Choosing a Snake for a Pet
Tue, April 20, 2021

Choosing a Snake for a Pet

When it comes to snakes, people tend to be extreme about it. They either like them or they hate them fully. Having a pet snake is not the typical scenario for most people, as mentioned on VetStreet / Photo by: In The Light Photography via Shutterstock

 

Choosing the right pet is as crucial as choosing the right kind of job for you—it needs to be a decision that is thoroughly thought about and should not be done in haste. Most people will likely choose the most common ones: dogs, cats, fish, birds, and rabbits. Others, though, would be a bit more adventurous or different, choosing reptiles or amphibians as the pets that they will take care of at home even when they already own a cat or a dog. When it comes to snakes, people tend to be extreme about it. They either like them or they hate them fully. Having a pet snake is not the typical scenario for most people, as mentioned on VetStreet, a website that provides insightful information on pet care and health. There are not a lot of people who like snakes due to the animal’s reputation as killers frequently portrayed in the media. The fact of the matter is snakes are actually gentle and beautiful animals. Unfortunately, many will disagree with this statement, especially those looking for a pet.

But, if you do plan on getting a snake for a pet, you have to make sure that you are knowledgeable enough about the things they need. These animals are very specific when it comes to their diet and habitat, and it would be very difficult to make them happy, much more to keep them alive if you are not able to provide the right living conditions for them. Certain things should be considered before you take one home, and they will not be as easy as the ones your dog or cat needs.

 

Temperature and Humidity

Reptiles such as snakes are cold-blooded animals. Unlike mammals, they cannot adjust their body temperature to cope with environmental conditions. They can die if the temperature around them is too hot or too cold. Snakes would need a place that will have both a hot area and a cooler zone. This is necessary so that they can regulate their temperatures effectively. Ultraviolet light might be necessary for them to produce vitamin D. If the conditions are not right, they won’t be able to shed their skin.

 

Size

Snakes can actually grow very long. You might have a small snake right now, but it can grow into several feet in length. Some species can also put in a lot of weight, as much as 45 kilograms when fully grown, so a tank will not be a very good place for you to grow your snake. Before you get a pet snake, make sure that you will be able to provide it with the right living space. If your house isn’t that big, it would be better to get a snake that won’t grow too long or become too heavy.

Snakes can actually grow very long. You might have a small snake right now, but it can grow into several feet in length. Some species can also put in a lot of weight, as much as 45 kilograms when fully grown / Photo by: TIPAKORN MAKORNSEN via Shutterstock

 

Diet

Snakes eat rats and mice, although it is not advisable to give them the live ones as they may start to fight off your pet and hurt them in the process. What most snake owners would give are frozen rats or those that have been freshly killed. The food size will depend on the kind of snake you have.

 

Time

If you will not have extra time to dedicate to your snake, then better get something else. Improper handling or lack of care can mean a snake ridden with health conditions or diseases. Also, it would be problematic if your snake is out and about its cage without you knowing it.

Snakes eat rats and mice, although it is not advisable to give them the live ones as they may start to fight off your pet and hurt them in the process / Photo by: Rudmer Zwerver via Shutterstock

 

Choosing the Right Snake

The Spruce Pets, a website that gives practical and real-life tips on caring for different pets, gives us a list of things to think about when choosing a pet snake. There are many species that can be taken care of at home, and they will all need a certain type of love and care for them to live happy lives.

If you are a beginner, it would be better to choose a snake that is not too big. Also, some snake species are more docile than others, so you can make sure that they will not be aggressive or dangerous to take care of at home. Some recommended species include corn snakes, kingsnakes and milk snakes, and ball pythons. Big constrictors and venomous snakes should be avoided even if you are an expert snake handler since they can be dangerous to take care of, and they would entail a more difficult requirement when it comes to caring for them. Boa constrictors, Burmese pythons, tree boas, and water snakes should be avoided unless you are really familiar with snake care.

When it comes to feeding, most veterinarians will advise on pre-killed or frozen rodents. Also, the food should not be taken from the wild since such creatures can have a variety of diseases that can affect your snake’s health.    

Having a pet snake is not a thing for everyone. If you’re really decided to have one, make sure that you have asked a veterinarian for advice, and be ready for the different tasks you’ll have to take care of a pet snake at home.