes.com Pet Snakes
  • Thebrainfart92

    What does it mean when a snake is morphed

  • http://pet-snakes.com Pet Snakes

    That their genetics have been manipulated via selective breeding to obtain different colored/patterned specimens than the normal or “wild type” found in the average store.

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